Letters: Menlo Park Caltrain grade separations
- 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
Stone Pine Lane
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
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.
Santa Cruz Avenue