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Re: Recommendations For Initial Menlo Park FEGS Study

From: domainremoved <Tony>
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2019 16:35:01 -0800

Hi Dana,
This FEGS scope of work is well conceived.
Would you mind if I shared it with folks in PA?

On Fri, Jan 4, 2019 at 11:58 AM dana hendrickson <

> Menlo Park residents deserve a *politically unbiased *evaluation of fully
> elevated grade separations (FEGS) so all can judge the FACTUAL trade-offs
> between this alternative and the Ravenswood-only underpass approved by the
> previous City Council. To that end, the design of the FEGS study – and
> on-going evaluations - must reflect a genuine interest in identifying a
> FEGS solution that best accomplishes the following objectives.
> • Improves vehicle traffic circulation and safety
> • Improves east-west bike and pedestrian connectivity (convenience,
> safety)
> • Improves the vitality of the up-and-coming Train Station Area Business
> District
> • Minimizes the amount and duration of negative effects caused by
> construction
> • Mitigates negative impacts on nearby neighborhoods
> • Secures sufficient state and county funding
> • Completed in the shortest possible calendar time, e.g. 2030, not many
> years later
> *Unfortunately, the scope of an initial FEGS study proposed by staff at
> the December 4, 2018 does NOT reflect this attitude.* A group of
> residents believes city staff has artificially constrained the technical
> feasibility evaluation of rail profiles, and thereby, eliminated
> potentially desirable, practical FEGS solutions. This fact is clearly known
> by city staff and puts the very objectivity of the study scope into
> question.
> *“A track profile analysis to determine the maximum grade needed to
> provide sufficient elevation to avoid roadway excavation at Glenwood Avenue
> (span completely over the street); while simultaneously avoiding impact to
> Encinal Avenue. (Source: Staff Report: December 4, 2018)*
> A *positive approach* requires the City Council and staff to abandon its
> “traditional” negative attitudes towards elevating tracks above existing
> grades. These were formed with insufficient (a) facts about actual
> trade-offs and (b) informed feedback from current residents. *Our
> city council must ensure that residents have a clear and sound
> understanding of practical solutions, and their voices are heard.*
> The first step should be the completion of an initial FEGS study that
> evaluates the three primary areas of concern repeatedly raised by
> residents.
> • The *technical feasibility* of various possible fully elevated rail
> profiles
> • The *noise implications* of these profiles versus existing conditions
> • The *aesthetic impacts* of these profiles
> We believe the initial study should determine whether a FEGS solution
> could be designed that meets the following criteria:
> • Fully elevated grade separations at least at Ravenswood and Oak Grove
> • Some type of separation at Glenwood, either fully elevated or hybrid
> with minor street lowering
> • Built entirely within Menlo Park city boundaries
> • Have maximum grades acceptable to Caltrain, greater than its standards.
> • Acceptable visual and noise impacts on south end and north end
> neighborhoods
> • Encinal might be closed to vehicle traffic only; pedestrian and
> bicyclist crossings would be provided
> In addition to the proposed noise analysis, the study deliverables should
> include the following:
> • Rail profile designs that use 1%, 1.25% and 1.5% maximum average grades
> • Elevation drawings and CAD images for the most promising rail profile
> (s) that illustrate
> o Train bridges
> o The northern and southern grades
> o A fully elevated structure that connects Ravenswood and Oak Grove.
> Note: All elevation drawings should include “ghost tress” (current
> and planned) that visually screen the elevated structure and train
> electrification equipment.
> • A preliminary layout for train station area
> • Comparative matrices for Alternative A, C and FEGS similar to the ones
> in the enclosed document with clear explanations for all technical ratings.
> • Project cost estimates assuming grades can be either viaducts or
> stabilized embankments
> Finally, this study should also identify all potential impacts to south
> end and north end neighborhoods and suggest design mitigation alternatives
> We encourage you to revise the scope and deliverables for the FEGS study
> and ensure its completion in the shortest possible time. We believe an FEGS
> alternative MIGHT be far superior to Alternative A, and our city should be
> well prepared for this outcome to avoid additional project delays.
> We have spent at least a hundred volunteer hours in our efforts to assist
> our city during the past year, and we continue to welcome opportunities to
> discuss our findings with the Rail Subcommittee and other council members.
> Our invitation remains open.

Tony Carrasco
1885 El Camino Real, Palo Alto CA 94306
Received on Fri Jan 04 2019 - 16:32:16 PST

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