News

Public input sought on VTA's light rail project

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority will begin the second phase of a project to add a second set of light rail tracks in Mountain View in early 2015.

This new set of tracks would allow VTA to expand transit options between the Mountain View and Whisman Light Rail stations and better accommodate visitors to the new Levi's Stadium, which will open in August.

The first phase of the project is set to begin this summer and be completed by next fall. It involves extending the track by about 1,400 feet and connecting the track with a single track west of the Highway 85 overpass, among other minor changes.

The second phase will add the second set of tracks between the Mountain View and Whisman Light Rail Stations and remove the existing Evelyn station. Construction is set to be completed in late 2015.

The project also requires the removal of seven to 10 trees, both heritage and ornamental. Because the VTA is recognized as a special district, it is not required to comply with Mountain View's heritage tree ordinance, which states that any removed heritage trees must be replaced. However, it will still comply with the ordinance's intent and coordinate with the city arborist in order to replace the trees.

A study on the environmental effects of the project can be viewed on the VTA's website. Hard copies of the 184-page document are available at the Mountain View Public Library.

VTA will implement a stormwater pollution prevention plan before undergoing any ground-disturbing activities. Erosion and sediment control barriers will be set up between the work area and Stevens Creek. Catchment tarps, otherwise known as "bridge diapers" will be installed prior to bridge work activity in order to catch and remove construction debris.

No large nests were noticed in any neighboring trees or bushes while the area was surveyed. However, as birds and raptors could potentially nest in such areas, VTA has scheduled construction work to begin after nesting season, according to the study.

Anyone wishing to comment on the second phase of the project can do so at a public meeting on Thursday, May 22, at Mountain View City Hall Council Chambers from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Comments can be emailed to ire.initialstudy@vta.org or sent by mail to 3331 N. First Street, Building B2, San Jose, CA 95134.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 21, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Waste of money. This is the same VTA fat-cat bureaucracy that is going to install BUS-ONLY LANES on El Camino Real, It does not matter what makes sense or what the public wanrs. All voters can do is to note the names of the local politicians involved and make sure they do not reach the level of State Senator LELAND YEE before they are stopped.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2014 at 7:19 am

I hear people all the time clamoring for more and better public transit, but then they refuse to support or pay for any of the projects that would provide it. I guess they just want someone else to take care of it for them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 22, 2014 at 9:33 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@Donald -- It is not that we are not willing to pay for it, it is that we see hundreds of millions of our hard earned dollars going to fraud, waste and abuse; and then to add insult to injury, they don't even bother to listen to what the public wants. HSR and BRT lanes through Mountain View are perfect examples.

We want public transportation that is safe, comfortable, efficient, and relatively inexpensive. Right now, the system is none of these. I have been taking public transportation daily for the last two years and I'm sick of it. Next year, I'll be back in my car so I can get to my various destinations inexpensively in comfort and a reasonable amount of time.

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council
Web Link (Campaign Website)
info@electneal.org


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Murphy
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2014 at 9:43 am

I find it a sad state of affairs that this project is suddenly super important for ten 49ers games per year, but they could not get their act together to build the tracks out with 2 lines the whole way when the project was first being built - to the benefit of the daily commuters.

The Evelyn station will be missed - by all 3 people who use it per day.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2014 at 10:08 am

I don't see amything wrong with tracking improvements for efficiency for Levi Studium users. We need transit improvements for 24/7 use, not just rush hour use.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Jim Neal, BRT and HSR have nothing to do with each other. Lumping them together and saying "they" don't listen is overly simplistic. This article is about a public meeting. Will you be there to give "them" your opinion?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 22, 2014 at 12:57 pm

If you've ever missed your Caltrain connection at Mountain View while your light rail train waited at Whisman Station for the train in the opposite direction to come through, then you know how important this project is.

Yes, it may help serve 49ers games, but adding a second track will benefit commuters every day.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 22, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Upgrading Public Transportation sounds like a No-Brainer.

However, before I jump on the bandwagon I want to see a cost vs. benefit analysis.

Upgrading to improve Mountain View commuters may make sense.

Spending millions to keep Jedd York & Co. happy is a waste of taxpayer funds.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm

I'm all in favor of practical, useable mass transit. Unfortunately, that excludes VTA from having any hand in it.
And speaking of wasted money and bureuacratic idiocy...
How's that bike share program working out? The pages of the 'Voice' dripped with praise while it was in the concept stage, but now that it's operational, not one word. Every time I'm past the train station, I see a row of shiny new (meaning UNUSED) bikes. Since there seem to be so many available, VTA must consider this a glorious success.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mike
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm

I assumed that the light rail was rudimentary when first opened, with upgrades happening incrementally, which would eventually create a viable system. If improvements are not done, would not the whole concept/project/infrastructure be a waste of money?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2014 at 6:54 am

Bay Area Bike Share lists over 140,000 bike trips since they started last year. You can see all the data, even listed by city, at bayareabikeshare.com


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 23, 2014 at 9:42 am

Speaking of Bay Area Bike Share...

$8.7 million approved for an expansion of the bike share program which will provide 750 bikes in the East Bay. I think that's a unit cost of about $11,600 per bike.



Web Link

"The Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved $8.7 million in funding Wednesday morning to expand the Bay Area Bicycle Share program to the East Bay in 2015 despite delays in existing expansion plans caused by the bankruptcy of a key business.

An expansion of Bay Area Bike Share's existing program in San Francisco, San Jose, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City planned for this year has already been delayed because the manufacturer of the bikes and docking stations filed for bankruptcy, according to a spokesman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which has been overseeing the bike sharing program."

...snip...

"The Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved $8.7 million in funding Wednesday morning to expand the Bay Area Bicycle Share program to the East Bay in 2015 despite delays in existing expansion plans caused by the bankruptcy of a key business.

An expansion of Bay Area Bike Share's existing program in San Francisco, San Jose, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City planned for this year has already been delayed because the manufacturer of the bikes and docking stations filed for bankruptcy, according to a spokesman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which has been overseeing the bike sharing program."

...more...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2014 at 10:56 am

VTA light rails needs to be extended to the planned San Antonio Center developments. Don't see anything wrong building light rail near restaurants, theatres, shopping, hotels, bars, medical offices, car sharing or car rentals, train stations and bars.

Yes building light rail to the office is good too.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PaveItOverPlease
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 23, 2014 at 11:19 am

I agree with Garrett. We need to completely pave over Mountain View so we can save on greenhouse gasses. It's time to get out of the 50's and just turn this whole place into cement and concrete.

Did you know that the other day I saw a tree? What is going on here? On the Jetson's, there were no trees. Let's embrace the future!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Did you know Mountain View and the.rest of this valley was really prime farmland?

Personally I think it has already been paved over.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 23, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Remove Evelyn Station? This seems like a totally dumb and shortsighted maneuver. Considering how Downtown MV's population and activities are expanding, it would seem that we should be keeping Evelyn open and encouraging its use as an alternative, to reduce downtown traffic and parking congestion.


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