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Tonight: Menlo Park solicits comment on Caltrain electrification impact report

Tonight Menlo Park will continue its efforts to write a response to the draft environmental impact report for Caltrain's electrification project.

The transit agency is proposing a $1.5 billion switch to electrified trains that could benefit the environment and Caltrain's financial status, as well as provide the capacity to share the tracks with high-speed rail, even as HSR struggles to maintain momentum.

The council subcomittee, composed of Rich Cline and Kirsten Keith, will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday (April 24) in the conference chamber of the city's administration building at 701 Laurel St. to solicit input.

Community members have already been weighing in via email, particularly with regards to the projected loss of thousands of trees and creation of traffic delays near the tracks, issues which are inspiring comment in other Peninsula jurisdictions as well.

"I would also love to see Menlo Park make a similar comment to Palo Alto, recommending utilizing bicycle and pedestrian improvements as traffic mitigations, since Menlo Park, like Palo Alto, already has a high rate of walking and bicycling among adults, school children, and people accessing the train stations," Menlo Park resident Adina Levin wrote in an email to the council on April 24.

Atherton recently approved a comment letter that challenged the draft report for not considering design alternatives that wouldn't be compatible with high-speed rail, and for not analyzing HSR as a whole, which could be "grounds for litigation."

More information about the project:

Caltrain electrification

Draft of Menlo Park's comments:

Letter

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