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Letters: Menlo Park Caltrain grade separations

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  • 9/22 Menlo Park Almanac
    Published Wednesday, September 22, 2004, in the Menlo Park Almanac Letters to the Editor Grade separations? We don t need em Where does a 600-pound gorilla
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 21, 2004
      Published Wednesday, September 22, 2004, in the Menlo Park Almanac

      Letters to the Editor

      Grade separations? We don't need 'em

      Where does a 600-pound gorilla sleep? Anywhere it wants to! Where
      does the Caltrain/Joint Powers Board build grade separations?

      Anywhere they want to! Menlo Park really does not need to help
      them. It needs to stop them.

      Two forces are driving this grade separation obsession:

      * The expectations of the California High Speed Rail Authority. To
      them, it will be money in the bank. High Speed Rail obliges grade
      separations by law. The Peninsula needs a second, duplicate high
      speed train system like a hole in the head. Without California High
      Speed Rail (just say no in 2006) grade separation needs are highly

      * Caltrain threatens us with a future of 110 trains daily, and with
      faster baby bullets. Rail separations, they say, will be a must.
      Sure they want to build it. But, do we need it? Does the Peninsula
      need it? Does anyone need it? Besides Caltrain, I mean.

      Some in Menlo Park fear more traffic congestion is inevitable. So,
      those fearful people need to answer this question, since improving
      traffic flow with grade separations will certainly increase traffic
      volume and speed.

      Do we really want even more traffic whipping through Menlo Park's
      city streets, as ever more trains roar over them? It's a basic law
      of physics. Think carefully before you answer.

      If Menlo Park permits the building of High Speed Rail down the
      Peninsula rail corridor, supported by grade separations, you can
      kiss the Menlo Park you love good-bye. Can you do anything about
      it? You bet. Organize.

      Tell our City Council how you feel about this. Listening to us is
      their job.

      Martin Engel
      Stone Pine Lane
      Menlo Park

      Lowering tracks would reduce train noise

      Assuming we must have grade separations in Menlo Park, the "split-
      level" seems to be less disruptive at a given crossing than
      the "deep underpass" design, but the raised tracks constitute a
      wall cleanly dividing the city east from west, something I find
      deeply disturbing.

      In addition this design maximizes train noise. Why not instead of
      raising the tracks, lower them, thus reducing train noise. Then at
      crossings, the roadway would go over the tracks, which also has the
      advantage of imposing no height limit for trucks.

      Jym Clendenin
      Santa Cruz Avenue
      Menlo Park
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