The issue of where and how to separate roads from rails at Caltrain crossings in Menlo Park comes before the city's Planning Commission on Monday night, Sept. 11.
The commission is asked to recommend to the City Council a preferred option among these two choices:
• Build one grade separation at Ravenswood Avenue, with the roadway tunneling beneath the tracks.
• Build three grade separations – at Ravenswood, Oak Grove and Glenwood avenues – that would involve a combination of lowering the roads and raising the tracks.
With grade separations, vehicles don't stop for passing trains, thus improving traffic flow and safety at rail crossings.
According to a staff report, during community meetings, 85 percent of about 55 attendees favored the triple-separation option.
Those who favored the Ravenswood Avenue-only option said it is a lower cost way to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety at the crossing that has the most vehicular traffic.
Preliminary cost estimates for the Ravenswood-only option are $160 million to $200 million; for the triple-crossing option, the estimates are $310 million to 390 million.
The matter will go to the Complete Streets Commission on Wednesday, Sept. 13, for its recommendation and the City Council for a decision on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
The Sept. 11 Planning Commission meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 701 Laurel St. in the Menlo Park Civic Center.