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on Jul 11, 2014
Watkins intersection (grade crossing)is in my opinion one of the most dangerous on the Cal Train line from San Francisco to San Jose. It is blind in two directions, that is an auto or pedestrian can not see down the tracks without sticking themselves out into the right-of-way to see if it is safe to cross. The Atherton Town Council has indicated they will be willing to spend Town money to pay for a portion of the cost of improving the safety aspects of the Watkins intersection, the same as has been done at Fair Oaks. This would be accomplished by installing two cross-arms of each side of the tracks rather that one. Pedestrian crossing are also installed at all four entries to the tracks. Whether this would have avoided this accident is unclear. Even if not, I believe these so-called quad gates should be installed at Watkins to improve the safety aspects of this dangerous intersection the same as has been done at Fair Oaks.
I drive through that crossing every day. I'm not sure how if people are following the rules of the road and driving on the correct side of the street how quad gates would do anything. Unless I'm misunderstanding. Are you referring to gates that lower to stop pedestrians also?
Love you, buddy.
I am guessing because the train doesn't stop in Atherton they build up speed, and it is a great place to commit suicide. There is one place in Burlingame that a number of people have killed themselves. Now we have two people from my understanding that have kill themselves in Atherton. Looks like the word maybe getting out.
So sorry to hear this. I remember Jordan well from when he was young and friends with my son. So sorry for his family.
What a tragedy. Jordan was a brilliant, beautiful person who loved politics, film, Breaking Bad, ethnic vegetarian food, his family, and friends. I'm just one of many who had no idea he was in such pain, and will always miss him, his sense of humor and his patience in explaining and fixing technology, especially computers.
Greg get real.
Pedestrian gates at rail crossings are ridiculous. A huge waste of money.
If a person is determined to commit suicide (I have no knowledge if this was the case here) than no amount of gates will prevent him/her from doing it.
If a person is simply not paying attention than unfortunately he/she must pay the price, tragic as that may be.
No other country in the world is as paranoid as ours about "public safety". I do not believe that it is a government's job to lead people by the hand to keep them from harming themselves. We are creating a society that expects life to be foolproof and when we mess up always expect to find someone else to be responsible.
Teach your kids to grow up watching out for themselves and look where you're going.
> If a person is simply not paying attention than unfortunately he/she must pay the price, tragic as that may be.
But one of the issues at Watkins is that you CAN be paying attention but still potentially "pay the price" with your life.
As previously mentioned, driving across the tracks at Watkins is blind; you effectively must have faith that the gates work flawlessly. I try checking both ways before crossing, but you have to be on the tracks to do that, which kinda defeats the purpose of checking.
Watkins is a clear, undeniable hazard.
Also, while in general I agree that there has to be some personal accountability for safety, keep in mind that Caltrain's death record is much, MUCH higher than normal, when compared to other commuter rail in the country. Caltrain's death record speaks to CALTRAIN issues.
I don't think it is fair to blame caltrain for suicides. I'm also very sorry for the loss of Mr. Brinkman. Thinks can get better. Please reach out for help if you are hurting.
The real victims in these suicides are the CalTrain engineers who can do nothing to prevent someone from stepping in front of their train and who cannot stop in time when someone does. And then they have to live with that memory for the rest of their lives.
I agree with Peter. It's unfortunate this person opted to take their own life. Do we realize the emotional damage that is done when we print "Man killed by train in Atherton". We need to re-write some of this "headlines". How would you feel if you were the engineer of this train and read that?
Peter, so true. The Engineers can do nothing when a person wants to end their lives in front of a train. It also effects emergency responders.
Crossing gates will do nothing to stop this. Where there is a will, there is a way.
He will be missed by many.
I am deeply saddened by Jordan's death. Everyone who knew him is in a state of shock and grief. He was a beautiful person, and a wonderful friend to many when I knew him at Albany High School.
I would remind those who are leaving comments on this story that this was a real person whose death is a horrendous loss to many others. His death should not be taken as an opportunity to post your rant about government paternalism. It is not a place to write, "If a person is simply not paying attention than unfortunately he/she must pay the price." It is not a place to write "The real victims in these suicides are the CalTrain engineers." Of course you are entitled to your opinions, but there are respectful times and places to voice them, and disrespectful times and places. Please show some sensitivity before turning Jordan's death into an allegory for whatever political position you're hoping to push. If you feel deeply about government paternalism, the emotional trauma of train engineers whose trains hit suicidal people, etc., write an op-ed.
" It is not a place to write "The real victims in these suicides are the CalTrain engineers."
I strongly disagree - "Man killed by train in Atherton" is the title of this thread. This is a news story not an obituary. Who do you think was the other person closest to this tragic event? Who was the person who has to live with this memory?
If you feel deeply about your friend then start a new topic on that friend's life but don't try to capture this thread for your own purposes.
There are many who will suffer from this tragic event. Jordan, rest in peace, will no longer. He had more empathy than any person I know.
Perhaps one could start a page on lifestorynet.com for people wanting to share their memories of Jordan. I'm so very sorry for his family and friends...
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