Thursday, March 24, 2005

Making the Grade

The auto accident that lead to a car being struck by a passing CalTrain at the Charleston Road crossing now ping pongs into a discussion about underpasses. Grade separations would create safer crossings as well as relieve traffic congestion and create a faster CalTrain commute--all good. Neighbors counter that reasoning with concern for construction problems as well as the feeling that it would lead to more traffic.

Viewing the grade separation work done in San Carlos provides a handy example of what Palo Alto might be likely to see. As more people become aware of that, expect a new objection to develop--in some cases grade separation work requires train tracks be built at a higher level. This essentially splits the difference between the underpass and the overpass. Effectively a wall would be built between the east and west side of the tracks. Where there is a border there is the possiblility of conflict. Stay tuned.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have yet to see an attractive grade separation.

In their extreme local forms — San Antonio Road, Oregon Expressway and the wall of concrete in San Carlos — they end up looking really urban and ugly. People like Skip tell you to look to smaller grade separations like the one at Embarcadero Road and Fifth Avenue in Redwood City as less intrusive, but even those end up being pretty ugly.

I can't imagine 1,000 grade separations cutting through residential neighborhoods all across the state. The alternatives, elevated tracks or underground tracks are even worse.

California should spend that 7 kajillion dollar grant on developing flying cars.

8:06 PM  

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