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Atherton Caltrain station may close permanently

Original post made on Jan 14, 2020

Caltrain is proposing to permanently close the Atherton train station, which currently operates only on weekends, according to a Jan. 8 letter written by Caltrain to the town of Atherton.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 8:12 AM

Comments (21)

20 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Jan 14, 2020 at 8:20 am

Atherton should sell the land to a housing developer. We need more housing. Use the money to provide bus service from other Caltrain stations to destinations in Atherton.


27 people like this
Posted by MP Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 14, 2020 at 9:35 am

Given how antagonistic Atherton has been to Caltrain electrification, they do not deserve train service.


8 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 14, 2020 at 9:52 am

MP Resident
Right, and use coal and wood burning engines thru Atherton. That'll teach those NIMBYs.


7 people like this
Posted by fiscal equity
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jan 14, 2020 at 10:19 am

Now the Town Council will play it's fiscal equity card and demand that Caltrain give the Town all of taxes paid by Atherton residents to Caltrain.


14 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jan 14, 2020 at 10:50 am

Did Atherton even want the train station? This will actually be a benefit to the town, if the senate bill that takes planning control away from cities for areas near transit corridors ever passes Atherton would not be affected. Without a train station they would not be on a transit corridor and would not be forced to add high density housing. It really would be a win for Atherton, and of course since the tracks go through the town they would still be able to sue to block electrification.


6 people like this
Posted by long time resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 14, 2020 at 12:35 pm

Despite comments above, this action fully illustrates the corrupt nature of Caltrain.

Caltrain promised better service as a key stone to spend over $2 billions for electrification; what we now see is the opposite.

Way behind schedule with their plans and obnoxious cost over runs on the CBOSS (Positive Train Control, no one should be complimenting Caltrain.




6 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jan 14, 2020 at 1:17 pm

Whether or not Atherton has a train station, it is still a "jobs rich area," so many of the high density provisions of SB50 will still apply.


6 people like this
Posted by MEMBERONE
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 14, 2020 at 1:35 pm

MP Resident: Really???
"Given how antagonistic Atherton has been to Caltrain electrification, THEY do not deserve train service."

You don't seriously think that only Athertonians use the station ?


12 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jan 14, 2020 at 1:52 pm

Joseph,

Atherton itself is not job rich, infact I don't believe there are any businesses in Atherton at all. If SB50, or whatever they call it when they attempt to bring it back from the dead, tries to make Atherton add high density housing and takes planning control away from the town I would see a lawsuit, a very well funded one, appear almost immediately. I would hope Menlo Park and other communities join in.


10 people like this
Posted by Also on the peninsula
a resident of another community
on Jan 14, 2020 at 1:57 pm

Re: Resident, etc.
Peninsula roads are congested enough. Without additional viable public transit and alternative transit options for residents, we've reached a saturation point. Removing a train station stop and replacing it with housing -- without an option for nearby public transit -- exacerbates the issue further. What Caltrain *really* needs is a massive expansion that would allow for more trains to travel concurrently, making the train a more viable option at any time of day whether you're looking to get from San Francisco to San Jose ASAP or just hop a couple towns down for dinner. Along with that, we need expanded bus services that makes it easy to get to and from the train station without a car, too. In that world, it makes sense for the Atherton station to be updated and functional, but in its and Caltrain's current state, it's better off eliminated from the schedule -- the Menlo station is like, a mile or two away and accommodated by many trains.


5 people like this
Posted by Evan
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 14, 2020 at 2:05 pm

We're investing billions of dollars in Caltrain. Caltrain service should be reserved for cities that have dedicated significant jobs and/or housing density near their Caltrain stations, enabling people to walk to/from the stations. That's how we reduce congestion and emissions here on the Peninsula.

Cities like Atherton, that do the opposite, should get Caltrain service. Shut it down.


7 people like this
Posted by Frank Quinn
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 14, 2020 at 2:11 pm

Wait. They'd have to close Redwood City or Menlo Park? That's beyond insanity.


8 people like this
Posted by MP Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 14, 2020 at 3:20 pm

Re Also on the peninsula - What you are describing is the original 4-track plan (for Caltrain + HSR) through the Peninsula. Atherton was instrumental in shutting that down too.


4 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jan 14, 2020 at 3:25 pm

The "jobs rich area" classification applies to most of the Bay Area, so Atherton and friends can look forward to some huge density increases if SB50 goes through.


12 people like this
Posted by Useless Train Stop
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 14, 2020 at 4:33 pm

This train stop is useless and helps no one. Seriously, it doesn't stop on Mon-Fri. With UBER/Lyft, most people are just going to Menlo Park or RWC stations so they can catch express trains anyways. Just kill this station and shut it down. If funds can be reaped to help fund the debacle that is the overbudget new civic center then I call that a win. I really can't believe DeGolia is advocating to keep the station but perhaps it's just a negotiating tactic. Make it sound like we really really really want the station just to maximize any kind of compensation/payout.


12 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 14, 2020 at 5:25 pm

I commend the Town Council for moving forward with this negotiation with Caltrain to close the station. Caltrain is never going to fund the improvements necessary to change the hold-out station status. Best to get whatever the Town can, and allow Caltrain to utilize the train schedule that makes the most sense for the entire Peninsula.


10 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jan 14, 2020 at 6:20 pm

Negotiating with the Atherton Town Council is like negotiating with the Duchy of Grand Fenwick remembering the the Q Bomb is a powerless dud.


4 people like this
Posted by SB 50 observer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 15, 2020 at 8:50 am

@Joseph

The SB 50 density increase is up to four dwelling units with limited demolition allowed (no more than 25%) in a jobs-rich area. An existing structure has to be converted into four units and no more than 15% interior square feet added.

It's a modest increase to 4 from 3 when you consider that ADUs and junior ADUs are already allowed by right on single family lots.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jan 15, 2020 at 6:28 pm

If we added 20-30 low income homes to Atherton we might possibly recruit 4 or 5 talented citizens who would be willing to run for Town Council - that would be revolutionary.

Just imagine the fresh perspectives that would bring to the ossified Town Council.


30 people like this
Posted by peninsula resident
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Jan 16, 2020 at 10:16 am

"Just imagine the fresh perspectives that would bring to the ossified Town Council."

Good point! After all, fresh perspectives have worked out very well for the ossified Fire board.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jan 16, 2020 at 2:19 pm

"fresh perspectives have worked out very well for the ossified Fire board."

I agree. Jim McLaughlin has brought new and valuable perspective to the Fire Board.


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