Wednesday, January 04, 2006

More on Borello at Bascom

Borello at Bascom

VTA light rail and the Union Pacific railroad run parallel in this location. One of the things I did not mention in my previous blog entries is there is a sign at the intersection saying the "train" (I do not know if that applies to both the Union Pacific railroad and the VTA light rail) does not blow its horn at the railroad crossing. Coming eastbound from Borello (note some maps show this as Quail Hollow Drive, it is posted as both) an eastbound VTA train will be at about a 160 degree rear angle, to the far right rear, of an eastbound vehicle. This is commonly called the drivers "blind spot." According to a friend I spoke to who works for VTA, the light rail is going 45 mph as it approaches this intersection. Lacking a train horn warning, the first warning drivers who are looking to their left, over their left shoulder, to merge into oncoming traffic may get that a train is coming at them at 45 mph from the driver's blind spot, on the far right, is the gates coming down on top of, or behind, their car. There is a lot of traffic coming from two very different and difficult angles here. Remember, this is the main exit from a senor citizen mobile home park!

There is a stop sign on Borello, before the crossing gate but I believe there is a fence next to the tracks obstructing the view of any approaching VTA train. The line of site for cars merging onto southbound Bascom from eastbound Borello is such that you cannot see approaching southbound traffic on Bascom from Borello until you are on the tracks themselves, so you often are forced to stop on the tracks, potentially in the path of an oncoming train. A train, traveling at that rate of speed, with an electric motor and with steel wheels on steel rails runs very quiet and has a much longer stopping distance than even a bus which has rubber wheels on concrete.

Link to map with more details [Link.]

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