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Railroad crossing studies

From: domainremoved <Dan>
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2017 13:20:22 -0500

I was disappointed last night that the 3-inch binder for your Agenda contained only an "either - or" choice for the Council to discuss.

My two major concerns that I want to bring to your attention are:
1) The raised berm that will run almost the entire length of Menlo Park, and
2) The massive disruption to the entire length of the City that the bypass "shoofly" will cause during and possibly after the construction.

The text of my comments to the presenters after the October 20016 public meeting is below. Last night I did not see any significant changes from the October presentation.
Dan Hilberman

Ravenswood Railroad Alternative Meeting Notes
I attended the October 4, 2016, presentation of the railroadcrossing Alternatives. The presentations were very informative and, although Imissed the May presentation, it was clear that a lot of thought and work hadgone into following the Council’s requests and the “grant” requirement.
I am listing below the comments I made to various projectpersonnel at last night’s meeting.
As one participant noted, people seem to have forgottenmeetings a few years ago, when the high speed rail was proposed and which Iattended, that the residents of Menlo Park and adjacent cities want therailroad tracks BELOW grade, yet last night there were two proposals to raisethe railroad above grade, on a 12-15 foot high berm that will divide the cityfor almost its entire length in Menlo Park.
That berm will undo all the multi-year planning that wentinto our updated downtown plan and bring thousands of dump-truck loads to thecity streets, with the inevitable damage, noise and congestion.
The railroad running on the elevated berm will also, as presentersnoted, enormously increase the noise from train traffic. Just look at all the sound walls built on ourhighways to contain noise, and the highways are at grade level.
Another problem with the sketches presented is the bypass“shoofly” rail line that would be built parallel to the existing tracks for theduration of the project, which could be 2-3 years. What impact will that bypass have on theadjacent homes, commercial properties and streets?
Even “Alternative A”, which addresses the creation of justthe one underpass at Ravenswood, has a lengthy shoofly/bypass. The designers need to show how the Ravenswoodunderpass can be constructed without a rail bypass.
All the alternatives presented have a third rail linerunning down the middle. No dimensionswere given in the presentation material that compares the existing rail widthwith the proposed width, but it is fair to assume this 3rd railsignificantly increases the width of the railway.
This is contrary to all the public input on the high speedrail, which led to the general understanding that it would share the two existingtracks with the existing operators and NOT add a 3rd (or 4th)rail. It was said that this 3rdrail line was a requirement of “the grant”, so it is very surprising that theCouncil accepted “the grant” with that condition and contrary to the Council’spublic position. Any work going forwardshould eliminate that 3rd rail at the street intersections andstation and get back to the “existing two rails” promised for the past fewyears.
As a resident of Menlo Park for over 40 years, I am veryconcerned about the proposals put forward. My conclusions:
1a) Themoney is better spent directly on “first responders” facilities and personnel
2b) Thetrain noise will increase, not decrease, and disturb a wider part of the City
3c) Themulti-year vehicle congestion will be a nightmare for residents and firstresponders
Dan Hilberman
631 Arbor Road, MP
Received on Wed Feb 08 2017 - 10:23:22 PST

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