Menlo Park City Council Email Log

[ Home ] [ City Council ] [ Search ] [ 05/06 Archive ] [ 07/08 Archive ] [ 09/10 Archive ] [ 2011 Archive ] [ 12/13 Archive ] [ Watch City Council Meetings ]

Suggestion for Train Crossings in Menlo Park

From: domainremoved <Eileen>
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2015 17:08:37 -0700

Dear Rene Baile, other members of Transportation Committee and City Council

I live near the intersection of Oak Grove Avenue and the Caltrain tracks. I
am also familiar with the Ravenswood and other crossings at Glenwood and
Encinal. I take Caltrain to work. I am also a driver, and sometimes
drive to Millbrae for BART.

I was thinking about that Ravenswood crossing in particular. My suggestion
is two fold.

The first part is to install lights like the ones on the freeway entrances
which regulate merge flow during busy hours. These lights would help
standardize the stop times at the intersection better than a stop
sign. Additionally,
I believe the crosswalk would be made much safer because when a pedestrian
pushes the button, the light for the crosswalk could be set to the standard
time for crossing the street. With standardized timing and computer
controlled lights, the trigger for the gates coming down can be timed to
signal the stop of the flow of traffic sufficiently before the gates come
down to clear the tracks. I would also recommend no right on red, at least
from Alma turning west onto Ravenswood.

The second part is that the flow regulation lights, would be set back at
least one length for the largest anticipated vehicle, e.g. SAMTrans bus
length or tracker trailer, *in each of the four intersection directions*
before the tracks to leave room in case someone is caught in the
intersection so they can maneuver off the tracks if necessary. For
example, on Ravenswood, library side (East), behind the crosswalk is fine
resulting in no change to the stopping point on that side. On Ravenswood
side west of the tracks, the full vehicle length back is recommend for the
merge flow light. On Alma, a vehicle length north and south from the
gates. The lights on Alma can be timed a little longer to make up the
difference for people to cross the intersection or turn left. I believe
this would also create certainty of right of way at that intersection as
well, thus increasing safety. Similar changes could be made on Oak Grove,
Encinal and Glenwood. For Oak Grove and Glenwood, Mills and Mills Ct may
use a similar flow light but likely do not need the full vehicle length
like Alma because they are further from the tracks than Alma.

I believe drivers would pay attention to lights, particularly because I
believe the penalty for running a red light is higher than a rolling stop
at a stop sign. This point can be communicated to drivers. Both the speed
and flow of traffic will be standardized at the intersections. The
Ravenswood Alma intersection is not just a bit dangerous solely due to
Caltrain. Other factors include its location as an east west thoroughfare,
the crosswalk, and the irregularity of stop times when determined
individually by each driver.

I see the walls caused by the Caltrain in San Carlos and San Bruno, and
they divide the town. I don’t want a Berlin Wall dividing Menlo Park. Another
option is beautiful stone bridges for the car traffic at these
intersections like on parkways back East. If we don’t keep Menlo
beautiful, the town will be adversely affected.

Thank you,

Eileen Lehmann

Oak Grove Avenue Resident, Driver and Caltrain Rider
Received on Tue Jun 02 2015 - 17:05:49 PDT

[ Search ] [ By Date ] [ By Message ] [ By Subject ] [ By Author ]

Email communications sent to the City Council are public records. This site is an archive of emails received by the City Council at its city.council_at_(domainremoved)