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San Bruno may straighten angled Caltrain crossing

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  • 10/4 Redwood City Daily
    Published Wednesday, October 4, 2006, by the Redwood City Daily News City plans to tame tangled crossing By Kristina Peterson Like a comb hitting a stubborn
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 8, 2006
      Published Wednesday, October 4, 2006, by the Redwood City Daily News

      City plans to tame tangled crossing

      By Kristina Peterson

      Like a comb hitting a stubborn tangle, the orderly grid of San
      Bruno's streets twists into a complicated snarl where San Mateo
      Avenue crosses the Caltrain tracks -- an intersection that officials
      say they may be able to literally straighten out to improve safety
      at the dangerous spot.

      "The tracks cross at a severe angle at San Mateo Avenue and it
      confuses people. ... We've lost too many lives at that crossing and
      this will help to staunch it," said Alice Barnes, a member of the
      Citizens Advisory Committee created in August 2002 to help with the
      Caltrain grade separation project.

      The proposed safety improvements would create a perpendicular
      crossing at the diagonal intersection of San Mateo Avenue and the
      railroad tracks between First and Huntington avenues to improve
      visibility for drivers. Plans also include installing a pedestrian
      gate across the sidewalk and adding street medians "to make it
      harder for people to get in the wrong lane while driving," Caltrain
      spokesman Jonah Weinberg said.

      San Bruno has four at-grade intersections with the railroad tracks
      that "must be completely separated" from roads and pedestrian paths
      during the grade separation project, according to the city's Web
      site. The project will also include constructing a new handicap-
      accessible Caltrain station over two crossings.

      Though many residents in San Bruno were disappointed in August
      when Caltrain announced that the grade separation project would be
      delayed for five years, the proposed safety improvements planned
      for the interim seem to have softened the blow.

      City Council Member Jim Ruane said the reconfiguration of the
      intersection was a safety necessity, and one that would fit in
      seamlessly when the grade separation is built above it in later
      years.

      "This is configured similarly to what we proposed with the grade
      separation. This will be in place ... and help the safety of those
      convoluted intersections for the time being," Ruane said.

      Since the targeted street is owned by San Bruno and not Caltrain,
      Weinberg said the cost may be shared between Caltrain and the city.

      Though Caltrain did receive $7.4 million from the county
      Transportation Authority for safety improvements at grade
      crossings, Weinberg said that money must stretch across the whole
      county. "Though there is nothing else quite as strange as that
      particular configuration," Weinberg said.

      The projected timeline shows complete designs done by the end of
      this year, bids awarded in the first half of 2007 and construction
      running from mid-2007 to the end of March 2008, Barnes said. No
      official time frame has been finalized.

      The Citizens Advisory Committee will meet to discuss drawings of
      the plans with city and Caltrain officials on Wednesday, Oct. 11,
      at 6 p.m. at San Bruno City Hall, located at 567 El Camino Real.


      [BATN: See also:

      Road crossing upgrades slated for Caltrain in San Bruno
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/32395

      Meeting on delayed San Bruno Caltrain grade separations
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/32386

      Caltrain OK's 2025 plan, delays San Bruno grade separations
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/31670 ]
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