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Caltrain electrification is valuable for Menlo Park

From: domainremoved <Adina>
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2015 12:25:13 -0800

Dear Council Members,

I see that there is a closed session agenda item regarding Caltrain
electrification.

Menlo Park currently depends on Caltrain. Our station is in the top 10, and
SRI has particularly impressive transit use. We will depend on Caltrain to
an even greater extent with the implementation of the El Camino
Real/Downtown Specific Plan. New developments on ECR and Downtown will
depend on improved Caltrain service to carry commuters and keep drivers off
the crowded roads.

Caltrain ridership has more than doubled over the last decade, and the
trains are packed. Caltrain electrification will help increase capacity on
the crowded system, and will set the stage for future capacity and speed
improvements as well, such as longer trains and level boarding.

The letter that triggered this closed session is offering to Menlo Park the
lawsuit that Atherton has been considering taking up. The argument is that
because Caltrain electrification will eventually be of use to High Speed
Rail, that the EIR should cover the full High Speed Rail project.
 Caltrain's rebuttal reasonable - the electrification project is useful on
its own. It will be providing service to the Peninsula for many years
before the first High Speed Train arrives. Additional changes proposed by
High Speed Rail for the corridor will require their own environmental
studies.

Also please note that the Palo Alto City Council held a closed session last
night and decided not to pursue litigation against Caltrain, since Caltrain
was working cooperatively on several specific issues that the city had
raised.

Delaying electrification would be harmful to our city. I hope that Menlo
Park takes the sensible and constructive step of supporting Caltrain
electrification.

Thanks,

Adina Levin
Menlo Park
Received on Tue Jan 27 2015 - 12:19:48 PST

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