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Caltrain cautious about Palo Alto officials' requests

Caltrain moves forward with fencing estimates but warns camera technology is 'untested'

While the City of Palo Alto is putting its weight behind the importance of restricting access to the rail corridor to prevent future suicides, Caltrain has expressed concern about the cost and challenges that some safety upgrades could present.

Caltrain will begin next week to remove some vegetation along the four miles of tracks that run through Palo Alto, though more extensive removal is waiting until the city and Caltrain conduct outreach with residents who live along the corridor and could be impacted. Caltrain Acting Public Information Officer Tasha Bartholomew said the larger project will cost $30,000.

The city has urged Caltrain in recent meetings and a March 16 letter from City Manager Jim Keene to bring all fencing along the tracks in Palo Alto up to 8 feet to minimize access. Bartholomew said this week that the cost for upgrading fencing along the tracks has yet to be determined.

Mark Simon, Caltrain's executive officer for public affairs, wrote in an April 8 response to Keene that "this expensive and extensive plan may not have the impact we all desire on the underlying problem of mental illness and associated death by suicide" in Palo Alto. Caltrain data indicates that the majority of people who die by suicide on the Caltrain right of way access the tracks at grade crossings and train stations, Simon wrote.

"There is no evidence to suggest widespread access by unfenced areas, or by people climbing fences. Nonetheless, we are prepared to engage in robust consideration of a fencing plan," Simon wrote.

The city has offered to contribute dollars to support fencing upgrades. Keene also wrote in his letter to Caltrain last month that Palo Alto is interested in jointly pursuing federal funds to support suicide prevention along rail corridors.

Since 2005, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB) has spent almost $9 million on fence installations under four capital projects, according to Caltrain, mostly funded through external grants. In 2009, a shorter 4-foot fence was placed behind the California Avenue station platform as part of station upgrades in 2009, Bartholomew said.

One of the Joint Powers Board's long-term goals, according to a recent board presentation, is to "ensure continuous fencing is in place on at least one side of the corridor with combination of railroad and private property fencing." Palo Alto city leaders are mostly concerned about the track's east side, which borders Alma Street.

Bartholomew has said that Caltrain hopes to provide the cost estimate for fencing installations before June 30, the end of this fiscal year. She said Caltrain is "supportive of fencing and grade separation as a long-term solutions for safety purposes and restricting access to the rail corridor."

City Councilman Pat Burt called Simon's letter "disappointing."

"Although there are certain measures that they're willing to participate in that we pushed on, many others we got pushback (on)," Burt said at Thursday's meeting of Palo Alto's city-school liaison committee.

"Frankly, a few weeks ago, we were hopeful that we wouldn't need to apply more pressure. I personally think we probably are going to need to do so," he added.

Palo Alto Unified Superintendent Max McGee offered his support of the plans, calling the rail improvements a "big deal." The strategy of restricting access, called "means restriction," is backed by research that many suicide attempts occur with little advance planning during a sudden emotional crisis.

"Intent isn't all that determines whether an attempter lives or dies; means also matter," according to Means Matter, a Harvard University School of Public Health suicide-prevention project working to promote activities that reduce people's access to lethal means of suicide.

City staff has also proposed consideration of a new technology that could be piloted along the Palo Alto corridor: motion-detection cameras that would alert the city's Emergency Operations Center to a person loitering in the area or a vehicle on the tracks.

Simon cautioned in his letter that this camera technology is "completely untested and untried."

However, Caltrain officials, city staff and the camera's manufacturer will be going out next week to look at potential locations to place the cameras, Bartholomew said.

"Please keep in mind that this technology is experimental and has never been used before on a railroad, but we are open to pursuing research on anything that could help solve this problem," she added.

Caltrain is planning to work with the city and school district to hold a town hall on mental health and suicide prevention and intends to host a media roundtable to discuss responsible coverage of rail suicides.

Keene said Thursday the city also plans to work with local youth well-being coalition Project Safety Net to develop monthly forums to provide further information about related efforts to the community and invite feedback.

Resources: How to help those in crisis

Comments

12 people like this
Posted by PAmoderate
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2015 at 1:37 pm

PAmoderate is a registered user.

Trench and tunnel...trench and tunnel...


16 people like this
Posted by Jay Park
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Putting Caltrain underground is not a viable solution. The main reason for this is the number of creeks that bisect the line along the Peninsula, the source being the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just north of the Palo Alto Caltrain station is San Francisquito Creek. To the south of Mountain View's station is Stevens Creek. There are *four* creeks between the two stations.

The only options for Caltrain is to stay at grade level or elevate the tracks.


16 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 24, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The main reason for this is the number of creeks that bisect the line along the Peninsula, the source being the Santa Cruz Mountains."

Tunnels go under creeks, rivers and even oceans - this is not a problem.

SF Water just completed a tunnel beneath the South Bay parallel to the old Dumbarton bridge to bring water to the Peninsula.


3 people like this
Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 24, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Jay;

Those aren't the only options - as shown by Embarcadero, Page Mill, etc. There are also underpasses. This could be done at East Meadow and Charleston as well.

Also, for safety purposes access on Churchill could be blocked for both pedestrians and traffic - simply close it. Put a pedestrian/bike underpass if desired.


1 person likes this
Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 24, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Jay;

Those aren't the only options - as shown by Embarcadero, Page Mill, etc. There are also underpasses. This could be done at East Meadow and Charleston as well.

Also, for safety purposes access on Churchill could be blocked for both pedestrians and traffic - simply close it. Put a pedestrian/bike underpass if desired.


7 people like this
Posted by A Pipe Dream
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 24, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Yes, if they closed access to Churchill from the tracks end, that would be wonderful. There are too many commuters cutting through and it's dangerous for our students.


12 people like this
Posted by Jay Park
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2015 at 2:26 pm

I'm not saying that tunnels are an impossibility (we have the Transbay Tube), but when you put trains underground, the tunnels are huge, plus you need to put aside some room for the station platforms, as well as all the infrastructure like elevators for ADA compliance, etc. You need an extra track in some locations to allow trains to pass others.

That is a heck of a lot of money for Caltrain which doesn't even have a steady source of funding. Sure, they can put trains underground in other countries, but those places have much higher ridership than Caltrain. I don't see how it could be done in my lifetime.

A tunnel for water doesn't take up the same space as a train tunnel and there are no train stations under the Bay.

Yes, underpasses are a possibility, but at certain intersections where there aren't houses nearby. Embarcadero, Page Mill Road, University Avenue, Holly Street (San Carlos) are all such places.

Underpasses/overpasses are less feasible in residential neighborhoods like Churchill, West Meadow, Charleston, Atherton, etc.

Blocking off Churchill and/or West Meadow to automobile traffic would increase congestion elsewhere.

Ultimately, these safety proposals don't address the root cause of the suicides: mental health.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Whatever is done has to be the same as Mountain View, Menlo Park, etc. We can't have Caltrain turned into some sort of up and down theme park ride.


4 people like this
Posted by Jay Park
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2015 at 6:12 pm

The up-and-down "roller coaster" is more of an option with metropolitan subway systems, where the stations are close together and the trains never reach high speeds because of the frequent stops. Plus, the tunnel distance is fairly short. The total system length of Caltrain is 79 miles. That is one heck of a long way to tunnel. There are stations that aren't even serviced every day (Broadway, Atherton, Stanford); should we build underground stations for those locations and other lightly used stations (College Park, Blossom Hill)?

This is less desirable for a regional commuter rail line like Caltrain, where the station stops are further apart, and the interest in reaching high speeds is desirable to make the travel time along the line shorted. Furthermore, if HSR is to ever be a reality, the track must be relatively level for safety and comfort.

I just don't see where the funds to bury Caltrain deep underground are going to come from based on current ridership levels and projected growth. A weekday mid-day train has a few hundred passengers. Spending the money to tunnel rail lines makes sense in densely populated cities like Tokyo, Shanghai, Manhattan, even northeastern San Francisco, but it doesn't make sense for the suburban Peninsula.

From a fiscal perspective, there's no justification to underground Caltrain unless skyscrapers start popping up along the length of the system.


1 person likes this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2015 at 8:12 pm

I don't think anyone has made the claim that grade seperations will eliminate all suicides, however, they will eliminate the possibility of someone driving in front of an oncoming train, be it intentional or otherwise. With light electric trains traveling at up to 125 mph, 16 times an hour, its going to be in everyone's best interest to get this done.


16 people like this
Posted by Eejits Strikes Again
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 24, 2015 at 8:22 pm

[Portion removed.] Depression causes suicides, not trains. Mr Keene should not even be approaching CalTrain in the accusatory way that he has!

Someone needs to see that Mr Keene is better educated before he commits any more silly faux pas.


7 people like this
Posted by Jay Park
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2015 at 8:55 pm

I don't really see grade separation as being a factor in vehicular collisions, there are relatively few of them each year.

However, there is a business justification for grade separation if Caltrain wants to run more frequently. More frequent service causes traffic congestion at grade crossings (Castro Street in Mountain View is a perfect example of this during the weekday evening commute).

Oddly, Caltrain suicides aren't happening all along the system, at all grade crossings. They are concentrated in a handful of locations. This really points to an inherent anomaly in the residents of Palo Alto, not to the Caltrain system itself. No one is throwing themselves in front of the tracks at San Bruno, Hayward Park, San Mateo, etc.

Just from a ridership perspective, let's be clear about where Caltrain stands.

- VTA Light Rail: 34,000 daily weekday riders, 3 lines servicing a total of 62 stations
- Muni Metro (light rail): 129,000 weekday riders, 6 lines servicing 120 stops/stations
- Caltrain (commuter rail): 53,000 weekday riders (average 12,000 per weekend day), one line, 77 mile system length servicing a total of 32 stations
- BART (rapid transit): 423,000 weekday riders, 5 lines servicing 45 stations
- NY City Subway: 5.5 million daily riders, 26 lines (services) servicing 468 stations
- London Underground (rapid transit): 3.4 million daily riders, 11 lines servicing 270 stations
- Yamanote Line (Tokyo heavy rail): 3.7 million daily riders, just one line of JR East's system, 21 mile system length servicing 29 stations

That's right. One rail line in Tokyo carries more passengers in three days than VTA Light Rail carries in an entire year.


1 person likes this
Posted by Jay Park
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2015 at 9:07 pm

Ah, I forgot to mention.

Frequency of service on Yamanote Line: every 2.5 minutes during peak hours, every 4 minutes at other times.

When you are carrying around that volume of passengers, yes, it makes sense to tunnel.

Along the Caltrain right-of-way? Not so much. There are largely empty trains on midday weekdays, yet Caltrain is stuck using a diesel locomotive and five cars because of service infrequency and equipment issues, regardless of the projected ridership.

Like other electric-powered train systems, BART can configure some trains to have more cars than others. That's not a viable option for Caltrain. It might be once electrification is a reality.


12 people like this
Posted by Klara
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 24, 2015 at 9:12 pm

Fences won't stop suicides.The question shuold be what is going on in this environment what makes so many people suicidal - what causing them to loose hope.


20 people like this
Posted by Jay Park
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2015 at 9:58 pm

The problem definitely isn't the train tracks nor access to the Caltrain right-of-way. The tracks have been there for 150+ years. Are the tracks different in Palo Alto versus San Mateo, Redwood City, Belmont? No, they are not.

The problem is in the heads of the young casualties.

Palo Alto parochial school kids don't seem to be having the same problem. It appears to be a PAUSD issue.

And I'm not sure if sleep deprivation is the primary cause. Don't other high-achievement school kids have the same schedule? Lots of homework, early classes/sports workouts?

There is something horribly broken in the PAUSD community: students, parents, teachers, and administration.


21 people like this
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2015 at 6:48 am

People still can and do commit suicide from station platforms on BART and Caltrain. Palo Alto's call for taller fencing, cameras and denuding the well-screened right of way is a complete waste of time and money. A purely political non-science effort to look like we're doing *something*! And when that doesn't help, there will surely be calls for yet another round of ineffective measures to continually look like "we're doing SOMETHING!"


6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2015 at 8:04 am

A guy was talking on the news recently, I think he had survived a jump from the GG Bridge and now does a lot of suicide prevention.

He said that a lot of suicide attempts are impulse driven. He said that a lot are opportunity driven. He definitely advocates for taking away opportunity, making It more difficult, and signs with phone numbers, etc. do help. He said that in his own case the second he let go from the bridge and jumped, he immediately regretted it and if one person had tried to stop him he probably would not have jumped.

There are probably many different ways of looking at the reasons, but if lives can be saved by making it more difficult, then it is worth doing it. The numbers of people who change their minds as a result is probably something that just can't be counted.


1 person likes this
Posted by Rational
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 25, 2015 at 8:34 am

Open trench, 20' deep. It can go up to ground level in 400 feet (2% grade, 1/10th of a mile) to cross creeks. Streets climb over 5' or so to get over the tracks. Trench sides project sound upward.

Station buildings and parking structures can be built above tracks for safe access to platforms below rather than many current places where per crossings are needed.

Way cheaper than trench and fill or tunnels. By the way diesel exhaust and long tunnels don't mix.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 25, 2015 at 12:24 pm

If we trench the roads instead, they don't need to go so deep because vehicles are not as tall as trains and won't be needing overhead wires. Grades for road vehicles can also be steeper. Three or four road underpasses in Palo Alto wouldn't displace near as much dirt. Utilities and creeks wouldn't be as impacted.


5 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 25, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@ Rational - open trench sounds rational until you consider the time, disruption, and cost. Basically we have a small chance of getting the tracks elevated, or else we live with the way it is for a few decades until self driving cars break the gridlock. I think it is pretty safe to assume several more generations of Palo Alto residents will be dealing with ground level tracks.


5 people like this
Posted by Lauren
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 26, 2015 at 10:32 am

The facts and research support:
1) The four-mile Caltrain rail corridor in Palo Alto is a "suicide hotspot," which is easily accessible.
2) The Caltrain rail corridor in Palo Alto has been the suicide means that sparked teen "suicide contagions," resulting in two recent teen "suicide clusters" in Palo Alto.
3) Reducing access to lethal means of suicide, i.e. means restriction, is effective at reducing and preventing suicides.
4) Means restriction using a physical barrier is the most effective suicide countermeasure at suicide hotspots.
5) The research to support the above is overwhelming. I would recommend that those who argue that Caltrain and the City of Palo Alto should not invest the $5 to 8 million to implement an adequate, appropriate, and timely set of suicide countermeasures, including fencing, along the Caltrain rail corridor in Palo Alto spend some time getting conversant around "means restriction" and "suicide hotspot" research. Suicide countermeasures along the Caltrain rail corridor in Palo Alto are one small but important part of a much larger set of solutions to reduce and prevent teen suicide in Palo Alto.


4 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 26, 2015 at 11:39 am

>There is something horribly broken in the PAUSD community: students, parents, teachers, and administration.

There is emerging evidence that unipolar and bipolar depression have a genetic basis:

Web Link

Why is there so much blame being put on our schools? Maybe the genetic defect is just more prevalent in Palo Alto. There was a recent article in the PA Daily that stated a couple hundred of PA students have been placed in psychiatric lockdown. There was a program on NPR radio a few days ago about entrepreneurs having bipolar conditions...the creative, hard charging atmosphere of Silicon Valley is satisfying to them, and some of them do quite well.

Thought experiment: If the gene can be firmly identified, and a screening test developed, the parents will know that their kids are at risk...then perhaps an alternative high school would be in order, with a closed campus. Maybe then we can stop blaming our schools, and stop wasting money on empty 'solutions' such as fences along the tracks.


1 person likes this
Posted by Kerry
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 26, 2015 at 12:40 pm

"There is emerging evidence that unipolar and bipolar depression have a genetic basis:"

Yes, the genetic factor has been ignored by our public officials. It is more politically feasible to throw money at the problem, even if it is wasted money for phony solutions.

Thanks for bringing up the subject, Craig. However, you should expect some real pushback. I have read enough of your stuff, and I doubt that it will bother you.


1 person likes this
Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 26, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Unfortunately for a certain poster, the link between genetics and depression is not as clear-cut as they would have it:

Web Link

Key paragraph: "This could mean that in most cases of depression, around 50% of the cause is genetic, and around 50% is unrelated to genes (psychological or physical factors). Or it could mean that in some cases, the tendency to become depressed is almost completely genetic, and in other cases it is not really genetic at all. We don’t know the answer yet."

Try again.


6 people like this
Posted by Carolyn
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2015 at 9:31 pm

I think the genetic explanation has been ignored. I am glad that Craig brought it up. It might be 50% or, in the severe cases, 100%. Either way, it should be a major part of the discussion.


Like this comment
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 27, 2015 at 9:37 am

What ever decision is made I hope that HSR is not a factor in that decision. Article in WSJ today -"Japan to Tout Its Bullet Trains in the US".
This is a mag-lev train that needs to run on a mag-lev track so making decisions concerning CALTRAIN with HSR as a factor is a big error. And the speed this is going does not include stops at your door to pick you up.
It will probably come up the east bay on an elevated system - ot could use 280 on an elevated system. In any case it needs to get to SF.
If everyone waits around then the east coast and Texas will be ahead of us.
And it is cheaper than HSR.


Like this comment
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 10:21 am

SteveU is a registered user.

Water Table (if the drought ends) will be a continuing problem.

The Oregon Expressway underpass routinely floods (and closes) in heavy rain. Under size pumps? Poor maintenance? Excess Debris?

Reliable above ground Trains first
Quiet, ELECTRIC trains next.

I have ridden rail/underground transit in a few different countries and cities, we rank less than many 3rd world countries when it come to mass transit.

The Bay area goes for expensive Glitz, rather than frequency.
I recently saw pictures of some of New York's Stations: Utilitarian
Gets the job done, Faster to build.

Larger service area (not more stops in the existing spots).
More frequent service to outlaying areas (south county)
Synchronized Inter-Agency transfer points (Minutes, not half-hours Plus)


14 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 27, 2015 at 10:43 am

Everyone favors making the tracks safer, but higher fences and removing trees, etc. makes no sense. Am not aware of one suicide that could have been prevented with these measures as most, if not all, happen at crossings or in very close proximity to crossings. Please -- spend the money on efforts that can make a difference.


6 people like this
Posted by Lauren
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 27, 2015 at 11:08 am

Again, the argument for means restriction and means restriction at suicide hotspots is well-researched but fairly recent and not broadly known. I think you would find the research compelling if you feel up for reading and digesting it.

However, I do agree that increasing the fencing height and decreasing the numerous gaps along the Caltrain rail corridor make less sense if an adequately trained, equipped, and supervised Track Watch is not monitoring and restricting access at the grade crossings. The two go hand in hand.

The removing foliage is a separate issue. It provides cover for potential suicide victims and hurts surveillance/monitoring efforts by Track Watch and bystanders who might be able to help.


2 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 27, 2015 at 11:09 am

How about a design contest for an aesthetically pleasing structure to support elevated tracks? Major criteria: Maximally open and conveying a visually light impression; no bare concrete pylons.


6 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 27, 2015 at 11:27 am

Since PA is considering making Alma a bike route, I wouldn't take them seriously either since bikes are more likely to cause cars to get stuck on the tracks.


Like this comment
Posted by Roger
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 27, 2015 at 11:45 am

Here's a better idea for all the experts among us, just stop all the trains.
Let's get real here. Under , over, fences, guards,cow catchers on the trains, none of those will stop a determined person.
Why are the trains so popular, simple, it never fails.
Let's make it fail


6 people like this
Posted by This won't prevent suicides
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 27, 2015 at 11:54 am

Preventing suicide via train is great for commuters, but it won't reduce the suicide rate. The source of the problem is related to the mental health of our students.


4 people like this
Posted by Lauren
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm

To Roger,
Intent Matters BUT MEANS MATTER ALSO MATTER - pls go to Harvard Public School of Health Means Matter website: Web Link

To This won't prevent suicides,
This is not an "either/or" argument. Intent Matters BUT MEANS ALSO MATTER. Means restrictions is one important part of a much larger set of solutions.


Like this comment
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Again, grade separations are the only long term solution, keep in mind that a suicidal person isn't the only one that is being put in harms way:

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Neil Shea
a resident of University South
on Apr 27, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Neil Shea is a registered user.

Lauren is quoting actual research that making suicides more difficult prevents them. Suicide behavior does cluster in 'hot spots' and we now have one here.

I wonder if those here who throw up their hands and say suicidal people will always find a way -- would you want to make it more difficult if it was a family member of yours who had an impulsive depression episode?

Meanwhile of course grade separations have many benefits including preventing car/train accidents, improving traffic flow, and making it *much* harder to access the tracks. When we as a community seriously study our choices and the costs we will take another look at a hybrid of depressing the roads (half as much as University and Page Mill) and raising the tracks by several feet. Easiest, least costly, least impact. Tunnel proposals will run into the practical reality of pumping four flooding creeks, 1% grade change limits, the need to completely rebuild University and Page Mill structures, and costs well of $1-2B with no local contributions even contemplated. Meanwhile San Mateo County has co-funded quite a few grade seps in the last 15 years.


2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 27, 2015 at 1:25 pm

In no other country I visited there are trains crossing city streets. Backward USA strikes again.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 27, 2015 at 1:38 pm

@Neil, "... and making it *much* harder to access the tracks."

Go stand at the Cal Ave station when an express passes by.


14 people like this
Posted by Not the problem
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Caltrain is not the problem. The problem is mental illness/depression. If someone wants to take their own life, they will find a way to do it. These changes are not fixing the issue and will not make an impact on the rates of suicide. People will just find another way.
Maybe addressing why these kids are seeking out suicide as a solution might be a better use of money and resources? Give them the help they are desperately asking for?


8 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 27, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Does anyone have real data on suicides in our city? How many suicides are committed by train vs quietly at home. Train suicides get a lot of press, but if home suicides are more common, then spending millions or billions of dollars on train upgrades is not going to have much effect on the city's suicide rate. Spending that money on mental health programs is going to be much more cost effective.


Like this comment
Posted by PAmoderate
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 28, 2015 at 12:54 pm

PAmoderate is a registered user.

"In no other country I visited there are trains crossing city streets. Backward USA strikes again."

Self-loathing is such a sad thing.

As for Jay Park: "Putting Caltrain underground is not a viable solution."

That, sir, is your opinion.


6 people like this
Posted by Jay Park
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 28, 2015 at 7:57 pm

Yes, it is my opinion and it is based on the projected costs on putting trains underground.

But go ahead, find the money and tell Caltrain to underground the railroad.

All for 52,000 daily weekday riders. Yeah.


2 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of Barron Park
on May 6, 2015 at 1:34 am

PALO ALTO PARENTS:

You have no one to blame for yourselves for the suicide of your children. The schools didn't cause it. The trains didn't cause it. An inexplicable lack of hope didn't cause it.

The pressure and expectations to "succeed" and "make something of themselves" caused it. Your desires to appear successful and fit in with the Silicon Valley Elite are killing your kids, and fences, underground trains or rail guards will not fix it.


Like this comment
Posted by Chris
a resident of Barron Park
on May 6, 2015 at 1:36 am

Craig:

OH YEAH! Lets put all the bipolar and other mentally ill children in a prison school! Isolating them will TOTALLY help them not want to commit suicide.


Go take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself: "How did I end being such a monster?"


Like this comment
Posted by NailOnTheHead
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 6, 2015 at 11:44 am

@Jay hit the nail on the thumb:

"...Palo Alto parochial school kids don't seem to be having the same problem. It appears to be a PAUSD issue.

And I'm not sure if sleep deprivation is the primary cause. Don't other high-achievement school kids have the same schedule? Lots of homework, early classes/sports workouts?

There is something horribly broken in the PAUSD community: students, parents, teachers, and administration."


Follow your logic just slightly further. Given that Palo Alto parochial and private schools do not have this problem, then it MUST NOT be the community. Or the parents. Or the students. They are all the same demographic, same town, same community; and for many even the same elementary experience.

Once you have eliminated all the improbable causes, what is left?

" ... There is something horribly broken in the PAUSD [...] [...], [...], teachers, and administration."


Ah. There you go. And it exactly matches with the personal experience of many people here as well. Not so surprising really once you talk to a few families of kids who are under great stress.

It's the schools. The only variable remaining. Parochial and private schools have everything else in common, yet do not have this problem.

It's the schools.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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