Did you guys see this shocking story in Tuesday's North County Times?
SAN MARCOS: City to install pedestrian crossing over Sprinter track
the pedestrian crossing will include automated gates to keep pedestrians off the tracks when the Sprinter comes through. Designs for the project have been submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission, which must issue a permit for any train-related project, and city officials hope to get the go-ahead to start construction in time to finish the project before the 2008-09 school year starts in August,
As you know, the city of Encinitas has lofty plans to build 4 pedestrian tunnels under our coastal railway at the conservative cost of $20 million (some say it will be more like $40 million).
See this NCT.com story: Encinitas investigates possible pedestrian RR crossings
The undercrossings are expected to cost about $5 million each, for a total of about $20 million.
Many in the audience noted that much cheaper ground-level at-grade crossings are used in other states and other countries. At-grade pedestrian rail crossings generally use automatic metal gates hooked to sensors in the tracks that only open when trains are not coming.
Russell Levan noted that at-grade crossings are much cheaper than digging under the rails.
"It just seems like a terrible waste of money at a time when there isn't any to be had," he said.
But Tognoli said the California Public Utilities Commission does not favor at-grade crossings because they do not separate pedestrians and trains. He said getting approval for ground-level crossings would be a long battle with no guarantee of success.
"If you want to have a project, this, realistically, is your only option," he said.
Residents illegally crossing the track amid the stunning beauty of the NCTD rail zone in north Leucadia.
Suggestions to the Encinitas city council and staff that we should have at grade pedestrians crossings have been met with fierce resistance and even mocking laughter. The NCTD will never allow it, we've been told.
"Impossible" in Encinitas is apparently something they will at least try in San Marcos. We must watch this story, if the California Public Utilities Commission approves the pedestrian crossings for San Marcos then we must demand them in Encinitas.
The mayor of Encinitas, Jerome Stocks is on the board of directors for the NCTD.
E-mail the Encinitas city council, tell them you want the more affordable option of at-grade rail pedestrian crossings and not 60 ft wide mega tunnels that will smell like pee within the first month,