News - March 9, 2011

News briefs: Meeting on impact of Stanford hospital expansion

This week, Menlo Park's transportation commission will discuss a neighboring city's development — the planned Stanford hospital expansion, which is expected to impact traffic in Menlo Park. The commissioners will review the final environmental impact report and make recommendations to the Menlo Park City Council.

The $3.5 billion project, described by Palo Alto city officials as the city's largest project ever, would bring about 1.3 million square feet of new development and more than 2,200 new employees to Palo Alto by 2025.

It includes reconstructing Stanford Hospital and Clinics, expanding Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, renovating the Hoover Pavilion, and replacing School of Medicine facilities.

Perhaps of most interest to local residents, the report details how the project would affect local roadways and intersections, bringing 10,000 new vehicle trips to the area per day.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in council chambers at the Civic Center, 701 Laurel St.

Caltrain declares fiscal emergency

Caltrain's board of directors declared a fiscal emergency March 3 during a meeting in San Carlos that attracted hundreds of riders who oppose service cuts.

The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, which governs Caltrain, declared the emergency so directors could consider "radical" solutions and close a $30 million budget deficit Caltrain faces over the coming year, Caltrain Executive Director Michael Scanlon said.

Service cuts could include ending all daytime, evening, weekend and special-event service except for peak commuter times, the board has warned.

But residents urged the board to consider several alternatives, including taking $5.5 million earmarked for the Dumbarton Rail project, deferring electrification, and raising fares and parking fees.

The board could decide service cuts by April 7.

Meetings cancelled

The comfortable chairs in Menlo Park council chambers are getting a rest from harboring dozing gadflies during late-night meetings for a couple weeks. The City Council will not meet again until Tuesday, March 15.

The Planning Commission also takes a short break, returning on Monday, March 21. Both groups meet at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.


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