Keep the city's last department store
I have been reading about the possibility of a Los Altos charter school being built on the corner of California and Showers in Mountain View. That is a very high-traffic area for a school. Also, why a Los Altos charter school in Mountain View?
If they were to build where Kohl's is, we lose our last department store. My husband and I have lived in Mountain View for 65 years and shopped many local stores. On that corner there was Rhodes, then Mervyn's and now Kohl's.
Target and Walmart are in a different category. Present and future Mountain View residents will have to leave town to find a department store. I feel that a lot of people will be put at a disadvantage for a small number of charter-school children who should have a safer place to begin with.
Increase bike capacity
Multi-modal transportation is one part of the process to reduce vehicle miles traveled, congestion, emissions and other negative impacts associated with passenger, and especially single-passenger, vehicles. I take Caltrain with my bike every day to work and rely on Caltrain and my bike as my main modes of transportation to work. Any reduction in the bike capacity is ill-informed and should be suspect from the start; the presumption should be toward increasing bike capacity.
I California Street
I had a bike stolen on Caltrain around Sunnyvale on June 16, 2017, simply because I was not able to sit in the bike car to see it. Overcrowded bike cars demand regulations to allow bikers' sitting priority over passengers with no bikes. It's a simple and easy-to-implement rule to (1) reduce train delays, (2) deter bike thefts, and (3) promote eco-friendly commutes for generations to come.
VTA Measure B lawsuit
More than two years ago, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority's 12-member Board of Directors voted to place on the November 2016 ballot a countywide half-cent sales tax increase estimated to raise $6.3 billion over its 30-year duration. The measure authorized the VTA to borrow money against the revenue stream (by selling bonds) and seemed to promise that the money would be used for transportation projects across the county.
Desperate for traffic relief, 71 percent of voters (who voted) supported Measure B. It required two-thirds of the vote. But there was a quirk. The measure purports to authorize the VTA board (by 3/4 vote) to redirect the tax proceeds to virtually anything it chooses. For example, all of the money could be used to finish extending BART to Santa Clara or for other South County projects never even mentioned in the measure. This provision for shifting the use of funds seemed to run afoul of a state law (Government Code section 50075.1) which mandates, among other things, that every local special tax measure state or indicate its "specific purposes" and promise to use the money only for those "specified purposes."
The VTA had a history of advertising some plans (bait) and later using money mostly for higher salaries or South County (switch). That is why a former Saratoga City Councilwoman sued on January 9, 2016, to have Measure B declared invalid. The trial-level court sided with the VTA as did the Court of Appeal in San Jose (on October 18, 2018). I am the pro bono (no charge) attorney for the plaintiff-appellant in the case and will soon file a petition asking the California Supreme Court to address the legal issue created by the VTA' s switch provision. The Supreme Court only grants review to in one in 100 civil cases in which review is sought. So, while the case against Measure B could be over in two more months, the issue of whether North County will receive anything from the tax would continue for years to come.