Author: gesc

Major high-speed rail dilemma discovered in San Carlos

Article an Jose Mercury News Article February 25th 2009 Major high-speed rail dilemma discovered in San Carlos By Mike Rosenberg Daily News Staff Writer Posted: 02/25/2009 01:29:49 AM PST New tracks in San Carlos for the state’s proposed bullet train could bar high-profile vehicles from a key route to and from Highway 101, city engineers have discovered.  In the latest of several concerns Peninsula officials have raised about the new high-speed rail line, San Carlos officials sent the state a letter Monday in which they explain how Holly Street would be negatively affected by the project. Two tracks for the bullet train would be built parallel to the existing Caltrain tracks that run through San Carlos east of El Camino Real. The existing tracks cross Holly Street via a grade separation — where they are elevated above the U-shaped roadway. The rail bridge would need to be widened to accommodate the additional tracks, which would lower the vertical clearance of the street below, said Robert Weil, the city’s public works director.  Fifteen feet of vertical clearance is needed underneath the bridge; the clearance is currently 15 feet and three inches.  It appears the new tracks and wider bridge would reduce the clearance to less than 15 feet, Weil said.  “So something has to give,” he said. “Either Holly Street has to be re-lowered or the whole rail structure has...

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The Daily News and San Jose Mercury News Article April 10th 2009 Rail neighbors hope to shed NIMBY image Concerns stem from Caltrain’s bridge that ruined some sidewalks BY MIKE ROSENBERG DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Recognizing Peninsula residents’ growing fear that raised high speed train tracks could divide their communities, residents of a San Carlos neighborhood have started sharing their bad experiences from living near an elevated Caltrain bridge. The Greater East San Carlos neighborhood group, which lies east of the Old County Road industrial corridor that fronts the Caltrain tracks, contends that rail bridges like those envisioned at inter sections where high-speed bullet trains someday may cross can isolate a community. Since San Carlos city officials, who are in favor of the project, have chosen not to join Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton in lobbying against the rail bridges, the East San Carlos neighborhood has decided to team up with neighborhood groups from those cities in an informal consortium that has the ear of two state legislators. Greater East San Carlos group president Ben Fuller said his neighborhood feels isolated from the city’s downtown because of the Holly Street grade separation along El Camino Real, built in the late 1990s. He added that nearby sidewalks have been nar rowed, making it difficult to walk through the area, and that noise and vibrations near the tracks have increased...

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Transportation Meeting Notes

Dear GESC board members, I attended the transportation & circulation commission meeting on 11/17, from 7pm till end (around 10:25pm.) The following is a summary of what was discussed, 1. The consulting group went over the 9 options (A to I) again. Additionally, they presented a matrix comparing each option in diferent aspects (e.g., traffic flow, pedestrian & bike access, cost)  against the PAMF mitigation as baseline, giving an score of 1 if the option was deemed better than the baseline, 0 if it was neutral, and -1 otherwise. Then they assigned weights to each aspect and calculated an overall score for each option. There was some doubts from the commission about the usefulness of these ratings, as, say in the cost aspect, an score of 1 for an option could represent savings of $100.000 compared with the baseline, while a  score of -1 for another option could represent an additional cost of $3M. With this understanding,  the options with the highest scores were C, D, H, and I (different order, but I forgot to take note of the actual scores.) 2, Initially, the commission decided that going forward, the analysis would narrow down to the four options listed above. However, later in the meeting (around 10pm) there was a discussion about how the final recommendation would be presented to the city council, and it was decided that rather...

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5/27/08 GESC Meeting

SC Transit Village New Design as proposed on May 27, 2008, 7:30 PM at GESC/Laureola Building: 1. The development remains at 4 stories but was slightly lowered from 49 to 47 feet when the pitch of the roof was changed. Unit totals also remained the same around 260 units. 2. Building gaps (or what they call “view corridors”) will exist at the end of Springfield, Sylvan and to a lesser degree Inverness and Riverton. This is a change from before. 3. Some discussion of tree planting on the berm as screens occurred and the developers seemed open to planting trees on the berm, but there is no fixed agreement. Also, there are some uncertainties regarding whether the berm in its current form could hold trees that offer shade without affecting the railroad tracks structural viability. We are well aware of the nearly unanimous negative reaction from all of you that we have heard regarding this project. We also do not feel these changes meet our needs. Therefore, we wanted to let you know that the Board will develop an action plan and present it to the GESC Community in the coming weeks for your...

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3/21/08 GESC Meeting

Nearly fifty GESC residents showed up to voice their concerns at the Laureola meeting on 3/21/08. The following is a list of their concerns along with over 100 other NorthEast San Carlos resident’s concerns who personally spoke with us during our neighborhood canvass a week prior to the meeting: 1) Building Size and Height – Proposed 50+ foot, 4 story residential apartments. Total of 3 buildings north of Holly St. Approx. 300 ft. long, 50+ feet high with less than 60 feet of broken space in between. 2) Slapback noise from CalTrain and freight trains will significantly increase noise level to our neighborhood. 3) Literal loss of hours of PM sunlight to many homes close to Old County Rd. due to building heigth and length. 4) County and city revenues/expenditures from proposed development. Primarily construction, zoning and taxable property of leased land apartments verses private owned land, condos and or townhouses. 5) Parking and Traffic: This project has a large scope that includes 281 units with potentially 1000+ people added to our neighborhood. Only 1.6 spaces per unit have been allocated. Parking and traffic could be a literal nightmare in Northeast San Carlos. And we can’t even guarantee that one resident will take the train! 6) Significant loss of property value to homeowners in our neighborhood due to the above mentioned concerns. 4-story residential buildings over parking garages, including...

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RSS HSR Compatibility

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  • The End of CBOSS
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  • CalMod 2.0: Three Things to Watch
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  • CBOSS Dumpster Fire Update
    The CBOSS development lifecycle,as anticipated in 2009 on this blog.Today we are at "point of no return."The deadly crash of an Amtrak train near Tacoma, Washington, which would likely have been prevented if a PTC (Positive Train Control) system had been in place, has renewed the discussion of the status of PTC systems in the […]
  • Thoughts on Palo Alto
    There is a vigorous discussion of grade separations now underway in Palo Alto. It misses several important points:1) Grade Separation is not one project. Trying to come up with a single, grand unifying grade separation scheme for the entire rail corridor through Palo Alto is to over-constrain the problem and to limit the range of feasible […]

RSS Daily Journal News

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    A lawsuit filed against the landlord who evicted Marie Hatch from her longtime Burlingame home settled with a $200,000 award to the son of the senior tenant whose displacement garnered international attention.