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June 05, 2019



The solution to this whole mess is obvious. Instead of an overpass just do an underpass like San Carlos did at Holly. No long wall. Less money. Leave the old station where Maverick Jack's is now. Why do they let people who can't see clearly develop the plans?


I believe underground wipes out part of Broadway, up a block. Or at least that's what I've always been told. Can't understand why as the San Carlos one doesn't seem to require as much space. Perhaps different requiements?

Just Visiting

If you like San Carlos at Holly, you'll like this; they are just about exactly the same thing. Both are partially underpass and partially viaduct.


Here's the slide deck, with renderings from the presentation to council:

There's a lot of emphasis on offstreet parking, when this should be the walking and neighborhood station. If you maximize parking, they will come. They will drive. And any improvements to traffic via the grade separation will be muted by the number of people driving to the area to get to the station.

But that'll be in the late 2020's, early 2030's. We first have to survive 2021 when electrification is done and more trains are running, those RR gates will be down half the time.

Gerald Weisl

Broadway's train station is within hoofing distance of thousands of residents. It's a modest business district, so having viable train service for those working in the area is helpful. Add to the mix the thousands of hotel rooms within a short distance...and incoming enterprises such as Facebook and there is plenty of reason to operate Broadway's train station.
Caltrain worked hard to diminish ridership to claim a legitimate reason for by-passing Broadway.
If they offer good quality train service on a regular and frequent basis, there will be good ridership. If they offer but sporadic service, there won't be the customer base.

Isn't Mr. Brownrigg running for a state senate position? Maybe some creativity to bring train service to Broadway would be a good idea. How did these other towns swing a grade separation?


Why not redevelop the little Broadway Street into affordable housing. In looking at these old obsolete buildings along the street developers would love to build it into something our city residents could be proud of in the long run; then maybe we can address a train stop. No matter what time you we are on Broadway all you see is the workers at the businesses and probably not enough to put a train stop.


From the City newsletter:

The City of Burlingame has been working closely with Caltrain to upgrade the Broadway railroad crossing by creating a junction with two different "grades" or heights so that train traffic will be completely separated from motorist, cyclist, and pedestrian traffic. The project will significantly improve safety and alleviate traffic congestion along the Broadway corridor and surrounding area.

The City of Burlingame and Caltrain are currently working to complete environmental studies and preliminary design for the Broadway Grade Separation Project. More detail about the project is available by clicking here. The City had requested grant funds from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority for moving the project into its final design phase. At its July 11, 2019 board meeting, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority approved a $18.3 million grant for developing the final design. Once the design is completed, the project will then be considered "shovel ready" and eligible to apply for future grants and other funding sources for the construction phase of the project.


John Horgan had this little tidbit at the end of his column today:

LATEST ESTIMATE IS A WHOPPER: If you have ever wondered if inflation is heating up, look no farther than the most recent estimate of the cost of a proposed railroad grade separation in Burlingame.

When the plan to construct such an important traffic safety project at Broadway (with its direct access to Highway 101) was first broached some years ago, it was reliably estimated to cost $100 million. Not now.
I called it two years ago.



From the DJ on new taxes in B'game. This is one of the "hope springs eternal" issues:

Mayor Ann O’Brien Keighran added that funding for the Broadway grade separation project was still needed. Money for the project could be roped into a funding mechanism for sea level rise infrastructure.

“This is something we’ve been trying to get money for for years,” Keighran said, adding that there has been difficulty obtaining federal and state help for the project.



This original post is almost three years old, so it's a little hard to call this update in the DJ "news":

Plans to raise the Caltrain tracks to pass over Broadway in Burlingame are nearing their final design phase, but the city still needs to come up with close to $300 million in the next two years to complete the task. Ballooning costs, projected to be near $316 million in total, and difficulty securing funding, however, have hindered the effort.

The city is seeking funding from the county in addition to state and federal grants to cover the cost and move the project forward. Officials hope to secure funding prior to the planned construction start date in 2025 and complete the project in 2028.


Click through to see a rendering of the proposed design.


Brownrigg is correct. If we measure the data on the number of people who live near Broadway who would take the train you'll see the numbers are minimal.

Then count the number of people who take the train on Burlingame Ave you'll find it makes no economic sense to have two stations within 4 blocks of each other.

Bottom line; it is a crazy idea and would do a disservice to taxpayers of Burlingame and the State of CA.


I do not read Brownrigg making any statement on the station. He's just talking about getting rid of the dip in the road and raising the overpass higher.

If memory serves that design was to keep HSR from bouncing up and down every quarter of a mile but that must have been a non-problem.

If you want to know why we have raging inflation just read the last sentence “There’s tons of money becoming available,” Public Works Director Syed Murtuza said.


This post is almost four years old and as valid today as it was when I wrote it. The bike lane changes near B'way are raising hackles and I will eventually weigh in, but the DJ article also highlighted the money situation on the grade separation:

(Syed) Murtuza also said the project between California Drive and Broadway, the same section the businesses are concerned about, is a temporary lane until the city secures the funds for the Broadway Grade Separation, a Caltrain project seeking to separate trains from the vehicle right of way.

However, that project is estimated to cost $300 million and, after accounting for state, federal and county grants, the city still needs to come up with around $262 million before it can break ground on the project.

“We have applied for a number of grants but there is never enough money for these large infrastructure projects. And we hope we will be successful but we are competing against many infrastructure projects nationwide,” Goldman said. “Until we have the money we can’t start putting the shovels out.”


We're only a quarter of a billion short.............

Peter Garrison

So easy: All we need is a bridge spanning Broadway to the 101 maze.

Build the structure in pieces off-site. Maybe near Brisbane at the old Schlage ruins.

Heavy-lift the pieces by helicopter and fit them together Lego-style.

On-site hassle takes a week.


Several commenters are ahead of me on the current post about the Broadway intersection here:


But I like going back in time to refresh our memory on how long issues have been simmering, so I will put the mid-2024 update here on this five year old post. From the DJ:

Just one day after a press conference with local officials and state Sen. Josh Becker calling for the restoration of state funds for the dangerous Broadway Caltrain crossing grade separation in Burlingame, a joint legislative budget agreement seemed to do just that.

“Today’s announcement rejecting proposed budget cuts for critical grade separation projects in Burlingame, Palo Alto, and Mountain View demonstrates that the Legislature is united in prioritizing safety, improving public transit, and honoring its prior commitments that have been made to our communities,” Becker said in a press release Wednesday. “We need these state funds now so that we can leverage federal matching funds and finally begin construction on these necessary safety upgrades.”
Translation: We gotta long way to go before we are even close on full-funding
Project funding is currently relying on an approximately $160 million commitment from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority and another $15 million from the California Public Utilities Commission once shovel-ready, Beach said.

If $70 million from the state is successfully obtained, federal funds will more likely follow.

Not only is it dangerous for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, but an influx of housing construction in Burlingame and neighboring cities means more people trying to get back and forth, Colson said — and Caltrain’s electrification project, slated for September, will eventually increase speed and frequency of trains through the Broadway crossing.
And there we almost get to the root of the problem--cart way out in front of the horse. The proper sequence is infrastructure first (and not just roadways), then medium density residential additions, THEN commercial building on the Bayfront.

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