Caltrain Electrification

Caltrain representatives held a community meeting on August 28, 2018. Here is a link to their presentation http://calmod.org/wp-content/uploads/PCEP_Community_Presentation_Palo-Alto_Aug.28.18_Final.pdf

Here are my “take aways” from this meeting:

  • There is a “paralleling station” at the Page Mill Road rail location, Caltrain representatives explains it to an electrical station for the electrification.
  • Caltrain has started their construction work in Palo Alto, in particular what they call “foundation potholing”. Some of the construction work does take place during the night time from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 am. Caltrain representatives say that they try to decrease the light and noise intrusions by using barriers that lessens these impacts.
  • The trees and shrubbery that have provided aesthetics and noise barrier between homes and the railroad and trains will be trimmed extensively or removed. There are over 200 trees that will be removed and Caltrain representatives indicate they will be replacing removed mature trees with baby trees and have really not provided good answers to the replacements.

Caltrain representatives were adamant that Caltrain’s electrification project has no bearing on a city’s grade separation

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Rail Crossings Grade Separation

The potential of home/property takings by eminent domain has been taken off the table for the Churchill, East Meadow and Charleston areas. Residents should continue to monitor and to be aware and hold Council and City Staff to task on ensuring that there will be absolutely no property takings.

You should be aware of the following possibilities, even though staff report indicates “return to Council with a report on the impacts…”;

  1. Street Closure at Churchill Avenue (full or partial) – commit to adopt appropriate mitigations to address diverted and additional traffic on Embarcadero Road and minimizing cut through traffic into the adjacent neighborhoods.
  2. Street Closure at Palo Alto Avenue – build a bike/pedestrian crossing undercrossing and widen University Avenue.
  3. Loma Verde Avenue – build a bike/pedestrian crossing to connect Margarita Avenue. Will there be home/property takings by eminent domain?

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Palo Alto Animal Shelter

UPDATE:

Palo Alto's effort to revitalize its aged animal shelter received a big boost Monday night, when the City Council agreed to make more than $3 million in improvements to the facility as part of an agreement with the shelter's proposed new operator, Pets In Need.

By an 8-0 vote, with Adrian Fine absent, the council supported a proposal for staff to conclude its negotiations with the Redwood City-based nonprofit. In doing so, it acceded to Pets In Need's request that the old facility on East Bayshore Road be upgraded, with the costs of the renovations currently estimated at $3.4 million.

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Small Cell Deployment (Cell Antennaes)

It has come to my attention that State legislators, Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Brian Schatz (D-HI), have introduced legislation, SB 3157 to further streamline small cell deployment due to the rapid evolution and modernization of leading-edge infrastructure necessary to enhance small cell deployment act.

SB 3157 has been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

https://lrus.wolterskluwer.com/news/tr-daily/thune-schatz-introduce-bill-to-streamline-small-cell-deployment/54837/

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Airplane Noise

Palo Alto has a unique opportunity to influence SFO's future GBAS landing system to reduce airplane noise for many Bay Area residents. The SFO team made it clear that their #1 goal is to “Improve Noise Impact to the Community”.  In this endeavor, we finally have a chance to be proactive and provide input on design that could potentially reduce noise for many residents, including but not limited to Palo Alto residents. However, the City of Palo Alto government must be proactive and it is critical that Palo Alto communicates its position on the topic to SFO before SFO submit requests to the FAA.

SFO’s timeline to submit “innovative approach” requests to the FAA is during the 4th Quarter this year. “Innovative approaches” means any approaches that are different from today’s approaches. It encompasses things such as higher glide slopes, curved approaches, and different touch points on the runway. Therefore, it is critical that City government communicates its position on the topic to SFO before they submit requests to the FAA at the end of December 2018.

At this time, Palo Alto does not have a seat at the SFO Roundtable, while I am assigned as a Council Liaison, I do not have a vote.  The Santa Clara/Santa Cruz Counties Roundtable is not operational yet, therefore, Palo Alto does not have either channel to communicate the City’s needs and expectations to SFO.

Palo Alto must be proactive and communicate its position on GBAS to SFO at least a month before SFO submits their innovative approach requests to the FAA in December 2018. We hope that the City won’t miss this first opportunity to be proactive in influencing a design that could reduce noise for many Palo Alto residents, as well as, other residents in neighboring cities.

Please email City Council to add this to the August 13, 2018 City Council agenda. [email protected]

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Office Cap Initiative

Dear Palo Altans,

Thank you to each and all who supported the resident initiative to amend the 2030 Comprehensive Plan to reduce and limit net new office/R&D development to 850,000 square feet. It provides this City government an opportunity to focus on remedying the negative impacts that affects residents’ quality of life.

I want to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to former Vice Mayor Greg Schmid for bringing this initiative forward and his continued care for the well being of the community and Palo Alto residents. Also, to everyone who worked to make this a successful initiative…Thank you.

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