Caltrain, San Bruno begin track-area cleanup project

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The city and Caltrain have started clearing out weeds and trash next to the train tracks, now that both parties have determined who is responsible for certain areas around First Avenue.

Residents implored Caltrain and the city at an August meeting to clear weeds and pick up trash of all sizes littering the train-track area, but officials were unsure then who owned the property in question.

Caltrain officials and San Bruno Parks and Facilities Services Manager Dave Perazzo attended the meeting at which residents such as Diane Martin and Tim Buckley complained about the weeds.

It turns out that both agencies are responsible for cleaning the area. The city of San Bruno is responsible for a small sliver of land 300 feet north of Angus Avenue; and another small sliver between Angus Avenue and the train station to the south. Caltrain owns most of the track area property and is responsible for cleaning an area ranging between 70 and 100 feet in width along the tracks, spokesman Jonah Weinberg said.

A section north of Pine Street has been on lease to the city from Caltrain since 1967, and both parties are set to determine who will take care of this area, according to Perazzo. The city will care for it in the meantime, he said.

Perazzo sent a letter dated Aug. 29 to residents in the area, saying that work will begin soon on the cleanup.

Maintenance staff from the city’s Parks and Recreation Department were trained last week on roadway worker protection, required by federal lawbefore they could work adjacent to the railroad tracks. Perazzo said the staff will continue to maintain the city’s property on a regular basis, including removing weeds and debris, trimming trees and sweeping the streets.

Weinberg said Caltrain isn’t doing anything different on their end, as the agency had crews cleaning the area before the resident complaints came in.

He reported that the Caltrain customer service log showed only two calls about garbage near the train tracks in 2005, and nothing thus far in 2006. The agency responded to both complaints, he said.

There are four full-time employees dedicated to weeding and cleaning the area around the 50 miles of track between San Francisco and San Jose and there isn’t much room in the budget to add more, Weinberg said.

tramroop@examiner.com

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