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Thoughts on Grade Seps & Blended System Caltrain

From: domainremoved <Stephan>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:22:30 -0800

Dear Council-members,

   After the last City Council meeting I have been doing much reading and
research. From the Caltrain Blended System studies from 2012 and 2013, one
of the conclusions is: 6 Caltrains plus 2 HSR trains per hour in each
direction could be supported with NO PASSING TRACKS. The bad news is: the
schedule used for the study still gives Menlo Park the same lousy Caltrain
service we enjoy now. I had hoped for more.

   In the 2004 grade separation study for the Ravenswood Underpass, it had
a grade of 8% between the tracks and El Camino Real. The current study
shows this grade has grown to 10% for the same location due to the lowest
point of the road being 22 feet below ground level for a vehicle clearance
of 15.5 feet. So the bridge supporting the tracks is 6.5 feet thick! I'm
hoping the consultants can design a thinner bridge and get the grade down
near 6%.

   Part of the 2004 study shows a phase during construction just before the
roadway gets dug out with a vehicle clearance of 8 feet. Don't know how
long this phase was supposed to last, but how tall is an ambulance,
anyway? We need similar details for the current studies. Personally I
would only continue to study hybrid alternatives if they can be guaranteed
to be constructed without a shoofly track.

2 Grade Seps.
    If we're studying more than one grade sep for the hybrid alternatives,
we should do the same for the underpass. When we started this process, we
assumed all student bike traffic would be along Ravenswood; now it will be
along Oak Grove. Perhaps an Oak Grove underpass should be built first.
Underpasses can be built separately one at a time.

    Respectfully submitted, Steve Van Pelt
Received on Mon Feb 27 2017 - 13:25:06 PST

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