Construction inconveniences CalTrain commuters

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Molly Donaldson

Construction alongside San Carlos train station complicates passenger commutes.

Molly Donaldson, Staff Writer

Daily train commuters are facing complications due to new building developments being constructed next to the San Carlos train station.

The developments will provide additional real estate opportunities in the form of multifamily housing and commercial space.  However, due to ongoing construction, the city was forced to make adjustments to the train station’s parking lot.

“That development goes down to the Depot Building. There’s going to be an office there, and because of that, they needed to relocate the parking lot,” said San Carlos Principal Planner Lisa Sanders.

Additionally, the project has been delayed several months due to complications with the state of California’s involvement.

“It was a bit delayed because they need to put a traffic light on Cherry,” said Sanders. “They needed a permit and ran into problems with the state because they own El Camino.”

The prolonged relocation of the parking lot has generated problems for the daily train commuters due to the distance  and price of the temporary parking lot. The parking situation also causes inconveniences to students who take the train to school.

“Parking is really far away and you have to climb hills to get to the train station,” said Design Tech High School sophomore and daily CalTrain rider Phoebe Rak.

Not only are the current parking lots for away but they are also more costly. The cost to park has gone up in the past year, from $55 a month to $83.

“It costs more to park [at the train station] than to park at work and buy a permit,” said Carlmont parent and daily commuter Lisa Trei. “Until about a year ago, we could park for free behind the station.”

The new housing complex will also add a number of people centralized around the station. In addition to the struggle to find affordable and convenient parking, a feeling of uncertainty affects daily commuters who worry about the new residents.

“We’re [commuters] all wondering what’s going to happen when people move into apartments,” said Trei.

While currently frustrated, commuters look forward to the end result and are willing to wait out the inconvenience for their ability to utilize the public transportation system. A new parking lot will be constructed, allowing commuters to park with ease.

“The construction looks really nice,” said Rak. “Public transportation is really important.”