What's the solution? More important: do we really want to find one? And an even more unpleasantly challenging question...how many fatalities will motivate us to tackle the problem?
All signs point to more accidents involving cars and pedestrians. The Valley is booming, and so is Caltrain's ridership. The commuter line is under enormous pressure to increase capacity and expand its schedule.
So, as readers have asked: (1) what is to be done about downtown's rail crossings and (2) how would we finance any construction?
We have the answers. They lie in the collective although not openly shared experience and expertise of our community.
Take the design of M-A's Performing Arts Center. Architectural models from competing firms were on display for weeks. Scores of people got a chance to comment on the PAC's look and layout.
A similar design competition would help us consider grade separation. There's no one way, and no single correct way, to keep our downtown safe and prosperous. We need some new ideas both in proposals for design and finance.
Grade separation is a civic challenge we have to face. The earlier, and the more proactive, the better.