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The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

Broadway grade separation project aims to curb accidents

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Photo Courtesy of Dan Liberman
The CalTrain grade separation is expected to be completed in 2028.

According to the California Public Utilities Commission, the Broadway intersection, crossing California Drive, Broadway, and Carolan Avenue, is the most dangerous train crossing in the state. That’s not necessarily a list any intersection wants to be at the top of. 

Because most accidents result from the trains owned and operated by CalTrain, which runs parallel to California Drive and Carolan Avenue, the city plans to implement a grade separation to avoid conflict between the street and the tracks. 

“[The crossing is] going to be 1,000% safer,” said Lisa Goldman, the Burlingame City Manager. “So the idea is that the railroad…will start to climb, and it’ll go into a bridge, and it’ll go over Broadway, Broadway will go underneath [the tracks], and then it’ll touchdown on [the otherside]. There won’t be any place where [the tracks] are at the same level.”

At the Broadway crossing, there have been a total of eight vehicle strikes and two fatalities in the past six years, and with the new construction, the crossing will be much safer, according to Dan Liberman, the Public Information Officer for CalTrain. 

“The primary goals for the project [are] to make the area safer and less prone to traffic bottlenecks,” said Liberman. “All of these [goals] will be improved; they will be safer because…experts will tell you the number one by far way of making train tracks safer is to reduce people’s access to [the tracks].”

Although Goldman felt the grade separation should have occurred 30 years ago, she noted that when she took office in 2012, there was not a consensus among Burlingame citizens. 

“There was a concern that if… you build a big wall that would separate the two sides of the city and the people living on the Carolan side…[would] feel very disconnected,” said Goldman. “It took a long time and a lot of work to get people to realize…we have to make a change; we have to do something good.”

Micheal Mallie, who owns the Broadway-adjacent Maverick Jack’s restaurant, has witnessed many accidents on the tracks and feels the project is a step in the right direction.

“When you see the damage that a train can do to a car, that immediately stops you in your tracks,” said Mallie. “You go; I hope that person got out of the car,’ because if they were still in that car, it’d be hard to see how anyone could get out of such a wreck.” 

Utility work is expected to begin in the fall of this year, with construction anticipated to last from 2025 to 2028.

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Brendan Gilmore, Staff Reporter
Brendan Gilmore is a sophomore at BHS and a first-year journalism student. He enjoys writing about relevant events and helping keep the community current on local happenings, leading him to journalism. This year, he plans to improve his writing and teamwork skills by working for the Burlingame B. Outside of school, he enjoys playing tennis, lifeguarding, boating, watersports, traveling, and hanging out with family and friends.
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