How many more must die before Caltrain is replaced by safer SF Bay Area BART?
Posted on Palo Alto Patch: Monday, 03-09-02015 after a 15 year old boy from Paly High (is deemed to have) kills self by the Caltrain Killtrain.
What we can do is fight to pressure the respective Democrat-controlled city/town councils along the Peninsula Rail Corridor to bring far safer, grade-separated--by law! to replace this 1864 (US Civil War, once Rural) trackway with electrified, quieter, more frequent, high-farebox recovery BART down the Peninsula. I've been doing this for the past 4 years, ever since a grandfather of 5 that I used to see in the supermarket was killed by a Caltrain, similar to the latest one near blossom Hill. Since I've been begging the city councils (right after many deaths occur) to open talks to extend BART and close the BART Around The Bay loop for safety in 2011--60 have died. Also, demand at tonight's (most Mondays) 6:pm Palo Alto Council meeting that Palo Alto join the Atherton lawsuit against Caltrain-HSR Electrification as they cited multiple similar safety issues that are built-in to the Caltrain-HSR surface trackway. Remember, Caltrain tracks are the designated HSR trackway since 1995--13 years before the deceptive, unconstitutional ballot 2008 vote for Prop 1A HSR. (KCBS "Indepth" interview with CHSRA Chair Dan Richard, January 11, 2015: Gov. Jerry Brown, "...working for 30 years to bring HSR to California." Face the Nation interview with Bob Schiefer, 2012 (Caltrain was started in with Gov Brown funding in 1982) ).
Worse yet, the election of Sacramento Democrat machine puppets Liz Kniss and Sen. Hill's coy Cory Wolback have created a pro-HSR majority on the all-Democrat PA CC, so only public pressure from locals, esp. Democrat citizens, *might* get them to buck Sacramento's powerful Democrat machine--Peninsula Lives Matter!!!. These kids and the 219 who have died on Caltrain's tracks since the 1995 decision by Sacto's CHSRA to use these tracks (same size as HSR, unlike BART's different track width). If HSR is to be then, it ought to go up the East Bay, not the more densely, and increasingly dense, dead-end (no pun) Peninsula Corrdior. BART's elevated, tunnel, or trench requirement will save lives. The sooner we start to get BART, now that all counties have voted for it, and PA and MV voters in 2008 both voted (Measure A) by over 2/3 to tax themselves for BART additional 1/8 cent, then the sooner these deaths, even suicides, will be reduced due to harder to access tracks--but the citizens and councils and all levels of govt (Dem) must form a consensus to work with VTA and SamTrans to collaborate with BART and get funding. BART will have the newer cars then--and allow bicycles more as well
The sooner we start this effort, the sooner the 15-20 year plan-fund-build work will replace Caltrain-HSR street-level tracks with BART grade separated tracks. As I have repeatedly advised PA, MP, MV councils, that still means these higher speed, horizontal-guillotine violent dismemberment or crushing deaths, especially by the higher speed (Baby) Bullet trains will amount to about 200 more dead on the tracks. How many more must die before we work to stop this sad, horrorific situation in our midst? We should have started in 2000 when SM and SC county voters overwhelmingly voted to support BART, 15 years ago.