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public comment on railroad quiet zones and the Council's position

From: domainremoved <Patrick>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 12:29:58 +0000

Distinguished members of the City Council,

As the operator of a business that is negatively impacted by the sound of trains that travel through our city, and more specifically the sounding of train horns, I would like to understand your position on the Quiet Zone matter.

I have received the following information and while it would seem to be an obvious choice to consider a quiet zone designation I expect that there is much more to understand about this matter than the content of the message below and therefore I am contacting you in an effort to fully understand the pros and cons of this prior to taking a position or making public comment at a Council meeting without the benefit of a more thorough understanding and collaboration that usually yields the most appropriate decisions.

My colleague's wife was the driver of the SUV who passed away in the train accident on Ravenswood Drive a little over a year ago so I am very sensitive to the warnings and safety issues however I am attempting to more fully embrace the ideas and data that makes the most sense on this subject.

The communication below indicated that the Council is "dragging their feet" however I expect that this is a very slanted opinion of a person who is rejecting a different point of view, rather than one who is attempting to embrace different perspectives for the best outcome.

I sincerely appreciate the difficult work that you have all done and the decisions that you are confronted with making, therefore I appreciate your time and response on this matter.

[I am the "No Train Horns" guy -- I have given multiple Menlo Park City Council presentations, done the necessary engineering, have the legal material, registered Menlo Park with the US Department of Transportation, received their list of required crossing improvements, and have an estimated cost ($26,000 total), and passed the DOT's requirements for the proposed Menlo Park scenario. I am an engineer who has worked on projects for most of the Bay Area's railroads, including Caltrain, ACE and BART. 45 Cities in California have already implemented "Quiet Zones" (as they are officially called). Atherton is in process. San Jose and Richmond have quiet zones, as does Fremont. Quiet zones are proven to be safer. And yes, if there is any real reason, like a car on the tracks, trains get full use of their horns. Quiet zones apply to all trains on the track, including Caltrain and freight. Quiet zones do not add any legal liability to cities (in fact, they reduce liability). The next Menlo Park City Council meeting is Tuesday, May 3. I will give another presentation. If other people would like to attend and offer support or their own 3-minute pitch, that would be GREAT. The mayor of Atherton and Menlo Park's own Transportation Commissioner are onboard with this plan. It is only the City Council that is dragging their feet. The Menlo Park City Council is the ONLY agency that can initiate a quiet zone in Menlo Park (by law), and they are they only agency that needs to approve the plan. The DOT has already approved and the railroads don't get any say in the matter (by law). So, really, is there any rational reason NOT to have a quiet zone in Menlo Park. It would be great to see some resident (that is, voter) support to pressure this council to do the obvious. Thanks!! - Kim Rubin, Cambridge Av.]Sincerely and respectfully,
Patrick J. Lane


Patrick Lane
Vice President and General Manager
Stanford Park Hotel
100 El Camino Real | Menlo Park, CA 94025
direct 650-322-1234 | fax 650-322-0975

Woodside Hotels | Northern California's Premier Hotel Group | woodsidehotels.com<http://www.woodsidehotels.com/>
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Received on Fri Apr 29 2016 - 05:36:16 PDT

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