Caltrain erects fencing to boost safety on tracks

On the heels of two fatal incidents on the tracks, Caltrain this week stepped up its installation of high-security fencing at trespasser hot spots in San Mateo County. Crews this week began adding 3,875 feet of heavy-duty metal fencing from the south end of the Broadway station to Oak Grove Avenue in Burlingame. Another 150 feet of fencing is planned for the south side of the San Bruno station.

Caltrain has seen five deaths this year — two in the last two weeks, spokesman Jonah Weinberg confirmed. On Thursday, a pedestrian, whose name has not been disclosed, was killed after stepping in front of a northbound train near Alma Street in Palo Alto. A week earlier and four miles away, 21-year-old Sunnyvale resident Maria Nieblas was killed after a train struck her car at the East Meadow Drive crossing.

Last year, 17 people perished on the tracks. While the majority of them were suicides, unsafe shortcuts along the tracks led other victims to their deaths, Weinberg said. “People have grown up around the railroad and in some cases generations of families have taken these shortcuts. Now it’s a bigger deal because we have 96 trains going through during an average weekday. People aren’t taking seriously the risks to themselves,” Weinberg said.

The $7 million, multiyear project was planned last year. Once completed, it will provide more than 50,000 feet of fencing between San Francisco and San Jose and close gaps on existing fencing.

Dr. Paula Clayton, medical director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, applauded the project. “I think it’s really important that they’re doing this. I think it’s a great leap forward, not just a step,” she said. Studies have shown a decrease in suicides — particularly the impulsive kind more common in young males — when authorities restrict access to easy suicide spots, Clayton said.

tbarak@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A Recology employee stands at the comapany’s recycling facility on Pier 96 in 2016. (Jessica Christian/2016 S.F. Examiner)
Nuru scandal: Feds charge second former Recology executive with bribery

A second former Recology executive is facing charges for allegedly bribing ex-Public… Continue reading

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City College classes for English learners jeopardized by cutbacks

English learners and their supporters called for financial support from The City… Continue reading

Kiana Williams
Stanford’s Kiana Williams drafted by WNBA champion Seattle Storm

Kiana Williams is going from one championship team to another. A senior… Continue reading

Talika Fletcher, sister of Roger Allen, is consoled at a vigil to honor her brother, who was killed by Daly City Police on April 7, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supporters march for SF man killed by Daly City police

Struggle over fake gun ends in shooting of 44-year-old Roger Allen, DA says

Syd Mandelbaum created the home run tracker, which revolutionized statistics in major league sports. (Courtesy photo)
Home run tracker, with roots at Candlestick Park, marks 30 years

When Giants first baseman Brandon Belt slugged a solo home run in… Continue reading

Most Read