At 6 p.m., council members will meet with the El Camino Real/Downtown Visioning Process Oversight and Outreach Committee — a group of residents, developers and city officials advising the council in efforts to revamp the city's main thoroughfare.
The council will outline the guidelines and goals of the 18-person committee, which is responsible for helping a consultant and city staff craft a plan to revamp properties along El Camino Real.
The meeting will be held in the Menlo Park Library at 800 Alma St.
Council members are scheduled to leave the meeting just before 7 p.m. to start their regular meeting in the council chambers.
During the regular 7 p.m. meeting, council members are scheduled to hold a joint study session with Atherton city staff and council members regarding grade separations — separating the Caltrain tracks from the roadway, with overpasses or underpasses, at intersections where roads cross the tracks.
Council members from both cities are expected to discuss the costs, impacts and feasibility of grade separations at local streets.
Four streets in Menlo Park cross the tracks: Ravenswood, Oak Grove, Glenwood and Encinal avenues. Two streets cross in Atherton: Watkins Avenue and Fair Oaks Lane.
Proponents of grade separations say allowing traffic, bicycles and pedestrians to pass over or under more heavily used tracks would reduce traffic congestion and improve safety. Critics say constructing grade separations will worsen congestion, be too costly, and severely impact nearby homes and businesses.
A key variable in the discussion is the proposed California High Speed Rail project, which would transport passengers from San Francisco to the Central Valley and Los Angeles — and back again — at maximum speeds of 220 miles per hour.
If approved, the project would require, and pay for, grade separations along the Caltrain line.
The project, estimated to cost more than $40 billion by the state's high-speed rail authority, depends on voter approval of a $10 billion bond measure slated for the November ballot.