Today’s Headlines

  • Man Killed by Driver at Market and Octavia Was Bryan Goodwin, 31, an EPA Hearing Clerk (KTVU)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Injures Three Men Loading Truck in Union Square (SF Examiner, CBS)
  • Poll Shows Promising Support for Bike Infrastructure Among San Franciscans (SFBC)
  • Coverage of SFBC’s Winterfest Celebration on Sunday From KTVU
  • Bike-Share May “Never” Come To Western Neighborhoods, Says SFMTA Project Manager (SFBG, ABC)
  • Caldecott Tunnel Evacuated After Car Catches Fire (SFGateMercury News)
  • SamTrans Studying BRT Along El Camino Real, From Daly City to Palo Alto (SM Daily Journal)
  • Transbay Authority to Hold Meeting on Funding the Caltrain/HSR Downtown Extension (Green Caltrain)
  • Vibrant Bay Area Writer Makes the Case for Caltrain to Match Boarding Heights With CAHSR
  • Caltrain Bicycle Advisory Committee Seeks Members (SBP); Caltrain to Study Track Trenching” (PAO)
  • San Jose Drivers Vent About the “Nightmare” That is the Hedding Street Bike Lane (Merc Roadshow)
  • After String of Ped Injuries, Cloverdale Council to Hold Hearing on Dangerous Intersection (Press Dem)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    For a high floor/low platform LRT system, it might make sense to buy new trains with a train floor height at the platform height to achieve level boarding, rather than raise the platforms. There are no heavy rail vehicles available to buy with an 8″ floor height; Caltrain will have to raise the platforms for level boarding whatever trains they buy.

    Given that Caltrain have to raise the platforms to achieve level boarding, it doesn’t really matter whether they raise them to 25″ or 48″. But, it does help both HSR and Caltrain if they both use the same platform height.

  • mikesonn

    Not to mention, movable platforms are a complete non-starter.

  • Andy Chow

    Clems idea of FRA non-compliant EMUs with doors at two levels are non-starter as well. If you think otherwise, it is not because of merit but personality.

  • Andy Chow

    With 8″ platforms, trains with 25″ floor height will see dwell time improvements compared to 48″ floor height, even if level boarding is not pursued. That’s why all the new rail operations: ACE, TRE, Tri Rail, Frontrunner, Rail Runner, Metrolink, Coaster, and Sounder all use lower floor vehicle and only use single level NEC cars on a short term basis. ADA passengers can use smaller mini-highs for level boarding with single stop. With 48″ floor trains, you will need to use lifts or mini-highs that require double stops.

    Retrofitting all the platforms can cost around half a billion. For far less, Caltrain will get 80% of the operational benefits with low floor vehicles and keeping the current platforms.

  • Anonymous

    If you use 25″ or 48″ floor trains with 8″ platforms, you will see a negligible improvement in dwell times. General passengers will still need to climb up steps, and you’ll still need a mini high or lift for disabled passengers. This is not optional due to ADA. 25″ or 48″ floor trains should only stop at 8″ platforms as a temporary measure during the transition period.

    The whole point of level boarding is to get rid of the need for mini highs and lifts, so that dwell times can be shorter and more predictable. To see the benefits of level boarding, all you have to do is ride BART, then ride Caltrain, and compare the difference in dwell times, especially when a disabled passenger needs to board.

    I don’t believe that raising all the platforms will cost half a billion. But even if it does, consider this. According to Clem, level boarding gets you 50% of the speed increase that electrification does, and electrification will cost 1.5 billion. So if electrification is worth pursuing, so is level boarding.

  • Andy Chow

    You think 25″ and 48″ platforms don’t look that much different, or that 25″ floor height doesn’t improve much from 48″ floor height. I strongly disagree with both assertions. Even low floor buses have steps too and they have been an improvement over the high floor buses.

    My rough estimate is based on other Caltrain station projects and other high platform projects elsewhere.

    Clems considers platform height compatibility as an overriding reason against everything else. I don’t buy that. Not that it is undesirable, but Caltrain needs immediate improvement with low floor vehicles, rather than a half a billion commitment on something that the cities may not want, and that there are other ways to address the potential capacity issues at Transbay.

  • Anonymous

    And the carnage continues: a cop was hit by a u-turning motorist in Soma tonight:

    And as the cops continue to waste time on stings of cyclists on the Wiggle, even their own are becoming causalities. How completely inane is this city?

  • mikesonn

    I didn’t say anything about EMUs w/ doors at two levels, but movable platforms? really? come on.

  • Andy Chow

    Why not? It is an idea as a result of a pretty strict standard set by the ADA. Why don’t they exist in places like Europe? It is because they don’t have ADA.

    A lot of equipment have been developed to meet ADA standards and serve the disabled folks like wheelchair lifts and bus kneeling features. They all have at one point some new ideas and have to be developed.

  • 94103er

    Yep, and all we can hope is that the next generation of elected officials recognize that we can’t take away everyone’s right to street space and keep subsidizing this back-assward way of thinking at the expense of a city’s fiscal health.