Upcoming Rail Systems Projects: Community Meetings and Online Resources

Learn more about ways to share input on local and regional rail transportation initiatives and studies underway

Transportation is a top priority for the City of Redwood City and our neighboring communities; we are all working to find solutions to the region’s transportation challenges. One of the City Council’s seven Strategic Initiatives is Transportation: seeking to develop and support effective transportation infrastructure, including systems and programs that enable safe and efficient travel to, from and within the community. With several regional and local projects underway and studies on other projects just getting started, this blog shares details about new rail system developments, ways for the community to be involved and share input, and online tools to learn more.

Check out this round up of rail projects including the Broadway Streetcar and Downtown Transit Center projects, the California High-Speed Rail project, the Caltrain Electrification project, the Dumbarton Transportation project, and the Whipple Grade Separation project.

CALENDAR ALERT-COMMUNITY MEETING IN REDWOOD CITY TOMORROW FEBRUARY 27

The Dumbarton Transportation project community meeting in Redwood City will be held tomorrow, February 27 at the Veterans Memorial Building/Senior Center located at 1455 Madison Avenue. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. See more details below in the Dumbarton Transportation Project overview section of this blog.

BROADWAY STREETCAR AND REDWOOD CITY DOWNTOWN TRANSIT CENTER PROJECTS

Broadway Streetcar Study

The Broadway Streetcar Study considers a potential streetcar corridor connecting the Downtown to the new Stanford in Redwood City campus. Land uses near the potential corridors include retail, industrial, and residential uses. The study includes a feasibility analysis, including potential streetcar track alignments, stops, and estimated travel times. It also includes economic, financial, and operational details. Community input was collected over the past year and more information will be available in the next month as the study concludes. The City will also be asking for feedback on priorities and issues.

Downtown Transit Center Redesign

The Downtown Transit Center redesign study identifies solutions to improve functionality, usability, and attractiveness of the Downtown Transit Center. The Downtown Transit Center Redesign considers ways of improving bus, bike, pedestrian, and shuttle travel to and from the station. The study also evaluates train platform improvements and the surrounding parking lots. Staff leading the study are coordinating with Caltrain, SamTrans, and other affected transportation agencies, and will reference the El Camino Real Corridor Plan, which was adopted by the Redwood City, City Council in December 2017. The study will also consider connections to the potential Broadway Streetcar service.

Current uses of the Downtown Transit Center include:

· Connection point for SamTrans buses at the bus depot

· Connection point for shuttles at the shuttle drop-off/pick-up area

· Multi-purpose public space, including the active use space in the Box courtyard

· High concentration of bike parking and access to bike routes

· Access to multiple surface and underground parking lots

Community members are welcomed to engage with these projects and provide their input at upcoming City committee meetings. The Complete Streets Advisory Committee will be reviewing these projects in Spring 2019. Meetings will take place at City Hall, 1017 Middlefield Road at 6 p.m.

For more information about the Broadway Streetcar Study, go here.

For more information about the Downtown Transit Center, go here.

For more information on the El Camino Real Corridor Plan, go here.

WHIPPLE GRADE SEPARATION STUDY

The Whipple Grade Separation Study will examine the grade crossings at Whipple Avenue, Brewster Avenue, and Broadway and consider the City’s overall grade separation strategy at existing grade crossings to the south at Maple, Main, and Chestnut Streets. Increasing the number of trains will cause additional delays at these crossings; creating grade separations will allow trains, vehicular, pedestrian, and bike traffic to flow smoothly at the same time. The study will develop conceptual engineering design plans for the Whipple crossing, as well as an overall strategy for the City’s six different grade crossings. The Study will build upon previously completed studies, updating them with current data and revised project alternatives. This effort will consider the current planning efforts related to the California High Speed Rail (HSR) Blended System, the Caltrain Business Plan and potential Dumbarton rail service into Redwood City as well as the City’s recent work on the Downtown Transit Center and Broadway Streetcar Study. Staff will begin outreach meetings this spring to gain community input early in this process.

As the project progresses, more information will be available here.

DUMBARTON TRANSPORTATION PROJECT

The objective of the Dumbarton Transportation Project is to enhance mobility between the East Bay and the San Francisco Peninsula and discuss the future of the Dumbarton Rail Corridor and alternatives for a public transit system.

The project involves a public-private partnership between the San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans) and Cross Bay Transit Partners LLC (CBTP) (Plenary and Facebook) to improve transportation along the Dumbarton corridor in the South San Francisco Bay Area. For a map of the proposed project, go here.

This project has several goals, including:

· Developing high-capacity public transit between Redwood City and the East Bay

· Reconstructing the Dumbarton Rail Bridge to connect the East Bay and the Peninsula

· Providing bicycle and pedestrian facilities

Community members interested in providing their input on this project are welcome to join the project team at an upcoming Redwood City community meeting on February 27, 2019 at the Veterans Memorial Senior Center located at 1455 Madison Avenue. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Doors will open approximately 30 minutes prior for sign-in and refreshments. If you can’t make this meeting, the same information will be presented at other locations in the coming weeks. For all community meetings details, including the Redwood City meeting, go here.

Learn more about the Dumbarton Transportation Project here.

CALTRAIN ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT, CALTRAIN MODERNIZATION PROGRAM

Caltrain electrification is a key component of the Caltrain Modernization (CalMod) Program and will enhance the speed, capacity, safety, and comfort of the Caltrain commuter rail service. Electrification improvements include replacing diesel locomotive trains with electric ones, increasing service in both directions, reducing travel times and more.

The primary purpose of Caltrain electrification is to improve Caltrain system performance and curtail long-term environmental impacts by reducing noise, improving regional air quality, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The project team anticipates increased system ridership through improved operations.

Construction activities are currently underway between San Francisco and San Jose, including in Redwood City. Activities include pruning/removing trees, installing a traction power facility, and installing foundations for the overhead contact system that will power the new electric trains. Work is taking place during the day and night. For construction details, go here.

For more details about the CalMod Program, go here.

To learn more about Caltrain’s new electric trains, go here.

Redwood City Friends of Caltrain is hosting a presentation on Caltrain’s 2040 Vision on March 20, 2019. The presentation will cover a vision of the future showing how Caltrain could provide 250,000 daily trips by 2040 with up to 5-minute service at top stations.

Event details: March 20, 2019, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Redwood City City Hall Council Chambers, 1017 Middlefield Rd

To RSVP go here.

CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is responsible for planning, designing, building and operating the first high-speed rail system in the nation. The system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations.

While there has been a lot of discussion about the project in the news recently, the High Speed Rail Authority is continuing work on the project. The Authority is focused on completing construction of the segment between Merced and Bakersfield and working to complete environmental work statewide in both northern and southern California. This is consistent the 2018 Business Plan. As more details are known about this project, the City will update this blog post.

High-Speed Rail staff are hosting multiple community meetings about high-speed rail service on the Peninsula. Join the project team for an upcoming community meeting on March 12, from 6–8 p.m. at the Millbrae Community Center located at 623 Magnolia Avenue, Millbrae, CA.

For the project website, go here.

REDWOOD CITY TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS ONLINE RESOURCES

For other City transportation projects, go here.

For more details about the City’s infrastructure projects, go here.

To view the City’s 5-Year Capital Improvement Program, which includes a long-term view of priority projects including transportation priorities, go here.