News

Electrification project to temporarily affect Caltrain pedestrian crossings, part of Oregon Expressway

Work to be done along the rail corridor through mid-December

Traffic on Alma Street passes a Caltrain train at the Churchill Avenue train crossing on March 21, 2019. Photo by Veronica Weber.

Caltrain has announced planned closures of pedestrian crossings and streets in Palo Alto that will take place starting this Monday, Nov. 14, as it works on its electrification project.

The closures will include pedestrian crossings on one side at each of the four major intersections, part of Oregon Expressway and weekend shutdowns on the rail line, according to a city press release. Here's a breakdown of the scheduled shutdowns, which will last through mid-December:

Churchill, Alma, East Meadow, and Charleston pedestrian/bike crossings

Caltrain is installing ground wiring near the signal arms and attaching it to the poles for the signaling system at all four corners of the crossings at Churchill Avenue, Alma Street, East Meadow Drive, and Charleston Road. The work is planned from Nov. 14 through Nov. 30. One side of the crossings will be closed at a time, leaving the other side passable for pedestrians and bicyclists. Illuminated and directional signs at the crossings will direct pedestrians to cross on the opposite side of the street to cross. The city is asking the public to drive safely and watch for pedestrians and cyclists since their routes will be changing.

The following crossings will be affected during the below dates, each taking place Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

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• Churchill Avenue: Nov. 14-18.

• Alma Street: Nov. 17-29.

• East Meadow Drive: Nov. 28-30.

• Charleston Road: Nov. 28-30.

Oregon Expressway

Caltrain will be doing nightly repairs on the Caltrain railroad bridge at Alma Street and Oregon Expressway from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9. The following segments of Oregon Expressway will be closed at that location from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on the following days:

• Southbound Oregon Expressway: Nov. 28-Dec. 2.

• Northbound Oregon Expressway: Dec. 5-9.

The city recommends drivers avoid the area and take alternate routes if traveling along Oregon Expressway during those days and times. Maps of the closures can be found below.

This browser does not support PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: Download PDF.

This browser does not support PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it:
Download PDF

Weekend train service shutdowns

Caltrain plans to test the train-signal system at Palo Alto Avenue (near Alma Street) on the weekends of Dec. 10-11 and Dec. 17-18. Flaggers will be present at all Palo Alto crossings, and vehicle and pedestrian traffic will be stopped during the tests. Crossings will be open when there is no test train approaching, the city said. More detailed information will follow on the city's website.

El Camino Real road improvements

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is also planning to improve the roadway surface on El Camino Real, which is designated as state Route 82 and is under its jurisdiction. El Camino has pavement condition index scores that are much lower than other Palo Alto streets. Plans to repave the Palo Alto portion of El Camino Real from the Mountain View to Menlo Park city borders are scheduled for 2023.

"We are aware of challenging road conditions on parts of El Camino Real and when a community member shares concerns with us, we send those directly to Caltrans staff," the city said.

The community can also submit a request directly to Caltrans at csr.dot.ca.gov.

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Sue Dremann
 
Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Electrification project to temporarily affect Caltrain pedestrian crossings, part of Oregon Expressway

Work to be done along the rail corridor through mid-December

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Nov 11, 2022, 12:26 pm
Updated: Mon, Nov 14, 2022, 11:14 am

Caltrain has announced planned closures of pedestrian crossings and streets in Palo Alto that will take place starting this Monday, Nov. 14, as it works on its electrification project.

The closures will include pedestrian crossings on one side at each of the four major intersections, part of Oregon Expressway and weekend shutdowns on the rail line, according to a city press release. Here's a breakdown of the scheduled shutdowns, which will last through mid-December:

Churchill, Alma, East Meadow, and Charleston pedestrian/bike crossings

Caltrain is installing ground wiring near the signal arms and attaching it to the poles for the signaling system at all four corners of the crossings at Churchill Avenue, Alma Street, East Meadow Drive, and Charleston Road. The work is planned from Nov. 14 through Nov. 30. One side of the crossings will be closed at a time, leaving the other side passable for pedestrians and bicyclists. Illuminated and directional signs at the crossings will direct pedestrians to cross on the opposite side of the street to cross. The city is asking the public to drive safely and watch for pedestrians and cyclists since their routes will be changing.

The following crossings will be affected during the below dates, each taking place Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

• Churchill Avenue: Nov. 14-18.

• Alma Street: Nov. 17-29.

• East Meadow Drive: Nov. 28-30.

• Charleston Road: Nov. 28-30.

Oregon Expressway

Caltrain will be doing nightly repairs on the Caltrain railroad bridge at Alma Street and Oregon Expressway from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9. The following segments of Oregon Expressway will be closed at that location from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on the following days:

• Southbound Oregon Expressway: Nov. 28-Dec. 2.

• Northbound Oregon Expressway: Dec. 5-9.

The city recommends drivers avoid the area and take alternate routes if traveling along Oregon Expressway during those days and times. Maps of the closures can be found below.

Weekend train service shutdowns

Caltrain plans to test the train-signal system at Palo Alto Avenue (near Alma Street) on the weekends of Dec. 10-11 and Dec. 17-18. Flaggers will be present at all Palo Alto crossings, and vehicle and pedestrian traffic will be stopped during the tests. Crossings will be open when there is no test train approaching, the city said. More detailed information will follow on the city's website.

El Camino Real road improvements

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is also planning to improve the roadway surface on El Camino Real, which is designated as state Route 82 and is under its jurisdiction. El Camino has pavement condition index scores that are much lower than other Palo Alto streets. Plans to repave the Palo Alto portion of El Camino Real from the Mountain View to Menlo Park city borders are scheduled for 2023.

"We are aware of challenging road conditions on parts of El Camino Real and when a community member shares concerns with us, we send those directly to Caltrans staff," the city said.

The community can also submit a request directly to Caltrans at csr.dot.ca.gov.

Comments

Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2022 at 6:19 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 11, 2022 at 6:19 pm

This is going to be interested for school commutes, particularly Paly but also Gunn.


Jeremy Erman
Registered user
Midtown
on Nov 11, 2022 at 11:10 pm
Jeremy Erman, Midtown
Registered user
on Nov 11, 2022 at 11:10 pm

There seems to be some important information missing from this article. The notice on the City's website says that "Beginning November 14 through November 30, temporary pedestrian closures to one side of the following crossings will occur Monday through Friday." The linked pdf also says "Only one side of each crossing (northern or southern) will be closed at a time. Only one crossing will have impacted access at a time."

Web Link
Web Link

The words "to one side" or "only one side" are missing from this article, giving the impression that the crossings will be closed entirely to pedestrians and bicyclists on the dates mentioned. That doesn't appear to be the case (although, really, who knows what Caltrain will actually do...?).

The City's notice also says "Caltrain will be running a series of nighttime weekend shutdowns to test the train signal system at Palo Alto Ave (Alma Street) on the weekend of December 10 – 11 and December 17 – 18," which seems to suggest that the weekend train service shutdowns will only be at night (but again, who knows what Caltrain will really do...?)

Further information or clarification on these issues from Caltrain would be nice, especially since the Caltrain nighttime service shutdown announcement ends with "More details to come." With respect, we should have all the details NOW.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Nov 14, 2022 at 1:58 am
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Nov 14, 2022 at 1:58 am

Very glad to read that El Camino in PA will finally be repaved!


Dennis Smith
Registered user
University South
on Nov 14, 2022 at 10:39 am
Dennis Smith, University South
Registered user
on Nov 14, 2022 at 10:39 am

And this is just the beginning of what will happen when the electrified trains start to run while the City Council continues to avoid making decisions on rail crossings.


Sarah
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 14, 2022 at 11:04 am
Sarah, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Nov 14, 2022 at 11:04 am

Do they mean the turn-offs to Alma going North/South when they talk about closures on Oregon? Oregon runs east/west.


Frank
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 22, 2022 at 10:58 am
Frank, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Nov 22, 2022 at 10:58 am

I'm sure this has everything to do with Electrification and nothing to do with the worker that fell through the bridge and almost died.
Web Link

Good thing Oregon Expressway will be closed. I would hate to see something else terrible happen. Jimminy Christmas!


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