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Re: Menlo Park grade separations viaduct

From: domainremoved <Adrian>
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2017 01:05:35 -0700

Regarding Caltrain and CA HSRA's requirement that your project designs do
not preclude the future addition of a 3rd track: it appears that only 1 of
the 4 passing track alternatives under consideration involves Menlo Park (see
"*Middle 3 Track*" on page 28
depicted below).

It is my understanding that HSRA will choose only one of the 4 alternatives
in the near future. Provided they do not choose "Middle 3 Track", then
it's quite possible you may be relieved of this requirement.


[image: Inline image 1]

On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 12:32 AM, Adrian Brandt <adrian.brandt_at_(domainremoved)

> Honorable Councilmembers,
> I am just now watching the recorded video of your February 7, 2017, study
> session on the Ravenswood Grade Separation Project
> <http://www.menlopark.org/169/Ravenswood-Avenue-railroad-crossing-proj>
> with staff project manager Angela Obeso and consultants from AECOM.
> Councilmember Carlton asked a question on behalf of an unnamed "a former
> mayor" as to why the fully elevated (i.e. viaduct) alternative was
> eliminated from consideration.
> The answer provided was that due to the 1% maximum grade limitation, there
> was insufficient ramp-up distance from the Palo Alto side to achieve a
> 25-foot track elevation at Ravenswood. And that, similarly, there was
> insufficient ramp-down distance between Glenwood Ave. and Atherton to
> return the tracks to ground-level. (Atherton opposes any track elevation.)
> As per this article on railroad grades and curves
> <http://trn.trains.com/railroads/abcs-of-railroading/2006/05/grades-and-curves>,
> a 1% grade exists when a track rises (or falls) 1 foot per 100 feet. This
> means for a track to rise or fall 25 feet at a 1% grade requires 2,500 feet
> (1% of 2,500 feet).
> The track distance from the San Francisquito Creek bridge to Ravenswood
> Ave. is over 3,600 feet, and the distance from Glenwood to Atherton's
> Watkins Ave. crossing at over 2,700 feet.
> So, clearly, there *is* more than enough "ramping" space to
> grade-separate Ravenswood, Oak Grove and Glenwood with a 25-foot high open
> viaduct while returning the tracks to ground level at Holbrook-Palmer Park
> in Atherton to the north and at the San Francisquito Creek Bridge to the
> south.
> Note that the foregoing means that tracks will be sloping low across
> Encinal (the least trafficked Menlo Park grade crossing), which must
> therefore either be closed or dipped down a bit ("hybrid style") in order
> to provide a fourth grade separation there too.
> This is an exciting possibility worthy of further study because it
> functionally provides a high degree of openness and connectivity across
> (under) the elevated tracks for much of its length ... allowing for
> landscaping and/or bike/ped paths alongside or underneath ... while also
> eliminating *all four* of Menlo Park's at-grade crossings and eliminating
> the need to change road or driveway elevations in the vicinity of
> Ravenswood, Alma, Merrill, Oak Grove or Glenwood, thereby allowing for
> maximum bicycle/pedestrian friendly and safe streetscaping.
> The historic Menlo Park station can stay right where it is, as occurred
> with the historic San Carlos station during their multi-street grade
> separation project in the 1990s.
> Respectfully and with kind regards,
> Adrian Brandt
> Redwood City (Menlo Park native)
> [image: Inline image 1]
> [image: Inline image 2]

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Received on Thu Mar 23 2017 - 01:08:28 PDT

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