« Developer Fees: The School District Ups the Ante | Main | Drought: A Finger in the Hole in the Dike »

March 12, 2015


David Harris

Great summary! To Betsy's point, any grade separation at this location will indeed have big impacts on the Broadway business district, surrounding neighborhoods and the rest of the city, some unforeseen until they happen. If HSR does indeed come to the Peninsula, the decisions made about Broadway will also impact other crossings up and down the Peninsula, per Charles Volz's point about the Authority wanting to avoid a "roller coaster" effect of some crossings below ground and others above. Fyi, in percentage terms, train volume is expected to rise more than 20% in five years and 300% in 15 years.

Peter Garrison

I'm glad they're getting on this because I thought it was odd to go to all the trouble to increase the traffic on Broadway and still have the bottleneck at the railroad crossing.

Augustine Chou – that is a great name.


I hope somebody is taking a look at improving things in the short run. The worst time period is actually during the weekends when the trains stop at Broadway. Trains going southbound aren't a problem. Northbound trains on the other hand cause the gate arms to go down for nearly 3-5 minutes at the top of every hour. That's because the arms go down once the train is arriving at Oak Grove which is ok. But it remains down even though the train is actually decelerating and stopping at the station to let passengers on and off. If there is a bike or two loading at the Broadway stop or a wheelchair patron is involved it will be noticeably longer. It is such a waste for the intersection to be shut down for so long even though the train is not going anywhere for a few minutes. In other cities like Redwood City or Menlo Park or San Mateo, the arms don't go down until the train is ready to go. It doesn't work that way on Broadway.

It is so frustrating seeing it happen every time. Next time you're stopped there on a Saturday afternoon think about this. Those northbound trains arrive at the top of every hour. It won't take millions or 10 years to fix this. A simple programming change in the signal should make it better.

Bruce Dickinson

Fellas, Bruce Dickinson may be a little naive in such matters, but why is the grade separation not tied into the Broadway overpass? Would it not make sense to address this all at one time? How about the transportation dollars, could Burlingame have engaged in some type of horse trading as it were, allowing for the overpass if the dollars would help fund the grade separation, especially if the most expensive option (grade separation) is most desired? In record contract negotiations, you want to pull all the levers you can to get all the distribution done as part of one agreement and the more elements to negotiate, the better (though it may take longer).

It appears the City of Burlingame is dealing with things in a piecemeal fashion, being re-active rather than pro-active, especially when dollars are at stake and are limited. Not to reveal too much about the inner workings of large corporations, the city could have used a tying-arrangement strategy rather than treating each project as an individual piece to get cal-trans/cal-train/MTC/ABAG/HSR or the alphabet soup of the government agency "hostage takers" to pony up the most cash possible for what we really want. Just an observation from yours truly, *the* Bruce Dickinson (1).

(1) *the* Bruce Dickinson, aka *the Cock of the Walk* resides in Burlingame California; all comments made by him that bear any resemblance to other actual events or locales, or persons (including other individuals or corporations also named Bruce Dickinson), living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

a ton of traffic to the remaining crossings

The worst part of Caltrain electrification (HSR prep work) is the closing of several auto train crossings.

This is going to create a ton of traffic to the remaining crossings.


I'm with Bruce about doing things all at once - if north Burlingame is going to have heavy construction for years, we may as well get everything taken care of at once. That should also mean removing the other grade separations within Burlingame city limits. As we've seen far too often this year, grade-level crossings just aren't safe!

As for funding, San Mateo County Measure A provides county funding for Caltrain grade separations. According to this document, $200 million is left in the existing fund after the San Bruno project's completion: http://www.smcta.com/Assets/_Public+Affairs/Government+Affairs/pdf/Measure+A+Grade+Separation+Fact+Sheet.pdf


We need BART to come down the Peninsula. Roughly same cost as Caltrain/HSR with Grade Separations, `$12Bm. This will create a unified single Bay Area voice to lobby for funds, safer, single administration-with higher capacity x2 due to dual direction BART around the Bayeventually. Terminate HSR up the Peninsula, rather, if HSR cannot be stopped, then send it up to Oakland on East Bay--Capitol Corridor tracks, then to Sacto along busy I80 corridor, not through small Central Valley towns. The $1.5B for current Caltrain electrification could be better spent to extend BART south from Millbrae through Burlingame (aerial, trench or tunnel, as Burlingame wants) and into San Mateo...a step closer to closing the final 30 mile gap to future Santa Clara BART station and one unified, high volume, grade-spearated, more frequent, all Bay Area integrated, efficient and effective rail, not an expensive hodge-podge of Peninsula rail transit amalgamations.

Dr. No

You appear to have had your medical marijuana card for quite a long time, mate. The single Bay Area voice to lobby that you want is one of the biggest union prostitution voices in the country. Go read the Mercury News article from last week about the pit BART's about to be buried in. Smoke up, mate.


There's a way to respond to someone, in which you can respect their opinion, offer a rebuttal and perhaps make others comprehend your point of view. Then there is what you just did.


Thanks, Fred. We may have to ask you to take on some official capacity (Chief of Protocol, like Charlotte Mailliard Schultz in the city) if things keep going as they have lately.

I recall one piece by Daniel Borenstein that may be what was referred to. It notes:

The district expects operating shortfalls of $35 million to $50 million annually in fiscal years 2018 through 2024 due in large part to costly employee compensation.

As for capital expenditures, the district, from inception, failed to save for the inevitable day when trains, rails and computer control systems would need replacement. While BART has managed to line up money to replace 775 existing train cars -- assuming expected federal funding continues flowing -- it lacks money for 306 other needed cars, repairs and upgrades key to carrying more riders.

The district estimates it needs another $4.8 billion over the next 10 years. That's why it wants voters to raise property taxes. But that will be a hard sell.


I'm also not sure the peninsula would go for BART any more now than it did 20 years ago.


Here is a reminder that this issue is coming up again soon.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About the Voice

  • The Burlingame Voice is dedicated to informing and empowering the Burlingame community. Our blog is a public forum for the discussion of issues that relate to Burlingame, California. On it you can read and comment on important city issues.

    Note: Opinions posted on the Burlingame Voice Blog are those of the poster and not necessarily the opinion of the editorial board of the Burlingame Voice. See Terms of Use

Contributing to the Voice

  • If you would like more information on the Burlingame Voice, send an email to [email protected] with your request or question. We appreciate your interest.

    Authors may login here.

    For help posting to the Voice, see our tutorial.