2018 City Council Priorities
At their annual retreat on Feb. 3, the City Council adopted four priorities for 2018 to focus their work for the year. They include:
- Budget and Finance (create an infrastructure funding plan)
- Grade Separation (choose preferred alternative by end of the year)
With the exception of grade separation, three of the priorities were carried over from 2017, with a funding plan for infrastructure added under Budget/Finance for this year. Council recently heard an update on the infrastructure plan that indicated a funding gap of approximately $50 million out of a total current estimated cost of $235 million primarily as a result of rising construction costs and project scope increases.
Council also received an overview briefing on the City’s rail grade separation project and details about the need to choose an alternative by the end of 2018. Caltrain electrification will be complete by 2021, which means by 2025 there could be 20 trains per hour during peak times. This would mean that gates at rail intersections would be down 25% of the time during daily peak periods with traffic congestion doubling by 2030. The $700 million in Measure B funding is also being split between other communities and projects that are further along than Palo Alto, adding to the time constraints.