Connecting Palo Alto


Designing Our Rail Corridor for the Future


The Palo Alto Rail Program (Rail Program) comes together as the City of Palo Alto (City) leads an innovative effort to mitigate land use, transportation, and urban design impacts of upcoming rail improvement projects in the region: the Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project and the California High‐Speed Rail project. Given the significance of this infrastructural transition to multiple stakeholder groups, the Project Team will carry out community engagement activities for the Rail Program, providing key community‐based services to raise awareness, educate, and gather input about viable rail design alternatives that can prepare the City for the transit landscape of the future.

This Community Engagement Plan (Plan) will serve as a blueprint for the execution of said community engagement to provide City residents, businesses, elected officials, and the general public with information about the Rail Program. The Plan is subdivided into sections that delineate goals and objectives for community engagement, identify key stakeholders and concerns about the project, clarify engagement strategy and materials, and present measurable milestones and outcomes of all community engagement efforts.

The Plan is a living document where community engagement activities are aligned with the Rail Program’s technical efforts and deliverables. Hence, the Plan is subject to continuous amendments and reiterations to accompany the development of the Rail Program and incorporate the input of its constituents to the greatest extent possible.

Community Workshops

Palo Altans have the opportunity to address long-standing challenges associated with four grade crossings on the Caltrain corridor which runs through our community.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is making $700 Million available for grade crossing improvements in our region, and the City of Palo Alto has organized a Rail Program to develop plans for addressing traffic, safety and congestion issues near our City's grade crossings.

Your participation is vital! You are invited to the Rail Program's first workshop:

Rail Program Community Workshop #1

Saturday, May 20, 2017 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Mitchell Park Community Center, Palo Alto Room
3600 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA

Parking spaces (152) and bike racks are available on site
Public transit accessible via VTA bus line 35
Lunch will be provided

At this workshop, City staff will discuss the Program's background, past efforts, and issues in the region. Participants will help define the challenges at each grade crossing and establish success parameters and evaluation criteria for the program.

Workshop Agenda

City of Palo Alto Rail Program - Context Sensitive Solutions Alternatives Analysis
Community Workshop #1

Date:            Saturday, May 20, 2017
Time:           10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.; registration starts at 9:30 a.m.
Location:      Mitchell Park Community Center, Palo Alto Room 
                     3700 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto

Workshop Facilitator:  Scott Steinwert, Circlepoint

Welcome & Project Background

9:30-10:00            Sign-in

10:00-10:10          Welcome

  • Jim Keene, City Manager
  • Greg Scharff, Mayor

10:10-10:15           Introduction/ Agenda Overview - Scott Steinwert, Circlepoint

10:15-11:00           Project Background

  • Rail Committee Update (5 min) – Councilmember Tom Dubois, Rail Committee Chair
  • Visual Survey of Grade Crossings and Separations in Palo Alto (20 min) – Josh Mello, Chief Transportation Official, City of Palo Alto
  • Rail Corridor Circulation Challenges (20 min) – Chris Metzger, Mott MacDonald

11:00 – 11:15        Survey 1

11:15-11:30           Brunch Break

Afternoon Work Sessions

11:30-12:15            Identifying the Challenges

12:15- 1:00             Defining Success

1:00-1:30                Report Back and Identify Common Themes


1:30-2:00               Wrap Up

                              Survey 2

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Last Updated: May 16, 2017