Churchill Rail Crossing and College Terrace

I am a resident of Southgate, reaching out on behalf of a coalition of northern Palo Alto residents who are trying to increase awareness about proposed changes to the rail crossing at Churchill.

You may be aware that the Extended Community Advisory Panel (XCAP), a group of mostly residents, were charged by City Council to arrive at a “consensus recommendation” for grade separations at Churchill, East Meadow, and Charleston.  Through many disruptions, loss of membership, and limitations of funding and information, XCAP spent months studying the alternatives, including two citizen-generated designs.  Our focus has been on the options for the Churchill crossing.

On September 2, XCAP voted 6-3 to recommend that City Council pursue Churchill Closure with Mitigations.

In addition to what we see as the serious limitations of the Traffic Study and mitigation plan on which the feasibility of Closure is based, one of our concerns about the process is the limited engagement of other neighborhoods, including College Terrace, that may be affected by the closure of this route to Alma and Palo Alto west of the tracks.  If you would like to be more informed, there are two things going on right now that might be of interest: 

1) Our coalition is running a short survey that gives people an opportunity to weigh in on the alternatives for grade separation at Churchill.  The survey is accompanied by an informational email describing the designs and giving links to images, engineering drawings, etc. for those who want to know more.  (You may have seen some of this if you visited the Virtual Town Hall last month.)

Visit https://sites.google.com/view/neighborhood-survey/home to read the letter and access the survey.

2) We are holding the second of two Zoom meetings this Saturday at 10am for a moderated dialogue with City Council candidates Ed Lauing, Steven Lee, Greer Stone, and Raven Malone.  The goals for the meeting are twofold: 1) to share concerns about the City’s process and the impacts of a possible closure of Churchill; and 2) to learn about candidates’ approaches to this important issue.  Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions via chat.  Use the Zoom coordinates below to join us:

https://ESnet.zoom.us/j/99448261250?pwd=QzhGakhNZjA1L2p1cUk5ZFltWjFoZz09

Meeting ID: 994 4826 1250
Passcode: 584913
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,99448261250# US (New York)
+16699006833,,99448261250# US (San Jose)

To see a recording of last week’s Zoom meeting with Pat Burt, Lydia Kou, and Rebecca Eisenberg, follow this link: https://ESnet.zoom.us/rec/share/S-mXuPqEpQyZTAXgfGsxzFr4TCinD4O8_eUEVXgMH1yluRB4ZC0seTjBBOMMpl62.L8O8VhTIfBVK0WCM
Access Passcode: 1zpJ+rVN

Feel free to contact me, Susan Newman, at snewman@workpractice.com if you have questions or would like to be included in future updates.

Around the Terrace: October 7, 2020

Here are some recent announcements and news stories of interest to College Terrace and the surrounding area.

Halloween Guidance and Celebration
Halloween won’t be the same this year, so local public health officers have published a guide to Halloween activities by risk level for families to use. Traditional trick-or-treating is discouraged, but there are lots of other ways to celebrate the holiday safely.

City Playgrounds Reopening This Week
In happier news for families, Palo Alto playgrounds are reopening this week! City crews are cleaning each park and installing new signage; as soon as they’re ready, they’ll officially reopen and be added to the list linked above. (Due to the high volume of visitors it receives, Magical Bridge Playground will reopen at a later date.)

Escondido, Nixon Campuses Reopening Next Week
The first round of PAUSD school reopenings begin on Monday, October 12, with transitional kindergarteners through first graders the first students to head back. So please be mindful when driving in school zones, especially in mornings and afternoons.