Caltrain announced June 15 that it plans to install $3.5 million in rail crossing safety improvements at 15 rail crossings along the Caltrain line between San Francisco and San Jose.
At the Menlo Park Caltrain station, the agency will build new pedestrian gates at the northeast and southwest corners of the crossing; put down new, textured yellow strips on the sidewalks that help signal the start of a dangerous area to the blind or disabled; place new guardrails to encourage pedestrians to walk through the gates; add new striping and markings on the roads to indicate more clearly where cars must stop; and install new street bumps and markers to keep cars from turning onto the tracks, according to Caltrain spokesman Matthew Wilson.
Since the start of 2014, there have been a total of 55 fatalities and 32 vehicle strikes along the Caltrain line, he reported. This year, there have so far been four fatalities and five vehicle strikes, he said.
"The big goal with this is to keep people away from the tracks," he said.
Other rail crossings slated for similar changes to the Menlo Park crossing are: 16th Street, San Francisco; Broadway, Burlingame; Peninsula Avenue, Burlingame; 4th Avenue, San Mateo; Alma Street, Palo Alto; Charleston Road, Palo Alto; Rengstorff Avenue, Mountain View; Castro Street, Mountain View; and Mary Avenue, Sunnyvale.
In addition, some crossings are slated for medians to be installed. Those are 4th Avenue, San Mateo; Alma Street, Palo Alto; Churchill Road, Palo Alto; Charleston Road, Palo Alto; East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto; Sunnyvale Avenue, Sunnyvale; Auzerais Avenue, San Jose; and West Virginia Street, San Jose.
Construction is expected to start soon and conclude by the end of the year, Wilson said.