How is train noise near Atherton and Menlo Park stations? Is anything being done to abate the noise? What impact will HSR have on the areas nearby?

Asked by Csinvestor, San Francisco, CA Sun Jun 5, 2011

I am looking for feedback on train noise near the Atherton and Menlo Park stations? Is it unbearable? Has it increased, decreased, or stayed the same over the last few years? How much does it diminish property values in the immediate area? What, if anything, is being done to abate train noise in this corridor? If HSR goes through, what will the impact be on these areas?

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Marcy Moyer, Agent, San Ramon, CA
Mon Jun 6, 2011
I agree with a lot of what Arn says, with the exception of the homes right on the track.
The discount for those homes is greater than 10% and many simply do not sell. I also think that eventually HSR will be on the Peninsula, and that it will make things more quiet rather than louder. The uncertainty of what will happen with HSR is bringing the homes next to it down even further than CalTrain. It is for that reason that I think buying next to the tracks may be a good idea. I believe eventually the deep discount you get for that now will pay off as either it is not built, or it is built and it makes things better not worse as far as noise goes. Just my opinion.
Marcy Moyer
DRE 01191194
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Arn Cenedella, Agent, Greenville, SC
Mon Jun 6, 2011
Noise levels are a very personal thing. What is loud to one person is not loud to another.
So noise levels that may be unbearable to some, are not to others.
A tenant who has lived in a single family home I manage located in MP between and El Camino and the CalTrain tracks for 4 years recently told me, the CalTrain noise was overall not a big issue though he did say a freight train goes along the CalTrain tracks several times a week at about 1030PM and that the freight train is noisy.
I do not believe there are any efforts to reduce noise by CalTrain.
HSR is of course the $64M question.
Personally, I doubt it will ever be built down the Peninsula.
Just my opinion, I have no "inside" inforamtion one way or the other.
I have heard that HSR will actually be quieter than CalTrain as the HSR train is held magnetically to the tracks and that the wheels are rubber. I am no expert on this and you should do your own research.
In terms of property values, it is difficult to put an exact number on it, but my gut tells me 5% to 10%.

Good luck.
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