Menlo Park Residents Urge Safety Changes After Fatal Crash at Train Crossing

Some Menlo Park residents are urging the city to fix what they call a dangerous train crossing.

The request comes after a train slammed into an SUV that was stopped on the tracks last week. The driver of the SUV was killed in the collision.

"We heard a loud noise, the building just shook and we stopped and said 'what was that?'" said Kristina Lemons, who works near where the fatal accident took place. "The feeling that I had two days after I saw that was too big not to do anything."

Residents and city officials gathered at a small cafe Monday night to discuss how to make the Ravenswood Avenue train crossing safer.

"The accident investigation isn't completed yet, so it's hard to determine what caused this accident," City Councilman Ray Mueller said. "But we know there's been a loss of life and tragedy here, so we want to look to see what we can do to make this safer."

Several ideas proposed Monday include grade separation, a pedestrian crossing bridge and a stop light at the train intersection.

Caltrain officials said last week's crash was the first fatal car collision at the intersection -- one too many for Lemons, who said she just wants change.

"I don't want to fight," Lemons said. "I want to bring everyone together and say we can do this."

City officials have scheduled another community meeting to discuss the matter on March 17.

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