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Weekend Roundup: Kings County Gives up HSR Fight, BART Closures, Caltrain Bike Registration

HSR construction in Kings County. Photo: CaHSRA

A few Streetsblog train tidbits to start out your weekend:

Last Legal Obstructions to HSR Melt Away: 

Kings County has been fighting an expensive and fruitless battle against high-speed rail for many years now. But after losing ruling after ruling, they finally threw in the proverbial towel and settled with the state.

From Thursday afternoon's statement by the California High-Speed Rail Authority and King's County:

The Authority and the Kings County Board have reached a settlement that will result in the dismissal of the final pending California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuit against the Authority for the Fresno to Bakersfield Project Section Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS). The Final EIR/EIS for the Fresno to Bakersfield section of the high-speed rail project was adopted in 2014 and identified the high-speed rail route from Fresno to Bakersfield.

The Authority and the Kings County Board also signed cooperative agreements related to coordinating ongoing construction efforts in Kings County, and the maintenance of several grade-separation projects crossing Kings County roadways.

There are currently 65 miles of rail under construction in an area that stretches from East American Avenue in Fresno County to one mile north of the Tulare/Kern County line, according to the release. High-speed rail construction will build a dedicated line spanning over 119 miles in the Central Valley. This spine will connect to the Bay Area via existing and future alignments.

C35map 8_5 update

BART Shutdown this Weekend Between Orinda and Walnut Creek:

This weekend marks the first of six planned shutdowns on the Antioch line to replaced aged tracks and other infrastructure.

During the work, according to BART's statement, the agency will:

    • Replace 5,000 linear feet of rail.
    • Replace six track switches. Switches are to a railroad what intersections are to cars, helping redirect trains from line to line.
    • Install 320 new electrical insulators to support and keep electricity confined to the third rail.
    • Replace nearly 10,000 feet of train control cable.
    • Remove and replace 2.8 million pounds of rock ballast, which is used to support the trackway.

Replacement bus-bridge service will be provided during the closures. Once the work is complete the noise level of trains will drop, says the BART release, and passengers will experience a smoother, safer, and more reliable ride.

Caltrain Promotes Bike Registration

A Caltrain bike-car. Photo: Shirley Johnson
A Caltrain bike-car. Photo: Shirley Johnson
A Caltrain bike-car. Photo: Shirley Johnson

Streetsblog has had the displeasure of carrying a few stories about bikes getting pilfered from Caltrain's bike car. In response, Caltrain Rail Operations and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department are encouraging bike riders to register their bikes in partnership with Project 529, a community service database that connects bike serial numbers to their rightful owners.

From Caltrain's release:

This app-based system allows bike owners to input identifying information about their bike and report theft. San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department, which contracts with Caltrain to serve as the agency’s Transit Police unit, has access to the 529 database for both Caltrain and several other bike communities already registered with the program in the event that a bike is reported stolen in the area.

To promote the bike-registration program, Caltrain is hosting three free bike registration events on the following days and locations:

    • Palo Alto Caltrain Station, Tuesday, August 20, 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    • Redwood City Caltrain Station, Wednesday, August 21, 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    • San Francisco Caltrain Station, Thursday, August 22, 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

You can also, of course, register your bike online.

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