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MV council to take new look at dedicated bus lanes

Original post made on Apr 20, 2015

In a decision that could drastically impact commuter traffic, Mountain View city leaders on Tuesday will consider a Santa Clara County proposal to dedicate roadway lanes of El Camino Real to be used solely for bus traffic.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 20, 2015, 1:21 PM

Comments (88)

Posted by How about 2 lanes...3?
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 1:39 pm

If I'm not mistaken, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale have already voted their disapproval for this idea. It's a loser of a plan. Hopefully MV will reach the same conclusion as those who have also looked at the plan and have already said No.


Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2015 at 1:54 pm

I oppose removing existing traffic lanes and replacing them with dedicated bus lanes because it will increase vehicle emissions by increasing motor vehicle congestion and encouraging drivers to divert onto local side streets. Excessive traffic on local side streets will irritate residents who will pressure cities into erecting traffic barriers which will force the traffic back onto a 2-lane El Camino which will no longer be able to adequately handle the traffic. Thus, if a lane is removed from El Camino, congestion will increase as cities take measures to discourage alternative routes.

VTA believes that people taking longer trips will use large roads, not neighborhood streets, or freeways like US101 or I-280. However, traffic congestion has become very bad in Santa Clara County in recent years and the major roads, expressways and freeways are now all congested. Adding more traffic to these roads will just make this congestion worse and increase emissions.

On its web page, VTA dismissed the sentiment that “the cities along the El Camino Real corridor voted down the project but VTA will not take no for an answer” as a myth while admitting that “some cities opposed a design option that included dedicated lanes, not the project in its entirety, which helped shape the scope of the environmental analysis currently underway.” I would like to remind VTA staff that most members of the general public are not aware of the arcane points of environmental studies. Thus when a city opposes dedicated lanes and yet the concept returns shortly thereafter, it appears to a lay person that VTA is not taking “no” for an answer. Rightly or wrongly, this reinforces the “myth” that VTA will do whatever it wants on El Camino.


Posted by Glenn Meier
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 20, 2015 at 2:27 pm

VTA has for decades now come up with ideas that end up failing. I remember when they first started operating the bus system you could call them and arrange a pickup at your home and they then took you where you wanted to go. It was like a taxi service only they sent out a full size bus. The tax money VTA collects is largely 'thrown down a rat hole'. The light rail is a failure. The bus system does provide shelter for homeless when the weather is bad. Bart may well be a winner.


Posted by Bus Advocate
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 20, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Mountain View is an affluent peninsula city and many of it's residents prefer to drive their cars (which they can easily afford). The main arguments against the dedicated lane BRT proposals are that:

a) it will greatly increase traffic on side streets.
b) the dedicated lane will not greatly decrease commute time between sj and north county
c) if people want to travel from south santa clara to the north, then they can take caltrain

Issue a) is easily dispensed with. The VTA commissioned a study to show impacts on alternative routes. Only a couple areas were significantly impacted. Most of the route showed a very small increase and some showed a decrease. What people forget is that it is not transit systems that are causing the big increase in congestion, but the massive uptick in development and density. The same people that are screaming for more housing and more office space, but are dismissing the BRT project need to take a long look in the mirror and realize they are part of the problem and not the solution.

Issue b) is also easily dispensed with. It reduces a 70 minute bus ride down to 35 minutes across the entire route of San Jose to Palo Alto. This makes taking the bus so attractive now. Ridership is going to skyrocket, which will take automobiles off the road.

Issue c) The CalTrain alternative. This is why we have government at the county level. They can see the big picture and develop solutions that will also help people outside of the wealthy peninsula cities. Let's examine the CalTrain scenario in detail through an example:

How can people living in San Jose (say near Eastridge mall) get to their minimum wage job at BMW of Mountain View by 9am on a weekday through public transit. The current options are:

1. VTA Bus: 95 minutes EACH WAY

2. CalTrain:
a) Bus to San Jose Diridon Station: 54 minutes.
b) Transfer to Train to CalTrain MV: 17 minutes
c) Transfer to Bus to El Camino & Castro 5 minutes
d) Transfer to Bus to near BMW of Mountain View: 3 minutes
TOTAL Trip Time: 79 minutes + walking time + xfer waiting time + traffic delays

So, with the current situation, the easiest is to walk over to the Eastridge Transit Center and board a bus and get off in Mountain View. It is a 95 minute bus ride, but does not require three transfers, all the waiting that comes with transferring and none of the risk, aside from the automobile caused gridlock.

If we go with the idea to use CalTrain, then we're talking about an hour long bus ride and then THREE transfers to train-->bus-->bus to get a theoretical 79 minute transit time.

Now, with BRT dedicated lane, the rider will only have to board a train and within 30 minutes will be at their destination. That is far better than today with the currently bus option or "Moron Not"'s idea of foolishly utilizing CalTrain.

It's that simple. Getting people across the county quickly and efficiently. That's what the VTA BRT dedicated lane is all about.

I'm glad that we have VTA advocating for most of the Valley's residents and not just the wealthy. Can't wait for BRT to be launched!


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm

@Bus Advocate

The VTA commissioned a study to show impacts on alternative routes.


Gimme a break! Don't you think that the results were per-ordainded.
Every consulting firm wants to be called back. If you provide the wrong answer, you don't get another contract.

Only a couple areas were significantly impacted. Most of the route showed a very small increase and some showed a decrease.

If VTA replaces 1 of 3 lanes, the 33-1/3% of traffic has to go somewhere. Sure, some few will transfer to VTA instead of driving, However, the majority, including myself, will use Waze to navigate around the increased ECR congestion. Even now, WAZE frequently directs me to side streets instead of congested ECR.

I don't like using side streets but our City Council pushes more and more develoment along ECR, which eans more and more traffic along ECR.


Posted by glenn Meier
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Bus Advocate uses an old technique of argument. Create a straw man and then destroy it.


Posted by KB
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 20, 2015 at 3:14 pm

@ Bus Advocate

1) I've read the VTA traffic study and it involves an awful lot of hand-waving and numerical estimates seemingly pulled from thin air. I cannot take that study at face value and neither should anyone else.

2) Your example commute is a really convenient example of one exact route that improves greatly with this plan (assuming VTA time estimates turn out to be true). For someone who both lives and works along the new bus corridor, this plan would be great. But for anyone living or working *anywhere* else that requires a significant walk, drive or number of bus transfers to even get to or from the shiny, new El Camino super-bus, the improvement is minimal if not non-existent. You say ridership is going to sky-rocket, after commuters drop their cars in favor of this new bus. But if I, for example, were to ride the bus instead of drive (my gas efficient subcompact), from my home, located nearly a half mile from a bus stop (and not an El Camino one), to an area of Sunnyvale *also* not closely serviced by a bus stop, my commute would increase in distance and cost and increase significantly in the time required and the amount of walking to and from bus stops (which not everyone is physically capable of doing). I fail to see much upside for anyone who does not both live and work in the immediate vicinity of opposite ends of the corridor and who already takes or wants to take the bus.



I'll be the first to agree that we need to improve public transportation infrastructure across the bay area (and the state and country at large), but this VTA plan for newly dedicated lanes is *not* going to solve our traffic woes.


Posted by OldMV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 20, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Palo Alto has proposed a compromise plan that keeps all three lanes of traffic each way. This minimally invasive plan makes it easier for buses to use the OUTER lanes of El Camino with minimal disruption to other vehicular and bicycle traffic. I most humbly suggest that the MV City Council analyze PA's plan first and avoid the horrible plan being pushed by the bubbleheaded bureaucrats of Santa Clara County.


Posted by Richard
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 20, 2015 at 3:38 pm

@Bus Advocate: "Now, with BRT dedicated lane, the rider will only have to board a train and within 30 minutes will be at their destination."

What train will this person board? This person will actually need to ride a bus to the San Jose Arena and then transfer to the El Camino BRT. Then they will have to get off at Bernardo and transfer to bus #22 since there is no proposed BRT stop near Grant Road.

The dedicated lane starts in Santa Clara so the benefit to this person is that the bus will go 9.8 mph faster from Lafayette Street in Santa Clara to Bernardo in Sunnyvale. During rush hour, that saves about 16 minutes which is certainly noticeable but not over 65 minutes like you say.

Your 30 minute estimate seems to be constructed from thin air and not from the data that VTA presented in their Environmental Impact Report. I think that bus's are awesome, too. However, just because you and I like the bus and just because they're spending $233 million doesn't mean that this particular bus proposal is everything we dream of.


Posted by Richard
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 20, 2015 at 3:43 pm

@OldMV: There are 7 alternatives. One of them stops the dedicated lane at Showers so Palo Alto is happy but Mountain View isn't. One stops at 85 so (most of) Mountain View is happy but Sunnyvale isn't.


Posted by Bus Advocate
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 20, 2015 at 4:31 pm

It seems the people who contradict my statements can be lumped into three camps:

1) Conspiracy Theorists: Those who believe that the traffic study is corrupt and should not be trusted. That the VTA is trying to pull a fast one and deliberately tie up traffic on El Camino.

2) NIMBY's: Those who say they like the idea, but NOT IN MY BACKYARD. So, as was pointed out, Sunnyvale is happy to have Santa Clara do a dedicated lane, Mountain View is happy to have Sunnyvale have one. And Palo Alto is, surprise, "damn all!"

3) Selfish: Those who have expensive automobiles (green or otherwise), already have an optimal commute or simply would never deign to ride a public bus (classist).

4) Reasonable people with good points: These are few and far between, but I'll try to address their points.

@Richard: You wrote, "Then they will have to get off at Bernardo and transfer to bus #22 since there is no proposed BRT stop near Grant Road."

Actually, there is one at Castro, which is a 10-15 minute walk. Not a big deal. Got a bike? Then just a few minutes.

"What train will this person board? This person will actually need to ride a bus to the San Jose Arena and then transfer to the El Camino BRT."

Whoops! Not a train, but a bus. It's called the 522. Today, you can pick it up at the Eastridge Mall transit center and ride it all the way up! Unfortunately, due to the automobile congestion (which is made up of primarily one driver in a vehicle), it's up to a two hour ride, but after the dedicated lane BRT project, will drop down to 30-40 minutes.

Guess what? This project will not resolve every single transportation problem in Santa Clara County. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. If you have an alternative that will allow fast and efficient bus service along El Camino that does not require the users to be wealthy, please suggest it. For now, this is the best option we have.


Posted by How about 2 lanes...3?
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 4:35 pm

I would imagine with all the efforts being done and money being spent by the VTA to cram this idea down our throats, paying someone to post on message boards about how great the plan is would be a likely strategy as part of the complete marketing package.
See if you can spot them.
Let common sense reign.


Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 20, 2015 at 4:51 pm

True is a registered user.

Glad to hear the council is revisiting this.

This plan is utterly and completely absurd and should go no further than the nearest trash bin.


Posted by I like Options
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:01 pm

I like the idea of BRT. It's the direction we need to move in if we are to handle the increasing traffic that frustrates everyone. Providing a viable bus option which will also increase safety for bike riders and pedestrians will encourage more people to take this option who don't today simply because the bus currently takes too long. Having a bus ride be competitive with driving actually opens this up as an option for many who won't ride the bus today. Providing safe bike and pedestrian routes, with more midblock crosswalks will make it easier to walk or ride to nearby shops and unnecessary to pull your car out every time you want to visit one of the shops along the corridor. Air quality will improve. And all the sections of society that currently waste their day on the bus because they have no choice will feel less angst. The elderly, the disabled, the people of colour, the poor, the students, the very young, and those who genuinely dislike driving. All these people need other options to be viable.

So let's have these options become viable. And then let people choose how they want to get around. You may be surprised by how many choose not to drive. Enhancing public transport has been done by so many countries to the advantage of their people, relieving major traffic congestion, and increasing business due to increased foot-traffic, browsing and window shopping. 'Innovative Silicon Valley' has been at the forefront of so much progressive change. It's only right we take on the same open, sensible and creative outlook towards our traffic problems.


Posted by Great suggestions!
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:02 pm

It's wonderful to hear all the great suggestions for improving county-wide bus service along El Camino. Oh, wait. The only constructive suggestions are coming from our transit agency.


Posted by Aila
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:04 pm

I value less commute time like anyone else and also am concerned about traffic diversion...but the truth is that Mountain View is growing at an astronomical rate and with more development and business growth coupled with less affordable housing, we are going to have an every-growing traffic problem. If we don't find proactive ways to increase public transportation usage (meaning that it is convenient, if not expeditious, to commute via public transportation instead of individual cars) then we will be facing unbearable congestion in this area and by then, it will be VERY difficult to implement a plan like BRT.

As I see it, we can either deal with the traffic issues (divergent traffic, congestion) now for the short-term but increase use of mass transit and keep traffic under control in the long-term, or we can do nothing and watch a steady increase with traffic issues and no real alternative for commuters.

BRT project has my support.


Posted by Geek
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Geek is a registered user.

Web Link

Daily Ridership within Project Corridor (Rapid 522 + Local 22) is 12,512 riders.
Average daily traffic along the El Camino Real portion of the Project corridor is 36,500 to 52,600 vehicles per day.
Even without considering that a lot of cars are carrying more than one person this project actually hurts 4 times more people than it benefits.


Posted by @Geek
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:12 pm

"Even without considering that a lot of cars are carrying more than one person this project actually hurts 4 times more people than it benefits. "

Geek--read the study. It MASSIVELY helps public transit users reducing a 90-120 minute commute down to 30-40 minutes, while only delaying car traffic a max of 4-5 minutes at peak AND only if the car drives the entire time. According to the anti-bussers on this forum, people only jump on and off El Camino for short periods of time, so by their very own admission, the cost to auto users would be negligible).


Posted by Konrasd M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:18 pm

The real solution is being developed by Google, general Motors, Ford, Tesla, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, and more. Predictions for an on-sale self-driving car on the order of two to five years, or 2017 to 2020.

In our lifetime, we will see the end of buses, except for those on display in museums.


Posted by Konrasd M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:28 pm

@Geek,

If you believe the VTA report that BRT will only delay car traffic a max of 4-5 minutes at peak, I have a bridge to sell you!

Have you ever been on ECR when a lane was closed due to construction or an accident? Did you notice how the traffic backs up? Those of us who drive on ECR have experienced these backups of much longer than 4 - 5 minutes.


Posted by KB
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:30 pm

@Bus Advocate,

The fact that you dismiss those arguments that you don't like with ad hominem attacks and additional straw man arguments does not lend your position credence.

Not everyone who reads a study that lacks evidence and decides that the study's findings are unsupported is a conspiracy theorist. Not everyone who has a car has an expensive one. Not everyone with a car is wealthy, nor would being 'wealthy', which is an interesting and sticky term in a place like the Bay Area with cost of living as high as it is, make someone unqualified to speak on this topic. Although I must commend you on your attempt to discredit your detractors that way, and position yourself as some champion of the marginalized and disadvantaged. ("What *would* the elitist, wealthy 1% of affluent Mountain View have to say about this? Of course *they* would be against it") See? I can write your posts for you.

You have not actually addressed the arguments at hand, only dismissed them as not worthy of your time. There will be significant sacrifices made by those who would not directly benefit from this project, a far larger group than those who would benefit, (and not as delineated by tax bracket as your faux-populist ravings would try to persuade us). Until you can come up with actual evidence that those concessions would have a positive and demonstrative effect on this promised 'sky-rocketing' bus ridership and currently unmitigated traffic disaster, or present reasons why less costly and invasive alternatives, such as the lane-sharing proposals currently on the table are *not* valid, I will continue to find your arguments lacking.

Good day, sir.


Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:31 pm

Bus Lanes work in other places (countries) where there are a lot of buses. Not only city buses, but tour buses, long distance buses (greyhounds) airport shuttles, etc. If we had a lot of this type of traffic on ECR, it would make sense. The point is, we do not.

Unless of course we are going to have fleets of corporate buses, Google buses, Apple buses, Facebook buses, etc. that are not available for use by the general public.

Perhaps now is the time to rethink corporate buses and get some along the lines of the Marguerite that Joe Public can use rather than the homeless who ride them overnight for somewhere to sleep.


Posted by Ad hominem?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:41 pm

Seriously? Can you not feel the hatred pouring out from the anti-bus mafia? The last poster is equating this project as only helping the homeless, as if even that flawed interpretation would be so terrible?

This is class warfare at it's most basic form. Look around the country and you will see similar discussions going on between solutions that suburban, middle-class (and up) want vs the less fortunate. Is this REALLY a co-incidence???? Please!


Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 6:23 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

At the last MV Council meeting I attended, the main BRT advocate was a VTA union representative, which may suggest why this issue will not die. If you are skeptical about transportation unions putting themselves above the average commuter, look no further than the BART unions, which think nothing of throwing the entire Bay Area into chaos.

As for El Camino Real, it has always been, and will continue to be a main commute artery, ever since the first stage coach company set up shop more than 150 years ago. Let's acknowledge this, and begin planning for a world class underground transportation system beneath El Camino Real, rather than wasting time and money on superficial band aids like BRT. It's embarrassing.


Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2015 at 6:29 pm

Seriously??????

You think I am anti bus?

Reread my post. I am actually advocating the improvement of bus systems that would be better than what we have at present (which is pretty pathetic and mainly provides all night shelter for the homeless).

When the bus traffic is improved to such an extent that a bus lane makes sense, then I would be for it. At present, the bus traffic is not of high enough volume to make this worthwhile. First provide a need, then the solution. Don't provide a solution to a need that is not there yet.


Posted by @PA Resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 7:44 pm

522 route has standing only buses, even though it takes a long time waiting behind all the cars clogging up the roads. When riders commutes get cut IN HALF, the word will go out and ridership will increase. So, the need IS THERE.

It sounds like you hate the homeless, which is sad... :(.


Posted by W-Park Dude
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Go stand along El Camino between Rengstorff and Sylvan, especially in the Sunnyvale direction, between 3 and 8 PM and tell us how you are going to accomplish this.


Posted by Rose
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2015 at 9:05 pm

I would LOVE to hope on BRT and go to Mtn View to enjoy one of the many great restaurants, bookstores, or unique shops. But I'm not going to waste time, gas and make air pollution to shop in a neighboring community. I'd also love to hop on BRT to get close enough to make an easy transfer to SJC--what a concept--fast and cheap airport transportation! We have to wake up. If we don't have the courage to change, traffic and parking will only get worse--MUCH worse. I'm ready to get out of my car and hop on for a fast and relaxing bus ride. Twentyfirst Century, here we come.


Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2015 at 9:20 pm

First I am accused of being anti bus. Now you accuse me of anti homeless.

There is no reason why the homeless should not ride the bus all night if that is their best and safest way of a night's sleep.

I am just saying that improving bus transportation is what is needed. Yes I know some bus routes are busy some of the time. There is definite room for huge improvements.

Get the luxury buses to SFO and SJC. Get a better system of Caltrain/VTA transfers with one ticket and one fare. Become a system that our high tech workers will use. They use Google buses because they meet their needs. For those high tech workers who work where there is no Google bus, they need a luxury option too, comfortable buses, stopping at sensible stops near park and ride lots and high tech destinations, wifi, pull down lap top desks, charging stations, etc. etc.

Let's make this work.


Posted by Disgusting
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 20, 2015 at 9:33 pm

This PA resident makes me sick. He wants the county to spend hundreds of millions of dollars shuttling Google employees around in "luxury buses" (his own words!). Sorry, but that is definitely NOT the problem to solve.

What else can we expect from a PA resident. Did you know that they have a public park that is OFF LIMITS to Mountain View residents!?

El Camino is geidlocked thanks to the glut of automobiles. Take a peek at rush hour. The vast majority of cars just have one person in them! Look at the buses. They have lots of people in them! So, buses along that route are more space efficient than cars and use less gas.

This is really a no-brainer unless you are opposed to the project on some other grounds. (Class, race, homeless, citizenship status,...)


Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 9:41 pm

The VTA matter is last on the agenda. It may not come up before 9 pm. Go to the agenda item online at the city's website and you will find a 13-page January 2, 2015 letter from Mountain View Mayor (or really city staff) to the VTA which explains why the draft EIR is a shame.


Posted by AC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 9:41 pm

Once again the report said a BRT bus passing through say Mathilda will only delay the cars 3.5 min. is FLAWED.

The time is only the FIRST CAR in line, the traffic behind it will have stopped with another 100s of other cars and the times for them to start and pass through was not made. Perform this every 10 min and the jam can be huge.

Eastridge is about 22 miles to the BMW shop 22 miles in 30 min = ave speed of 44 mph. This time assumes no stopping to pick up passengers which was the purpose of the bus in the first place.

Don't get me started on going to PA to SJ in 35 min. >65mph on ElCamino?


Posted by Huh?
a resident of Jackson Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 10:01 pm

"Once again the report said a BRT bus passing through say Mathilda will only delay the cars 3.5 min. is FLAWED. The time is only the FIRST CAR in line, the traffic behind it will have stopped with another 100s of other cars and the times for them to start and pass through was not made."

Uhhhh.... What are you talking about? This is for each and every car moving along El Camino. I'm sure you are not a traffic engineer, but I would hope that you would have studied some mathematics or physics somewhere along the way.


Posted by B Minkin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 21, 2015 at 1:55 am

That traffic study cannot be right. There's no way that removing a lane will have such trivial impact. You can see major congestion when one lane gets blocked only briefly.

Those cars will end up somewhere. Some on a residential side street, some on Middle field, but most of them well be in a very long line on El Camino.

The traffic experts in the city staffs have it right. This will cause big problems for many people, and well benefit comparatively few.


Posted by How about 2 lanes...3?
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 21, 2015 at 6:59 am

How many cars will be reduced on ECR in MV if a dedicated lane is given to VTA?
Give me a percentage or a number.

If the question cannot be answered with a direct number, it would be expected that traffic would gridlock for the vast majority. ECR is already jammed. Take a lane away WITHOUT solid data on how many cars will be REMOVED means there is no reliable data, and ECR will likely end up as the worst parking lot in the area...all up and down ECR. But hey, the fry cook commuting from Gilroy can sleep an extra 1/2 hour in the morning...great for the entire community right?

So, if VTA stakes claim to 1/3rd of ECR, hat happens if traffic is not decreased by 1/3rd. A chimp would know it will equate to gridlock.
Dumb idea with a few straw graspers trying to tell everyone how great it is.


Posted by How about 2 lanes...3?
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 21, 2015 at 7:05 am

Also, for every person that says "Hey, I can ride VTA to enjoy MV now,there will be many MANY more who say "We could go to MV, but the traffic is so bad, lets not" Lose/lose for MV. That's probably why the idea has been soundly rejected in the other cities.


Posted by rainbow38
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 21, 2015 at 8:07 am

I've already written extensively about how bad this would be and why - memos were sent to the VTA and the Mt. View Council members and many other people. In sum, given the current gridlock on El Camino at San Antonio Rd, the Grant Rd/237 junction and the entrances/exits to/from 85, the lack of side streets in Mountain View that are parallel to El Camino, and the current difficulties entering/exiting the strip mall between 85 and Grant Rd, a dedicated bus lane is definitely not a good idea for Mountain View.


Posted by Parent
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 21, 2015 at 8:09 am

No working parent with a child would ever use this system. Say I live in Sunnyvale and work in Palo Alto and my child becomes ill in the middle of the day. I leave work in Palo Alto get on the bus get to Sunnyvale get my child who is sick and screaming their head off. I get back on the bus with said child and go back to Mountain View. Get off the bus and what walk to El Camino hospital?

Because we got rid of the cars we no longer need?


Posted by Parent in Palo Alto
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2015 at 10:31 am

I am in full support of BRT, for several reasons:
1- BRT projects are good for business. In every city where they have been implemented, local retail sales go up.
2- BRT would make ECR safer. Fewer cars (because, yes, when the bus becomes a viable option, people will take it - I promise - this is what happens) mean fewer car accidents. Buffered bike lanes would make it possible to bike safely on ECR. Shorter crosswalks and wider sidewalks would make it safer for pedestrians.
3- BRT will improve congestion. Traffic is like a gas - not a liquid. When you reduce lanes, traffic goes down. This feels counter-intuitive but is backed up by transit data from many years of research. Without BRT, traffic will continue to get much worse.
4- BRT gives us all the freedom to choose. Right now, there is no choice - just cars cars & more cars.
5- BRT is FREE. We have all paid in to the fund that would pay for it - and this is the only project proposed to spend those $$ in north SC County.
6- BRT offers hope for the future. Even without reasons 1-5, we need to do everything we can to lower our emissions ASAP. Wake up and smell the melting ice-caps.


Posted by Choice
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2015 at 10:43 am

Why do we have traffic? Maybe it's because we build parking lots everywhere and make parking free in places like downtown Mountain View. Maybe it's because we've designed our transportation network to prioritize automobiles and force transit users to spend 2-4 times as long accessing the same destination as driving. Maybe it's because many peninsula cities have historically allowed for unlimited employment growth but shunned housing for their workforce, forcing the vast majority of workers to find housing elsewhere and commute to work by auto since regional public transit connections are lacking.

That's why we're stuck in traffic, and traffic is only going to get worse if we follow the same recipe or do nothing. BRT will provide a real option for many people, including the increasing senior population and the millennial generation that is eager to live and work in more transit-friendly environments.

One might say that mixed flow BRT is a good compromise between the status quo and those that want to see improvements to the bus system. Here's the problem: with increasing traffic congestion, mixed flow BRT will be stuck in even more traffic and will travel slower than today's 522 bus line during the peak hour. This is not a solution and doesn't even qualify as a band-aid fix.

Dedicated lane BRT on the other hand will cut travel times in half and make taking the bus faster than driving with relatively minor inconveniences for auto users. This would be the first time in our lifetimes that such an effective transportation project will be built in Mountain View.

When we make transit fast, comfortable, and reliable people will flock to the new service just as Caltrain ridership doubled when the baby bullet service was introduced just a few years ago. Check out the Los Angeles County Orange Line BRT, where ridership is bursting at the seams even with three minute frequencies. Ridership has far exceeded the expectations of the transit agency that they are now planning for a potential conversion to rail!


Posted by How about 2 lanes...3?
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 21, 2015 at 10:51 am

Unless 30% of all drivers who use ECR stop taking ECR, traffic will be worse.
Does anyone see 1/3rd of current all ECR user taking the bus instead of driving?
This is VTA grasping at straws. Most drivers on ECR are using it as a means to get to another corridor. NONE of those drivers are going away, but 3) of the lanes they would use are. Simple math for a smart area. We'll come up with the right decision just like SV and PA did. Too much common sense to see it any other way.


Posted by How about 2 lanes...3?
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 21, 2015 at 10:52 am

meant "but 30% of the lanes they would use are"


Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 21, 2015 at 12:28 pm

True is a registered user.

Ok, lemme get this straight.

We are going to build a ton of high density housing along ECR. Each of those dwellings IS going to come with one or more cars (no mater your fantasies to the contrary). Then we are going to reduce the traffic capacity of ECR by 1/3.

The premise being that it will magically make the buses run faster (I don't care) and encourage more people to ride them which is a fantasy since most ECR traffic is using ECR as a conduit to other arteries.

The reality here is that VTA is a failed endeavor. It's leadership has created this boondoggle wherein YOU will pay to create your own traffic misery (because you aren't going to ride the bus either way) all in the name of propping up the dysfunctional money pit that is VTA.

Those who support this are (if they aren't VTA employees shilling), on a level, imagining lots and lots of their neighbors parking their cars and taking the bus thus enabling THEM an easy-breezy commute in their car which they have no intention of parking.

You aren't about to give up your car and guess what...neither is your neighbor. You'll both be sitting. Stopped. On ECR and wondering why that freaking bus is empty....just like it was before you paid for that stupid bus only lane.


Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Hope they build BRT but here are some ideas.

Caltrain is working on Caltrain separation, so when done Central Expressway travel time will improve overall. So get the grade separation done then improve Central Expressway by building interchanges.

Build bike routes or build a bike routing system over a phone or iwatch. The best way to get somewhere without using El Camino.

@Parent. If you need to get somewhere fast and you don't have a car. Uber, Taxi or rent/share a car. Sometimes I ask people for a ride and if a true emergency I am sure people will jump at your request.

BRT is cheaper then building a new highway to San Jose plus no land unless we want to enmient domain neighborhoods.


Posted by Greg
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 21, 2015 at 1:17 pm

A bus every 10 minutes during rush hour in a dedicated lane would mean one bus every 3 miles. The rest of the lane space goes unused. Cross traffic will try avoid avoid waiting to cross El Camino, and traffic in the remiaing 2 lanes on El Camino will divert to other street when El Camino traffic slows to a near standstill. This plan to seize lanes may be good for the VTA and its employees and pensioners (and construction companies to be hired) - but it is bad for transportation and the public.


Posted by Same Old Story
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 21, 2015 at 2:21 pm

This is a horrible idea (as deliberated here multiple times in the past 1-2 years). This is not an anti-public transit argument. There simply aren't connections to get people where they need to come/go. (Go into any route-finding software and type in your start-point & destination...ask for the public transit route...the journey will be 3-5x longer than car).

The current buses are virtually empty. Arguments about this being good for the elderly are silly...unless the elderly are living (and going) to an address precisely on El Camino. Even VTA with a vested interest only claims an addition 4,000 trips (2,000 each way) under its best case scenario.

And, don't forget...the VTA plan adds something like 6 more lighted intersections on El Camino Real in Mountain View. What will that do to congestion? BRUTAL!

PS - The "bulb-out" option is nearly as bad, as it mucks up traffic in one lane by having the bus stop jut out into the lane. Why not a "bulb-in"?

PPS - Instead of beating a dead horse, it would've been nice if VTA had spent the past 2 years addressing feedback, and strategizing a framework that really would incentivize people to use public transit.

PPPS - I was thrilled when Google introduced community shuttles. I wish the routes were more openly publicized. The buses I've seen have been fairly empty.


Posted by rainbow38
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 21, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Here's a complete copy of what I previously wrote and sent to VTA and the Mountain View Council members:

Proposed BRT on El Camino Real Will Create Dangerous Driving Situation

In addition to my original comments previously sent (see below), this is to emphasize an already challenging and dangerous driving situation.

Within a short distance in Mountain View, two freeways enter/exit onto El Camino Real. It's already very difficult to exit Sahara Mobile Village and the adjacent shopping center due to the gridlock on both El Camino and Grant Rd and there are no other options. Entering the shopping center and
especially Sahara Mobile Village since its entrance is so close to the entrance to SB 85 is particularly dangerous since some drivers are speeding up to enter the freeway while others are slowing down to enter the shopping center and Sahara. Exiting NB and SB 85 will become more difficult and result in backups on both freeway ramps. The lack of streets parallel to El Camino in this area makes the situation even worse.

The only relatively safe option is mixed flow lanes.
________________________________________________________________________________________________
Most of the proposed "improvements" or "enhancements" create more problems than they 're designed to solve.

Issues regarding dedicated lanes next to the medians:
1. Would require that the medians be widened significantly for the BRT stations and to meet the needs of people using wheelchairs, strollers and shopping carts;
2. May require the removal of greenery and trees which is not desirable;
3. Would probably require there be no parking on El Camino Real which would impact businesses that have little or no parking;
4. Traffic going by on both sides of the median would create a safety issue, especially for someone traveling with several children;
5. Since the doors to enter/exit buses are on the right side of the bus, it seems new buses with doors on the left side would be needed;
6. Making left hand turns may be problematic unless drivers can use the dedicated lane for turns;
7. Some cities will elect not to have dedicated lanes which will increase the number of lane changes needed to navigate El Camino Real and increase the risk of accidents.

More issues to consider:
The current gridlock on El Camino Real, especially at Rengstorff Ave., Castro St. and the Grant Rd./237 intersections, and at the entrances/exits of the 85 freeway,
The lack of streets parallel to El Camino Real, particularly on the west side of Mountain View,
The location of the north and south entries and exits for the 85 freeway,
The new law mandating a 3 foot distance between cars and bicycles,
The number of housing and business projects planned along El Camino Real, and
The location of El Camino Hospital and the Fire Station on Grant Rd.

If the aim is to improve traffic flow by increasing bus use and reducing car use, it's important to recognize that this isn't workable when:
People need to get to multiple locations at specific times or within a given amount of time,
People need to get to or live at locations that are not near the bus line,
People need their cars for use at work, and
The bus doesn't run on a schedule that's compatible with people's schedules.

Conclusion:
Based on all of the above, there should be NO reduction in the number of lanes, narrowing of lanes, bulb-outs for bus stops, or any other change that would increase the number of lane changes needed and further impede the flow of traffic, including emergency vehicles, on Mountain View's approximately
four miles of El Camino Real.

El Camino is a main traffic artery that should not become an obstacle course.

Since whatever is decided will affect many people, this should be voted on by the public in Santa Clara County. BRT, if implemented, should operate-only in mixed-flow lanes with enhanced bus stations.

N B: I recently used the bus on a Tuesday at 1 pm to travel 1 1/2 miles. The wait was more than 10 minutes and there were only six people on the bus. The evident lack of use would make implementation of the proposed BRT questionable at best.


Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 21, 2015 at 2:57 pm

I'd like to welcome writer Mark Noack, who seems to've now shouldered a good deal of the Voice's local story workload. Though I was surprised that this article didn't make clear that the same BRT proposal has a substantial recent history of both Council discussion and Voice coverage, just in recent months: Web Link Web Link Web Link .

I don't know who this "Bus Advocate" person is who begins by constraining what he/she defines as main objections (conspicuously omitting the one I often hear: three lanes of auto traffic are already gridlocked at commute times; take away one of them and, um, what do you expect will happen???); making bizarre comparisons ("people forget ... it is not transit systems that are causing the big increase in congestion, but the massive uptick in development and density" -- how does EITHER factor compare to the impact of removing an auto lane???); then following up by name-calling everyone who disagrees.

"Reasonable people with good points," as most of us understand the phrase, do none of those things. They recognize the full implications, positive and negative, of a policy proposal. It's only the ideological true-believers with blinders, perceiving just the aspects of a proposal that they like, who "easily dispense with" any objections, and who perceive anyone objecting as benighted or "selfish."


Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2015 at 4:02 pm

The Google shuttles are a good idea but they aren't going to people from Santa Clara to Mountain View and back home again. The big reason why the buses might be empty is that the ride is too long.

I would say work on design, get Caltrain to hurry up grade separation, fix Central Expressway then go for BRT.

In the 80's El Camino was widened to 6 lanes from 4 lanes with a center turn lane. If you want to improve traffic so why not bring out the Bayfront Freeway plan.


Posted by Point to Consider
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Losing the lanes is and. But this represents how VTA proposes to dedicate a LARGE PORTION of the funds it uses to serve Mountain View. We have other needs. The ECR service is already pretty good, but shuttles around town are just beginning to be appreciated. Freezing in this service level will keep from spending our VTA money for services we need MORE than increased ECR service. It's a commitment to a lack of service elsewhere that's the real problem.

Dedicating a lane is totally unneeded. The small section through Mountain View is the tail end of a proposed 19 mile dedicated lane system designed solely to give better service to residents of San Jose. VTA already favors that city with more of its route miles per capita than any other city in the county. What's needed is better service actually provided to Mountain View residents. The existing 522 service is unappreciated and unused. The 22 service won't be served in the dedicated bus lane. The service on the 22 will be made worse by the dedicated solution, along with all the car traffic.

To improve service to Mountain View, for now, stop the dedicated lane south of our border (and probably south of Sunnyvale as well). A hybrid solution can include a transition from a dedicated lane in San Jose and Santa Clara on to a shared lane in Sunnyvale and Mountain View. If ridership on the first 10 miles shows an improvement from the dedicated lane, ONLY THEN could it be truly evaluated for adding to Mountain View.

Meanwhile, VTA should put more resources into community shuttle services that truly benefit the residents and workers of Mountain View--not overkill service on just El Camino that mainly benefits those in San Jose riding all the long 19 miles north--a small small fraction of the current 522+22 ridership.


Posted by A Point to Consider
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Ironically, if there were more and better local shuttle service, then the ECR route might be reachable by people living away from ECR. People who live near Blossom Valley shopping center, all along Cuesta drive could get shuttle service. Then they would have a way to catch an ECR route. Same thing for people living along Miramonte or Springer. There's no service up there. There's also precious litle service along Middlefield Road, or near Central Expressway either.

The existing ECR routes are often running empty. They could absorb extra demand without spending more money on THEM.


Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2015 at 7:09 pm

There is a very simple, neat, and accurate way to determine if this is a great idea or a stupid one.
Who conjured this idea up? Oh, VTA. Automatically lands in the stupid category. Sorry!


Posted by Reality
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 21, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Watching the council meeting.

Public comments observations:

The wealthy, usually Caucasian testimony is against the project.

The Hispanic people are supportive of the project.

The elderly that use the buses are supportive.

It's very obvious that this is a class warfare issue. Hopefully, the council will choose an option that our least empowered residents need. Represent the People!


Posted by Ouch
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 21, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Well, Lenny Siegel wants VTA to spend this money on buses to our citiy's "employment centers". Yes, that is what we need. Subsidize luxury public transportation options for a segment of our population that can MOST AFFORD IT and do nothing for the people who can least afford it.

Bought and paid for councilperson. Disgusting.


Posted by Bus Advocate
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 21, 2015 at 10:57 pm

The Mountain View City Council voted tonight to support the dedicated lane option. 3-2.

This is a great victory for the multi-cultural middle and lower classes of the County! Sorry nouveau rich and retired grumpy gusses!

The public speakers were 2/3 supportive of the project and 1/3 opposed. The people have spoken!


Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 21, 2015 at 11:29 pm

The MV Council just voted 3-2 (with two members disqualified) to support bus-only lanes on El Camino. The 3 consisted of two just-elected (Pat Showalter and Ken Rosenberg) who had told voters they oppose the dedicated lanes They were joined by long-term Councilmember Michael Kasperzak who had started the discussion by saying he was "torn" and did not "know what to do." Showalter complained the the VTA had not even responded to Mountain View's 13-page Jan. 2 letter raising objections and questions. Then, she voted to support bus-only lanes with no response. The vote will now be used as a propaganda tool by the VTA bureaucracy to justify disregarding other city councils that objected to the plan.


Posted by So stupid
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2015 at 11:40 pm

There's going to be hell to pay for the silly one that voted to cut down traffic lanes. They overlook that their constituents are going to dislike this, big time.

Thank goodness for Lenny Siegel. More service to employment hubs is indeed needed, as well as more service to the rest of the city too. This BRT plan is going to fall down of its own weight.

Very strange that 2 had to abstain. This just goes to show that the proposal favors some areas of the city over others, or there would be no conflict. I wonder if the City Attorney has considered this.


Posted by Same Old Story
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 22, 2015 at 12:14 am

Ice Cream Mayor McAlister having to sit out on a vote impacting multiple miles of El Camino Real because his small business occupies about 40 feet along that roadway is an overly cautious interpretation of conflict of interest law. We elected 7 people to weigh in one these big issues.

It's not even a Council decision...


Posted by Too bad
a resident of Jackson Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 12:20 am

Gee, the vote didn't go your way and now you complain about the conflict-of-interest rules. Sad.

2/3 of the people attending the session were in favor of the dedicated lane. If you weren't, then why didn't you show up and voice your opinion? Sad.

The council examined the issues and voted their conscience. Democracy in action!


Posted by Nicky Gonzalez Yuen
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2015 at 1:35 am

Our traffic and pollution problems stem from the fact that there are more and more people in the region each year and the current transportation infrastructure is simply not adequate to handle this many people. If the current path we are on-- relying on private cars to get us around-- is not working, doing "more of the same" will obviously lead to an even worse situation. We need a solution that changes the game entirely. BRT does just this by changing our transit infrastructure to allow far more people to move far faster in shared vehicles along existing roadways.

Yes, commuting is a drag. But for the many working people who ONLY have public transit to get around, the problem is FAR worse. The opponents of this plan complain that it will slow down their commute time. Maybe it will, though this is far from clear. But to those who think their travel time by car will be unacceptably slow if we get dedicated bus lanes-- how about commuting by the current bus system for a week to put your pain into some perspective. Traveling a mile in someone else's shoes to open the door to compassion.


Posted by PeaceOut
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 22, 2015 at 1:53 am

So glad I purchased land outside this city, just as a hedge. Looks like a prudent purchase now. Enjoy utopia, with it's untenable masses of people crammed on top of each other, minimal green space & shrinking tree canopy, bay wetlands. Critical lack of water,and increasing amounts of pollution. Building a better tomorrow, I get it. And, I won't see you in my slice of peace, off the grid baby. Bye.


Posted by Chicken Little
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 1:57 am

The sky is falling!!!!!


Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 22, 2015 at 7:38 am

True is a registered user.

Another absurd decision by the MV City Council.

Shame on Showalter & Rosenberg for double-crossing those who voted for them.

This asinine plan is going to hurt far more people than it helps.

Enjoy the increased gridlock you rubes.


Posted by Same Old Story
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 22, 2015 at 8:24 am

I've been at other meetings and written letters. If a Council decision on an issue effecting tens of thousands is driven by 20+ (or whatever the number) who show up for one particular meeting, that's sad.


Posted by Supporter
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 22, 2015 at 8:29 am

Congestion is only going to get worse -- whether we have dedicated bus lanes or not. Emergency vehicles will be able to use the dedicated lanes. You'll be grateful when public safety gets to bypass the gridlock to stop your house from burning down.

Thank you council members for making the best decision.


Posted by Cyclist
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 8:51 am

Did someone say huge wide open lane with no cars and just a scant few buses to deal with? While I'll never take the bus, I will appreciate the infrastructure. Thank you!


Posted by Majority Rule
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2015 at 10:32 am

If a majority of MV'ers were really opposed to this project, then the council members would have voted against it. It was really only a vocal minority that represented NIMBY and wealth that attacked this project. The result was that the silent majority that wanted this to go through were afraid to voice their opinion to their neighbors.

A great example is the constant whining from the anti-bus contingent that INSISTED that the buses on El Camino were empty. This assertion was so easily disproved by simply observing the truth while traveling on the road. So, when Council had these seemingly cogent anti-bus arguments include a bald-faced lie like this, they had no choice but to question everything else coming from that speaker.

Now, contrast that with the reasoned approach taken by the VTA with hundreds of hours of public workshops and presentations. The traffic study is based on a model that is being used all over the the bay area and is generally accepted as accurate. Finally, there is going to be an independent review done of the traffic study to validate it's ability to forecast, so if the study is TRULY faulty, then the project would be put on hold. That is a huge safety measure that should make EVERYONE feel more comfortable.


Posted by Looking fwd to the chaos
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 11:00 am

This is going to be HILARIOUS. When can it start? Not soon enough! It should be a hoot to watch 1) the traffic horrors and 2) the failed promises of the VTA.
This will all play out into a wonderful mess that I look forward to observing but not being affected by.


Posted by Mark Romoser
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2015 at 12:24 pm

This will definitely make Mountain View more attractive to transit users like myself. I would love to live near its walkable downtown!


Posted by Aila
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2015 at 12:37 pm

I am pleased with the proactive and strategic statement made by MV through the votes of Kasperzack, Showalter, and Rosenberg. I appreciate leadership that doesn't just take the easy way out and take politically safe courses on their watch, but rather leadership that is most prudent for the long term after careful review the facts and public thoughts.

Since this is a VTA project and the VTA never really needed the Council's "approval" their leadership was a courageous show of leadership and will help leaders from other cities do the same in the future.


Posted by Looking fwd to the chaos
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Are you kidding? There are going to be SOOO many fuming drivers sitting in hot unshaded ECR gridlock come summer time. The heat, the fumes, and uh-oh, that guy just stalled and his car won't start. Now we're down to one lane and everyone is fighting to get in before the other guy. It _WILL_ be quite something to behold.

Self driving cars will kill this dinosaur bus thing soon enough. I think the VTA sees it coming and are trying like heck to try and stay relevant as a people mover. Autonomous people moving with no VTA. Noooow we're talking about the future!


Posted by Nick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Showalter and Rosenberg owe us an explanation for why they changed their minds in such a short time period -- many of us would never have voted for them if we knew they'd change their mind on this basic issue that will negatively impact a vast majority of Mountain View residents.

El Camino recently had one lane closed for construction; traffic was backed up for well over a mile. That will become the new normal.

It's wishful thinking to believe many people will quit driving and take cars -- Mountain View is a car-centric layout, and putting a bus lane on one street won't make any difference. We either need to embrace the car culture and make it better for drivers, or do more radical rethinking of public transit (subways, monorails, hyperloops).

Shall we try to recall Showalter and Rosenberg?


Posted by Nina
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 22, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Bravo to the council members who voted yes! this is the right thing to do and we should set an example for the rest of our neighbors.


Posted by Choice!
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Thank you Councilmembers Showalter, Kasperzak, and Rosenberg for taking a leadership role to ensure a sustainable foundation for the City's future growth and the recently adopted El Camino Precise Plan.

Thank you for considering the needs of those Mountain View residents struggling to make ends meet and the less fortunate in our region that do not have the wealth to afford to live in Mountain View and are forced to commute long distances and drive through local City streets to the excellent employment opportunities offered in Mountain View.

For those of you that listened to last night's council meeting, there were a few groundbreaking ideas with potentially huge implications. 1. Emergency vehicles will be able to use the dedicated lanes to ensure timely emergency response, something everyone will benefit from. 2. VTA will run higher frequency bus service (i.e. more than 10 minute frequencies) when ridership increases along the corridor thanks to the vastly improved transit service, which will then spur even more transit use! 3. VTA stated publicly for the first time that they are open to the idea and willing to work with the City to allow private and other public buses and shuttles to use the lanes!

We need to find ways to shift away from our "transportation mono-crop" and offer real choices to move people more efficiently, sustainably, and equitably. Sitting on our hands and rejecting a good plan with no cost to the City is irresponsible considering where we are headed (more jobs, more population, more traffic, larger senior population, etc).

40% of our region's greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector, so if we want to leave a planet that's habitable for our children and future generations, we must rethink how we get around. This is an important step in that direction.

Thank you Mountain View City Council for such a wonderful Earth Day present!


Posted by Looking fwd to the chaos
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 2:08 pm

The gridlock will speak for itself in deafening tones.
The rah rah people will be in hiding and everyone will be left pointing fingers.
Wait for the chaos and enjoy!


Posted by Rose
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Hurray for the bold and visionary Mountain View City Council. We are all sick of the traffic and parking mess. The only solution is to get out of our cars and bike, walk and take public transportation. WE MUST ALL CHANGE our behaviors. BRT is just the first step; next steps will be more bus routes both north/south and east/west so we have options -- like NYC. Let's all quit complaining and support positive change. People are going to be surprised at how relaxing it is to leave the driving to the bus driver while reading a book or listening to an iPod. When was the last time you rode a bus? Check it out -- it's great!


Posted by Looking fwd to the chaos
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 2:35 pm

I dare you to tell that to the people locked in unmoving traffic in August. Seriously, walk along the line of cars and say this exact same thing. Hahaha. Too funny.


Posted by Nah
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2015 at 3:04 pm

All these naysayers... Sounds like the ones that screamed when the Levis Stadium project was nearing completion.
"The town will be overrun by football fans!!"
"We will just be a parking lot for Santa Clara!"

And on and on. Funny, the study done to predict the impacts did not show any of this happening and lo and behold, it didn't!!!!


Posted by Old Mt. View Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2015 at 3:22 pm

I comment the courageous action taken by City Council members in voting in favor of dedicated lanes for BRT. The data and predictions are clear: increasing population in SC County, 92% of Mt. View workers living outside the city and commuting to work on a daily basis, and 72% of workers commuting to work alone by car. The lack of affordable housing and high rents will only increase these trends. We need to take bold steps in improving public transit along this corridor, have bike lanes and modernizing ECR.


Posted by What a crock
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 3:59 pm

"This gridlock brought to you by Ken Rosenberg, Pat Showalter and Michael Kasperzak and the VTA."

The signs will be place along the nmedian strip from 237 to San Antonio


Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 22, 2015 at 5:00 pm

See; the city council relented. And now at some day in the near future, we will get to experience the BRT in reality. It was obvious months ago the city council would relent.


Posted by Konrad
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 5:07 pm

You have to realize that Ken Rosenberg is interested in only one thing, lining his pockets.Ken is a puppet of the developers. Just ask him snd he will brag about it!

Ken will use the BRT to support extreme density construction along ECR and the nearby area. He hopes that the rich developers will then invest with him as he is a stock broker


Posted by Happy
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 7:17 am

Yay! I, for one, can't wait to begin using an updated bus system on El Camino. It will be wonderful to ride to and from Palo Alto-San Jose on a clean, fast bus system with free wifi!


Posted by @Konrad
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 9:30 am

@Konrad,

I seem to recall you talking about needed transit in the area. In fact, you are very well documented saying exactly that. $2 says this may add a few minutes to your daily commute, so YOU'RE upset. I guess you only want something if it doesn't inconvenience you. Out of curiosity, do you ever think of anybody that isn't named Konrad?


Posted by MtV resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 12:44 pm

VTAs proposal is a huge disservice to Mountain View - VTA's reports are admitting that the potential alternatives to alleviate the traffic congestion created WOULD NOT WORK!
In reality there are no alternatives, so the only conclusion here is that VTA is simply working to justify their existence, and messing with social engineering.

Mountain View council members: you should listen to your community which you are supposed to represent, and make sure that VTA plan is rejected!


Posted by AC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 8:04 pm

to Huh?
"Once again the report said a BRT bus passing through say Mathilda will only delay the cars 3.5 min. is FLAWED. The time is only the FIRST CAR in line, the traffic behind it will have stopped with another 100s of other cars and the times for them to start and pass through was not made."

Uhhhh.... What are you talking about? This is for each and every car moving along El Camino.

I read the BRT report not the flawed summary a non traffic engineer told the public. If you want to see priority lights try crossing a street when Cal Train or VTA passes thru. On a slow day it is ~3.5 min which is one light cycle. At commute hours the first bunch of cars thru are ~3.5 but not all cars will pass and they will take 7 min. The third batch is 10.5 mnin and at that time a Bus is scheduled to come thru and then the traffic jam begins. Yes I am a process engineer and deal with keeping things moving. Not an mis informed public.


Posted by Dickster
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 8:54 pm

"Too Bad" said: Democracy in action. Is that what I saw in the council chamber? This proposal was passed by 3 out of 7 council members, less than half. I think if the 2 who were forced to sit out had a chance to vote, the result would have been different. AND what makes "Parent in Palo Alto" think that BRT will be FREE! You're dealing with VTA, so it won't be free. I agree with "rainbow38"s logic. Lastly, the trip on BRT may be much shorter in time, but I would still have to get to/from El Camino to complete my trip. With my car, I go door-to-door much faster, even in heavy traffic. NO on BRT. But YES for Mixed Flow.


Posted by @AC
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 10:30 pm

"Not an mis informed public."

If you write like you think, then that would explain your misinterpretation of the traffic study.


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