As Palo Alto debates rail crossings, other cities line up for federal funds | April 29, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - April 29, 2022

As Palo Alto debates rail crossings, other cities line up for federal funds

Facing engineering complexities, city waits for Caltrain to revise its rules for grade separations

by Gennady Sheyner

When the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) board of directors met last month to approve a list of rail projects to endorse for federal grants under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, one Peninsula city was conspicuously left out.

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Email Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner at [email protected]


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2022 at 10:09 am

Bystander is a registered user.

And still the debate goes on, and on, and on.....

Posted by peppered
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 28, 2022 at 10:48 am

peppered is a registered user.

Sooo many super smart people out there, so much analysis, so nothing gets done.

Posted by Dennis Smith
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 28, 2022 at 11:56 am

Dennis Smith is a registered user.

Hey, it's the Palo Alto Process, no one should be surprised that no one dares to make any hard decisions. Times will change without us if we are not willing to change with them.

Posted by Sunshine
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 28, 2022 at 12:36 pm

Sunshine is a registered user.

So it goes on and on and on ad infinitum. This is Palo Alto; we never actually do anything, we just talk about it forever.
Get on with it guys!
You have been talking about this for over 50 years. You need to make separated crossings at all four points. Do it now.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 28, 2022 at 2:14 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Take Churchill of the table at least until the Casti expansion / construction project is finally killed. If both Embarcadero and Churchill are closed -- as they BOTH were at the same time a few weeks ago -- the traffic backups will be absolutely intolerable.

Posted by swim, soccer parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 28, 2022 at 7:48 pm

swim, soccer parent is a registered user.

the Palo Alto Process is great when we say we want changes, but don't really. When we actually need change, it fails us. A smart Council would have appointed a small group to have dictatorial powers to resolve this...years ago. Shame on all those who love 'process'. Maybe someday we'll love 'results'. Can we hope for this?

Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 28, 2022 at 9:14 pm

JR is a registered user.

If there was federal funds available for building toxic waste dumps in Palo Alto, should we rush head-first into toxifying our community? Of course not. And the same goes for rail crossings. I have yet to see any proposal that is a net improvement for Palo Alto residents. So let Mountain View build an elevated freeway for trains, I am just fine with the way things are - and so are most PA residents, in my estimation.

Posted by Old Steve
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Apr 29, 2022 at 3:54 pm

Old Steve is a registered user.

@JR: You will be correct as long as WFH stays for real. In another decade, Mtn Vw and SV will have theirs, traffic in PA will be back to 2019 levels, 101 will be stop & go except for the express lanes & PA will be starting all over to study this. Of course, all solutions will have become MORE $$. Failing to finish a plan, is planning to never get anything done.

Welcome to Palo Alto!

Posted by JH
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 29, 2022 at 4:07 pm

JH is a registered user.

Ostriches with their heads in the sand. It's time to reduce the number of Councilmembers to five --- less dithering, more action.

Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Mountain View
on May 1, 2022 at 3:50 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

In the private sector as a manager, I was taught that NOT making a decision is exactly the same as making a very bad decision. This looks to me like too many bad cooks spoiling the broth. Me thinks they need fewer, more qualified decision makers who can actually cooperate and make a reasonable decision. Competence and cooperation. What novel thoughts!!!

Posted by JH
a resident of Midtown
on May 2, 2022 at 10:25 am

JH is a registered user.

@ William Hitchins, you hit the nail on the head. The increased rail traffic is coming, whether the City likes it or not, and whether the City is ready or not.

Posted by Bill Bucy
a resident of Barron Park
on May 3, 2022 at 9:12 am

Bill Bucy is a registered user.

The Aecom rendering that accompanies this story seems to propose a left turn from Churchill into the face of oncoming traffic. I will refrain from noting this reflects the entire Palo Alto grade separation process. Wouldn't think of it.

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