On Track with Connecting Palo Alto
City staff updated Council on the Connecting Palo Alto rail grade separation efforts at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22 and showed a video simulation of what a tunnel construction would look like. Staff recommended eliminating the tunnel due to property takings that would have to occur in north Palo Alto and the high costs of digging a tunnel and relocating Caltrain stations underground. Council asked for more exploration of the tunnel and decided to keep all options on the table at least until the next Connecting Palo Alto community meeting scheduled for March 27. That meeting will be held in the El Palo Alto Room of the Mitchell Park Community Center from 6-8 p.m. The Churchill Avenue and Palo Alto Avenue rail crossings, as well as a citywide tunnel will be the focus of the next meeting. So far, the Rail Committee has narrowed down its options to from more than 35 to seven and needs to further refine its recommendations.
Caltrain electrification is on track to be completed in 2021, and the big concern is by 2025 there could be 20 trains per hour during peak times, leaving gates at rail intersections down 25 percent of the time, creating backups during daily peak periods. You can read the Staff Report from Tuesday’s Council meeting here.
Last Updated: January 23, 2019