PALO ALTO (KCBS) – As Caltrain becomes electrified, sometime in 2019, the city is looking for ways to separate the train tracks from roadways, cars, bikes and pedestrians. One option is to place roads under the train tracks, but Mayor Nancy Shepherd says that would require the acquisition of over 30 parcels of land.

“As I look at this, as I look at the home takings, which are significant; they are completely reshaping our community in a way that none of us would ever have imagined,” Shepherd said.

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That’s why she supports another, more expensive, option: digging a trench for Caltrain, estimated to cost up to one-billion dollars.

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The city council decided to seek more public input on the trenching idea. Palo Alto resident Omar Chaddy encouraged the council to think outside the box with Caltrain.

“This is Silicon Valley. We innovate, we do create. We need to practice creative destruction with Caltrain and stop perpetuating this monster,” he said.

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Meanwhile, some residents have signed a petition calling on the city to establish a “quiet zone” in the downtown area, which would waive a requirement that train engineers blow their horns 15 seconds before crossings.