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San Mateo County offers grade separation funding

On Thursday, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority Board (SMCTA) agreed to solicit proposals to fund Caltrain grade separations.The SMCTA is requesting cities to respond by late November about their interest in grade separation funding. For details see item 11(c) in the meeting packet.

San Mateo County’s Measure A half-cent sales tax has about $200 million that can be used as “local match” for grade separation projects, along with other State and Federal sources and developer fees.  For comparison, the grade separation in San Bruno cost about $150 million, of which $29 million was supplied by San Mateo County Measure A funds. Belmont and San Carlos cost $170 million, and the proposed San Mateo 25th Avenue Grade Separation is estimated at $200 million.

With the upcoming implementation of electrification by 2019, and the prospect of high speed trains after 2028, there will be more trains crossing local roads. The Caltrain Electrification project does not *require* any grade separations, but cities may want them to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety.  Grade separations are legally required if train speeds exceed 125MPH (higher than the planned speed of the blended system), and may be recommended by CPUC for sections that have passing tracks.

The Mayor and Public Works director of San Mateo spoke in favor of the funding; the City of San Mateo is planning to request funding a grade separation at 25th Avenue near the San Mateo County Expo Center.  Grade separation has been investigated in other San Mateo County cities including Menlo Park  (which conducted a Feasibility Study in 2004 about the options for Ravenswood, Oak Grove, Glenwood and Encinal, and Burlingame, which had studies done to grade separate its crossings in 2009.
While San Mateo County is moving forward to fund grade separations that cities request, Santa Clara County does not yet have funding dedicated for grade separations.

Ravenswood Grade Separation Options, Menlo Park

Upcoming meetings
There are at least two meetings this week that will touch on these issues. The Menlo Park High Speed Rail Committee is meeting on Monday September 10 at 5:30 pm to discuss potentially increasing its scope to cover Caltrain electrification and related topics.  And the Palo Alto City Council Rail Committee will receive a presentation on Thursday September 13 on the ongoing study of grade crossings and traffic impact.
Participate in grade separation planning
Are you interested in participating in the discussion about grade separations in your community? Sign up to Adopt Your Station
Are there upcoming local meetings on this topic that are not listed above?  Mention them in comments for addition to the Adopt-a-Station Calendar.

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  • Calendar of events

    • October 1, 2014

      SamTrans Board meeting

      Starts: 2:00 pm

      Location: 1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos, CA

    • October 2, 2014

      Caltrain JPB meeting

      Starts: 10:00 am

      Location: Location: 2nd Floor Auditorium San Mateo County Transit District 1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos

    • October 9, 2014

      TJPA Board Meeting

      Starts: 9:30 am

      Location: City Hall, Room 416, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102

    • October 14, 2014

      TJPA CAC Meeting

      Starts: 5:30 pm

      Location: 201 Mission Street, Suite 2100 San Francisco, CA

    • October 15, 2014

      Caltrain CAC meeting

      Starts: 5:30 pm

      Location: Location: 2nd Floor Auditorium San Mateo County Transit District 1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos

    • November 5, 2014

      SamTrans Board meeting

      Starts: 2:00 pm

      Location: 1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos, CA

    • November 6, 2014

      Caltrain JPB meeting

      Starts: 10:00 am

      Location: Location: 2nd Floor Auditorium San Mateo County Transit District 1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos

    • November 11, 2014

      TJPA CAC Meeting

      Starts: 5:30 pm

      Location: 201 Mission Street, Suite 2100 San Francisco, CA

    • November 13, 2014

      TJPA Board Meeting

      Starts: 9:30 am

      Location: City Hall, Room 416, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102

    • November 19, 2014

      Caltrain CAC meeting

      Starts: 5:30 pm

      Location: Location: 2nd Floor Auditorium San Mateo County Transit District 1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos