Dedicated to Sharing the Heritage of Redwood Empire Railroading
I really think it's great that SMART is getting this money to complete the segment to Larkspur. I have also noted in newspaper stories that a portion of the money will go to restore the Anderson grade crossing. If I remember correctly, when the City of San Rafael paved over the tracks they stated that if the rail was ever to be reinstated that they (the city) would remedy the situation to make the rails usable. Does anyone else remember this statement? I hope so as I feel that someone needs to make them own up to what they said. Thanks, Alan
I heard somewhere that San Rafael basically said they don't have the money, so if SMART wants the work done in within the next decade they have to do it themselves. I'll see if I can find the article again.
Arcata said the same thing... if... and only if... getting Arcata to fix that is going to be epic...
Per wikipedia " The cost to San Rafael of the Andersen Drive crossing of the Larkspur-San Rafael segment is significant. The street was extended by San Rafael in the mid-1990s to cross the tracks on a "temporary road". In July 1997, the California Public Utilities Commission told the city that by the time SMART planned to operate on the section, the city had to build and pay for a proper crossing. The estimated cost for that is now $6 million."
While they may not have a lump sum now, I'm sure a payment schedule can be set up, or a settlement reached.
I remember well when San Rafael built the Anderson Avenue extension over the ROW. SMART (IIRC) objected strenuously and the city said, "We'll pay for any necessary grade crossing work if and when the ROW is ever used again." San Rafael was banking on the fact that was never going to happen. I don't believe they ever set any funding aside to do such work. That was decades ago and now there is a whole new cast of characters on the city council who apparently don't feel politically bound by their predecessors' commitments. Be that as it may, the city's usurpation of the ROW is not consistent with the applicable laws. SMART is entirely entitled to simply resume use of its ROW. Unlike many other situations, there is no "eminent domain" or "constructive easement" principles applicable to railroad rights of way, which take priority over local roadways. In my estimation, San Rafael is blowing smoke if they think SMART is obligated to pay anything to accommodate their desire to keep their roadway over the ROW in operation. At best, San Rafael can hope for a compromise grade crossing there... at San Rafael's expense. If San Rafael doesn't have the money, then San Rafael won't have an Anderson Avenue extension anymore, or so it would seem.
Heh heh. Reminds me about the old saying 'sins of the father'.