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Question: SMART went through and upgraded a lot of train crossings in the Santa Rosa area.  I am wondering about the crossing at Airport Boulevard.  It has not been upgraded, even though the one further north at Shiloh has.  Are they going to do this one, too, at some point?  It just seems odd that it has not been done. — Evelyn Reynolds, Santa Rosa

Answer: The railroad crossings east of Santa Rosa are not part of SMART’s Phase 1 construction. Due to the economic downturn, the passenger rail line was broken into two segments, with tracks moving north from Santa Rosa and south from San Rafael delayed until Phase 2 funding is available.

In Santa Rosa, that means the the track stops just south of Airport Blvd., where a maintenance facility will be built. Don’t expect the Airport crossing to be upgraded until Phase 2.

In the meantime, the town of Windsor has decided to upgrade the Shiloh Road crossing themselves, said SMART spokesman Matt Stevens. And at Fulton Road and Main Street in Penngrove, Sonoma County has gotten permits from SMART to repave the roads up to the rails later this fall, according to Tom O’Kane, the county Transportation and Public Works Department’s deputy director.

Here’s a map that makes it easier to understand the difference between Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects, as well as the stations that have already been approved. You’ll note that the Sonoma County Airport station is listed as “potential” and the North Petaluma station is listed as “planned,” which means neither is included in Phase 1.

Earlier this month, SMART moved one step closer to funding the final southern rail, linking San Rafael to the Larkspur Ferry and making it possible for transit riders to reach San Francisco without catching a bus. Here’s a Road Warrior post explaining the money and the goal.

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Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter @PDRoadWarrior.

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Comments

2 Comments

  1. Will

    This project will never work. Voters should have allowed BART to come north when they had the chance. This train will benefit no one.

    October 18th, 2013 12:19 pm

  2. Cara

    BART was never turned down In the North Bay because it was never in the ballot here.
    50 years ago Marin County was going to be part of the proposal to go to voters but the Golden Gate Bridge District didn’t want the competition and started bad mouthing the plan. Trains would have crossed the Golden Gate on a modified lower deck of the bridge.
    The Bridge District hired an engineer who published a report that it was not feasible even though others said that it was.
    If it went to a vote and Marin said “no” it could have jeopardized the whole project. BART proponents dropped Marin from the plan in fear of this,
    Don’t blame voters, blame the GG Bridge District.

    October 18th, 2013 6:09 pm

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