Mike Harvey concerned about station plansBy Christine Morente
Caltrain's plans to improve both the Broadway and Burlingame Avenue train stations may cause problems for the owner of auto dealerships next to both stations.
Mike Harvey, owner of both the Honda dealership near Burlingame Avenue and the Acura dealership off Broadway, isn't pleased with Caltrain engineers.
His principal complaint concerns Caltrain's proposal to close South Lane on both sides of the Burlingame Avenue train tracks, where people park near his Honda dealership. He also feels Caltrain hasn't worked with business owners in designing the projects.
"This is a complicated matter," Harvey said Tuesday night at a community meeting for the Broadway station project. "The least you can do is discuss plans with us. The city has received $1.2 million a year from us, and without any conversation about the project whatsoever, there's very little recourse to what I'm supposed to do. I might pursue litigation."
Brian Fitzpatrick, real estate department manager for the San Mateo County Transit District, said the exact purpose of the community meetings was to get business owners' input. A similar meeting on plans for renovating the Burlingame Avenue station was held last week.
Fitzpatrick told the small audience at the Burlingame Recreation Center that designs for the stations were in a very preliminary phase.
"It's legitimate public input that we're going to consider," he said.
One idea raised by Harvey was to combine the Broadway and Burlingame Avenue stations and put the single station on Oak Grove Avenue -- but that was quickly quashed by both Caltrain and Ross Bruce, president of Broadway's Business Improvement District.
It would take people away from Broadway and Burlingame Avenue businesses, Bruce said.
"There's no plan to put a station on Oak Grove Avenue," he said after the meeting. "People leave their homes and go down to Broadway and commute to their jobs. When they come back, they go back to Broadway and grab coffee or some wine for dinner. Those are important to Broadway residents, but most importantly to Broadway merchants. We have a transit village that each community is attempting to make itself into."
In September, Caltrain engineers will go back to the City Council to discuss the public comments collected at both meetings. Construction on the stations would begin next fall.
Plans for the Broadway station include making the platform conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Among other changes, the southbound platform would be extended, and new pedestrian crossing gates and a 5-foot-tall fence between the tracks and along the right-of-way would be added.
At the Burlingame Avenue station, the south lane would be closed and new platforms from the north lane to Howard Avenue would be extended. Pedestrian gates, signals and other amenities would be added, while a pedestrian crossing on Morrell Avenue would be improved.
The two improvement projects would cost about $6.9 million and would be paid for by Measure A money.
Copyright ©2004 San Mateo County Times. Published 08/05/2004.