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Transit NOT "Rail"

From: domainremoved <R>
Date: Mon, 7 May 2018 00:39:24 +0000 (UTC)

Dear Council,
At the recent Rail Subcommittee opinions about Caltrain grade separations were reviewed, again, and the comments reviewed the potential of opening up the "viaduct" option. What's troubling about these discussions is that the city-wide process (my wife and I participated) resulted in two alternatives AND the viaduct proponents are now getting to state their opinions as fact.
   - Encinal Avenue would not be impacted with a viaduct yet Mrs. Keith sent a letter requesting Atherton consider allowing a ramp to return a viaduct to grade after Watkins Ave.
   - Tim Warner, at the Rail Subcommittee meeting, highlighted the fact that elevated structures are being removed from cities worlwide. San Francisco needed an earthquake to damage/remove the Embarcadero Fwy, which led to revitalization of the Ferry Building. [There was "open space" under the Embarcadero that served no good purpose but isolated the waterfront from development.]
   - Elevated, electric trains are noisy. I grew up near Chicago and have experienced the "Elevated" line. I've also lived 3 blocks away from BART. Viaduct promoters say people like me are "misinformed"... Direct experience seems relevant.
   - Overall costs will be manageable (see chart below). In a modified (community input meeting had only A & C options) chart of options promoters suggest a viaduct will be cost efficient. We were told that a tunnel, trench, viaduct were not financially viable. How did this get less expensive since the review process was completed last year?

Most unfortunate in ALL of this discussion is the fact that we should be discussing modern transit solutions but Caltrain will only offer more expensive train upgrades. Personal Rapid Transit is being developed/tested in several worldwide locations. NASA, Ames, in Sunnyvale is working on a system yet I don't think anyone has asked for their input. Imagine a lightweight infrastructure of pods that are compact enough to run them down city streets (or the middle of the Caltrain ROW) so you could send spurs off to access downtown or Facebook directly. No more switching modes of transit - no more bike to train to bus to bike to work. That's new and innovative. An 1850's technology running today is, well, dated.


Russ Peterson

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Received on Sun May 06 2018 - 17:40:51 PDT

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