News


Tonight: Community meeting on Ravenswood Ave. grade separation

 

The first of three community meetings to discuss a "grade separation" (separating the roadway from the railroad tracks) at Ravenswood Avenue in Menlo Park will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 2, in the Oak Room of the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center, located at 700 Alma St. in the Menlo Park Civic Center.

The consulting firm AECOM is studying two options recommended by the Menlo Park City Council: tunneling Ravenswood Avenue under the Caltrain tracks or partially raising the tracks and partially lowering the road.

The firm is also looking at the engineering feasibility of grade separations at all the rail crossings in Menlo Park: Oak Grove, Glenwood and Encinal avenues, as well as Ravenswood.

Among grade separations, the Ravenswood Avenue crossing is the council's top priority. The study will consider the impact of the Caltrain electrification project and plans for high-speed rail.

City staff and consultants are seeking community feedback at the meetings.

Go to the Menlo Park city news blog for more information.

Comments

6 people like this
Posted by Frugal
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 2, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Well, combine this more offices and 4-5 story buildings and more traffic and there goes the village. And good luck with a tunnel or partial elevation. Both will be too expensive. Take drive up to Redwood City and see what we're in for.

I know, the NIMBYs just want things left as is. Not so, NIMBYs went responsible development.


15 people like this
Posted by better quality of life in our 'village'
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 2, 2016 at 1:01 pm

YES!YES!YES!YES!

Please drive to RC, and note how the separations work well at Jefferson and also 5th. Then try to cross the tracks at Whipple during rush hour! Whipple, without separations, is a MESS! And noisy.

Then continue north into San Carlos and Belmont. Continue to note how amazing the separations are at Holly, Harbor, Ralston, etc..

Then note how crazy San Mateo downtown is without separations. And yes, noisy.

Yes, Frugal, please look again, but perhaps this time you can open your eyes.

And EARS!

Separations radically reduce the loud gate bell clanging and train horn noise.

Yes. Please look.

And listen.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

And many of those grade separations were paid for by the State - but Menlo Park in its wisdom declined to participate in State funding. And now there is no State funding available.


7 people like this
Posted by What a joke
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 2, 2016 at 7:37 pm

The city got a grant to hire consultants, who so far have done nothing but collect photos of rail crossings. The meeting drew a good-sized crowd, and neither the staff nor consultants could answer any questions about impacts or costs. There is no funding to do anything, but instead of acknowledging that, the city insists on carrying out a charade pretending that something might happen, thus wasting a lot of money as well as the time of many residents.

Anyway, no need for additional NIMBY vs Revolutionaries debate. Nothing is going to happen, at least not until it gets so painful that something has to happen.


9 people like this
Posted by Train Fan
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on May 2, 2016 at 9:59 pm

> There is no funding to do anything

Well, then the "consultants" either know something they didn't share, or know nothing at all.

There should be the *potential* of funding; if Menlo Park requests funding from the SMCTA (which has been funding some of the other crossings IIRC), and SMCTA agrees, there will be funding for grade separation at Ravenswood.

But there are a couple catches:

1) Menlo Park is in competition for those dollars. The longer MP waits the less likely the dollars are there.

2) hybrid (or raising the ROW) grade separation is a non-starter. SMCTA will only fund 1 crossing; changing the Caltrain ROW at Ravenswood means changing Oak Grove, and since trains can't fly (standard trains only do 2% grades), Ravenswood can only be an underpass or an overpass.

So, what does Menlo Park want? An underpass or an overpass? That's what the consultants *should* have been asking.


1 person likes this
Posted by gunste
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on May 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm

When I moved to Menlo Park in 1964, there was talk of the grade separation at Ravenswood (as well as an Expressway for the Willow Road route, en extension of Sandhill Road. - As usual, nothing was done, except the Expressway was dropped from future plans. Now, 52 years later and several repeat considerations, a grade separation at Ravenswood is on the menu again. - Traffic has increased enormously in those years, but Menlo Park has never seen the future.
Decisions are painful, delay is popular and money is much shorter now. Happy gridlock


4 people like this
Posted by interesting
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 3, 2016 at 2:07 pm

[Post removed. Please make your point without attacking other posters.]



14 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 3, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Menlo Park and Atherton NIMBYs have been fighting against grade separation for years. The only practical way to create grade separations in this areas is by elevating the train tracks; calls for a tunnel are mostly an impractical or naive hoax. Now that the price is skyrocketing, grade separation will probably never get done unless HSR comes up the peninsula. These studies by the city that don't look first at funding are mostly lip service by a city council that is unwilling to admit their past mistakes.


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