News - November 9, 2011

Menlo Park council picks Dumbarton Transit Station site

by Sandy Brundage

Location, location, location was the focus of the Menlo Park City Council's discussion on Nov. 1 about where to put the future Dumbarton Transit Station.

The council voted 5-0 to go with the city staff's recommendation to put the station in the Menlo Science and Technology Park nestled between Willow Road and Hamilton Avenue.

A group of transit agencies that includes San Mateo County and Santa Clara Valley transportation authorities is exploring whether to reactivate a rail line between Redwood City and Union City across the Bay.

According to Interim Public Works Director Chip Taylor, the options include running six trains westbound in the morning, then returning eastbound in the the evening, but that could change.

Menlo Park's site selection is part of the project's environmental impact report (EIR). The draft EIR should be released by early summer 2012, according to city staff, with the opening of the rail line projected for 2020.

City staff included Facebook's west campus, which sits across the street from its new 1601 Willow Road headquarters, as an alternative location, but said the technology park presented fewer complications and had better access to public roads.

The transit station, including parking, would be built within the railroad's 100-foot right-of-way, but also needs an access easement across the technology park.

At Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson's suggestion, the council voiced support for exploring whether a bike-and-pedestrian pathway could be added that would potentially provide a way to get from Sunnyvale to Redwood City via bike.

Mr. Taylor said the transit agencies are currently focusing on enhancing the bus service that already exists within the Dumbarton corridor. Ms. Fergusson, who is serving as the council's liaison on the project, explained that the goal is to improve bus ridership before opening the rail line.


A community meeting on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Senior Center at 110 Terminal Ave. in Menlo Park will give residents a chance to weigh in on the Dumbarton rail plan. The meeting starts at 6 p.m.


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