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Flipping a U-turn, MV leaders endorse dedicated bus lanes

Original post made on Apr 22, 2015

Despite numerous misgivings, Mountain View city leaders on Tuesday threw their support behind a controversial Santa Clara County proposal to dedicate lanes on El Camino Real solely for bus traffic.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 1:25 PM

Comments (460)

170 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Maybe we should be more careful about whom we elect and be vigilant between elections because politicians can change their minds or positions without notice.


148 people like this
Posted by Reverse the Action
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Mount a petition drive for a vote on this matter. The community by and large is against this change. It's so crazy to start with a dedicated lane out of the blue. We need other VTA service improvements much more than this. They blue it on light rail 6 different ways so it won't be a surprise if this gets through, but it's just not a good use of sales tax funds to concentrate all this service on one single corridor. If you want to provide people an option to cars, you need to have wide coverage. Expecting density just along El Camino is absolutely crazy. Depending on density as a precondition of providing transit is even more so.


74 people like this
Posted by Looking fwd to the chaos
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 2:13 pm

No, no no. Lets watch this. It will be a shining beacon to VTA and the people who voted for it. I'm glad emergency vehicles won't be affected by the sitting and baking in the sun gridlock we all know will happen.
At least we have the names of those responsible.


125 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Recall Showalter and Rosenberg! They have not made it clear why they changed their mind: no new data is being presented. They will go into history as being terrible leaders for Mountain View. What a shame.


47 people like this
Posted by Parent in Palo Alto
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2015 at 2:30 pm

This vote gives me hope!
This article, however, is clearly written by someone with a pro-car, anti-transit bias.
Good for Mountain View for showing foresight and bold leadership.


55 people like this
Posted by Looking fwd to the chaos
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 2:30 pm

When they said "Jeeze, this is going to cause inevitable crippling gridlock along our main corridor. Emergency vehicles won't be able to get through"
VTA came back and said: "OK, emergency vehicles will be able to use it to avoid the inevitable crippling gridlock through MV's main corridor"
Then the two said, "OK, as long as emergency vehicles won't be affected by the inevitable gridlock through our main corridor, its fine by me"

Scrumptiously Delicious! Kudos to VTA for engineering such a thing!


90 people like this
Posted by Bad Decision
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 22, 2015 at 2:34 pm

Besides increasing the likelihood Rosenberg and Showalter are 1-term council members, this will hurt Kasperzak in his run for assembly. He needs to pick up supporters in Palo Alto and Sunnyvale...this won't help. He's effectively burned Sunnyvale council/residents, as now VTA will feel they can go SJ to Santa Clara, through a dissenting Sunnyvale, and then on to MV.

But this is a long way from being done. LOTS of hurdles to clear.

And if it does go through, it'll be like hot lava flowing down the face of a volcano...lots of alternate routes through the neighborhoods...hate to say that, but it's reality.


105 people like this
Posted by Andy
a resident of Gemello
on Apr 22, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Not sure why the flip-flop, but this seems like a very bad idea. Those who utilize El Camino through MV at most times during the day have seen a significant increase in traffic over the recent years. Going down to 1 or 2 lanes in some places would be a nightmare.


56 people like this
Posted by Looking fwd to the chaos
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Andy, that's if everything runs to plan. Imagine when a stall or accident happens. I would expect lots of that as traffic causes the already "Ready to snap" drivers to make aggressive maneuvers. It's going to be a thing of beauty! Thank you VTA!


95 people like this
Posted by Rossta
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 2:50 pm

The two council members with the huge campaign funding behind them changed their stance from their campaign promised position? Could this be telling of where their funding came from?

It seems that providing transportation THRU Mtn View is more important than the ability of our residents being able to move around within our city. With Hwy 85 as a barrier, I have no choice but to use El Camino for about half my trips - and Grant Rd. This area is already way beyond capacity with no alternatives available.

This is irresponsible governing. I agree we need a regional transportation vision and system, but we cannot achieve it by blindly creating new problems.


52 people like this
Posted by Brian Schmidt
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 2:57 pm

I rarely take the bus, but I'd leave my car home and do it more often with this option. There's no other solution that others have.

I was in Jakarta over Christmas, it's a hellish nightmare of cars, but the Bus Rapid Transit system they have there works pretty well. If a poor country can pull it off, then we should at least try a solution rather than throw up our hands and say we should depend on cars.


74 people like this
Posted by Keep El Camino Real
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm

@Reverse the Action,

As you requested, here is a petition for you to sign: Web Link

Please make sure you sign with your email address, so we can begin to assemble a group of opponents to this project. Opposition in the message boards, no matter how well reasoned, does not seem to have been effective thus far.

Anyone who would like to help revise the petition, please email keepelcaminoreal@gmail.com.

Keep El Camino Real


55 people like this
Posted by Yay!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2015 at 3:01 pm

It is a great victory for our city to take a stand against the elitist cities like Los Altos and Palo Alto and recognize that we need a rapid bus system along El Camino (which is a state highway, don't forget!).

It's hard for some residents to realize that while today Mountain View is a *destination* with lots of restaurants, there are many more *destinations* being created as the economy hits new record levels and re-development accelerates. How will we be able to get to these new wonderful places? Automobiles would be clogging the roads and we would wish to have something like a subway system. But, oh wait! That's right! We do have such a system! It's called BRT and it's within walking distance of our downtown and many other wonderful places to see.

Good job Councilmembers!

Oh, please do try to watch the recording of the meeting. Before the vote, each council member weighed in with their opinion and gave a supporting argument. It was so funny to watch Lenny Siegel and John Inks grab the microphone after they realized that they were the ONLY two council members that opposed the project! How embarrassing for them! Lenny defensively said that he was NOT anti-transit and he was a compassionate person (a lot of people stood up during public comment to express the human element of having rapid transit on El Camino). John Inks said something defensive too.


19 people like this
Posted by What a crock
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Self driving cars will do the job. VTA is now like a typewriter.
This idea is one we'll all look back on and laugh. Actually some have already started.


66 people like this
Posted by What a crock
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 3:55 pm

I also think they should put up signs on the median of ECR so the gridlocked can read it.
"This gridlock brought to you by Ken Rosenberg, Pat Showalter, Michael Kasperzak and the VTA"

Lets put them up along the median strip from 237 to San Antonio every 100 feet.
People will have PLENTY of time to read it.


63 people like this
Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

Bad, bad, bad...

How can people have their heads so high in the clouds?

This wasn't even a fair vote. The other council members should not have recuse themselves simply because they own property on or near ECR. Our council is comprised of Mountain View residents for a reason and residents have a tendency to own property. This should be brought back for a FULL vote of the council!


48 people like this
Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 22, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Thank you Councilmembers Showalter and Rosenberg for considering transit options in Mountain View. I support your decision to work toward a future in Mountain View where there are many more multi-modal transportation options besides the car. Please know there are Mountain View residents that support you despite the vocal opposition. Old habits die hard. Keep up the good work!


14 people like this
Posted by John Murphy
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2015 at 5:10 pm

"Self driving cars will do the job"

Then I guess we don't have to worry about gridlock and we can go ahead with BRT


25 people like this
Posted by David Speakman
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Let's see them answer to folks when the VTA starts ripping out trees from the median to do this.


9 people like this
Posted by Typewriter Repairman
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 22, 2015 at 5:39 pm

Once self driving cars come into play, the VTA is dead and scattered to the wind. Lets not do the current gridlock plan so we can keep the trees around since they'll be needed in the future...unlike VTA.


25 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Apr 22, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Have they considered a carpool lane rather than a dedicated bus lane?
Anyone who has driven on El Camino to and from work knows how much closing one lane impacts traffic.

Perhaps confidence in VTA would be higher if they were also ensuring their buses provided real time arrival estimates at each stop and via mobile apps. The Clipper card is a great regional upgrade, but how about NFC payments (like Apple Pay/Google Wallet), so those who don't have change or didn't buy a Clipper in advance can still ride?

It's not enough to coerce people to use your service, you should innovate a better service that draws demand.

About to head home from work on El Camino.


8 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2015 at 6:07 pm

Glad I left when I did!
Maybe I'll borrow one of those unused VTA bike share bikes and ride around in the gridlock.
And to quote Carl Spackler: "I have to laugh..."


6 people like this
Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Many of the predictions for self-driving cars include the prediction that personal car ownership will go away when you can call for one to pick you up. Who will own them and maintain them? VTA will, most likely. Self-driving cars will not make VTA go away, but it might change the organization dramatically, and they are well aware of this. There will likely be some private competition from Uber and others, but that will still be too expensive for many.


56 people like this
Posted by ForTransitButAgainstBRT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2015 at 7:11 pm

With all due respect to Albert Einstein, there are actually *two* definitions of insanity:
1) doing the same thing again and expecting a different result, and
2) expecting elected officials to genuinely represent the will of their constituents.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is insanity!

In their flipping on this issue -- never a good idea, politically, by the way -- Showalter and Rosenberg, along with Kasperzak, are actually flipping off the public, essentially saying "We could care less what you residents think! We want to screw up traffic and help misspend hundreds of millions of dollars in the process, all for the sake of putting feathers in our political caps while *maybe, just maybe* adding a *handful* more bus riders." I'm actually sort of embarrassed to be a resident of a city with those three on the city council.

But instead of just complaining about their illogical support of this insane BRT notion, I'm going to write to somebody who can actually listen to reason and do something about it, i.e., influence on Caltrans (which controls the El Camino corridor): District 24 Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Web Link) and I encourage all sane residents to do the same.



8 people like this
Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

One of the previous commenters mentioned the addition carpoolers to the BRT lane, which seems like a really good idea. Why didn't VTA think of that? After all, with one bus every three miles, there is going to be a lot of unused roadway.


17 people like this
Posted by Doug Pearson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 22, 2015 at 8:46 pm

As a bus rider (commuter) and pedestrian, I see the value to bus riders of VTA's plan. As a (former) driver, I see the problem of greater congestion or, as VTA's John Ristow said, "Of about 2,200 cars on El Camino during a typical evening rush-hour, about 133 motorists would change practice and begin riding the bus, he said. Another 870 drivers would still brave the trip in their cars, but they would take other routes."

In other words, VTA thinks that by reducing the number of lanes by 33 1/3%, the number of cars on El Camino Real will go down by almost 46%. That seems like a lot less congestion to me--and not realistic.

I'm willing to wait and see. If VTA gets their dedicated lanes (and I think they should be the curb lanes, not the median lanes) and it causes the disaster the drivers expect, it can be undone. We'll never know what would be the impact if we don't try.

As for the details of exactly how dedicated the lanes should be, I'm on the side of more exceptions, not fewer: yes, for emergency vehicles; yes, for cars moving to or from a street parking slot or driveway; yes, for cars making a right turn; yes, for carpools; etc.


68 people like this
Posted by KG
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 9:28 pm

I drive down El Camino Real every morning and there are little to know one on the buses. Until buses become popular and have more ridership this is an absolutely horrible idea. I'll be sitting in traffic with a completely empty lane next to me, with empty buses passing me...stupid idea. Has Showalter, Rosenberg or Kasperzak ever looked at the traffic on El Camino Real? They are NOT representing Mountain View residents, but their own agendas. Get these people OFF the council!


27 people like this
Posted by Fashion Police
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2015 at 9:45 pm

Isn't there a rule on "no flip-flops before Labor day"?


74 people like this
Posted by DThomas
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 22, 2015 at 10:01 pm

Showalter and Rosenberg completely deceived voters. They should be recalled.

If Kasperzak wanted to run for Assembly he certainly lost supporters with this vote.

I wouldn't vote for any of them.


70 people like this
Posted by B Minkin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 10:09 pm

During candidate forums prior to the election, Ken Rosenberg and Pat Showalter both confirmed their opposition to BRT. This is a disappointing surprise. I will start saving money for my contribution to the campaigns of their opponents when their terms are finished.


31 people like this
Posted by Eamonn
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2015 at 10:14 pm

The writer of this article couldn't be more biased against the dedicated lanes proposal and they clearly have not done their homework. Hedding Street in San Jose has been reconfigured from 4 general purpose lanes to 2 general purpose lanes plus bike lanes. The predicted congestion and chaos has not materialized. Traffic flows just fine on Hedding. Road diets do not cause congestion, they simply divert traffic that then spreads thin across the entire street grid. This is what the computer models will show, and it's what the experience on Hedding proves. There will be plenty of room for those who still want to drive, but the VTA has to adopt an all-or-nothing approach if it's going to follow the success of Caltrain in creating a viable alternative to the automobile.

Dedicated lanes for El Camino are the right decision, and only by converting this ugly car-centric corridor into a more compact walkable community are we going to accommodate future population growth. Kudos to MV council for doing their homework and finally getting the message.


22 people like this
Posted by Gridlock
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 10:23 pm

Eamonn - my new road diet will be to avoid El Camino Real in Mountain View and go through neighborhoods in Los Altos to make my way over a less congested El Camino Real! Won't be thrilled with Mountain View traffic!


24 people like this
Posted by Not bad
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2015 at 10:31 pm

Article was Ok, but I think the reporter failed to note that most public speakers were for the project and not against. That is quite significant.

Some of the posters keep saying that everybody in MV is against the project. If so, where were they last night?

Time to move on and complain about something else!


44 people like this
Posted by 2 lanes for 2 stops
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 22, 2015 at 10:48 pm

The ECR BRT will have two stops in MV. That is it. One stop at Castro and one at Showers. None at sylvan. None at Grant. So not only do you have to get to ECR - another problem to solve - you have to get to Castro or Showers. Seems we already have Caltrain stops at exactly the same locations one mile parallel. Is that worth $233 million?


13 people like this
Posted by @brian schmidt
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2015 at 11:01 pm

How are you planning to get to a VTA bus stop on ECR from your house in Rengstorff park area? Where will you park your scooter when you get to El Camino?


60 people like this
Posted by What?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 11:35 pm

Not bad - Why would Mountain View residents show up if they expected Showalter and Rosenberg to live up to their word and vote against this along with the others? I don't think people expected they would go against their word.


21 people like this
Posted by Ummmm....?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 11:44 pm

Uhhhhh... If there were stops everywhere, it would not be an express bus service! Just hop on a local bus and transfer to BRT.

Some anti-bus posters here state that 1/2 mile is too far to walk for a bus, yet now the anti-bussers say that we don't need bus service because people can walk a mile or longer to a caltrain station?

The city council saw through the anti-bus ignorance and voted correctly.


18 people like this
Posted by @What
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2015 at 11:52 pm

What a load of crap. If there really were 40,000 or more residents strongly opposed to this measure, there would have been more than a half dozen cranks at the meeting.

The fact is that most everyone would love to hop on rapid transit and get somewhere great. Night or day. That's what BRT gets us.


65 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2015 at 11:57 pm

Sunnyvale, Los Altos, and Palo Alto are showing common sense in opposing lane closure. VTA has the final say; hopefully they will reconsider.

I’m having trouble understanding VTA’s motivation in advocating such an ill-considered plan. Yes, I’ve read their made-to-order study. It is utterly unconvincing.

It’s easier to see where Showalter, Rosenberg and Kasperzak are coming from. They all seem to have political ambitions, or at least want to be part of the social stratum that makes high-level policy. That requires cozying up to those with serious money, i.e. developers.

Developers are promoting a Brave New World vision of new developments with very high density and little parking. That’s the formula for maximum profits.

This vision includes the assumption that large numbers of people can be forced out of auto use. Rosenberg’s statement in the article is in line with this sales pitch.

We will all take the bus and ride bikes! Density will not be a problem! The “jobs/housing imbalance” will be fixed!

But who can be surprised, really? Rosenberg and Showalter were elected with substantial injections of dark money from major landlords like Prometheus, and Kasperzak’s record has always been consistently pro-developer.


89 people like this
Posted by Laura Macias
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Apr 23, 2015 at 1:17 am

BRT also destroys ALL heritage trees, and ALL drought tolerant greenery as well as ALL medians from the length of Bernardo to San Antonio. And creates two very special lanes, one on each direction for only BRT -- NOT LOCAL buses, and apparently now, private corporate buses who contributed little or nothing to this public project.
In addition, local buses will continue to stop at current street curb stops AND USE THE OTHER REMAINING BUS LANES. This does NOT help the worker etc travelling locally.

Having ridden the 22/522 this spring, no benefit here for local commuters. I invite Councilmembers who voted to move foward to ride with me in May on the 22+ 522 to see the reality of the bus experience for Mountain View residents. And to imagine a fully concrete median strip the length from Bernardo to San Antonio. And only TWO $100+ Million BRT stops to benefit the good residents, employees, seniors and students of Mountain View.

This was a bad idea years ago and it is worse now. There are many other mass transit solutions to use the $220+M for.


19 people like this
Posted by @Laura
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 23, 2015 at 2:02 am

Of course local and BRT would not share a lane. If that happened, then the express BRT service could only run at the speed of the local buses! Please, educate yourself on these basics before polluting our community with misinformation.

Worried about trees? Well guess what? That property your house is on used to be full of heritage trees. You should demolish your house and replant with native species. Or live in your hypocrisy awhile longer...

You should try to ride the "express" 522 bus at rush hour. What a joke! Look down and see all the gas guzzling vehicles that are almost empty! (Except a driver). They clog the road and I challenge you to go longer than a minute without seeing one of these drivers illegally and un safely texting or reading their email.

These are the so-called innocents you are trying to defend???


75 people like this
Posted by Amando Gonzalez
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 23, 2015 at 3:15 am

We need to recall Showalter and Rosenberg now. They lied to get elected. How do we start a recall? Kick them out now before they do any more damage.


18 people like this
Posted by @Laura
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2015 at 3:27 am

You are right! VTA could make local buses use the express lanes too. CalTrain does this all the time. They have locals, limited locals, express trains and Baby Bullets. All use the one set of tracks. You just need short sections of separate lane, such as left or right turn lane. These are a part of the dedicated lane structure, and they permit express buses to pass by the local service when needed.

VTA PROMISED to create such "queue jumping" lanes in the last bond measure which added an additional quarter cent to our county sales taxes. They have totally reneged on that promise.

The secret though, is that with queue jumping lanes, the numbers come out much closer for dedicate lane verus shared lanes. You just have to reserve the short sections of queue jumping lanes solely for buses. You locate these strategically, so there is NO WHERE NEAR $220 MIllion of CONSTRUCTION cost. These VTA bureaucrats have their heads where the sun don't shine. Their own story isn't even consistent.


56 people like this
Posted by Die VTA Die
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 6:34 am

I used to be VTA spporter, but this has ended any and all support for VTA for me. No more money, no more bonds, no more anything. They are dead to me and I cannot wait until the entire organization is exposed for the wasteful and unnecessary public money waster they are.


33 people like this
Posted by Die VTA Die
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 6:45 am

Also, if this ever does get more traction, we have been shown through the SF tech bus protests how easy it is to block buses with a group of protesters. I'd say 3 groups of about 20 people set a few miles apart would cause quite service disruption. It's an easily repeatable form of protest as well, meaning it can be done without warning, over and over again. Seriously, did they REALLY expect the people to just sit back and let them do this to us? We have to live in this town. It's not our duty to sit in gridlock so someone from SJ can get to PA a few minutes sooner. This our HOME, not your throughway.


48 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 7:14 am

Keep El Camino Real, that Petition link was broken. Please provide again. Something this disruptive to our city should be voted on, not decided by our obviously corruptible city council.


3 people like this
Posted by Ignorant racist resident
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 23, 2015 at 7:21 am

Yeh,de buses bring de bad peeple here.


18 people like this
Posted by @Laura
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2015 at 7:31 am

"apparently now, private corporate buses who contributed little or nothing to this public project."

Brought to you by flip-floppers posing as "social justice" heroes....

I now understand why the flip floppers didn't even demand VTA to guarantee an additional stop at Escuela ..... it would slow down these luxury buses.


54 people like this
Posted by Pleas
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 8:37 am

Please sign the petition to oppose. When enough residents sign the petition, maybe it will send a signal to those council members that supported this mess. Shame on our representatives for caving in to a minority viewpoint based on who shows up to a meeting. We elect representatives to represent Mtn View residents. not special interest groups. I am busy working full time and don't have time to attend meetings and I expect my council members to represent what they said they would when they got elected


28 people like this
Posted by Web Link for Petition
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 9:11 am

Send the message loud and clear.
Web Link
68 have signed in less than 24 hours. Keep it coming!


20 people like this
Posted by Tony
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 23, 2015 at 9:55 am

I fully support this plan. It takes political leadership to make bold important changes. El Camino needs a long term plan that addresses the growing congestion and lack of public transportation in and around mountain view.


36 people like this
Posted by Web Link for Petition
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 10:52 am

"El Camino needs a long term plan that addresses the growing congestion and lack of public transportation in and around mountain view."

I would add that the plan should not INCREASE congestion in it's attempt to rectify congestion. That's the difference between good plan and a LOUSY plan.

Please sign the if you agree:
Web Link


67 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 23, 2015 at 11:02 am

True is a registered user.

I'm not anti VTA (though I firmly believe it may be among the most mismanaged entities of it's type in the state) nor am I anti VTA riders. Heck, I relied on VTA for 4mos at one point when I blew up my right knee and couldn't drive my truck with a manual transmission.

What I am is anti stupid.

This plan will result in horrible gridlock on ECR and that's stupid.

This plan will hurt small business along ECR and that's stupid.

This plan will result in the removal of a bunch of aesthetically pleasing trees along ECR and that's stupid.

This plan massively hurts a great many MV residents & may cost a few their livelihoods, favors a bureaucracy (VTA) run by a bunch of feckless boobs and a tiny subset of the county population, many of which don't even live in MV...and that too...is stupid.

Ya know what else is kinda stupid? All of us who trusted Showalter & Rosenberg to keep their word. They are soon to find out that the majority is firmly NOT in favor of this plan. Sadly, by the time that day of reckoning comes the damage they've done, through their dishonesty and stupidity, may be irreversible.


33 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 23, 2015 at 11:27 am

My worry is that the local governments never undo bad decisions. If this VTA project goes through and becomes a total disaster, they'll never go back and remove the dedicated bus lane. Instead, they'll probably say it's not working because they didn't make two dedicated bus lanes, and they'll start working on that.

You can't really avoid ECR as the VTA says. In Mountain View, the side streets on the south side of ECR aren't connected, so you can't run parallel to ECR, and the north side streets on the north side are cut by 85, 237, and shopping centers. At best, you can get off ECR for a couple blocks then get back on.

For me, this plan will be a disaster. I only really drive on ECR to drop kids off at school, but there are no good alternative routes, and taking the bus or biking is completely impractical.


23 people like this
Posted by Happy
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Very glad that Mountain View is supportive of the dedicated lane. Every project of this magnitude is going to have its detractors. This the best option that is feasible.

Also, this is actually a COST SAVINGS measure. It will reduce millions of dollars in operating expenses annually. A lot of the funding is coming from the Feds and the rest is already funded through Measure A. So, if we don't do this project, it will cost us more.


Of course it goes beyond a fiscal decision. Bus service is going to be dramatically improved while only creating a very small amount of automobile delay.

If you bought a home 1/2 block away and are worried about increased traffic past your house, you only have yourself to blame. El Camino is a state highway!!!! There is a reason why you paid less than people who live further away.


38 people like this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Gemello
on Apr 23, 2015 at 12:33 pm

"Happy" claims bus-only lanes will not cause much delay for automobiles and will bolster bus ridership. That is the VTA's story - straight out of Disneyland. It is pure fiction.


28 people like this
Posted by Web Link for Petition
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 1:45 pm

The reason it sounds like the VTA's drum beat is because very likely, the VTA is on these boards trying to convince people this is a good thing. It makes me even more mad at these manipulative bureaucrats. How dare they!! Where do these people live?

Here's the web link to sign the petition against this travesty:
Web Link


43 people like this
Posted by Conservation/Preservation
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 23, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Am truly horrified that we could lose 2 lanes on ECR and disgusted that anyone (especially elected Mountain View city council members), would approve such an obtuse plan. We need some outside the box thinking on how to improve traffic, not plans that will make it worse.


14 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2015 at 2:35 pm

The VTA is in charge of moving people around and we need to get as many people willing to ride VTA. If not they are just going to buy more and more cars. We just can't go out and build more lanes of traffic.

The city is looking at more in law units, micro housing and other kinds of housing which would make sense to build around good bus/LRV/train infrastructure. Small tiny homes with the garage being bigger then the unit doesn't make sense.


10 people like this
Posted by $ to whom?
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm

There is a lot of money to be gained by construction contractors and others in adding these buses and bus lanes. Plenty to go around.


34 people like this
Posted by Stuck in ECR traffic
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2015 at 3:50 pm

ECR backs up for miles if only one lane is closed at 10am for landscape maintenance.

Imagine how bad it will be for years while they construct this bad idea.

Dedicated bus lanes that provide profits for the select few, serves a fraction of the community at a perpetual loss, but harms the quality of life for the majority and paid for by those impacted majority.

One more of many reasons to avoid Mountain View and ECR.


6 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Lot of money made when freeways were built.


48 people like this
Posted by Nat
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 23, 2015 at 4:15 pm

The folks who are opposed to this measure have been largely silent, because most of us thought there was no way this would actually pass. The council was leaning against it, so rather than wasting our breath on this, we didn't worry about it and went on with our lives.

That is about to change in a major way. Those council members who backed this idiotic proposal, which will make traffic WORSE for the vast majority of commuters and will increase residential traffic for Mountain View residents, are about to get an earful from the formerly silent majority. Judging from the number of comments on this article, and the number of signatures on the rapidly growing Change.org petition linked above, this has already begun.

This is a complicated problem and I'm sure the council feels pressure to "Do Something" about it. However, they should resist the urge to back a misguided proposal that will actually make things worse, just so they can say they Did Something.


36 people like this
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 4:17 pm

This would be a stupid thing to do, expect gridlock if it ever happens. We need to vote on such a huge change to the city.


21 people like this
Posted by +1 Nat
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Very well said Nat. People rightly thought this stupid idea was being treated as such. What's going on?!?!


19 people like this
Posted by Miss Gruntled
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 23, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Check palms for grease.


18 people like this
Posted by +1 Nat
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 5:31 pm

Yah no kidding, greased palms or gambling debts. Something STINKS on this one, big time!
When is the next time we get to say something to them in a public forum?


22 people like this
Posted by totaly against
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 23, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Stupid is as stupid does and this idea has to be really stupid. What's wrong with the way the buses go now? Do the bus riders really need to get to there destination faster then regular folks?

Just like with housing, the more people we try and cram into our sardine of a city, the more ciaos there will be. Not everyone can live in los altos and surely not everyone can live here.


23 people like this
Posted by Supporter of transportation options
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2015 at 7:47 pm

For decades we have built our cities around the car, assuming that almost everyone will drive for almost every trip. Further we have demanded convenient and free parking where ever we may wish to go. We are left with parking lots bigger than the buildings they serve. Shops, homes, services, and businesses spread out, beyond walking distance. And driving as the most convenient choice for almost every trip. In addition we get air pollution and associated health impacts, and car collisions with pedestrians and cyclists.

As population grows as it does in places with good economies, congestion increases. (Think LA.) The more car lanes we build, the more cars we attract. Those too young or too old to drive, those who cannot afford a car, the disabled and those who choose not to drive for environmental, health or other reasons have little choice but public transit. But the buses are caught in car traffic and are further slowed by having to duck in and out of traffic.

So VTA proposed improved bus service on El Camino, the most heavily used bus corridor in the county--a bus that would be as fast as driving because it would be in its own lane.

Might we consider allowing real transportation choice on this one road-- both transit that is time-efficient and perhaps bike lanes, too? Even if we would not consider riding the bus ourselves (at least not until we are no longer able to drive, ourselves), might we take into consideration the needs of those who are forced to take transit? Might we want to consider the reduced air pollution that would come from this project? Might we want to consider the improved bike and pedestrian safety with the project? Might we want to consider our own city policies in favor of transportation choice and a more balanced transportation system? Might we be interested in bringing some federal money home to improve sidewalks, crosswalks, and landscaping? Might we want to support a project that will reduce driving? Or will we pass this opportunity up as we did BART in decades past?

It is easy to criticize or impugn motives. It us easy to take a default position in favor of the car dominated status quo. It is easy to make predictions based on assumptions, rather than study. It is harder to take the time to learn about these complex issues.

It is easy to say we support transit or walkable communities or complete streets, but it is hard to take a stand in favor of these when a real live project comes forward. I commend and thank the councilmembers who had the vision and courage to begin building the more sustainable transportation system we need.


24 people like this
Posted by Congrats to MV
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2015 at 9:15 pm

Congrats to Mountain View on showing courage, vision and leadership. This was a good decision. So many other developed and developing countries have adopted a BRT to the great benefit of their people and businesses. I'm appalled at the ignorance of some of these comments. I thought this was a region of innovative problem solving. Mountain View council has shown that spirit. I'd urge their people to show support for these visionary council members.


12 people like this
Posted by Another thought
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2015 at 9:44 pm

BRT for Santa Clara County makes zero sense. It would have been a better option than light rail, considering how little use that gets for the investment. VTA is always a day late and a dollar short. Down in San Jose, they already spent part of that $220 Million ADDING a 3rd lane to their less used section of route 82. Why did we up here pay for that? Actually, I mean why are they taking that our of our payments in transit taxes which are yet to be collected. The funds aren't sitting in the bank somewhere. VTA is planning to divert funds that they have been using each month for transit operation subsidies into construction bankrolls for this new project.

Then they think they can come ask for an even higher sales tax to fund the missing transit operations subsidies. Sheesh.


25 people like this
Posted by Agreed
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 10:22 pm

This is an excellent project that will greatly speed up public transportation all throughout dense and rapidly growing El Camino.

To the anti-BRT crowd. Let's review some of your arguments against the project:

1) "Dedicating one out of three lanes to public transit will bring El Camino to a standstill for automobiles."

Actually, that is incorrect. Read the traffic study. Automobiles only be delayed a very few minutes.

2) "Because auto traffic will be delayed on El Camino, the cars will use alternate routes and put those to a standstill."

That is also incorrect. You really need to read the traffic study. Again, the increased time is minimal.

3) "The study is flawed! The model is incorrect!"

Actually, it's not. But since a vocal few keep screaming about this, there will be an independent evaluation over the summer. If the model is shown to have poor forecasting ability, then the project will be delayed until better forecasting can be accomplished.

4) "The BRT dedicated lane is less environmentally friendly than the mixed lane option."

Yes, that's right. In order to make this project happen, certain trees in the median along the route will need to be removed. It's more environmentally friendly to stay home then it is to go out and socialize with your friends and family (less consumption of gas, water, energy, etc..). Does that mean you should stay home? No, of course not. The benefit to going out outweights the environmental cost.

5) "Illegals use buses. Why are we supporting things that enable illegals!?"

Sorry, but this is America. We are a (relatively) compassionate country, which many consider to be a strength. There are countries that have very aggressive border controls and will imprison or even torture undocumented immigrants. If you would prefer polices like this, please move there. You can go into any US embassy, surrender your passport and relinquish your US citizenship. Have fun!

6) "This project is so expensive! We cannot afford it!"

This is also incorrect. First, the capital expenses are already paid for through Measure A and federal grant money. If we don't do this project, there would be no refund and we would love the fed money. More importantly, this project will REDUCE the annual operating expenses for VTA! Yes, that's right! If we don't do this project, taxpayers will be paying MILLIONS each year unnecessarily.

7) "Bus service is not very good on El Camino. Why should we invest money in something that is not very good?"

Um. Because this project will make it very good. People complain that it is slow and difficult to make connections because of unpredictability. Now there is a project will fix that. This is very simple.

8) "We don't need this. If people want to travel quickly on public transit, they can just use CalTrain."

Caltrain is great for people that both live and work near the tracks. If you don't, then you're screwed. If you are low income, then you're screwed (Caltrain is VERY expensive). If you don't work a standard 9-5 work day, then you're screwed. Bus service is 24 hours/day. Caltrain is not. BRT runs along a dense corridor of business and residences. CalTrain does not.

9) "When a lane is closed today for construction, it really causes gridlock on El Camino. That is what will happen when this project is completed."

Construction projects are usually blocking the right lane where businesses, apartment buildings and streets. There are big scary signs set-up with blinking warning lights. Construction workers may be flagging you to slow down or just working in that lane forcing you to stop texting and pay more attention. Contrast that with BRT which will have two middle lanes clearly separated from the rest. It will not change from day-to-day, but remain constant so people are accustomed to the minor difference. Comparing a construction lane closure with a co-ordinated planned permanent solution makes no sense.

10) "Since so few buses are planned in the dedicated lanes, it seems like a big waste of space!"

Actually, it's not. What IS a waste of space is all these cars filling the roads just to move one person. Emergency vehicles will be able to use these lanes in cases of emergencies which will save lives. Currently, El Camino can be gridlocked and many automobile drivers are either too selfish or stupid to get out of the way of the ambulances. This will not get any better. Also, VTA announced that they are open to negotiating a deal with private shuttles (like Google buses) to use the lanes. This could be a source of revenue that would make this even a better financial deal for county residents than it is forecasted to be.

Now that we have disposed of many of the superficial arguments against the project, I wonder if the anti-BRT crowd will give their approval? I think not. There is clearly SOMETHING that these people have against the project that they are either unable or unwilling to vocalize. Care to speculate?


19 people like this
Posted by Politicians
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 23, 2015 at 10:44 pm

"Showalter and Rosenberg both made clear they had opposed dedicating bus lanes during their election campaigns last year, but they described having a change of heart after learning more about the merits of the proposal. "


Can you believe that? A politician lied during a campaign? What is this world coming to?


13 people like this
Posted by Representation
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 23, 2015 at 11:26 pm

The council changed their minds when they saw the mountain of data supporting the project. Also, there was lots of testimony from members of the public that are reliant on bus travel along El Camino.

It would be irresponsible to vote against the project simply because of a perceived campaign promise. Good job Countil!!


24 people like this
Posted by Grog
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 12:05 am

Sign the petition at Change.Org. We need an overwhelming mass to sign it to show the council just how bad this decision was and how out of touch of the desires of the citizens of the city that elected them.

Did everyone forget that we already have a mass transit system in place? No one rides it, not the poor, not the needy, very few people. But it is in place, it works, it does not cripple the rest of traffic flow.

This is not an innovative new transit system, it is a nominal improvement at best to the one that is already in place for an awful lot of money.

Let the corporate buses drive in these lanes and at least there will be buses with actual people in them.

Love the brilliant suggestion that to prevent gridlock affecting emergency vehicles they can use the BRT lanes. And what do all of the buses do when they need to get out of the way for this? Block one of the remaining two lanes for a brief period of time? Wake up, put in light rail, a monorail, something that actually connects to the transportation center. You know that place where all of the trains and other buses join all the taxi's to transport people? Oh and the underutilized incredibly slow ride of the Light Rail is there also. Another oops by the VTA.....Rapid bus lines 522 etc are all the improvement that was needed.

How did the vote magically change from the past two or three votes? Nothing changed on the plan, what do you think actually got better?

Embarrassing for Mountain View. I used to tell everyone how cool our town was. Try riding the bus to catch the train, go to a concert at Shoreline, to work at the very High Tech companies such as Google and LinkedIn that are driving all of this growth. El Camino does not get you there.

Epic Fail Mountain View. You just showed that we are no better than any other messed up political town now I guess.


8 people like this
Posted by Jacky
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 12:20 am

Silly people. This is a wonderful project and will bring 90 minute rides down to 35 minutes. This is NOT a nominal improvement.

Caltrain only helps upper middle class tech workers with tickets subsidized by their companies. Worse, these companies get a tax credit for the subsidy which takes tax revenue away from transportation improvements, defense, welfare and the list goes on.

So, a massive taxpayer funded subsidy for a segment of our population that needs no subsidy!!!!!

By the way, the buses are NOT empty. The windows are darkened but every day I see lots of people riding with room for lots more when the service is improved.

I encourage you to NOT sign this petition and if you have already, go back in and pull your name off.


28 people like this
Posted by @Jacky
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2015 at 12:37 am

"and if you have already, go back in and pull your name off."...

Can we do the same with our November ballots?


22 people like this
Posted by Area Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2015 at 1:24 am

You can tell some of these posters are from out of the area. For one thing, one of them is quoting someone as saying something about illegals using buses. He refutes that. The problem is no one ever futed it. Oh, I crack myself up.

Anyway, this same nut has said similar things. Of all the things that aren't involved in this, illegal immigration is at the top of the list.

And to the guy who calls this a BRT issue. It is not. You can have BRT in the regular lanes. There are signal devices that let buses turn lights green. There is the possibility of the queue jumping lanes that were promised with the 2000 Measure A. VTA has totally failed to do any queue jumping lane installations or even testing. Most BRT lines are not 19 miles long and most don't serve suburban areas like ECR. You could have 9 miles of dedicated service and switch over to shared lanes, saving a lot of implementation cost to see if this thing really has a chance of working. In any event, you don't need to dedicate a traffic lane OR run buses every 7 minutes empty to have BRT service.

There is no money to pay for these buses with our without ridership. Farebox recovery is only 10%. What a crock.


12 people like this
Posted by Intelligent Area Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2015 at 1:53 am

You can run BRT in the regular lanes? Do you not know what the "R" stands for??? It's "RAPID."

This is why the council voted for the dedicated lane. Self-proclaimed traffic experts who don't even know what the darned acronym means. Contrast that with a highly professional team of traffic enginners and for a thinking council member, was an easy choice.

(By the way, the traffic study clearly showed no gain in sharing lanes with cars. Please read it before spouting more nonsense.)

Fat ebox recovery is "only" 10%?? Guess what the recovery percentage is for cars? ZERO!!!! And with the electric cars and their tax credits is actually a NEGATIVE RECOVERY PERCENTAGE!!!

Oh, and did you read (and understand) the financial analysis? There is no incremental capital cost to this project. The money has already been allocated. And, more importantly, this project will reduce VTA's operating costs by millions each year. So your finance argument is DOA.

Got an answer to that? Didn't think so. Thousands ride the bus and thousands more will when it speeds up thanks to this project and no thanks to the greedy NIMBY's.


8 people like this
Posted by Rapidity
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2015 at 3:47 am

Hmm, note that the possible Showers drive terminus of the BRT service in Santa Clara County is the 11th stop after Diridon Station. Yep, it's rapid because it only stops 11 times. Yeah, you really need a dedicated lane for this. You could NEVER do that with an ordinary bus. Skipping 80% of the bus stops would speed things up too much. You'd get there in half the time. So you'd have to call it Rapid.

Oh, and they already call the 522 service a "Rapid" service.


32 people like this
Posted by Marcus
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 6:05 am

Lets make sure to name this the Showalter-Rosenberg dead zone when it happens.

Their names should be forever tied to this STUPID decision. Hopefully name recognition works against them in as they screw MV on the way to their next election. Put a big read G on their forehead. G for gridlock.
I'm just bummed pillories are out of fashion.


14 people like this
Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2015 at 7:39 am

As one of the Council votes against the bus lane proposal, I would urge people who share my view to focus on the issue and not on personalities. The Council has many other big issues before us, and we need to work together and with our constituents.


47 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 24, 2015 at 8:49 am

True is a registered user.

That's a quaint notion Lenny.

But the simple fact is that the "personalities"; Showalter & Rosenberg stated, in very clear terms during their campaigns, that they were opposed to this project. They didn't honor the commitment that earned them many of the votes that put them in office. They did a dis-service to their constituents.

They reneged on their commitment and they should be held to account for that.

Publicly and often.






48 people like this
Posted by Hold Them Accountable
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 8:58 am

I'm sorry Lenny, but in my opinion this should be a CAREER ENDING issue for these two. They no business "head-faking" the voters to get them elected, just to do the bidding of the VTA in a last minute vote.

Both have to show their faces in this town and I will be sure to let them know how I feel about their deception and degradation of the quality of life for the VAST majority of MV citizens.


34 people like this
Posted by Hold Them Accountable
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 9:16 am

Nest City Council Meeting Tuesday April 28th.
Aganda item:

5. ORAL COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC ON NONAGENDIZED ITEMS
This portion of the meeting is reserved for persons wishing to address the Council on any matter
not on the agenda. Speakers are allowed to speak on any number of topics for one three-minute
period during the meeting. State law prohibits the Council from acting on non-agenda items.

So first off, it's good we can come face to face w/ Showalter and Rosenberg this Tuesday, but the next question is how do we get the public request for a full council vote on this?

Never forget, never let it rest! We have been lied to and it is affecting our home. FIGHT!


56 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 9:38 am

So, we have two newly elected council members Pat Showalter & Ken Rosenberg, who expressly stated during their campaigns that they were against the dedicated lane option of VTA's BRT plan, and there is no doubt that they received votes based upon that stance. When it came to represent those who elected them to office, they instead, stabbed their supporters in the back.

It seems wrong that something could pass with a minority of council voting for it. We have seven council members for a reason. Something this impactful and irreversible should be voted on by the residents of the city. When your representatives fail to represent their constituency = referendum.

We're not in Kansas anymore. Dirty business when you've got ABAG, & VTA in bed with the developers. Follow the money. We the people don't stand a chance here.

BTW, I hear that VTA has petitioned CalTrans to change the state highway designation of El Camino Real, which would enable each city to control it's portion of the road, making it easier for VTA to complete it's land grab and foist the some of the associated costs onto the individual cities and not the state.

Wheeeee.


24 people like this
Posted by ForTransitButAgainstBRT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2015 at 9:47 am

To Agreed:
No, I don't care to speculate (as too many people on this comment board have). However, I will take exception with your characterization of BRT detractors' positions as "superficial arguments against the project." How about you explain what's "superficial" critical assessment of a terrible transit idea?

Further, I'll submit that all too many of the proponents of this ill-conceived BRT plan seemed to have quaffed the Kool-Aid provided by the VTA and its consultants, what with their self-generated, ultra-rosy projections of increased ridership, faster bus trips, and decreased car usage along ECR. And it appears you in particular, madam/sir, have gulped that elixir in quantity (that is, unless you yourself are an anonymous mouthpiece for VTA...I wouldn't put it past that organization), as your myriad "rebuttals" appear to have been lifted nearly verbatim from the aforementioned VTA-provided projections.

And to those BRT proponents not familiar with the #22 and #522 buses, take an hour or so to board one and note the high number of empty seats, even during peak hours. Then, perhaps you'll reassess your argument for so dramatic, disruptive and costly an overhaul to ECR in order to add more of the same.

Once again, all concerned citizens, write to Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Web Link), as he's in a position to influence Caltrans and VTA on this matter far more than is the MV city council.

Thank you


12 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 9:58 am

@ForTransitButAgainstBRT: "Once again, all concerned citizens, write to Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Web Link), as he's in a position to influence Caltrans and VTA on this matter far more than is the MV city council."

~~~~~

Thank you! Done.

I also think it is important for people to speak during the next council meeting expressing their concern, disappointment, etc. over the council vote this week. don't let 'em off the hook, ever.

Mountain View City Council: "transforming (code for destroying) the city one neighborhood at a time. Coming to your neighborhood soon, sooner than you think." Joking, not joking.



11 people like this
Posted by Gullible Citizen
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 24, 2015 at 10:23 am

Classic liberal democrat ploy - say you are doing it for the children, the downtrodden or the environment when you are really doing it to line your pocket or feather your nest.


23 people like this
Posted by Ken Rosenberg
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 24, 2015 at 10:26 am

Someone posted on Towns Square recently that I owed an explanation as to why I changed my mind on this issue. I think that is a fair request. I can read that many people are upset. This post probably won’t change their (your) mind, but I hope it serves to move the conversation forward.

When you’re a candidate, your position is typically about you, as an individual. As a council member, it becomes something much bigger. It is true that during the campaign, I said “I support BRT, but not the dedicated lane.” So what changed? The answer is that I now have a much closer look at the pain and hurt going on around us. And it moves me.

To be more specific, I am confronted, daily, by the reality of gentrification and displacement of our residents and workers, and the resultant consequences of each to our city. Really good people are being forced away from Mountain View, because of the high cost of housing. Many who serve us have trouble getting here because they can’t afford a car. People who can afford a car simply have more choices than those who can’t. And let’s be honest, Mountain View (like the entire peninsula) is a suburb that was designed around the car. Recent growth is making it such that if we continue the trend, we will all be unable to move around without transit.

So the issue of BRT became one of social justice. Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara are all approving “smart growth” developments (you can see them being built right now when you’re on ECR) meaning that thousands of new people will be living directly on the corridor. “Smart growth” is defined by housing near transit and retail. Approving the housing but not the transit is antithetical to the regional planning happening in front us. If people can’t afford to live in Mountain View, they need a way to get here that is fast and efficient and not costly. This is how we help each other. This is how we are one.

What is being lost in this discussion is that the job of VTA just got much harder. They must deliver an excellent project – and communicate facts and plans much more transparently and effectively – or it will be shot down. Our vote didn’t authorize them to build a dedicated lane in Mountain View, it only suggested that we’re open to the idea. I agree with many people here that they have yet to prove this project will work or work the way they say it will. But our vote was about the potential positive social change it may bring to the region.

Please know that my vote was cast based on deep deliberation, soul searching, and reflection. I believe that if we are to follow through on the El Camino Precise Plan, then we need to spend the tax dollars we’ve already paid to VTA (measure A) and ask for return on our investment in the form of a bus system that has proven effective in communities throughout the US and world.


27 people like this
Posted by ForTransitButAgainstBRT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2015 at 10:37 am

Councilmember Rosenberg:
For the benefit of those of us who don't have ready access to such information, could you please cite examples of "a bus system that has proven effective in communities throughout the US and world" on which you base your opinion of what's applicable here?

Thank you.


36 people like this
Posted by Outraged Citizen
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2015 at 10:44 am

To Ken Rosenberg:

Your morals might be good but your logic is flawed. So because there is a shortage of housing in Mountain View, you are going to throw in the towel and do little things which might speed up the BUS TRIP of someone forced to leave the city due to rent increases? Wouldn't a little rent control be more socially responsible? And where do you think this housing down south is going to come from? People want to COMMUTE LESS and when they convert to a dense high rise living situation, they want to live closer. What logic is there that this dense corridor on El Camino in Mountain View is going to be so expensive that only the well to do can afford it? Have you not noticed that the new developments going in are luxury oriented? How is that different in Sunnyvale? These apartments too are going to be high priced.

This is thinking from the past. San Jose used to be a reservoir of a vast amount of surplus housing relative to San Jose. Now, there's just as much of a rental price crisis in San Jose as there is in Mountain View.

Your solution is to DEDICATE A LANE to speed up buses so people can fight over whatever cheaper housing is left there?

Makes no sense from a social argument. Providing 2nd class housing for the less fortunate citizens is not made up for by transit alternatives. This dense corridor thing is an unproven concept. The housing there will be LESS affordable than the older stocks in the rest of town.


45 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 10:46 am

Dedicated lane option BRT is not about "social justice". The ploy of "social justice" is what VTA is using as a tool in order to further their agenda. I am not saying life is not difficult in the bay area of working poor, which many of us would be considered based upon cost of living in this area. What I am saying is that organizations such as VTA should NOT be trying to sell their dedicated lane option as the only/best option of BRT -- wrapping themselves and by extension the dedicated lane option in the cloak of the social justice crusaders, when that's simply not the true. The truth is, there are other options of the BRT proposal that will serve people well without creating the anticipated constant gridlock on ECR, the LOS "F" level service on Central Expressway, while turning nearby residential streets into cut thru thoroughfares. The VTA EIR is laughable and leaves many many questions unanswered or simply dumps the problems created by the dedicated lane option onto the surrounding cities to manage on their own.

There are numerous VTA options available for Mountain View and the dedicated lane option is quite simply not an option.


49 people like this
Posted by Hold Them Accountable
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 10:52 am

Ken, do you have ANY support for the RESIDENTS of Mountain View, the voters who put you in office based on your campaign platform to oppose this horrible proposal? Do you feel you represented those people and their wishes?

There are a lot of underprivileged people in SC County. What plans to you have to ruin MV's quality of life so you can help those people as well?

You sold us out Ken! I see the decision you and Showalter came to as a direct slap in the face to the citizenry of MV. Don't come around begging for togetherness. You have a RESPONSIBILITY to represent the CITIZENS of MV, but you have just proven you do not support MV RESIDENTS! I plan on reminding you of that each and every time you cross my path. You and Showalter are now the un-trustable sellouts in the council. Please resign for the sake of MV. I'm sure the VTA could find a plumb position for you.


17 people like this
Posted by VTA Stupidity
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2015 at 10:55 am

This organization is a giant dinosaur. Their BRT solution is an anachronistic approach. BRT can work without dedicated lanes. It's not a question of BRT or not when you RIP UP ALL the trees and F*** up traffic for people just trying to get ACROSS El Camino. The idea of running such an inefficient organization that they have only 10% farebox recovery is not something which makes any sense. Having these buses run more frequently than every 15 minutes is a waste of electricity or gasoline to operate empty buses. If the trip to San Jose just takes 30 minutes what difference is there if the wait time is 5 minutes less between cycles? VTA is spending money they don't have because they will need another sales tax hike to fund these more frequent buses. They already fund El Camino to the detriment of service elsewhere. The "cheap" housing is elsewhere where you need service or some means of getting to this over-subsidized ECR service.

There are only ELEVEN stops on this run from San Jose to Showers drive. They are 1.5 miles apart on average. This is a joke. The wait time is when you get from one stop to another, and you have an average of 3/4 of a mile of walking time at each end. You have a chance at waiting 15 minutes for a local bus at each end or walking 3/4 mile. You have to walk from the center median to the nearest local bus stop. Even if that is the closest possible, it's through TWO directions of light cycles at the crossing intersection. In this way the center median dedicated lane approach is worse than the current 522/22 set up, because the stops are the same Spot for the local service.


48 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 10:56 am

Ken: it's good that you're commenting publicly, since the vast majority of commenters are upset with you, and even calling for your recall.

However, your reasons for changing your mind are unconvincing.

You've been in office for a few months; you should have seen all these issues before as a candidate -- there's no new information. Why didn't you do this "soul searching" when you asked for our votes?

Furthermore, you try to make this about plight of the downtrodden -- yet your tone is condescending: you describe the bus riders as the "Many who serve us"... so you just want to make it slightly easier to bring in poor people to serve you? Who will have to walk miles on both ends of their route, just for the privilege of cleaning your house for near minimum wage? Isn't that just further increasing the divide? If it's harder for people to travel in to do service jobs, fewer will be willing to do it, and wages will have to go up for service jobs here. That would better enable everyone to live in the same community rather than for you to ship people in from 9-5 to "serve us".

And finally, you talk about the need for transit -- most people are open to transit, but you need to think bigger if you want to really solve problems. A transit service that moves in a straight line, stops every few miles, and has no real connections to other areas is called a TRAIN (which we already have), not the "transit" you want.

I honestly believe your intentions are good: but you are taking a general meme about reducing inequality to justify a terrible idea that won't meaningfully even help inequality, while massively disrupting the lives of your constituents.

I strongly endorse pushing for your recall, unless you go back to your original position on removing El Camino lanes, and instead focus your energy on actually thinking about inequality and transit in a way that will help those issues rather than hurting.


5 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2015 at 10:57 am

Why would anyone want to sitin a bus for a hour? When other cities have proven BRT system that seem to work.

We have jobs, people and housing spread out over a large area and right now people are willing to spend top dollar tolive close to work.

Lets build affordable or build quick transit for those who live 10 miles down the road


26 people like this
Posted by Justice for None
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2015 at 11:03 am

Ken,

I (and I'm sure most others) really appreciate you taking the time to comment here and be a part of the public conversation. I also appreciate the sense of responsibility you feel for your new position as Councilmember.

While I too am very much concerned with displacement issues (after seeing so many of my friends and family forced out of the area), I don't see how this project is helping anything. My concern, as always, is that ECR is not a destination. Having a fast-moving bus does not get people from where they are coming from and to where they need to go.

So many pieces of the transit puzzle are unanswered. For example, how much more time and money will we have to spend so we can properly connect this BRT to North Bayshore? If we spend that time and money, will it even be sufficient to get people to use the system? Or are we planning to use that time and money to reconfigure our cities, to lump everyone together along this ailing boulevarde?

I appreciate your sentiment, but can't get on board with this project.


40 people like this
Posted by Hold Them Accountable
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 11:10 am

10 extra minutes a day on the ECR commute means Rosenberg and Showalter just took away one full hour per week that the citizens of Mountain View could otherwise be spending with their family. 10 minutes in the morning and evening means they have stolen 2 hours of precious family time from your home. We'll be stuck in traffic during that time thanks to these two, directly!
They voted to reduce the time you will be able to spend with your family. They feel this is no big deal and needed so a dishwasher in PA can get to work 20 minutes sooner which benefits MV families and resident how?


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2015 at 11:48 am

Buses have more flexibility in route options and can make right or left turns when needed. Trains don't that option.

I would imagine all sizes buses willbe allowed. Not every will be entitled to ride private shuttles and not al places are served by private shuttles. VTA is public system which needs to run fast buses on a rapid fashioned system to encourage ridership. Nobody wants to spend time in traffic or waste time sittting on a slow bus because single solo drivers have enter and exit all those driveways on ECR.


36 people like this
Posted by Hold Them Accountable
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 11:59 am

Nobody wants the quality of their life usurped by a handful of people riding _through_ MV on a bus. The solo drivers are residents trying to run errands in their home town and get home to their families. This is what people do in their home town. With this plan, they must now give 5-10 minutes of their family time to the VTA each time they have to drive on the ECR. That is why so very few actual residents support this and why they feel the people they elected to represent the citizenry have been manipulated and lied to by them.


31 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Apr 24, 2015 at 1:29 pm

BRT on ECR is a stupid idea, did the VTA even study the idea running along Central Expressway from De La Cruz to Mtn View. They own the road, and the route makes so much more sense. They can run feeder buses along the major road S to ECR.


13 people like this
Posted by Conservation/Preservation
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 24, 2015 at 2:00 pm

I was thinking along the same lines as Resident. Why not use the exiting area near the train tracks and have a network of smartly placed shuttles?


23 people like this
Posted by Conservation/Preservation
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 24, 2015 at 2:03 pm

I think the reference to 5-10 minutes extra spent on ECR is a very low estimate. In reality, it will be more like 20. It can be 8 to 10 minutes now as it is...


5 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2015 at 2:12 pm

I agree family time is important but what makes your time important then others who might have a really long commute. 2 plus hours a day.

Providing excellent transit options not social justice or any other weird reason. Just to get as many people to chose transit over solo driving.


10 people like this
Posted by Bus user
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Many options were considered, but only the dedicated lane one gives the biggest bang for the buck.

Seems like people forgot that this project is already paid for and will result in lower operating costs!

Can't put BRT over next to Central, because there are relatively few businesses and homes there. El Camino is the highest density corridor in the valley and is slated to be much more dense with lots of developments happening. Transit should be at areas of highest density. This ought not to be a difficult concept to grasp!

Apologies to all who bought homes right next to a STATE HIGHWAY and thought that it would always be dead quiet. Fortunately. real estate is at an all time high so you can sell and move to a quieter area.


26 people like this
Posted by Hold Them Accountable
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 2:25 pm

I don't expect others to compromise their family time in their own home town just so that I can pass through it faster, weather in a car, on a bike, or in a bus. That would be selfish and misguided of me to force the vast majority to give up their family time IN THEIR HOME TOWN because I as a non resident want a faster commute through their town.

A transit plan that causes massive gridlock is a flawed plan and counter productive to the goal of people in a society moving around freely.

Please sign the petition if you agree:
Web Link


14 people like this
Posted by Paul
a resident of Slater
on Apr 24, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Can you believe that post above from Rosenberg? He promises landlords he will do nothing to protect tenants from skyrocketing rent increases and is then the beneficiary of a $100,000 dark money campaign by the landlord. But when it comes to buses, he cares about the less fortunate and wants fancier buses to speed them here to work and somewhere else to live!


11 people like this
Posted by Carolyn
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 24, 2015 at 3:11 pm

[This and two other comments are being removed because the poster is using multiple names. Please stick with one name only on a single thread.]


10 people like this
Posted by BRT
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2015 at 3:30 pm

VTA has 3 proposed BRT projects. One is already underway. On that project almost all the route is shared use of the curb lane. Only a small portion will be dedicated, and in that case, VTA is paying to build a short stretch of new lanes for one segment of the overall project.

BRT project #2 is El Camino Real, which starts on Santa Clara Street in San Jose, at 1st street. For the first FIVE MILES there is no thought of a dedicated lane. Through dense downtown San Jose, the BRT is done as a shared lane. (Because the traffic is NEVER a problem in downtown San Jose?) The only consideration of dedicating lanes is for portions of the remaining 14 miles of the route. VTA has admitted that dedicated lanes for the last 5 miles of the project make much less sense. Their focus is on the middle 9 miles of the 19 miles overall BRT #2 project.

BRT project #3 will continue on an alternate fork from the mixed use lanes in downtown San Jose east of 1st street. It will route onto Stevens Creek Blvd. No talk is underway about taking traffic lanes out of that corridor.

BRT does not have to have dedicated lanes, and other city councils have rightly said "no, not in our city, no taking of traffic lanes on El Camino when you do BRT improvements.


27 people like this
Posted by @Ken Rosenberg
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2015 at 3:33 pm

So, Ken Rosenberg, how do you explain San Jose not needing to use dedicated lanes for BRT, yet you see the need for Mountain View to do so? What, is Mountain View going to be denser than downtown San Jose?


28 people like this
Posted by MV 1980
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 24, 2015 at 3:40 pm

How totally insane! Our neighborhood streets are already crowded and dangerous. Here comes mass of traffic onto neighborhood streets by commuters.

I totally dislike this city council.


29 people like this
Posted by Here's where they will be
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 24, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Next City Council Meeting is 4/28, 5:30 Public can speak per Agenda Item number 5. Don't expect much eye contact from Rosenberg or Showalter, but let them know how they messed up big time on this one. If you can't make the meeting, tell it to them every time you see them in public.

Ken Rosenberg and Pat Showalter disgracefully lied to the voters and failed in their charter to represent the citizens of MV.
I would absolutely support a recall and am ready to join any organization to get them out and force a re-vote.
Also, VTA...No more funding for you. All my votes to give you one penny will be NO.


37 people like this
Posted by Here's where they will be
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 24, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Ken, when you tell your investment clients at the Morgan Stanley Cupertino office something, do you stand by it or do you do something that might not be in their best interest at the last minute because you feel it's OK to do that?

Violation of trust Ken...that'll follow you around in ALL areas of your life.


13 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 24, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

Everyone who is wondering why downtown San Jose will not have dedicated lanes should head down there sometime. Santa Clara St has FOUR traffic lanes plus two parking lanes and no median in downtown, then it widens slightly to accommodate bike lanes and a skinny median by the SAP Arena, and then it drops down again to four lanes skinny median plus parking on The Alameda. There are occasional left turn lanes, but that's it. And small businesses along it are built up right to the sidewalk and have virtually no off-street parking.

In contrast, El Camino in Mountain View has SIX traffic lanes plus two parking lanes that are wider than average, a wide median and double left turn lanes at key locations. And most small businesses have dedicated off-street parking out front. There's no comparison in terms of available space.


21 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Referendum. Seriously. Palo Alto had one last year and overturned an very unpopular development proposal. The fallout from that referendum has been far reaching, and will continue to ripple through the community for years.


30 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 4:56 pm

When an elected representative loses sight of who are his constituents, it's time for a change. Our formerly walkable, bike-able neighborhood has already had to have speed humps installed to slow down the numerous cars using our street to travel between Sunnyvale and downtown Mountain View while avoiding ECR. Subsequently, they named our street a bike highway. Now our representatives want to invite more non-neighborhood traffic to race through the neighborhoods avoiding ECR. Where is the concern for those who elected you?


35 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Thank you, Mr. Rosenberg.
The thing in your post that really brightened my day was this quote about VTA:
"They must deliver an excellent product, or..."
I haven't laughed so hard in a long, long time. Other than comic relief, VTA has NEVER delivered anything that could EVER be mistaken for an excellent product.
Their pretend traffic study? More VTA inadequacy, this time as a fantasy story.


9 people like this
Posted by Lane Use
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2015 at 5:16 pm

VTA has no request for dedicated lanes all the way to the Santa Clara station. If BRT works so well, surely some of that could be a dedicated lane. Most of downtown San Jose is on the other BRT project... Still no dedicated lanes. So BRT can work with shared lanes, even when there ate only 2 total and major traffic. It can share even better across 3 lanes.


4 people like this
Posted by Ok
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2015 at 5:52 pm

Ok couch potatoes. You think the two council members that voted with both their brain and their conscience should be recalled, the do it!

Cricket, cricket, cricket....

Oops, sorry the word "do" is not in your vocabulary.


15 people like this
Posted by @OK
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 24, 2015 at 6:03 pm

Is "Show up" in your vocabulary OK?
See you on the 28th if you can get off your couch. Tell me now what you'll be wearing so I won't miss you.


8 people like this
Posted by Wait, nevermind
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 24, 2015 at 6:05 pm

wasting time on some internet only "tough guy"
I will be there on the 28th though.


19 people like this
Posted by Bad Decision
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 24, 2015 at 8:27 pm

I hope the person who started the online petition can come up with ways to create awareness (beyond this blog). It's a good first step, particularly since it names of residents.

And on a larger note, even if a recall or referendum fell short of the required number of signatures, a strong effort would deliver a message.


37 people like this
Posted by Never Forget
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 25, 2015 at 5:33 am

This is now the Rosenberg/Showalter Incident: The selling out of Mountain View resident's quality of life. The reason was either outright lies by them, corruption, or a complete lack of ability to see when they are being duped by the VTA liars.

Either way, they have let the people who live Mountain View down, the one's that TRUSTED them to do what they said. A trust that has been spit on by both of them. Never forget why we now have to do things ourselves to mop up this complete MESS they created.


31 people like this
Posted by Gary Wesley
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 25, 2015 at 5:49 am

As one of the long-term opponents of the VTA's plan for dedicated bus lanes and an attorney, I have been asked about the power of voters to RECALL city councilmembers. Recalling locally elected officials is governed by the California Elections Code (section 11000 and following) where, as here, there are no contrary rules in a city charter. Under section 11020, there must be at least as many official proponents of each recall petition as are required on a nominating petition (here 20). Anyone interested in recalling one or more of the 3 councilmembers who voted for the VTA's dedicated bus lanes may contact me at gary.wesley@yahoo.com. As an attorney, I will not reveal emails or emailers on the subject unless expressly authorized in an email. The recall process involves a statement of reasons by proponents (maximum of 200 words). Emailers are invited to suggest reasons. I do not know who initiated the informal on-line petition asking for reconsideration of the advisory vote in support of dedicated lanes, but voters are welcome to communicate with that person or persons concerning recall. Keep in mind, however, that only an attorney is legally bound to keep communications confidential.


10 people like this
Posted by Waste of time
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 25, 2015 at 8:25 am

You guys are wasting your time (and potentially hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars) on a recall. You know that this has to be approved by the VTA Board, right? The Mountain View Council can't do anything. If you really want to make a difference, contact the VTA Board of Directors. If you just want to bloviate and complain, then fill out petitions and write comments on the Voice.


10 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 25, 2015 at 8:45 am

As if the VTA Board desires anything OTHER than the dedicated lane option thru Mountain View - and every other north county city.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: ABAG + VTA + DEVELOPERS = WE, THE PEOPLE, DON'T STAND A CHANCE.

That said, lack of engagement & silence is what "they" count on, and by the time "we" wake up and see what's really happening, it's too late...fait accompli.


18 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 25, 2015 at 8:56 am

And, about the worst reason possible I can think of to leave officials - who fail to represent the will of their constituency - in office is because it may cost several hundred thousand dollars to have them removed from office. The voters, explicitly, have the power to take back their vote through a recall election. Don't want to have costly recall votes, heed your constituency.


5 people like this
Posted by Waste of time
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 25, 2015 at 9:11 am

@MVResident67: you're wrong. VTA doesn't care about BRT. VTA's flagship project is BART to San Jose. They would be more than happy to divert Measure A funding from BRT to BART. That's why they're planning to do another ballot measure, to pay for the rest of the BART extension.

And, if you follow the money, you'll find that it leads you to the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Carl Guardino... the biggest proponent of the BART extension. No ABAG conspiracy here. And the developers certainly couldn't care less about BRT, so long as their projects get approved.

Well, I for one will strongly oppose any recall. They tried this in Sunnyvale. This one is even on flimsier grounds. The real next step is VTA: Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by Fashion Police
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2015 at 9:21 am

@Waste of Time - Great idea, the current petition should probably also be addressed to the VTA Board of Directors.


11 people like this
Posted by Silent Majority
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 25, 2015 at 9:42 am

Most residents like this project. There's always a vocal few who try to oppose progress, but there is a youunger generation coming in that realizes that rapid buses are needed along El Camino.

If we listen to people like the grumpy anti-bus mafia, then we would still be living in caves.


29 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 25, 2015 at 10:03 am

A recall will send a strong message that we don't tolerate deceiving constituents. It's not ok to flip-flop within months of taking office on one of the most major issues of your campaign.

It will also protect us from further bad decisions -- if Ken Rosenberg truly believes closing off lanes on El Camino to basically build another TRAIN for a few riders to pass through town is a good idea, we should question his judgment on all future issues.

To "Silent Majority": what makes you possibility think most residents are in favor of losing 20 minutes every day to smog up our town idling in unbearable traffic on El Camino?

For recall support, I'd suggest holding up signs at rush hour around Grant road and El Camino. People already stuck in gridlock will panic when they hear Ken Rosenberg is trying to squeeze them into 2 lanes to create a pass-through for a handful people to get from San Jose to Palo Alto slightly faster.


7 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 25, 2015 at 10:52 am

@Waste of time

I am familiar with SVLG and Carl Guardino. I don't consider ABAG any sort of 'conspiracy' other than it seems to be have been the result of SB375, and even though elected officials are selected to serve on ABAG, to my knowledge none of those serving were expressly elected to represent their community as an ABAG official, and there is a distinction.

My understanding is that ABAG, sets regional housing targets (mandates) based on job growth projections. Cities are then required to submit plans on how they are going to hit these housing "targets" by X year. Also, as I understand it, the bulk of this housing is supposed to be built along "transit corridors". As far as I can tell it looks like Mountain View is planning to try and hit the bulk of it's ABAG mandated housing units along ECR and San Antonio/ECR. Enter developer goldmine and VTA BRT, no?

I'm not sure how well I fully understand how ABAG functions, am I mistaken?



7 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 25, 2015 at 10:59 am

I should add that from what I understand, SB375 - and by extension ABAG - is intended to reduce greenhouse gases, which is what drives everything going forward.


39 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 25, 2015 at 11:17 am

True is a registered user.

@Ken Rosenberg

Ken,

You stood on my front porch, looked me in the eye and said you opposed the BRT dedicated lane project. I voted for you, in part, because of that.

You lied to me.

The result, should this asinine project happen is that you will negatively impact the lives of the majority of tax-paying citizens of Mountain View through increased ECR gridlock and the resultant increase in traffic on tertiary residential streets. You will hurt many small businesses along ECR.

For what? So that people who don't live in Mountain View and make minimal contribution to the community can get to work a little faster?

Your priority is to represent the interests of the citizens of Mountain View not South San Jose.

You & Pat lied. You should be as ashamed of yourselves as we are for having been suckered into voted for you.


29 people like this
Posted by Doris
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 25, 2015 at 2:01 pm

I go down El Camino Real every day. Every day there seems to be a project going, such as tree trimming, construction, etc. that blocks one lane off making traffic back up for blocks. Removing a lane for commuters and giving it to empty buses makes no sense.

You first need to work on ridership if you want people to buy in on closing a lane.

Rosenberg and Showalter are showing their lack of knowledge in how to support residents. Show up at the City Council meeting and show your discontent.

Has anyone started the recall yet?


27 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

@Doris -- yes, Recall efforts are underway. E-mail gary.wesley@yahoo.com (see his comment above -- he's an attorney) to give your support.

Also sign the petition: Web Link

Ken and Pat need to go back to their original position by Tuesday's meeting, or go home.

@True: sad that Ken looked you square in the eye, at your own home, just months ago and told you he was against BRT dedicated lane to get your vote. Sounds like he has a future in Washington instead of Mountain View when he's recalled.


23 people like this
Posted by ForTransitButAgainstBRT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Still awaiting a reply from Mr. Rosenberg on that request for an example of a system similar to the BRT proposal (see above, Friday, 10:37 a.m.). Seems he's gone quiet on us. Hmmmmmm. Now that I think of it, if I were in his or Pat Showalter's shoes right now, I'd want to keep a low profile, too.


7 people like this
Posted by Intelligence
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Before the election the candidates did not do a deep dive into the dedicated lane BRT issue. They trusted that the voters had done due dillegence. Now that they have reviewed the arguments, the data, testimony from bus users and community members, they reversed their positions. The opponents are a mixture of unintelligent and/or greedy people, which is why their arguments don't hold up to scrutiny.

It's a stupid and unethical politician that would vote against something merely because of a "campaign promise".


13 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 25, 2015 at 6:53 pm


"Before the election the candidates did not do a deep dive into the dedicated lane BRT issue. They trusted that the voters had done due diligence."

#trollicious


15 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 25, 2015 at 9:02 pm

Mtn View has several unique situations along the BRT route. HW 237, HW 85, removal of parking along ECR. When the metering lights are on, traffic will back onto ECR. I'm sure the study did not look into that. New construction with zero lot line to ECR as allowed buy the city. As a result new development building are within 10 feet of El Camino making sidewalks 3 feet from cars. Cars turning Right off ECR often stop traffic due to the narrow roads way. ECR effectively is only 2 lanes for a portion of the day. Examples In & Out burger, Castrol street, Shoreline, San Antonio center. Etc... You can effectively have only one lane for cars in some area if a BRT lane is installed. I read the BRT report and there is no metion of a delay to cars exiting or entering ECR.


14 people like this
Posted by Do nothing?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 25, 2015 at 11:47 pm

So, I guess the geniuses that are fighting this project have completely missed the fact that traffic is increasing rapidly on El Camino. And...there is no reasonable way to add extra lanes like they are doing on 85... so...what do you propose to do to allow people to move efficiently along this important corridor?

Some absolutely brilliant alternative ideas we've been gifted by the peanut gallery are:

* Self-driving cars will solve all of our traffic congestion woes in just a few years making this project moot. (Problem: There is no basis in fact that there will be any significant numbers of self-driving automobiles within a decade-even in MV!)

* If we're going to do this project at all, we should allow cars to share the lanes with buses. (Problem: Too many cars will slow everything down and will take the R ("Rapid") out of BRT.)

* Let's put BRT underground in the form of a subway. (Problem: Going underground is a massive expensive undertaking in both construction impact and cost. Many billions of dollars.)

* We should wait until the buses are packed with riders before investing in service improvements. (Problem: Chicken and the egg. With the automobiles clogging the roads, it will take much longer to commute by transit. This is because the buses will be making stops to take on and let off passengers. With the elderly, the infirm and the cyclists, this can take a couple extra minutes. With a dedicated lane, this lost time servicing pedestrians can be made up by not being blocked by cars.)

* This is silicon valley, the center of all innovation. I'm sure we can invent a brand new mode of transportation. Let's do that! (Problem: Well, the armchair innovation geniuses that are suggesting this have no practical ideas. They just assume that someone else will come up with one.)

Pat on the back to our council for making the right choice and I appreciate Mr. Siegel for supporting the decision. Seems the only ones opposed are some quacks on this site.


13 people like this
Posted by Fashion Police
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2015 at 9:10 am

@DoNada . Always Dressed to Shill?


8 people like this
Posted by @Fashion Police
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 26, 2015 at 9:25 am

Name calling is the lowest form of argumentation and is commonly used by those on the losing side of reason.

Let's hear your ideas for improving the efficiency of moving people up and down El Camino. Or is your name calling an admission of defeat?


11 people like this
Posted by Fashion Police
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2015 at 10:24 am

@Donada - Name Calling? Are you missing a mirror in your dressing room?


5 people like this
Posted by @Fascist Police
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 26, 2015 at 10:28 am

Guess you are defeated. It must be difficult to be on the wrong side of reality.


12 people like this
Posted by JH
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2015 at 11:54 am

I am a San Jose resident who commutes to Mountain View daily. I sometimes carpool and I sometimes take CalTrain.

I support the dedicated lane El Camino BRT project.

El Camino is already very congested is about to get much worse. That isn't VTA's fault. VTA's job is to provide public transportation and the increasing congestion of El Camino will make it difficult for them to do that in the future with the current setup along El Camino. BRT provides a viable alternative to the inevitable traffic jams along the corridor. Surprisingly, a bus only lane with one bus every 5-10 minutes has a higher throughput of people than a single lane of single-occupancy autos (not to mention the reduced GHG emissions).

The VTA's board of directors is exclusively comprised of elected local officials. They take a regional approach to transportation management. The VTA has the authority to build BRT lanes on El Camino (state property) without approval of any cities. Despite this, VTA has gone out of their way to engage cities in the design and implementation of this project. El Camino BRT is not a Mountain View issue, it is a Silicon Valley issue.

Also, the VTA will plant new trees to make up for any that are taken down in this project.

The project is already paid for through state and federal funding. It's incredibly cheap compared to alternatives like light rail and heavy real. As others have pointed out, it decreases VTAs operating costs and reduces the percentage of operating costs that are subsidized.

The majority of people who work in Mountain View do not live there. It is important for Mountain View's continued growth for the city to be appropriately connected with the region. Mountain View is urbanizing quickly and needs projects like this to maintain an efficient transportation system. I use the buses in San Jose but I do not use the buses in Mountain View because Mountain View's bus system is not very good (relative to San Jose's, in terms of frequency, connections, and coverage). I would use the bus a lot more if the full BRT project was implemented.

The reason bus-only lanes are not being considered for parts of San Jose is that San Jose already has more bus riders and less drivers on its potion of the line, so the buses are not at risk of getting stuck in traffic.

BRT has been successfully implemented around the world. Here is a study of other BRT systems in the United States.
Web Link


20 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 26, 2015 at 12:12 pm

"@Do nothing" AKA "@fashion police" etc. - You sound like the same person who tried to degrade the discussion in a previous BRT thread. Straw man arguments and name calling are will not go far in a community of mostly-intelligent people.

Lenny Siegel voted against lane closure, NOT in favor. See his post, above. Votes in favor of lane closure were from Rosenberg, Showalter, and Kasperzak. They bought into the ridiculous developer-favored fantasy that if auto use is made miserable enough, we will all ride bikes or take the bus, and high-density overdevelopment will not result in total gridlock.

It's simple - this project would cause more problems than it would solve. Displacing 1/3 of ECR traffic would severely impact neighborhoods and other already-congested intersections. BRT ridership would not be sufficient to offset this, since the vast majority of drivers on ECR have starting points and destinations not served by buses.

Link to petition to reverse the city council's position: Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Intelligent Realist
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 26, 2015 at 1:10 pm

"Realist" sounds like the same anti-elderly, anti-poor and anti-environmentalist that has been posting garbage all over this forum.

He/she offers no alternatives to efficiently moving people up and down El Camino and resorts to name-calling when pushed into a corner.

Most intelligent residents in Mountain View are looking forward to the BRT project. That is a fact. Even Lenny Siegel is supportive now.


5 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 26, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Link to petition to reverse the city council's position: Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Counter Argument
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 26, 2015 at 2:02 pm

VTA BRT El Camino dedicated assists lower income residents:

Reducing bus commutes down by 39 minutes each way or almost 80 minutes every single day! That extra time could be spent working more hours to generate much needed income or hopefully spending time with their family. So, all the bus rider would receive a massive benefit. Since many of these riders are low income, what is basis for your claim that this wouldn’t help?

Here’s a comparison of transportation costs:

Car ownership: 2856/yr (for low income earners (see: Web Link
)
CalTrain Pass (2 zone): 1512/yr (Express service only in a narrow timeframe, Only covers a narrow N-S commuting corridor)
Bus pass: 840/yr (Express service around the clock with a network of buses throughout the county)

So, automobiles cost the low income driver over 300% more than a bus pass.
CalTrain costs the low income commuter almost TWICE that of a bus pass.

And BRT won’t help out the low income worker.

Here’s another way to look at it. Car ownership is 2856/yr and at 10/hour (min wage), takes 285 hours to pay for this expense. That’s 7 weeks/year! But many low income workers are part time, so let’s assume 30 hours, so that’s almost 2 1/2 months! Not spending on food, childcare expenses…but merely on the car. Contrast this to a bus pass which only takes TWO weeks (or three weeks PT) to pay this off!


16 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 26, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Has anyone read the 13-page letter from the City of Mountain View to the VTA dated January 2, 2015 raising objections by the dedicated bus lane plan and its draft EIR? It is attached to the staff report for agenda item 7.3 on the April 21 Mountain View City Council agenda. Vice-Mayor Showalter stated at the meeting that the VTA should have provided a written response to the letter. Then, without any response to the letter or her comment, Showalter called for support of the VTA's dedicated bus lane plan - explaining, in part, that after being elected, she had spoken about the matter to undisclosed persons and, based thereon, had changed her mind. Check a replay of the meeting on KMVT.


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Grand Rapids, Michigan is planning BRT as way to get people to and from the central core.

Other cities in the found BRT less costly then building fixed rail transit or the king of transit projects. Subways.

It would take years to study, plan, study, discuss, study, plan, enter the funding cycle and build. Ask San Framcisco about the Central Subway and the Market St subway with BART. MUNI Metro is slow where at one time buses was a far better choice then with broken doors, packed cars, crowded platform and dirty stations.


7 people like this
Posted by San Jose is not the Core
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Downtown San Jose isn't even the Urban Core of San Jose, let alone of Santa Clara County. A dedication of a lane isn't going to help. Low income people isn't what this project is about. That guy who commutes from San Jose every day via car pool or Cal Train doesn't work along El Camino Real. No big new office complexes are proposed along El Camino Real. He should just take Cal Train every day. Oh, but VTA doesn't spend $10 per trip each way subsidizing his cost. That would be a better use of the $233 Million than dedicating a lane on El Camino. Get more people onto Cal Train. You could subsidize 23,300,000 trips at $10 each. Wow! Oh, and those buses don't run for free on El Camino. Cut back from every 5 minutes to only running every 15 minutes. Save some bus costs. Don't run them empty. Whether the trip takes 40 minutes or 90 minutes, the extra 10 minutes in wait time for the next bus is a small factor on the overall trip length. You've got a separate 20 or more minute trip at each end too, to get the El Camino. So if the trip is 40 minutes, the whole trip is likely 75 minutes anyway.


15 people like this
Posted by Build Housing
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2015 at 4:12 pm

I thought the idea was to build HOUSING on El Camino Real (heaven knows why) and then use that for the workers working at Mountain View employment centers. So, how does BRT help these guys get to work in North Bayshore where the 20,000 new jobs are being added?

Answer: It doesn't! It will make it harder. These guys are supposed to ride in shuttle buses run by google, and they won't be able to get through the traffic on El Camino to pick them up! These are 20 person shuttles, not monster luxury coaches. That's Google's new solution to cut trips to North Bayshore. It can work too! That is, if El Camino is not f**'d up by these idiots trying to connect with new housing in San Jose THAT IS MEANT FOR THAT CITY's WORKERS. What a bad plan.


6 people like this
Posted by Supporter
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 26, 2015 at 5:53 pm

The point of public transit is to provide public transportation options to everyone and not just the employees of Google.

Not all of us are anti-poor and anti-Hispanic and many of us instead welcome opening up El Camino to efficient public transit.

Open your hearts and minds to the possibility that you are fighting on the wrong side. Similarly passionate blockage was applied in many civil rights revolutions. Women's right to vote, abolition of slavery, roe vs wade are a few examples, but there are many more.

Communities across America are fighting the improvement of bus lines on both race and class discrimmination. We don't have to be like them, do we?


19 people like this
Posted by Conservation/Preservation
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 26, 2015 at 6:12 pm

Dear Supporter,
This has nothing to with anti Poirot Hispanic, but everything to do with quality of life for residents of Mountain View. I don't believe the opposition to this poor excuse of a "solution" has anything to do with anyone's
economics or race. Making a statement like that is just stupid.


4 people like this
Posted by Conservation /Preservation
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 26, 2015 at 6:16 pm

Of course "Poirot" should be "poor" in my statemeT7nt above.


6 people like this
Posted by Supporter
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 26, 2015 at 6:23 pm

"This has [...] everything to do with quality of life for residents of Mountain View."

That is EXACTLY what was said to fight Suffrage and Abolution. ( vote for women and end of slavery)

Arguments against were that it would ruin the quality of life of the community. Other arguments that it would hurt the economy. Sound familiar??

We can do better. We can BE better. Embrace BRT and embrace your fellow community members at ALL socio-economic levels.


10 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 26, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Has there been a study and cost estimate done regarding the costs to the city of Mountain View for increased neighborhood street repairs, speed humps, traffic diverters, stop signs, etc.? When the cars leave ECR to shortcut through the neighborhoods, there will be many new neighborhood requests for traffic mitigation.


8 people like this
Posted by @Rengstorff Park Allegedly
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2015 at 7:07 pm

How does dedicating a lane, rather than just adding BRT, on El Camino Real improve transit options for residents of your neighborhood? Keep in mind that the $230 Million doesn't include funds to operate extra buses on El Camino, and doing that will remove potential service from your neighborhood.

It sounds to me like you are one of these people who wants OTHER PEOPLE to use transit but you have no experience with it yourself.

BRT yes, dedicating a lane and ripping out the trees from Beautiful El Camino Real in Mountain View NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!


35 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 26, 2015 at 7:12 pm

The dedicated lane BRT option is not about "social justice". The ploy of "social justice" is what the VTA is using as a tool in order to further it's agenda. I am not saying life is not difficult in the bay area for the working poor, which many of us would be considered based upon cost of living in this area. What I am saying is that organizations such as the VTA should NOT be trying to sell it's dedicated lane option as the only/best option of BRT by wrapping itself -- and by extension the dedicated lane option -- in the cloak of a social justice crusade, when that's simply not true. The truth is, there are other options of the BRT proposal that will serve people well without creating the anticipated constant gridlock on ECR, the LOS "F" level service on Central Expressway, while turning nearby residential streets into cut thru thoroughfares. The VTA EIR is laughable and leaves many many questions unanswered or simply dumps the problems created by the dedicated lane option onto the surrounding cities to manage on their own.

There are numerous VTA options available for Mountain View, and the dedicated lane option is quite simply not an option.


As an aside, for those who have not perused the EIR fully, not only will ALL the trees in the median strip of ECR be torn out (think Mission Street in SF) there will also be several additional stoplights added to ECR that VTA will control, and several left hand turn lanes will be lost forcing drivers to either make right turns onto residential streets then circle back across to cross to the other side of ECR or go drive several blocks further than necessary (waiting at lights along the way) until you come to a light where you can make a u-turn and circle back or make a left turn then cut thru a residential neighborhood and then make your way back to ECR.

Someone mentioned in a previous comment that VTA controlled ECR and that's not true. Cal-Trans controls right of way on El Camino Real, as it is a state highway. I have heard that the VTA has petitioned Cal Trans to remove the State Highway designation which would remove Cal-Trans from having any responsibility - both financial and right of way - over El Camino Real. If this happens, then each city along El Camino Real will be responsible for it's portion of the road, financially and otherwise....which would include right of way and all maintenance & repair costs. At least that's how I understand it.


20 people like this
Posted by Commuter
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 26, 2015 at 8:38 pm

Against BRT equivalent to being pro slavery? This is an important public issue. Please be serious.


11 people like this
Posted by Review
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 26, 2015 at 9:32 pm



Here are more issues raised by the anti-bus mafia:

"How does dedicating a lane, rather than just adding BRT, on El Camino Real improve transit options for residents of your neighborhood“

For me, I have regular appointments and events along El Camino that are often during rush hour. The bus takes forever because of all of these cars clogging up the roads. My bus is full, but my view out the window shows most of the cars to contain just ONE SINGLE PERSON! So, yes, it would help me out and I’m sure as my neighbors see how great the service has become will use it too.

"Keep in mind that the $230 Million doesn't include funds to operate extra buses on El Camino, and doing that will remove potential service from your neighborhood.”

Ooh. Who told you that? That sounds like the anti-bus mafia has been pushing more misinformation. Actually, the operating costs will GO DOWN from what it is today. Buses have to go more frequently today, because of the automobile-caused congestion. When express buses are freed up, they don’t have to go as often. So, if money is actually a concern for you, then you should support this project.

"BRT yes, dedicating a lane and ripping out the trees from Beautiful El Camino Real in Mountain View NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!”

So now you are worried about trees being taken out? How environmental of you! I guess you did not research this issue carefully, because any trees to be removed are to be replaced. In fact, if a city wants MORE trees put in the median, that can be accomplished too! So, if trees are REALLY a concern, then you should support this project.

Let’s review MVResident67’s apologist rantings:

"The dedicated lane BRT option is not about "social justice". The ploy of "social justice" is what the VTA is using as a tool in order to further it's agenda.”

Thank you for the straw man argument. There are many reasons why this project is to be done and the so-called “social justice tool” is just one of them. CalTrain has spent massive amount of taxpayer dollars to improve train service for hi-tech workers and nobody complained about that. Now VTA wants to improve train service that will not solely help hi-tech workers an there is a backlash from a few cranky residents. Have you forgotten that most Google employees make more than 100k/annually? If you account for stock-based compensation and bonuses, the averages are much higher!

"The truth is, there are other options of the BRT proposal that will serve people well without creating the anticipated constant gridlock on ECR…”

Actually, that is incorrect. You need to read the traffic study and see that the other options provide very little improvement. Also the study has proven that there will be no “anticipated constant gridlock on ECR” because of this project. The BRT project does not exist currently and there is gridlock, so blaming BRT for it is ridiculous. The study shows it will actually take 4,000 cars off the road!

"The VTA EIR is laughable and leaves many many questions unanswered…”

It doesn’t sound like you read or at least understood it, so the unanswered questions are probably more a factor of you than the study itself.

"...or simply dumps the problems created by the dedicated lane option onto the surrounding cities to manage on their own.”

Well, the city has approved millions of square feet of office space which has created a huge traffic problem for ourselves and our surrounding cities. Fair’s fair, right? Why shouldn’t VTA develop projects that will preserve a public transportation across the county?

"There are numerous VTA options available for Mountain View, and the dedicated lane option is quite simply not an option.”

Actually, it is. You need to read the proposal again and you will see it documented there.

The rest of her comments are just drivel and not worth responding to.


12 people like this
Posted by @Review
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2015 at 1:58 am

I don't know for sure if you really live in Cuesta Park or not, but I seriously doubt it. You might just not be very smart.

The BRT plan will affect only 2 stops in Mountain View. Unless your "appointments" require that you get from Castro Street to Showers Drive, you won't see any speed up from the BRT having at all. This is true whether it is a dedicated lane, the improved Bulb Out stops with ticket machines, or even the current 522 route service. But if you DO need that path, then hop on the 522 route. It will get you there in 10 minutes, even at rush hour. Imagine that.

Now if you try to ride a 22 route, well, that will clearly SLOW DOWN with the dedicated lane creation because they plan to run that in the remaining 2 lanes sharing with the other vehicles. All those will be slowed down.

I think a true resident of Cuesta Park who really did use VTA service on El Camino Real would know this...


5 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2015 at 9:58 am

It wasn't until the 80's that the landscaping was added in the center of El Camino before it was the center turn lane.

Hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, offices, stores and 2 universities line El Camino. Nearby within reasonable walking more business, schools, downtowns, train stations an transfer points.

How many people live or will live within half a mile from the center of El Camino or from the curb?

Both sides of the street, then how many people live within good biking distances of El Camino.

How many people worth within reasonable distances near El Camino.


16 people like this
Posted by It's On
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 27, 2015 at 10:19 am

If you would like to preserve the improvements Mtn View has made over the years, on like the tree plantings they started in the 1908's to improve residents quality of life and the town's beauty, please sign the petition to let the Council know that you oppose this decision:
VTA should not be allowed to ruin so much for the benefit of so few.
Here's the web link to sign the petition: Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by It's On
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 27, 2015 at 10:20 am

1980's


6 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2015 at 11:20 am

Wonder how many trees, buildings, homes and business were razed to widen El Camino in the name of auto lanes.

Seen trees cut down for freeways, highway improvements, interchanges, driveways, on and off ramps, parking lanes and sound walls.


22 people like this
Posted by It's On
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 27, 2015 at 11:30 am

We also used to put DDT on our crops.
Just because we have done it in the past does not mean we need to do it now.
Trees are just one of the many many reasons not to do this lane reduction.


19 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Gary:

"Has anyone read the 13-page letter from the City of Mountain View to the VTA dated January 2, 2015 raising objections by the dedicated bus lane plan and its draft EIR? It is attached to the staff report for agenda item 7.3 on the April 21 Mountain View City Council agenda. Vice-Mayor Showalter stated at the meeting that the VTA should have provided a written response to the letter. Then, without any response to the letter or her comment, Showalter called for support of the VTA's dedicated bus lane plan - explaining, in part, that after being elected, she had spoken about the matter to undisclosed persons and, based thereon, had changed her mind. Check a replay of the meeting on KMVT."

~~~~~~~~~~

Here is the link to the PDF of the letter that Mountain View City submitted to the VTA that Gary is referred to upthread. Link should download the PDF. If the link is not 'hot' cut & paste and it should work.

The questions points raised and questions asked in this letter have yet (as far as I am aware of) to be publicly responded to by the VTA.

Read, read, read...

mountainview.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=168232ef-4a18-4f6f-9785-eddd095e90ef.pdf


22 people like this
Posted by OldMV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 27, 2015 at 4:04 pm

When can I sign a recall petition for Ken Rosenberg, Pat Showalter and Michael Kasperzak? It's time to throw the bums out for violating their campaign promises. Throw in Lenny Segal along with them because he's an SDS and SNCC professional agitator and troublemaker who wants to turn Mountain View into another San Francisco-like Hell.


29 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 27, 2015 at 4:13 pm

It is about time that people stopped using the term "Social Justice" to justify every foolish move they decide to make. I find the term so cringe-worthy now that it detracts from situations where the term would actually be applicable.

To say that voting for this measure is a move for "Social Justice" is simply wrong. The reason Mr. Rosenberg uses is that the "people who serve us" should be able to get here more easily. I say that's hogwash.

If he is concerned about the restaurant workers in Mountain View, there is a lovely train station that stops only a few footsteps from Castro Street restaurants. Why do they need the bus as well?

If he is concerned about cleaning crews and gardeners who come from other areas, it certainly doesn't show in his vote. The last time I checked, people with those particular jobs get here by DRIVING their equipment, usually on ECR. Do they somehow count for less because they aren't serving him his lunch? Does it not matter that they will have to waste gas and sit in gridlock so he can get his table bused a little sooner?

It is disingenuous to say that this is a move for "Social Justice". This smacks of "Social Engineering" and is not, in any way, just to the citizens of Mountain View, who both Rosenberg and Showalter are supposed to represent. It's time they thought about the people who live here and what they want. I DON'T need a nanny to tell me what is best for me. If that is what they want to do, go teach preschool.

When you take a job to represent people, just do what they ask. If you can't find it in your heart to do that, resign, and save us the trouble of removing you.


20 people like this
Posted by Recall
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 4:15 pm

There is a thread on these boards with information about getting the recall started. Please take action.


21 people like this
Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2015 at 5:30 pm

MVResident67, Thank you for the link to the January 2015 letter from the council to the VTA.

It's obvious from some comments on this thread that many people have not read the VTA's Environmental Impact Report. Seems like Rosenberg, Showalter and Kasperzak haven't read it either.

Each lane on El Camino can handle 950 cars/hour. The VTA does not assume those drivers will switch to the bus. Their plan counts on frustrated drivers diverting off El Camino to avoid the traffic jams. Where will they go? Through our neighborhood streets.

The EIR has a whole section on diversion:

Page 4.12-44: Depending on Project alternatives, implementation of the Project would cause changes in the travel patterns for vehicles traveling along the El Camino Real corridor, especially for Project alternatives with the dedicated BRT lanes that require the removal of a general travel lane. These changes in transit operation, vehicle travel patterns, coupled with the removal of a general travel lane, would alter the configuration of study intersections and affect the intersection traffic operation on the corridor and diversion routes.

Page 4.14-5: In 2040, the significantly and unavoidable affected intersections on the Project corridor would be El Camino at
- Embarcadero Road/Galvez
- Page Mill Road/Oregon Expressway, Palo Alto (Alternative 4c).
- Showers Drive/Los Altos Square, Mountain View (Alternative 4b).
- Kiely Boulevard/Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara (Alternatives 3a, 3b).
- San Tomas Expressway, Santa Clara (Alternatives 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 4c).
- Scott Boulevard, Santa Clara (Alternatives 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 4c).

In 2040, the significantly and unavoidable affected intersections off the Project corridor (diversion routes) would be the following:

- Alma Street/Churchill Avenue, Palo Alto (Alternative 4c).
- Alma Street/Meadow Drive, Palo Alto (Alternative 4c).
- Alma Street/Charleston Road, Palo Alto (Alternatives 4b, 4c).
- Rengstorff Avenue/Central Expressway, Mountain View (Alternatives 4b, 4c).
- Rengstorff Avenue/California Street, Mountain View (Alternatives 4b, 4c).
- Shoreline Boulevard/California Street, Mountain View (Alternatives 4b, 4c).
- Miramonte Avenue/Cuesta Drive, Mountain View (Alternatives 4b, 4c).
- Castro Street/Central Expressway, Mountain View (Alternatives 4b, 4c).
- Grant Road/Cuesta Drive, Mountain View (Alternatives 4b, 4c).

As for Rosenberg’s claim that “the issue of BRT became one of social justice,” who is he kidding? It’s housing he should focus on. In this same newspaper, there’s an article about Prometheus renovating some apartments, which will make them so expensive that even a Google engineer won’t be able to live there. Web Link

The reason ordinary people can’t afford to live here is because city governments throughout the Bay Area have allowed unbridled development without planning for the infrastructure required to support all those offices and dense housing projects.

“Smart” growth is killing us.


7 people like this
Posted by Barry Burr
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 27, 2015 at 5:34 pm

The solution that will gain traction, if anyone with the chutzpah and clout is willing to come forward and push for it:

El Camino Real is wide enough to add another traffic lane by narrowing the existing lanes. Two feet can be removed from the left and center lanes, at least eight to 10 feet from the extra-wide right lane. That creates an additional 12 to 13 foot wide lane for busses and bicycles.
Then we have the same number or car traffic lanes, and a dedicated combined bus and bicycle lane.
Narrower lanes bring inherent traffic calming because drivers tend to drive slower when closer side by side to other cars.
That combined bike/bus lane will be safer for bicycles than the current bicycle situation. Bicycles will only have to pass or be passed by bicycles every ten minutes, in a high visibility high clearance car free safe lane that's one small step short of being a dedicated separated bike lane. Currently bicycles fight it out on the right lane with cars as well as busses in a chaotic dance for survival.
Still not a perfect plan, but with advantages over every aspect of what VTA wants to do.


29 people like this
Posted by B Minkin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 6:03 pm

The city staffs of Palo Alto and Mountain View published reports skeptical of the BRT plan. The skeptics in this thread say the same thing: BRT has given both erroneous and misleading information in its plan; the consequences of moving traffic from El Camino to side streets will be worse than VTA claims; the plan negatively disrupts life around El Camino.

Our city council should not have voted for the plan. Not only did their own city staff provide enough questions to doubt the proposal, they promised in advance.

For a council member to claim they later learned more about this bad proposal is nonsense. Saying, "I don't know" is a way to explain a position, but saying "I oppose it" means that you understand the problem. I do not want a council member who is so ill-informed that they promise something but change their mind when the facts have not changed.


29 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Something I read on a local list server this afternoon reminded me about the recent approval of the 164 unit Greystar Apartment project at the corner of El Camino Real & Castro Street (which actually extends all the way up to the single family home on the corner of Sonia & Castro St.). Incidentally, the project was not approved using the city's codified parking standard, but rather it was approved using something called a "model parking standard" -- which I take to mean an experimental parking plan. Much of the retail parking is expected to share the development's "guest" parking, and overflow parking it was claimed will be minimal, but what overflow there may be will be able to park on the street. So, Castro Street will soon be receiving a "road diet" going from two lanes down to one lane between Castro Street & Miramonte, as well as receiving a buffered bike lane (great news on the bike lane) but losing ALL on street parking in the process. And now, if the dedicated lane BRT option is approved, all on street parking along ECR will be gone as well.

So, just looking at the corner of Castro Street and ECR, the plan is to add massive amounts of people/density while also removing lanes available for automobile use on BOTH Castro street AND El Camino Real, while simultaneously removing ALL on street parking for blocks in three directions.

Yeah, trying to move anywhere near Castro Street and El Camino Real is going to be something special, and not in a good way. And, woe to those who live in the surrounding neighborhoods...



34 people like this
Posted by wnmurphy
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 27, 2015 at 7:08 pm

wnmurphy is a registered user.

I live on El Camino, and as such I am one of the would-be benefactors of this plan.

This is an impressively bad idea.

We have buses. They already use El Camino. People already don't use those buses, and it's not because they aren't fast enough and need their own lane. If the ridership isn't there now, it is delusional and wishful thinking to think that dedicated bus lanes are going to create more riders.

Contributing to the existing traffic problem by removing lanes for everyone else is not going to magically inspire people to take the bus.

This lose-lose proposition will waste money and effectively remove a public utility while worsening the very problem it's supposed to fix.


24 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 7:41 pm

I'm still awaiting Ken Rosenberg to comment again, given the massive frustration with him.

Important to keep the focus on the petition which is nearing 500 signatures -- definitely sign if you haven't already!
Web Link

Also support the Recall effort, by e-mailing Gary Wesley (attorney with expertise on this) at gary.wesley@yahoo.com

And of course show up at the Council meeting to express your frustration at Ken Rosenberg and Pat Showalter for duping you into voting for them. Deceit will not be tolerated! Sad that Ken doesn't seem to care.





14 people like this
Posted by David-Honest
a resident of Gemello
on Apr 27, 2015 at 8:16 pm

David-Honest is a registered user.

This is why (most people should not) you need to vote. There needs to be a simple test to weed out our paste eating populace. Holy cow, Squiggy didn't even vote for it. Amazing! Dedicated bus lane give me a freaking break. Why don't you "voters" take try taking your kids to school and attempting to get on El Camino. Good Luck. I really do dislike you, a lot.


18 people like this
Posted by MV 1980
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 27, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Where do I sign for the recall of these newly elected?


10 people like this
Posted by Not A Racist
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 9:42 pm

Improving the speed and efficiency of bus service is important to support the transport of people who can least afford other more expensive options.

This battle has been happening across the country. The primarily white, middle class suburban workers have used their influence to channel most of the transportation funds to build up expensive rail services for themselves. Meanwhile, slow, uncomfortable and disconnected bus services languish.

This is exactly what is happening here. Opponents throw up indefensible arguments against the project and lean on their city councils to block it. Congrats to the MV City Council for pushing back against the greedy and/or racist opposition and voting their conscience.

For those of you on the fence, spend some time researching bus initiatives in other areas in our country. The themes are similar. Then, vote YOUR conscience!


46 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 10:14 pm

Not A Racist: "Congrats to the MV City Council for pushing back against the greedy and/or racist opposition and voting their conscience."

~~~~~~~~~~


Seriously? Knock it off with calling people who don't share your opinion "greedy and/or racist" or I may have to out you as a shameless VTA shill. Sheesh.


4 people like this
Posted by Not a Racist
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 10:29 pm


"The lady(MVResident67) doth protest too much, methinks..."
-- "Hamlet", William Shakespeare


14 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 10:38 pm

New Vice-Mayor Pat Showalter claimed that she counted speakers 11-5 at the late-night Council meeting for the VTA's bus lane plan. Actually, it was 6-6 including 2 reps of out-of-town organizations for the plan. Two speakers said bus-only lanes would be good if the express buses stopped at Escuela in MV but that is not the plan. So, you can't count them for or against. Showalter claimed she had two cards with written comments but did not read them outlound. And there was a book of emails in the lobby - mostly against. But most revealing is what Showalter and Rosenberg said about WHEN they changed their positions (taken in the campaign). It was BEFORE the April 21 Council meeting. See the meeting tape on the city's website.


12 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 10:42 pm

Not a Racist: "The lady(MVResident67) doth protest too much, methinks..."
-- "Hamlet", William Shakespeare

~~~~~~~~~~

Wow, I am SO busted. Maybe I should change my nic to 'Not a Racist' so people will think I'm not a racist, because that's clever, eh?


20 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 10:48 pm

@ Gary,

Evidently Vice-Mayor Pat Showalter either needs a math tutor or an ethics tutor.

Do you know how far into the City council Meeting (time on the video log) we should be looking at for the comments you are referring to in your above comment?


8 people like this
Posted by Open your heart
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 10:48 pm

No, you just need to open your heart and mind to other people outside your socioeconomic and racial identify. The bus system along El Camino is getting slower and slower and this is the ONLY solution available. If you have a realistic alternative that can be launched in the next several years, propose it.

Doing nothing except trying to push money toward solutions that benefit only wealthy tech workers is a very disturbing action. The motives are unseemly at best.


34 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 10:55 pm

Open your heart: "No, you just need to open your heart and mind to other people outside your socioeconomic and racial identify."

~~~~~~~~~~

This is hilarious. Sit in judgement much? You know nothing of me or mine. Get over your self-righteous self.


9 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 11:07 pm

Near the end of the meeting - just before the motion by Kasperzak - Showalter says she had been "approached" by unidentified persons after the election and Rosenberg says he received new "information" after the election. Did either one ever read the 13-page letter of January 2, 2015 from MV (city staff) to the VTA? Well, Showalter did complain that the City deserved a written response to the letter - right before she nonetheless called for her friends on the Council to support the VTA's dedicated bus lane plan!


4 people like this
Posted by No Really
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2015 at 11:14 pm

Open your heart. You just sit there on the computer complaining about decisions to improve bus services for people less fortunate than you. You accuse councilpersons of conspiring with developers..of being unethical..of not knowing basic math. Yet, you offer no basis for this. You sit in judgement.

This project is quite excellent and has a lot of data behind it. Contrast this to people like you.


18 people like this
Posted by Frustrated MV resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 27, 2015 at 11:15 pm

The MV city council meeting for Tuesday, April 28, is scheduled to start at 6:30 and the time slot for "open communication" is fairly early on the agenda (the council has a study session on other issues starting at 5:30). Since many residents were taken by surprise by the reversal of positions by two members who had campaign positions opposing El Camino lane reduction plan, it is an opportunity to express opposition to this surprising action.

At last count, the on-line peition had close to 500 signatures. Since at least one council member seemed to be influenced by her perception of who attended the last council meeting, perhaps these numbers will help her reconsider or at least ask for VTA to respond to the letter from MV staff and allow public comment on the response before taking this position.


19 people like this
Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2015 at 11:24 pm

'Showalter says she had been "approached" by unidentified persons after the election and Rosenberg says he received new "information" after the election.'

Residents have a right to know who those unidentified persons are and what information was provided. How was it communicated? Verbally? Email? Other?


25 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 12:06 am

No, really, now you're just embarrassing yourself. I know it would make your job oh so much easier if people just let government do it's thing, unchecked by the citizenry. Thank goodness for sunshine laws! Believe me, there's other things I'd rather do then spend my time reading thru 400+ page EIR's, taking notes, writing letters to city council, attending and occasionally speaking at city council meetings...multiple times over & for various different projects. Yeah,I might not know what goes on behind closed doors, but I see DO pay attention, and I see a LOT.

If what @Gary stated upthread is in fact true...

"New Vice-Mayor Pat Showalter claimed that she counted speakers 11-5 at the late-night Council meeting for the VTA's bus lane plan. Actually, it was 6-6 including 2 reps of out-of-town organizations for the plan."

...then, evidently Vice-Mayor Pat Showalter either needs a math tutor or an ethics tutor.

I have to admit I am a bit gob-smacked by councils assurances that they were against the dedicated lane option of BRT. I had in face to face conversations with two council persons regarding the subject several months ago and was led to believe that the dedicated lane option was not an option that Mountain View was interested in, even though VTA was aggressively pushing for it.

Have you read Mountain View's 14 page letter commenting on the VTA Bus Rapid Transit (Draft) Environmental Impact Report? You really should. The comments & questions are on point. I am wondering why the VTA has not responded to Mountain View's comments & questions, or if it has, why this response has not been made public?

Here's the link to Mountain View's comments & questions on the Environmental Impact Report for VTA's proposed BRT plan (you will need to cut and paste the link, but it should work)...

mountainview.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=168232ef-4a18-4f6f-9785-eddd095e90ef.pdf

Everybody should read this!!! Print it out and take it with you to the meeting tomorrow night, if you can go!


6 people like this
Posted by Rapid transit supporter
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 12:49 am

Looking forward for BRT to be implemented on El Camino. Caltrain is a joke. It is too far away from where all the businesses and services are. Plus it doesn't come very often and is very expensive.




30 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 12:58 am

Woah, The Daily Post just published a scathing opinion piece on the now infamous Mountain View City Council "flip-flop vote calling it a "political career killer" for Showalter & Rosenberg, among other things. The opinion piece does go on to say that VTA board will rubber stamp the BRT project, basically because the north county has little say (influence) over VTA - it's all San Jose, baby. Next step Cal-Trans, Assemblyman Rich Gordon and State Sen. Jerry Hill. Let the lobbying begin.

Interesting how the editor brought it all back to ABAG and how all that went down with barley a peep, and now we're in struggling to solve all the problems created by ABAG (plan bay area).


3 people like this
Posted by Allison
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 28, 2015 at 1:21 am

I don't see what all the hubbub is. Seems the questions posed by the city are similar to the ones they never answered themselves. Every large development approved by the city had negatively impacted state highway 82 (el camino), which does not belong to mountain view. Why should we be allowed to flood El Camino with traffic without expecting an attempt to preserve public transit routes? Seems like the chickens have come home to the roost.

On a positive note, the traffic analysis shows minimal impacts to automobile traffic while almost doubling bus speed. This project had my support!


5 people like this
Posted by Fake supporter
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2015 at 2:27 am

Gee, I don't know anything about Mountain View, you know. But I am SURE it's just perFECT for Mountain View to have this VTA monstrosity of a service plan forced down the throats of the citizens. After all, Highway 101 is SOOOOO far from El Camino, not everyone can ride carpools up there, you know? And, 280 is just as bad, only in the opposite direction. So, like I know El Camino is somewhere in the middle and it's hard for most of the city to reach it too, but gee, this dedicated lane solution will just be peachy keen and it will sound real good on the news too.

So, everyone get on board with me. I once almost thought about maybe perhaps moving to Mountain View too!

And death to CalTrain. VTA rulz.


16 people like this
Posted by Burned Bridge
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 5:36 am

I think this is a great idea. It will help VTA pretend it is not a fading bureaucracy and prove that once started it will be too late for anyone to do anything about the lies we told everyone. While ridership will continue to fall, VTA should be able to do whatever they want, no matter how many lives it affects negatively, because if they do not, people may actually start to believe that VTA is really not as useful as they want us to believe.
I'm min for the recall and my wallet is closed forever to VTA.


26 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 8:13 am

Interesting article in the front section of the Wall Street Journal today where Mountain View director of community development, Randy Tsuda, is quoted as saying about commuters "backing up onto our city streets that are causing tremendous inconveniences for our residents" ... "It's now compromising general livability."

That you Randy, for speaking the truth...well, the truth is, it's been compromising the general livability for awhile now and Mountain Views current polices are not poised to do anything by exacerbate the problem for residents.


5 people like this
Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2015 at 9:22 am


WSJ article is at Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 9:51 am

@History Buff,

The article is available as subscription only. Hopefully some readers have a subscription.

The article was interesting. It was basically talking about how ... "room to grow is evaporating in Silicon Valley as technology giants' appetites for expansion are running up against residents weary of clogged streets and cramped classrooms ... "

snip...

"Front and center is Mountain View, Calif.," ... "The city in late February received proposals from tech companies Google and LinkedIn Corp., as well as private developers, to add 5.7 million square feet of office space - more than the size of two Empire State Buildings - for an area where the city has plans to allow just 2.2 million square feet of growth in the next two decades. ..."

more...


3 people like this
Posted by Dawn Gold
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 28, 2015 at 9:56 am

Petition link won't work!
I tried to sign my name 10 times but the link failed each time I made slight adjustments. :-(


6 people like this
Posted by James P
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 28, 2015 at 10:58 am

Dawn, I don't think it's not broken, I believe it is designed to ween out false signatures. My neighbors and I have had no issues.
Others can try, one time only if you want it to go through. Link is here:
Web Link


17 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 11:30 am

With the overwhelming support, the petition is just a few votes shy of 500 -- let's get it to 500 by the meeting tonight to send a strong message!
Web Link

Love the opinion piece from the Post: "Voters betrayed by flip-floppers"

Change is in the air. Get the petition to 500+ and support the Recall effort.

If none of the Council members reverts to their original promises tonight, let's kick this into high gear and make sure they're replaced with common sense.


7 people like this
Posted by Do it!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 28, 2015 at 1:00 pm

C'mon folks!

If we get the 500 then the council will know that up to six tenths of one percent of residents oppose this measure enough to click the mouse!

0.006 of MV is not nothing! After all, it is above zero!!!

And I resent he implication that 1/2 of these are fraudulent, duplicates or from out of area. Who cares?! If even ONE person on the planet opposes this project then the council should reverse their decision.


19 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 28, 2015 at 1:33 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

This is ridiculous, what a political crock of incompetence. This is all we need, more EMPTY BUSSES causing ticked off drivers to speed thru residential neighborhoods endangering pedestrians and bikers all to avoid the massive screwup created by corrupt politicians. Showalter and Rosenberg recall.


10 people like this
Posted by Geek
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Geek is a registered user.

From Sylvan park to Mountain View High School:
Walk 46min ($0)
Bus 41min ($4)
Car 7min ($2.16)
Is bus a valuable option?


11 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 28, 2015 at 2:14 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

I find it interesting posters are pointing out "it's just 2%" of MV signing the petition and yet there's no mention that the comments on these articles are OVERWHELMINGLY against this action of the Council.

The majority voted when they elected council members who were AGAINST this from the beginning.


4 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 28, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Who wrote it was less than TWO pct? I see that it is less than ONE HALF percent. Perhaps you should DRIVE in your precious sutomobile to MVHS, enroll and learn to read?

When you show poor reading comprehension, it makes us discount what you have to say. It seems that many of the people against this project have similar cognitive impairments.


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2015 at 2:23 pm

One day traffic will get bad, gas prices will rise to $5.00 dollars and electric cars that is great idea but with the drought of water is will impact the power generating system.

Self driving cars great idea but replacing solo driving car with another sole passenger system. Not everyone will be able to make the change to self driving let along buy a new car.

A 10 mile bike ride is out of the question, a 75 miunte bus ride is out of the question. Renting a cheap a apartment in Palo Alto, Mountain View or Sunnyvale area is just out of the question.

Getting a cheap apartment where gas is cheap but the commute take forever.

All so we can have trees down a state highway and people who already in traffic will have less traffic for now but more later on.


9 people like this
Posted by Also
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 3:11 pm

You forgot that grid-locking ECR in an attempt to force people out of their cars is also out of the question.
One thing though, a 10 mile bike ride would be totally acceptable to me. I see bikes as being the KEY area to get people out of their cars, not this lane closure fiasco. The lunacy of it...no wonder so many are irate.


30 people like this
Posted by MV Libertarian
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 28, 2015 at 3:31 pm

The proposal for dedicated BRT lanes should be recognized as an effort by an outdated, inefficient VTA bureaucracy to grab for their exclusive use a major piece of El Camino Real, a local transportation route that is vital to the residents of adjoining cities. Despite the protestations of a few shills for VTA trolling this forum, it takes no long-winded EIR, traffic models or other studies to see that BRT will have minimal transportation benefits, while incurring major impacts to automobile traffic on ECR and adjacent city streets at the outrageous waste of a quarter billion dollars of tax payers’ money.

I did not support either council member Showalter and Rosenberg in the last election, recognizing them as establishment candidates who ran rather vacuous campaigns while supported by large amounts of outside, dark money and whose backgrounds were not representative of the typical MV resident. Their sudden flip flopping on the issue of dedicated BRT lanes on ECR come after barely three months on the job and has only confirmed my earlier assessments. During the April 21st meeting, Ms Showalter as Vice Mayor chaired the discussion of this issue since the Mayor had recused himself. Ms Showalter’s motion to bring this divisive issue to a vote at this meeting was totally unnecessary and was a disservice to the city, given the lack of response by the VTA to the city’s earlier letter. Ms Showalter’s discussion of the topic consisted largely of her pointing out to the VTA representative a litany of problems with the BRT plan which should have been enough for any logical person to refrain from endorsing the plan. She noted that a preponderance of the speakers at the meeting were in favor of the plan (11-to-5); however, hopefully she would realize that under normal circumstances the council meeting audience is generally stacked with political/social activists and representatives of special interest group concerned with agenda topic and who in no way represent the majority of MV residents. She is in for a rude awakening at tonight’s meeting! Mr Rosenberg’s sudden change of position on the BRT issue was also disturbing, particularly in his gullibility in succumbing to the “social justice” meme and his proposition that we need to spend (i.e., waste) a quarter billion dollars because San Jose was already getting the bulk of Prop A funds. Mr Kasperzak’s swing vote in favor of the motion should also not go unnoticed. Kudos to Mr Siegel and Mr Inks for exercising common sense and voting against the motion.

The three offending council members need to be reminded that they are supposed to be representing the interests of MV residents, not their own personal agendas or the interests of outside agencies. Hopefully, the council will agree to rescind the 4/21 position at the next regularly scheduled meeting on 5/5/2015 and move forward in partnership with the neighboring cities of Sunnyvale, Los Altos and Palo Alto which have already gone on record opposing dedicated BRT lanes on ECR.

For those interested in reviewing the position of the council members on this issue at the 4/21/2015 meeting, the topic is available is available for viewing at:

Web Link

Discussions on the BRT agenda topic begin at:

3:32 Siegel
3:36 Kasperzak
3:41 Rosenberg
3:46 Inks
3:48 Showalter
3:54 Kasperzak
3:57 Siegel
3:59 Vote


22 people like this
Posted by Gnar
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 28, 2015 at 3:44 pm

On page 5 of the VTA's Traffic Operations Analysis report, the VTA expects to increase ridership in 2018 by 126%, more than double. This is delusional.

People drive cars because cars get them ANYWHERE they want to go. BRT still requires would-be riders to figure out how to get to and from those limited Mountain View stops. As a would-be Caltrain rider, this is precisely why I don't use the train. There is no convenient stop nearby.

On page 35, you can see traffic volume during rush hours (roughly 3,200 cars in both directions). Those thousands of cars are not going to destinations on El Camino, thus they are largely not going to convert to VTA riders. Instead, they will be squeezed into 2 fewer lanes of the existing 6, making the current problem 33% worse.


28 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 4:05 pm

This is the VTAs plan, to make traffic WORSE. Make people's daily lives so unbearable and unlivable that they would be forced onto a bus out of shear desperation. Nice huh?

They found their corruptible/gullible accomplices to this ill-conceived plan in the newbies on the council who actually made quite a big deal that they opposed the plan before the elections. They either lied or were corrupted or both.
Rosenberg and Showalter felt ZERO obligation to abide by their own words which was the reason they were elected. They spat on the people who voted for them.

Has Rosenberg done the same thing with his clients at Morgan Stanley in Cupertino. Is this the Wall Street mentality we're dealing with? Get your own and to hell with everyone else? Get these lying, anti-resident, corrupt jerks off our Council. Their behavior is a shame to the entire City. I want a recall because they STOLE my vote with their lies.


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Did I mention the 10 miles would be one way, so the journey by bike would be 20 miles. One point in my life things got bad in which within a short amount of time got a divorce, lost my job and my car died. So I was one of those who would take any job, so I took 2 low paying jobs and then went up to 3 jobs.

My bike ride was a total of 14 miles and my first job started at 5:00 AM and by the time I got home was 11:30 PM, it was faster to ride then take the bus.

For 2 years I did this in which the weather did not help. 85 degree heat, passed out and hit a parked 18 wheeler, wet weather with wet roads and cars cutting you off, you learn how to land after going over a car. Cold fingers, cold body and wet. You learn to deal with irate drivers who would cuss at you, throw stuff at you, try to run you off the road and watch out for those insane mirrors that stick out.

Yes you are late sometimes so you get written up, threated with getting fired, supsended from work because you were half hour let because you took a tumble. Finally I manged to buy a car and got a better job.


28 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Over 500 signatures in less than one week without any direct canvassing of neighborhoods. It's a good start.

The VTA shills will continue to ridicule and dismiss the import of the signatures, but the writing is literally on the wall. Had the good residents of Mountain View suspected for a moment that city council members Showalter & Rosenberg would go back on their campaign statements that they were AGAINST the dedicated lane option of BRT, then I have little doubt that the council chambers would have been filled with residents expressing their opposition to this plan. Quite honestly it appears as if the residents of Mountain View were sandbagged by Showalter & Rosenberg, as evidently they had changed their minds long before the vote was held, but failed to inform their constituency of this "change of heart". Dirty, dirty, politics.

What goes around comes around.


23 people like this
Posted by Don't Invest with Rosenberg
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 28, 2015 at 4:58 pm

That can be his new slogan.
I'm telling everyone I know about the integrity issues that Morgan Stanley's Cupertino office has within it. Check where your money is!
Ken Rosenberg will look you in the eye and tell you one thing, then do the complete opposite without any warning. That is a proven fact.


6 people like this
Posted by Real MV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 28, 2015 at 6:10 pm

I don't know where this whole "VTA Shill" name calling came from. Probably the last gasp from greedy and stupid.

However, it really seems that the main opposition comes from a few wingnuts who have nothing better to do than to fight for the status quo. My inside sources says that the main opponent is that character that believes that the LASD public schools are not good enough for the wealthy elite of LA Hills so we need to pile in tens of millions of taxpayer money into a private school. This is the same character that is trying to get the more ethnically diverse people out of his elite schools and over to MV and so it makes sense that he would fight anything that would allow people from San Jose to commute efficiently to their minimum wage jobs up the peninsula.

Don't let these people fool you. They don't care about you or the community.

Thank goodness we have a city council that votes with their conscience and on the facts presented rather than accept at face value the vile words coming from the anti-public transit protestors.


10 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 28, 2015 at 8:03 pm

@ "Real MV Resident"

I have no idea if you live in MV or not (though I doubt it), but you are attempting to stir up nonsense and that won't stand.

In your post you talk about the main opponent being a "character that believes the LASD public schools are not good enough for the wealthy elite of LA Hills". I can only assume you are referencing to David Roode, but if it's someone else, it really doesn't matter.

Mr. Roode and I don't agree on the issue of how the charter school interacts with the LASD school district, but that has NO bearing on this discussion. If he thinks the bus lane on ECR is a lousy idea, then I agree with him on that.

FYI "Resident", just because we don't agree on one issue doesn't mean we can't agree on this. He shares this community as much as anyone else and if we can come together on this issue, I have no problem standing with him.


3 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2015 at 8:10 pm

Perhaps all the hostility is because some feel they didn't have a voice in the matter? Well, given that population and employment are going to grow (we all sympathize with those stuck living in a desirable region with a strong economy), I'd be curious what proposals they have for increasing our transportation capacity? Obviously the options are more limited for those who choose not to use buses out of principal, but for them perhaps widening El Camino or turning it into an elevated expressway?


21 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 28, 2015 at 8:15 pm

@ Garrett

it would be great if you could get off your high horse about biking. You seem to love the idea of robbing the taxpayers of this city of their access to ECR (we pay state taxes too, so don't start in about it not being a city street), mostly because it would be so great if everybody rode a bike.

FYI, not everybody can ride a bike (the disabled and elderly, for example) and for others, it is impractical in the extreme (parents of young children and people who want to shop and carry items home).

I don't go out and about for the "joy of driving" my car. I go because I have things to do and a limited amount of time to do them. I live too far from downtown MV to bike there and, when I do go, I have stuff to carry ( last time, it was a guitar) that isn't practical to take on a bike.

I wish those of you who want to remove people from their cars because YOU don't need one would consider for even one minute that other people are not in the same situation as you. Do their tax dollars count for less because they don't adhere to your lifestyle? Do they have to do what you say in order to count? Do you not see how intolerant that is?

I would be happy to bag "social justice" in favor of common courtesy.


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2015 at 8:53 pm

A few things I want to point out.

I don't expect everyone to jump out of their cars to ride a bike or even take a bus but the options would be there. I know most elderly or disabled can't ride a bike but it leaves out driving for quite a number of people.


32 people like this
Posted by Gnar
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 28, 2015 at 8:55 pm

@ Real MV Resident (No True Scotsman?)

"I don't know where this whole 'VTA Shill' name calling came from. Probably the last gasp from greedy and stupid.

However, it really seems that the main opposition comes from a few wingnuts who have nothing better to do than to fight for the status quo. "

Did you see the *actual* VTA shill planted at the City Hall meeting tonight? Who got called out by the Mayor? It speaks volumes about VTA's position that they need to plant a lone voice of support in a public meeting, and it speaks volumes about yours that you resort to calling names.

Please don't attempt to misrepresent the overwhelming majority on this issue as "a few wingnuts." This isn't an elitist issue. This plan represents a significant decrease in the quality of life for current residents WHO ELECTED these officials. They answer to us, they were elected on this explicit promise, and they are not currently representing our collective will.

Our neighborhoods will be flooded with rerouted speeding traffic, ridership will not increase magically just because driving is made crappier for the majority, and those 3,200 cars on El Camino during rush hour will absorb that 33% reduction in lane capacity. Rush hour traffic will effectively add an additional 1,000 cars relative to available bandwidth over the same period.

Imagine El Camino as it is now, with 6 current lanes... with an additional 1,256 cars. Because that's effectively what we're getting if this passes.


6 people like this
Posted by Not worried
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 9:05 pm

When BRT dedicated lane gets passed by VTA, CalTrans and the state (and the feds), we will learn that the world will not end. The terrible gridlock we experience today will still be experienced in a few years. The difference is that we can just hop on a bus and get up and down El Camino quickly and conveniently.

Remember, if we do nothing, then traffic will continue to grow anyway.

Fortunately, the traffic study has proven that this project will have very little impact to automobile traffic. The lanes on El Camino are mostly empty throughout the 24 hour day, so there is plenty of capacity.

Self-driving cars will provide the biggest benefit, because many of the drivers on El Camino (and other roads of course) are terrible! They are not paying attention, texting, driving too slow or driving too quickly. Blocking intersections or running yellow and/or RED lights. Traffic studies have shown that this illegal and impatient driving actually SLOWS down the flow of traffic. It seems that if people cannot learn to follow the laws and driving safely and efficiently, then they DESERVE to lose a lane anyway.


7 people like this
Posted by Risa, undergraduate student at UCSB, Redwood City resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2015 at 9:09 pm

I am proud of Mountain View City Council for casting a vote in favor of a more sustainable transit system!

I often dread traveling to locations along El Camino in the Silicon Valley (despite the employment and cultural activities available there) because taking a car means sitting unproductively in traffic, spending money on gas and parking, and taking a bus means spending 40-60min traveling just a few miles (although I do be productive via mobile devices).

The question of BRT with dedicated lanes comes down to this-- Do we want to make it at *all* more convenient to use our public bus system?

If we're going to do anything to curb climate change or promote economic advancement for community members of low socioeconomic status, we need to improve our non-car means of transportation on El Camino.


42 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 28, 2015 at 9:12 pm

True is a registered user.

I'm left with two questions after tonight's comment session.

1) How did Inks know that gal (1 of 3 who spoke in defense of BRT) worked for VTA?

2) How many of the 11 that spoke in favor of the BRT at the last meeting were VTA shills as well?

John Inks, I applaud you sir...that was hilarious.


....and I really could have used another 30-45 seconds to finish my thoughts but I think the other 15 or so who spoke against BRT covered the finer points.

Thank you to each of you who spoke. I could tell that some of you were nervous, but you all did very well and should be proud of yourselves for speaking on behalf of the majority....ya know, people that actually live/work/pay taxes here not residents of other cities and VTA plants.


7 people like this
Posted by Thank you.
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 9:37 pm

Hats off to the supporters of the dedicated lane option of the BRT project going to a meeting that was stacked with anti-bus shills.

Still, it was clear that the people that showed up to complain did not represent the majority of our fair city. As another poster noted, the petition contained far less than ONE PERCENT of our population!

Applause again for the council members that changed their mind about the project after studying it in depth. I would not want a candidate that would stick to an idea in the face of a mountain of evidence that it would be the wrong thing to do. We elect people, not automatons.


16 people like this
Posted by More on City Council
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2015 at 9:38 pm

The council meeting tonight encompassed 2 study sessions surrounded by regular business. The first study session was at 530pm and ended up lasting till 645pm or so. I arrived around 615pm, and I caught the tail end of the Climate Protection Roadmap. I was very gratified to hear the mayor speak about, if I may paraphrase, the lousy nearly non existent transit service except for what's along El Camino Real. He at least understands how VTA's plans fail to address really effective transit service for Mountain View. This is the main problem with VTA. They're just incompetent and not creative at all. They keep doing the same thing over and over again, each time expecting a different result. Service up and down El Camino is not going to help, not even more of it, because there's no way for people to get there.

Yeah, it seemed to be about a dozen people criticizing the lack of vision in last week's BRT vote. There were really only 2 thoughtful expressions of support for it, and one of them ended a little crazy after making some valid points. Then there were 2 people who spoke with little to say, one a significant other of one pro-BRT speaker, and one who admited after John Inks asked, that yes, she did work for VTA as a community outreach lobbyist, but she was there as a private citizen. That was really funny, because she was both so vague and so sincere in her support. Considering it's her job, it was very funny when that was elicited by John Inks. What a great council member!


11 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 9:41 pm

For those who could make the meeting: did Ken or Pat have any comments?

What's next? Keep going with the petition and recall efforts? Should we get more officially organized?


19 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 9:53 pm

As I mentioned in an earlier post, last week was actually 6 for (including 2 from out-of-town groups) and 6 against bus-only lanes. Two others said they supported the lanes if a stop were established at Latham (which is not the VTA's plan) and 2 others allegedly fill out speaker cards not read out loud. In any event, Showalter and Rosenberg both stated at the April 21 meeting that they had changed their minds or positions after the election but before the April 21 meeting. By the way, Showalter is a long-term employee of a self-serving bureaucracy with a worse reputation that even the VTA. It is the Santa Clara Valley Water District whose "golden spigot" may be the subject of a story tonight at 11 pm on Channel 5.


21 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 9:55 pm

@Nick

JMO but, I think the next steps should be for us to demand that the council seek and consider answers to the questions they posed to VTA. You know, the questions they didn't have answers to before they voted.

Showalter and Rosenberg need to publicly address their misleading of the community.

I've little faith (given their dishonesty thus far) that the council will reverse their vote so I propose the following:

I think we should be demanding the issue be put on the Ballot in November.

Then we can see which side of this issue actually enjoys the support of the majority of the community.


5 people like this
Posted by BRT for Me
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 10:01 pm

What does BRT mean to me?

It means that Mountain View is not a restricted island. That we allow people to move freely and efficiently through the major transit roads (Central, El Camino, 101, 85) that pass through us. Bus service up and down El Camino used to be OK. Not great, but just OK. But now that we have allowed business to build up without corresponding transit infrastructure, it's time to play catchup.

85 is being widened. CalTrain got baby bullet. HSR is coming in. 101 was widened. Time to improve El Camino. We CANNOT widen it, so what are our options? Going under or above are both prohibitively expensive. Eminent domain a bunch of commercial properties? Very difficult to do. Dedicate one lane each way for mass public transit at zero incremental cost and lower annual operating costs? Sounds good to me... But NOT if it creates massive traffic delays on El Camino and connecting intersections. Let's do a traffic study. Great! Traffic study shows a very small increase. Let's do it!

But, but, but... The traffic study is wrong! And how do we know that? Because it flies in the face of our guts. Hmm.... Well, our guts told us to stay in caves. To stay in trees. To stay the primordial ooze we were? Oh, wait... No we didn't do that, did we? We moved beyond our fears.

That is BRT to me.


10 people like this
Posted by BRT Service
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2015 at 10:12 pm

Good news. VTA has purchased the BRT buses and they will be running tomorrow or within a few months. Keep your eyes out.

Turns out you don't need dedicated lanes for these vehicles. Everyone breathe a sigh of relief.

Oh, but VTA still wants to mess up El Camino. That's what the vote was about, not BRT service. BRT service does't need any changes to the road at all.


4 people like this
Posted by People Have Spoken
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 28, 2015 at 10:15 pm

With only about a dozen speakers coming to the meeting tonight speaking against the project, it is clear that BRT has broad support in MV.

With the petition, local and some national press and a big push by some self-professed influential residents, only TWELVE? To be clear, this is only 0.015 percent of MV residents. Not even 2 percent of 1 percent!

The People have Spoken and their silence is deafening. Time to Move On people! BRT has MV's approval.


4 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 28, 2015 at 11:20 pm

@PeopleHaveSpoken: a dozen opponents was three times the four VTA BRT supporters who spoke which included a woman who neglected to mention she works for the VTA until confronted by Councilmember John Inks. But it is true that most folks knew the 3 BRT supporters on the City Council did not and will not listen to reason. Money talks in politics as Showalter and Rosenberg proved as beneficiaries of some $100,000 in dark money (reported in February as evidently from local landlords). And Michael Kasperzak thinks he should be in the State Assembly. He surely is also looking for big money. It may take a million dollars to win the Assembly seat. By the way, tonight's KPIX story is about a water district in the East Bay - not Showalter's Santa Clara County Water District (aka "the golden spigot").


3 people like this
Posted by Question
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:05 am

@Gary, why would local landlords be in favor of BRT?


3 people like this
Posted by @Question
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:29 am

"@Gary, why would local landlords be in favor of BRT?"

They wouldn't, but since many people hate developers and landlord that are profiting over the rental price hikes, the anti-poor and anti-Hispanic disenfranchised conservatives in our community are attempting to link the two.

It doesn't matter though. With the lackluster petition drive (< 1% of MV and full of fake signatures) and negligible showing at tonight's meeting, the issue is over.

We'll see what happens though... Still a lot of hurdles to go through.


6 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:40 am

Most local landlords probably do not care about bus-only lanes. The stations will not be within walking distance of many renters. Showalter said on April 21 that after the November election, she had been "approached" by persons concerning bus-only lanes. She was asked at tonight's meeting to reveal their identities. Will she? Not likely. It also appears that Rosenberg and Showalter may not care much about renters as they said something that got landlords to secretly spend $100,000 to get them elected. And at tonight's Council meeting, it was classic that Spanish-speaking renters addressed the City Council through an interpreter asking for protection from sky rocketing rents from some councilmembers just installed with money from local landlords. Rosenberg's vision of "social justice" may be forcing out of Mountain View tenants who cannot afford sky high rents but offering them a bus ticket to visit Mountain View and clean his house for minimum wage.


5 people like this
Posted by Uhoh
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:49 am

Gary wrote "...it was classic that Spanish-speaking renters addressed the City Council..."

It's disheartening to see the anti-Hispanic sentiment that still exists here. Hopefully it is a declining sub-population as it tends to be the less intelligent "citizens" that hold such feelings. The less intelligent will have trouble holding a job or sign up for one too many donations to a kidnapped Nigerian princess that will push them out of area.


3 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 1:05 am

You misrepresent what was posted. Are you suggesting that city council candidates elected by dark money from landlords are going to help tenants facing sky-high rent increases? Apparently, are just engaged in race-baiting and rhetoric. Tenants should not expect to be heard by Showalter or Rosenberg using any language.


8 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 1:56 am

After the 3 councilmembers fail to satisfactorily answer the questions posed by speakers at the April 28 Council meeting, the next step may be to see how many persons are willing to work on recalling Councilmembers Rosenberg, Showalter and/or Kasperzak and determine what reasons should be included in the recall petition.


6 people like this
Posted by What?
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 2:02 am

Gary you seemed upset that Hispanic people were brought into the dialogue. And then you come up with some sort of grand conspiracy "dark money". I'm sorry, but you live in an area that respects people of all colors and creeds. There are plenty of areas in the country where you may fit in better.

On the plus side, the BRT would no longer affect you!


3 people like this
Posted by Renters
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 3:13 am

The spanish speaking residents who commented at the City Council meeting weren't talking about BRT at all. They said their rent had been raised to $3000 for a 1 bedroom which they can't afford. I sympathize with them. I also sympathize with the other 1 bedrooms which are only available for $4000 per month. That's just as bad, even with more income. The places going for $2500 or $3000 are dumps these days. One poor lady said she has something cheaper but it has something that gives her child bad asthma. I can only suspect that it is water damage and leaking roof etc. causing mold and fungus in the air.

It's not a pleasant situation at all in Mountain View these days, housing wise. It affects every buyer, even if you have a lot of money. Rent at $5000 per month? Crummy Homes at $1.2 Million? Wonderful.


25 people like this
Posted by Early Bird
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 5:21 am

I keep noticing over and over again that those opposed to BRT are posting many valid and compelling statements on this issue, and while a few on the pro BRT side are trying to keep up, most seem to have run out of valid discussion points and have sunken to attacking the people posting their valid discussion points. Just because you cannot come up with a counter-point based in reality does not mean you need to attack on a personal level. Sometimes other people are right.


20 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 29, 2015 at 8:50 am

True is a registered user.

Boy

The VTA marketing department was busy on the boards last night. Did the VTA plant that was at the meeting last night go home and do all that herself or did she enlist the help of her co-workers?


9 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 8:55 am

The "dark money" spent to aid the election of Showalter and Rosenberg was either the work of one person or did involve a "conspiracy" of more than one person. The Voice reported in February that the money bad ultimately come from landlords. What did Rosenberg and Showalter say or promise to gain that hidden support? As to bus-only lanes Rosenberg and Showalter voted to support on April 21, why did they double-cross voters and what, if anything, were they seeking from or promised by persons and/or entities that would specially benefit from the $233 million (plus) project? That is how "dark money" is related to the double-cross. It is about whether some councilmembers have been seeking to represent the interests of the community or special interests offering special favors. Let's at least hear from the 3 council members involved: Rosenberg, Showalter and Kasperzak.


23 people like this
Posted by Gnar
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 29, 2015 at 9:04 am

@ Thank you:

There are no "anti-bus shills." The word shill entails misrepresenting oneself as a member of the opposing side in order to entice or encourage others to the opposing viewpoint. Shills are used when your viewpoint has the weaker position and it's difficult to drum up organic support. The anti-BRT position has no problem finding majority support, because it's a stupid idea that negatively impacts us.

There are no anti-bus shills, because there is no large VTA-like organization that stands to profit massively from convincing the majority away from their interests. We don't need convincing to oppose a counterproductive and deceptive plan; that should be evident at this point.


@ Uhoh:

"It's disheartening to see the anti-Hispanic sentiment that still exists here. Hopefully it is a declining sub-population as it tends to be the less intelligent 'citizens' that hold such feelings."

You lament an anti-Hispanic sentiment, then you call Hispanic people less intelligent and put 'citizens' in quotes? Sarcasm doesn't read well in plain text. Troll elsewhere.

This isn't a race issue. The BRT is a stupid civil planning initiative which will have the exact opposite of its intended effect of improving access.

It's also not just Mountain View residents who recognize the idiocy of the BRT: the city councils of Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Sunnyvale have all been highly skeptical or outright dismissive of the BRT.

No shills here.


23 people like this
Posted by ForTransitButAgainstBRT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 29, 2015 at 9:43 am

Somehow, this discussion has drifted into housing and ethnicity waters. While those are indeed serious issues not just here but regionally, nationally and globally, the core topic before us here is that preposterous BRT proposal. So, again...

Ripping up ECR and dedicating lanes for buses that are already grossly underused and likely won't be any more attractive through BRT? This is arguably the worst idea VTA has ever come up with in its sad history. You can almost hear the discussion meetings among its planners:

"So, we have nearly a quarter-billion dollars in funds to sink into something, but what? Think, people, think!"

"I know -- let's *pretend* El Camino is an in-demand transit corridor and put all those near-empty buses in their own lanes! Oh, and we'll make it sound appealing with an acronym that sounds like a *real* transit system, BART -- you know, the one this county eschewed a half-century ago. That'll eat up all those funds in no time. Then we can request more for another, equally absurd transit proposal!"

Not hard to imagine, is it?


3 people like this
Posted by @Gary from Question, again
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 9:51 am

I'm still confused.

You are saying that Ken Rosenberg and Pat Showalter said something, are seeking something, or were promised something, without identifying WHAT that something is, that caused them to change their mind about BRT.

Personally, I don't agree that Ken and Pat were influenced or paid off by anyone, but that's besides the point. My question is, if you can't identify WHAT it is that local landlords want from council members, what is your basis for these allegations?



"Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
8 hours ago
Most local landlords probably do not care about bus-only lanes. The stations will not be within walking distance of many renters. Showalter said on April 21 that after the November election, she had been "approached" by persons concerning bus-only lanes. She was asked at tonight's meeting to reveal their identities. Will she? Not likely. It also appears that Rosenberg and Showalter may not care much about renters as they said something that got landlords to secretly spend $100,000 to get them elected"

"Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
29 minutes ago
The "dark money" spent to aid the election of Showalter and Rosenberg was either the work of one person or did involve a "conspiracy" of more than one person. The Voice reported in February that the money bad ultimately come from landlords. What did Rosenberg and Showalter say or promise to gain that hidden support? As to bus-only lanes Rosenberg and Showalter voted to support on April 21, why did they double-cross voters and what, if anything, were they seeking from or promised by persons and/or entities that would specially benefit from the $233 million (plus) project? That is how "dark money" is related to the double-cross. It is about whether some councilmembers have been seeking to represent the interests of the community or special interests offering special favors. Let's at least hear from the 3 council members involved: Rosenberg, Showalter and Kasperzak."


17 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 9:52 am

If the city of Mountain View is REALLY interested in easy the pain of it's residents maybe it should pay attention to what it's neighbor to the north is considering...


Despite Stanford objections, Palo Alto prepares to cap office growth

"Responding to community criticism about the rapid pace of office growth, Palo Alto officials on Monday offered measured support for a complex and deeply contentious solution: an annual cap on commercial development."

...more...

Web Link

The housing crisis Mountain View is experiencing is being fueled, in no small part, by the un-checked growth by it's large employers and Mountain View's seems willing to allow continued expansion at just about any cost, most notably, sacrificing the quality of live - which includes cost of living -for current residents. At some point this rapid and massive expansion simply cause too much strain on a relatively small city -- clearly mountain View reached this saturation point awhile ago.

It's okay to pause, take a breath and clear your heads council. And, if some of those large businesses would like to relocate or open up other campuses in other cites, counties, states...that wouldn't be a bad thing either.


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 10:38 am

Capping growth until the transportation and housing problems can be addressed but that cat has been let out of the bag on growth. So now it must be done before most of the projects come on line and planning for the future needs much be done.

BRT lanes down El Camino are a start but much more is needed.

Most of the country not to mention the world would love to have what we have, jobs, businesses, brightest minds, the risk takers and Stanford.

We need to solve the transportation issue.

The "dark money" thing has been applied by businesses/special agenda groups for awhile and it won't stop.


15 people like this
Posted by Angry Voter
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 10:44 am

The council meeting was PACKED with opposition last night and BRT wasn't even on the agenda. Only 4 people in total spoke in favor of BRT and one of them was a VTA rep who was ASKED to show up.
That right there shows the will of the people. Just wait until BRT is actually on the agenda. I'm glad the Recall efforts are on the record. Sounds like we need to push fwd on that. I'll be submitting my info to Gary W. in the next day or so spelling out my reasons for why Rosenberg and Showalter should be removed.
You cannot and will not head fake the voter's will. They'll learn, wheels have started rolling on this one big time.


3 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 10:54 am

@MVResident67

If you're not willing to relocate to "other cites, counties, states" I don't know why you'd expect anyone else to. The "I was here first" argument doesn't give you any kind of special authority.


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 11:07 am

Companies relocate or offices elsewhere keeping the home office in the area. How would you feel if it was your job moving because of traffic, high cost or you can't grow here?

How would you like to join with the other commuters who chances are don't have time to attend city council meetings or family time.


11 people like this
Posted by Angry Voter
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 11:57 am

I have not heard of this issue being an issue at all. Companies moving in, yes, companies moving out? Maybe, but again, I haven't heard about it, and it obviously is (again)a small minority if it is happening.

It's like asking how we would feel if our house was hit by a tornado. Well, bad, but until it affects a fairly large number of people, we don't need to worry much about it as a city. On the individual level, many sad things happen, we need to do what is best for the majority of MV residents.
Gridlocking ECR so buses can speed through mtn view degrades the cities livability. It does nothing to improve livability for the majority of residents.


7 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:07 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

Gary, I would like to get involved in this effort and will be emailing you. Not only am I am SICK AND TIRED of politicians pushing their agendas thru against the will of the people by whom they were elected, this issue is, quite simply, the most idiotic ridiculous thing I've ever read. Today I looked at busses along El Camino. They are EMPTY. Creating a dedicated lane IS OUTRAGEOUS.

If the housing discussion discussion could move to another thread so as not to dilute the focus of the transit issue that would be great, However I have a feeling the trolls will keep it stirred up as it detracts from the wave that is building strength here.

I suggest that those truly interested in moving forward continue to discuss with neighbors and residents, continue to get the word out. Because certainly that is our biggest issue, most people probably don't even realize what is being pulled out from under their feet. By the very people we elected to serve US.


11 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:15 pm

@Robert, who said I was not willing to relocate to other cities, counties, states"? You never read that in a post of mine.


32 people like this
Posted by Liars exposed by their own words
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:15 pm

This is a questionnaire in a bikers blog during the last city elections.
Web Link

3. Do you support converting the left-most of the three travel lanes in each direction on El Camino Real in Mountain View into dedicated bus lanes, as proposed by Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) to provide faster, more reliable bus service? Why or why not?

Pat Showalter: The arguments for doing this just don’t ring true to me at this time. To justify dedicating so much of El Camino to bus lanes, we need to have much more ridership and the buses need to be more frequent so they are a useful alternative to the car. I think one of the things that keeps ridership down is the lack of buses anywhere but El Camino. You can ride up and down El Camino, but going to the blocks on either side doesn’t work. Hopefully, the shuttle system will begin to solve this last mile problem. At a forum last night, I talked with a woman who lives in San Antonio Place and uses public transportation extensively. The bus system we have now just doesn’t serve those people without a tremendous amount of walking. We need to fix this.

Ken Rosenberg: Not at this time. I’m a fan of Bus Rapid Transit (better, more efficient buses, easier on/off, pay electronically throughout the bus, signal control, wi-fi, better bus stops, more regular and rapid service, etc), but I’m not prepared to take a lane away from El Camino Real. It’s a very congested street right now and that would make it worse on El Camino Real as well as the adjacent streets as overflow traffic cuts through neighborhoods to try and save time.



My question is : If they lied about this just to be elected, can we trust them to have told the truth about everything else? Like the obscure money that obscure groups put into their campaigns and they claim to know nothing about? Do we really want to let people that lied to our faces rule our city ? We need representatives not rulers!







3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:18 pm

You could improve the the flow of traffic by getting rid of the median and parking lane. 8 lanes with curbside bus lanes but the only problem you get rid of the turn lanes, parking and miss up the traffic by every person needing to make a turn.

So no left turns just like San Francisco, bus travel times will go down because all those wanting to make a right turn because all the bus, shuttles and other transport vehicles.


3 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:29 pm

@MVResident67

Perhaps its your concern over this project, and the fact that you haven't already done it? Saying you're theoretically willing to move, or planning on leaving at some unspecified future date, isn't the same thing as actually doing it. Actions are infinitely louder than words.


10 people like this
Posted by Thank you
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Thanks for posting Rosenberg's and Showater's ore-election comments on BRT. They both stated their lack of support "at this time".

Now that they have studied the issue more extensively, they realize that it is a good project. If you want politicians that ignore overwhelming evidence and stick to their guns, you were probably a George W. Bush supporter. Remember his insistence that Saddam Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction" even when his own intelligence agency was telling him something different? Sorry, but not all of us (or the council) are quite the intellectual equals of "W".... Darn!

Bless the hearts of our council that are willing to flex with new information.


14 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Goodness, I am not speaking about companies moving out purse, I am am talking about as companies EXPAND and/or REORGANIZE, they consider other locations for this expansion, which, in turn would perhaps provide all those NEW employees with an opportunity to live in a city/region where they could have a more reasonable cost of living, have an opportunity to PURCHASE a home in a vibrant community with good schools, and save some money for the future. An opportunity for a better quality of life for it's employees.


19 people like this
Posted by ForTransitButAgainstBRT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:43 pm

@Thank You
"Bless the hearts of our council that are willing to flex with new information."

What "new information" is that? Please, enlighten us.


28 people like this
Posted by Recall
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:46 pm

I just wonder how Rosenberg and Showalter got all those campaign fliers written with their fingers crossed?

They rode the wave of the majority who were opposed to BRT in order to get elected, then once in office, did the opposite without any prior warning or explanation.
It's one of the more revolting things I've seen a local pol do, and I've seen my share. That's why I am supporting the recall. I'm glad this isn't going to go away.


20 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Myopia much, people. And, Robert I'll be sure to let you know when I hit the road. I have relocated out of state for employment previously, and on more than one occasion...and even to different states with the same employer. Imagine that, an employer with a large presence in multiple major metropolitan regions in the United States, and abroad, and who is willing to relocate employees too. Wow. Hard to imagine that our big players in Mountain View don't believe in such practices.


4 people like this
Posted by learn
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 1:48 pm

It seems the only objection that has any credence whatsoever is that the traffic study is fatally flawed in some way.

All of the other arguments against the project are specious at best. Some secret conspiracy about "pro-development" councilmembers being bought and paid for so that the evil developers will get rapid transit along el camino?!

Fortunately, the model that the forecast is based on will be independently reviewed over the summer. If the model is so incredibly flawed as the anti-public-transit-for-non-tech-workers would lead us all to believe, then that should easily come to light.

Of course now we will hear from the peanut gallery about the great conspiracy of how the review won't be truly independent!

I wonder what would have happened if the traffic study showed a significant increase in gridlock on El Camino due to BRT. Would the same people railing against the project still complain the model is flawed? Of course not. They would actually come to the model's defense and say it is best thing since sliced bread!!!

The only reason why a few people say it is flawed, is they personally disagree with the conclusion that the impacts are minimal. Does that make sense at all? Of course not. Silly people...


10 people like this
Posted by @Ken
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 1:56 pm

You forgot to add the most important part of your opinion. The words "to me"
Here, I'll help: "It seems the only objection that has any credence whatsoever to me..."

Yes, we know a small minority here are for BRT, but this issue of voter betrayal to thwart the will of the people is far more complex than just one argument or one point.
That said, your opinion is different. Cool.


3 people like this
Posted by Defend it
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 2:14 pm

"Yes, we know a small minority here are for BRT..."

That is your opinion.

Most everbody at both council meetings were for the project. Just because a handful of cranks took advantage of the public comment time at a meeting does not prove that most MV residents are against BRT.

The petition still contains a fraction of a percent of unverified online signatures. If there really was massive opposition, then when is the recall election??? Why want the council room PACKED??

Lots of noise and no substance.


9 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 2:16 pm

The post about written responses to a questionnaire in the campaign (if correct) is useful. In writing, both Rosenberg and Showalter qualified their opposition to bus-only lanes with the exact same phrase: "AT THIS TIME." There were not so equivocal talking to voters and stated on April 21 that they had changed their minds or positions after the election. But it is now becoming apparent that Showalter and Rosenberg always planned to support the VTA's dedicated bus lanes. Keep those posts coming.


8 people like this
Posted by @Ken
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 2:37 pm

You said that "Yes, we know a small minority here are for BRT..." was just my opinion, but I just looked "Here" on the message board and can see quite factually that most are opposed by the number of posts and likes.
If you tally the for and against posts including the likes of those posts, do you come up with a majority here in favor?
You probably didn't comprehend what I meant by the word "here"

Also, since you brought up the council meetings, there were only 4 in favor of the decision and frankly, I lost count of those who were opposed. Another clear majority at most recent measure.


3 people like this
Posted by Nah
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Seems that there are only a few people on this thread that are opposed and are just making multiple posts to give the impression that more people are involved.

Seems like this so-called campaign to keep rapid and efficient public transit off of El Camino is relying heavily on an anonymous message board and an anonymous online petition.

Did you really lose count at the meeting? That's a shame. Someone else who is opposed to this measure (Was it Jim?) said there were twelve.

That's it.

Twelve.

10x that many came out to protest last year's cat ordinance, just to put this in persective for you.


7 people like this
Posted by Yah
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 3:11 pm

I think you have a point about other interests exerting undo influence on Showalter and Rosenberg. They have higher political ambitions. The county MACHINE favors San Jose, and San Jose likes the lane dedications because it will provide better service for the tiny fraction of Mountain View riders or passers through who are destined for San Jose. VTA's board is the problem. It's a major issue that they are not accountable to voters by direct election. I think that's actually unconstitutional because there are cities which rotate for 2 out of 3 years not having a voting member of that board. It has other problems too. It's designed to support the dominance by the county political elite, the county MACHINE. Ugh.

A recall election might be a good thing. It would be interesting to see how much money the MACHINE musters up to try to dominate Mountain View from outside the city or even the immediate area.


12 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm

True is a registered user.

As irate as I am about the misleading statements of Showalter and being outright lied to by Rosenberg (while standing on my front porch) I think the recall might nor be the best way to go. Sure, they've proven themselves blatantly dishonest which doesn't seem to bother some MV residents...until they flip-flop on something they support but can a recall actually be enacted before this asinine BRT project breaks ground?

And, given the incredulous stares on Showalter and Rosenbergs faces last night, I don't see them changing their minds....though not doing so clearly establishes their utter disregard for the will of the people who elected them and their utter disregard for the tax paying residents of Mountain View.

I wonder if perhaps a better tactic might be to put this issue on the ballot for the next election?

Let's put this issue to the vote and see where the opinion of Mountain View residents actually lies.


4 people like this
Posted by Rosa
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 29, 2015 at 4:05 pm

I am pleased that the express bus is going to happen. It is so slow in morning and evening. Happy to be in mountain View that makes things better.


12 people like this
Posted by @Ken
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Thank for confirming, now I guess you understand what I meant by "Here" because you chose to attack the facts of the matter that prove the majority thought here.

The public is speaking loudly. Nothing gets done in a day, but in less than a week there seems to be quite a lot of action on this from the opposition. Recall efforts underway and a motivated citizen base willing to show up and speak about it even when it is not on the agenda. This is just the start. It is not anywhere near a done deal.


3 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 29, 2015 at 4:13 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

Late in the game here but have a basic question.

Who, or I should how, did this even get in front of the council for a vote?

Wouldn't that be an indication of the motivations behind the whole thing?

Im all for it if its truly necessary and effective how it doesn't seem that this has been established on any level. I have no experience with civil matters so no understanding of how these things work. Can the council just bring it up and vote without input from the public? I honestly don't think the majority of MV residents are aware of this, when I bring it up with friends they haven't heard anything and knew nothing about it. Granted that speaks of another issue, needing to be more informed, but I guess that's what we're all trying to do here now, right?


39 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Hey, VTA BRT dedicated lane shills...

If you are SO convinced that the Mountain View residents - along with the residents AND local governments of the surrounding communities - attempts to stop the BRT dedicated lane option from being forced upon Mountain View and potentially all north county residents along ECR have failed...then WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE? Don't you have something better to do, you know like laugh at a young child whose pet has just died....that sounds like something right up your alley.

Schadenfreude.

Hold your head high and be proud of who you are.


9 people like this
Posted by Not Welcome!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 29, 2015 at 4:25 pm

There are 2 pariahs in this town. Treat them as such.
They'll find no seat in my business.


6 people like this
Posted by Maria
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 4:41 pm

There already has been an express bus ! It only stops at the Whole Foods Market. That's where you can catch it Rosa. Jog on over there. It's twice as fast as the one you see, the double long one. Take a short bus. Es muy rapido.


5 people like this
Posted by Bret
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Thank you Mt.View for putting wind in the sails for BRT advocates in Palo Alto and other like-minded people. We need flexible, modern, sustainable transit infrastructure and active transport alternatives to the car as our streets are already becoming way too clogged and unsafe and making more and more people spend unproductive hours in their cars. We also need more development along El Camino to make it a more worthy and accessible destination.


7 people like this
Posted by Food for thought
a resident of Jackson Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 5:08 pm

From Ken Rosenberg on line diary !

Web Link

FRI JAN 03, 2014 AT 02:49 PM PST
I filed to run for office today!
byBayAreaKenFollow
30 Comments / 0 New

After much urging from various powers that be in my home town of Mountain View, California, and many lengthy conversations with my wife, I have decided to run for City Council.

I have served on the boards of many local organizations and community groups for years. I am an appointed representative (and current Chair) to the Human Relations Commission, as well as having served on the City’s Downtown Committee for a period. I know most of those who influence decisions locally and they know me.

Ken can you explain who are the "Powers" that urged you to run for city council?


3 people like this
Posted by Maria
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 5:10 pm

.....Oh. You can also catch an Express bus 522 at the only other stop in Mountain View or Los Altos. (The whole Foods stop headed south is actually in Los Altos.). That would be by the Chase Bank at Castro Street. No one realizes these buses move faster than the 22 double long ones. The 522 even change lanes and pass .....


13 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 29, 2015 at 5:32 pm

True is a registered user.

FWIW, one individual who is frequently posting in this thread is engaging in a couple of logical fallacies that I'd like to point out for those who care to keep this as an adult conversation.

The first is Argumentum ad Populum; The fallacious claim that because something appeals to many that the premise is correct. The main problem with this fallacy is the mere fact that many people agree on something often does not imply that what they agree on is true or that it is good. Lots of people buy Justin Biebers music....that doesn't make it good. Primarily though this individuals arguments are fallacious because they have no way to support the assertion that "the majority of MV residents support BRT".

The second is Argumentum ad Hominem; another logical fallacy wherein the user attempts to discredit or insult an individual, rather than address the substance of their opinion/argument. Thus steering the debate away from the topic at hand (which often they are unable to adequately engage in) drawing that person to defend their self instead of their position. Without a cogent response to disagreement the locutor attacks or insults instead of rebuts.

So rather than engaging in logical fallacy and slinging insults at each other how about we behave like adults. If the individual from Questa Park who has demonstrated a propensity for such fallacious arguments continues we ought to ignore them or report the posts as abusive.


8 people like this
Posted by ForTranstiButAgainstBRT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 29, 2015 at 5:41 pm

@Nah:

"Seems like this so-called campaign to....is relying heavily on an anonymous message board.....".

So, I guess Nah is your real name, then. Nothing anonymous about that!



4 people like this
Posted by Rosa
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 29, 2015 at 5:52 pm

Yes thank you I know express bus but it so slow. So many cars! No cars on train so need no cars on bus. Please help and make it fast!


4 people like this
Posted by To anti-bus lobbyists
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Sorry if we dare to try to cross your town on State Highway 82 without an automobile. I always thought Los Altos and Palo Alto contains all the elitist, ethnically UNdiverse snobs, but I see some have managed to worm their way into MV.

Fortunately, it appears to be the usual cranks that are always protesting progress, so it's good your council made the right decision.


17 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 29, 2015 at 6:04 pm

True is a registered user.

It shouldn't go without saying that VTA doesn't have a strong history of accurate projections for ridership, revenues and traffic impacts. Nearly every pie-in-the-sky prediction they made when they foisted Light Rail on the valley has fallen woefully short. Web Link

This is not to say that the BRT study is absolutely wrong because previous studies were proven wrong that would be a logical fallacy. What I am saying is that VTA historically fails at providing such data, as such current and subsequent studies should be viewed with deep scrutiny. This current study makes a number of highly suspect claims, not unlike those made in support of Light Rail. Those claims should see further study.

Any municipality that fails to put the VTA claims up for independent review is doing their citizens a disservice....as has the MV council.


29 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 6:08 pm

I apologize if I occasionally degrade the level of discussion by engaging the shill when it's trolling. I would like to see an open and honest dialogue with interested parties, and I know that is difficult to have on these types of forums. I also understand that the trolling is done in an effort to stifle any chance of honest and open dialogue, and that's a shame...er, a shill.

Why so afraid of people who have different opinions than yours, shill? It must be amazing to live in your utopia of a world where your opinions are not only the only ones that matter, but they are also ALWAYS right.


4 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 6:33 pm

True, how dare you accuse me of an ad hominem attack! We should unite against the flood of bus people that will descend on our beautiful, idyllic neighborhoods!

Stand together or I will call you names too!


3 people like this
Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 7:17 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

Well, that deranged hacker who has figured out how to make the Voice comment systems identify his posts as coming from another user has struck again. The above two posts are definitely from different people.

Here's a new topic on MV Voice which puts out some correct information on VTA's BRT phasings and what is already happening versus what is yet to happen. Web Link

Let's see how fast the hacker can get over there and fake being other people.


6 people like this
Posted by Greg Coladonato
a resident of Slater
on Apr 29, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Greg Coladonato is a registered user.

Notable factoid. This Town Square topic has the second-most comments of any topic on the MV Voice website in the 8 years’ worth of topics indexed.

2nd. Flipping a U-turn, MV leaders endorse dedicated bus lanes
Apr. 22, 2015
292 comments

Not far behind:

5th. El Camino bus lanes win praise from public, concern from council
Dec. 18, 2014
222 comments

19th. Plan for dedicated bus lanes on El Camino Real back on the table
Nov. 18, 2014
126 comments


21 people like this
Posted by Learned
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 29, 2015 at 9:08 pm

Without doubt, the VTA commissioned "traffic study" IS fatally flawed. They funded it having already decided what the outcome needed to be.
Certainly, let's all take their data at face value! Let's all pay for this farce, in the name of social progress! But after a year, let's re-evaluate the situation. When their so-called study proves to have been a crock of s**t, how will we get it undone? Will the (useless!) VTA board pay out of THEIR pockets for their fraud? No, not likely. We'll be stuck with the gridlock and horrifying traffic through our neighborhoods while empty buses idle down ECR.


6 people like this
Posted by Ignorant
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2015 at 10:15 pm

"Learned" is correct. If the traffic study showed there to be extremely high gridlock because of BRT, then their model would be flawless. However, since we don't like the result, the study must be flawed.

Oh yeah. And there is a VTA conspiracy to lie so they can pad their pockets.

Oh yeah. And the developers paid off the council to vote for BRT.

Oh yeah. And Rosenberg and Showater voted this to launch their political careers to someday become president.

Do you hear how crazy you guys sound????


4 people like this
Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2015 at 10:42 pm

While we're all in a snit about bus lanes, let's not forget the real problem: housing.

Check out this article from 2014 to see what it would take to house just the Google employees: Web Link


37 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 30, 2015 at 12:30 am

To "Ignorant" - Without the straw-man exaggerations and sarcasm, you've nicely summed up this shameful situation:

VTA's traffic study was flawed, whether from intentional slanting for the client (common enough in traffic studies), or from incompetence. See the MV city staff letter to VTA.

VTA is blindly going forward with a potentially very damaging idea. The intention seems to be to solve our traffic problems by making auto use so miserable that the populace will shift to buses, bicycles, and walking. Unfortunately, this will be impossible for most of us, as we have starting points and destinations that are not served by buses. The result will be gridlock.

Developers like Prometheus routed relatively large amounts of money through a shell entity, the "Neighborhood Empowerment Coalition", to get Rosenberg and Showalter elected, because those two could reasonably be expected to support accelerated "luxury" apartment construction - a gold mine (see Web Link). No direct payoff or quid pro quo was necessary. The fantasy of a massive shift to public transit is a necessary part of the propaganda effort to justify an all-out building program. See "History Buff's" link, above, for some perspective on another developer meme, "fixing the jobs/housing imbalance".

Rosenberg, Showalter, and Kasperzak either have political aspirations, or maybe they just have a hard time saying no to big money. Or both.

Link to petition to reverse the Council's position: Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Unstupid Realist
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 12:51 am

Prove that the study was flawed. If you can't, then you're just blowing smoke.

The fact is that the study is not flawed. It provides an accurate forecast that shows the big benefit and small cost of dedicated lanes.

Even better but this project reduces annual operating expenses so it is sound fiscally too. Win-win!


21 people like this
Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 1:33 am

@realist cites written, publicly available, researched reports, questioning the validity of the traffic study (and there are plenty of other references to high level concerns about this study in this thread. Most written by people not trying to expand the budget of their own public agency)

@unstupid realist has grammar issues and cites nothing.

Wonder which of the two of them has actually looked at the traffic study or the documentation questioning its validity.


15 people like this
Posted by Sunnyvale Patient
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 9:38 am

I have sent the following comments to the Mountain View City Council:
Dear City Council Members:
I'm a Sunnyvale resident that's concerned dedicated BRT lanes in Mountain View will impede access to El Camino Hospital and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) urgent care clinic at 701 E. El Camino Real. El Camino Hospital and the PAMF clinic are regional facilities, the City of Mountain View has an obligation to maintain good vehicular access to these facilities.

Sunnyvale is the largest city in California without a hospital, hospital emergency room (ER) or urgent medical care clinic. As a result, most Sunnyvale residents travel to El Camino Hospital for hospital and emergency medical services. For urgent medical care, many Sunnyvale residents visit the PAMF urgent care clinic . The fastest and most direct route to the PAMF
urgent care clinic and El Camino Hospital ER is usually via El Camino Real. There are few routes to El Camino Hospital from Sunnyvale due to the limited number of Highway 85 crossings. The El Camino BRT Draft EIR erroneously assumes Sunnyvale residents seeking urgent/emergency medical services always travel in an emergency vehicle, i.e. ambulance.
The Draft EIR failed to consider the people that use private automobiles to access urgent and emergency medical care.

I hope the Mountain View City Council will reconsider its recent vote on endorsing the dedicated lane option for the El Camino BRT. Mountain View's obligation to maintain unimpeded access to regional medical facilities is more important than bus travel times and perceived "social justice" issues.


12 people like this
Posted by B Minkin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 9:46 am

The Realist poster brings up an important point. I agree that VTA should publish the details of the study by releasing the code to the general public, not just to a third party. Without exposure to scrutiny, we disbelieve the results simply because it defies common sense.

To properly show whether the study is valid or flawed, we should all see the model by reviewing the code and running it ourselves. Only then can we see where all of those cars will go.


4 people like this
Posted by @eric
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 2:08 pm

eric-- you said "@realist cites written, publicly available, researched reports, questioning the validity of the traffic study (and there are plenty of other references to high level concerns about this study in this thread. Most written by people not trying to expand the budget of their own public agency)"

So, his sources are:
1) "Written." Big deal. Are they peer-reviewed published in reputable publications? No. Strike 1.

2) "publicly available." Big deal. Everything on the internet is "publicly available". Completely meaningless. Strike 2.

3) "researched reports" As opposed to an unresearched report? What does "research" mean? "Googling" is a form of research, which seems to be the most that was done. Strike 3.

So, really what we have here are ALLEGATIONS. Unsubstantiated allegations. You may personally agree with them, but that doesn't mean they are valid.

But look, there's more! You give some "extra credit" support for the list of allegations:

"plenty of other references to high level concerns about this study in this thread"

What exactly is a "high level concern"? Do you mean a 10,000 foot view of the project where no specific details are concerning, but just the whole thing?

Then you justify the validity of these concerns with, "Most written by people not trying to expand the budget of their own public agency)"

So, leaving aside the fact that these concerns are "published" in a web forum by anonymous posters and no peer review process, let's go into this so-called conflict of interest.

I guess it is completely impossible for an organization to hire a company to perform an impact analysis on a project if the budget for the org will grow? Sorry to break it to you, but most projects in both private and governmental industry are done this way. In the same vein, it is quite common when consulting experts in the field to actually COMPENSATE them for their opinion, which you could also call a conflict of interest. As uncomfortable as that may be for you, I don't see how the allegations and opinions of a bunch of anonymous web forum posters have MORE credence than a transit agency.

Even if you believe that a potentially increased budget would result in skewed results in a study, then you have not done your homework. If this project goes through, the annual operating expenses of VTA WILL GO DOWN BY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS EACH YEAR! There will be fewer employees! It seems that if anything, this should give you greater comfort in that the study must be correct, since the bias would be working in the other direction. An organization that puts forward a proposal that will reduce the size of their staff and operating budgets is inherently proving their lack of bias. You can't have it both ways. If the positive bias when a budget/dept grows after a potential project comes up, then you must believe that there would be negative bias for projects that would shrink the budget/dept.

Hope that helps you understand why most of the community is happy this project was approved by the Mountain View City Council. I suggest that you and others re-read the EIR with an open mind.


6 people like this
Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Its always amusing when people (falsely) criticize an argument for lacking facts by giving no facts.

I'll call your baseless rant and raise you the VTA's track record.


3 people like this
Posted by friend
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Can't you just see this happening in NYC? Traffic and grid-lock just are and maybe VTA needs to hire bus drivers who can deal--like those from NYC?


15 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:47 pm

True is a registered user.

Given VTA's historically poor track record with respect to it's projections for project budgets, completion dates, ridership, revenues etc (see Light Rail) it amazes me that anyone is so daft as to take their projections for BRT at face value.

It should be MV's highest priority to verify the validity of VTA's projections before any final decision is made on BRT. I suggest MV hire an independent auditor to validate the data, the analysis model and the result.

Once that is complete I feel it is in our interest to put their model to the test. Mountain View should block proposed ECR cross street penetrations and cone off the center lanes of ECR for a month. Measure actual commute times N/S, measure the amount of additional wait times for N/S trips, measure the additional traffic impact on ECR adjacent streets and finally, allow MV residents to get a sense of what the BRT impact might actually be on their lives.

Publish the data, then put the BRT dedicated lane proposal on the ballot.

Let's all have a say in this since we clearly cannot depend on the council to stick to their word and do their jobs in supporting the interest of MV residents.


4 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:57 pm

"Mountain View should block proposed ECR cross street penetrations and cone off the center lanes of ECR for a month."

And if you're curious why you feel like your concerns are being ignored, its for this very reason; viewing anyone who rides the bus as a non-person.


14 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm

True is a registered user.

@Robert

What? Evel Knievel is impressed by the logical leap you've taken.

You do realize that VTA has a long and sordid history of over promising and under delivering on it's projections. Don't you? You do realize that the BRT proposal calls for blocking a number of points where side streets cross ECR. Don't you?

How is it treating bus riders as non persons to verify the validity of the projections of an agency that has demonstrated that they are horrible at making projections?

I'm not prepared to take these projections at face value....given VTA's history they should be validated by every means at MV's disposal.


13 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 30, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Odds are good that they wouldn't run a study that does a temporary closure of the crossing the would eliminate because it is likely that the time reductions in the bus route would mostly come from having fewer street crossing stops. That would tell us that the lanes restrictions aren't needed and that the lane grab is an attempt to drive people from their cars rather than speed up the buses.


3 people like this
Posted by Red herring
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 6:22 pm

Attacking the study is yet another distraction. What these anti-bus and anti-poor cretins don't want you to know is that even if they were truly satisfied with the accuracy of the traffic forecast, they would still oppose it.

This is why the truly independent and intelligent citizenry of Mountain View are quietly supportive of this project.

It's a good thing the Council took their civic duty seriously and not just use political expediency as their guide. Well done!


8 people like this
Posted by Sunnyvale Resideny too
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 6:50 pm

The Sunnyvale patient above makes a good point that El Camino hospital should be kept clear for emergency vehicles. That is why I'm so glad that Mountain View has approved the dedicated lane. Now that the VTA has reminded us that emergency vehicles would have access to the dedicated transit lane, we Sunnyvale residents will be assured of rapid transport to the excellent emergency facilities in MV.

To all others that have children or elderly parents (whose lives will be saved by BRT) please take a moment to write a note to our council, MV council and higher levels of government expressing your support.


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Transit systems and how they run should be ever changing. Light Rail should end at San Antonio Center at El Camino Real, later should be extended to Los Altos then run along Foothill Expressway to Stevens Creek Blvd.

Buses are most the flexible in a BRT set up, again we must build up the number to show we can built alternative.

Put the Caltrain tracks about the streets, no more train crossing gates and it will improve traffic. Build BART, yes BART is costly but for a system that has good connections to other places and beyond Only thing we got.

Yes it will change how people will drive to and from, your driving habits will change.


7 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 30, 2015 at 9:11 pm

True is a registered user.

@Cuesta Park Anon

Why don't you put your actual name to your fallacious missives?

That aside, given the long and sordid history of VTA's projections falling far more than short....give me one good reason why I should trust this collection of projections?


11 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 9:38 pm

Hey real or make-believe "Sunnyvale" resident who claims to want her ambulance to be able to reach El Camino Hospital using bus-only lanes. First, VTA has not actually proposed any such access. Second, how about a carpool lane that buses and ambulances could also use? Of course, the bus should be required to have MORE THAN ONE PERSON aboard! That could be a problem for VTA buses but your ambulance will always have at least two riders.


4 people like this
Posted by Interesting Reading
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 12:50 am

VTA is having another meeting tomorrow, for their board, as pointed out by someone above. Buried in the meeting material after the VTA Budget Fantasy section is the summary of the reaction to the Draft EIR for BRT Route #2. They need board approval, eventually, for modifications to create the final EIR. I uploaded the DEIR summaries here. The attitude of the VTA staff is most distressing. Everyone against dedicated lanes should take a look at these 18 pages. Here it is: Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by @Gary
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2015 at 1:30 am

Gary. You are wrong, wrong and wrong again. VTA did indeed remind us all that emergency vehicles would have access to the bus lanes.

Did you not go to the MV Council meeting and hear that from VTA themselves?

Oh, you were too busy to go?i

In that case, did you listen and watch the recording of the council mtg online at a time more convenient to you?

Oh, you didn't?

Well, you are in good company. Most of the people that claim to be intelligently rejecting the BRT proposal have not done any significant research. They just parrot back unfounded and unproven allegations. If they did, they would learn that actually the project is not unique in this world, which is why there is so much confidence that it will work.


10 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on May 1, 2015 at 8:21 am

@herring

If the "true citizens" of Mountain View are "quietly supportive" of this view coming from some members of the city council, then you should have no problem getting behind putting a measure on the ballot regarding this issue.

Are you ready to abide by the decision of the citizens, not just a few "representatives" who clearly are swayed by "information" they somehow don't think they have an obligation to share with the rest of us?


3 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 1, 2015 at 8:45 am

The VTA is run by staff - headed by a general manager. Staff obtained the go ahead from the VTA Board to prepare alternatives for environment review and political testing. VTA Board members come and go. They are members of city council in the county plus a couple of county supervisors - most from south county. The VTA staff that appears at public events to promote bus-only lanes does not have the authority to make any deals with anyone. The current alternatives discussed in the draft EIR do not involve any vehicles, other than new VTA buses in bus-only lanes. Any other option would need to be discussed in a final EIR. Otherwise, the VTA Board will be told it cannot approve any other vehicles for the bus-only lanes. If, however, someone can find and cite a law which guarantees access by emergency vehicles, we could read it next.


4 people like this
Posted by @psr
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2015 at 9:37 am

Tell you what. If you agree to put up the 300k in expenses to have this on a ballot, then I'll sign the petition to support it.

If you don't have the cash, but own a home, you can re-fi to get the money.

Unless this issue is not truly that important to you?

See my point? If this was truly going to devastate MV, there would be broad, organized opposition against it. Barely 1/2 a single PERCENTAGE POINT has even signed the online petition!!!!


17 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2015 at 9:49 am

Have not looked into the details yet, but I would think fundraising could be done using a site like, Go Fund Me...

Web Link


15 people like this
Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 10:02 am

Citizens don't have to pay to put a measure on the ballot. All they have to do is gather the required number of signatures.


11 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on May 1, 2015 at 10:12 am

@psr

You really can't recognize that this IS "broad, organized opposition" to this vote?

In less than two week, there have been hundreds of signatures collected, many people managed to make the last meeting to voice disapproval, a mechanism has been put in place to start a recall action and MANY have been voicing their opinions here. Also, you might want to make note of the fact that comments here supporting BRT are getting 3 to 8 supporting votes, while those opposing it are getting numbers in the teens and twenties. That tells me that your numbers are likely WAY off.

I know you think your "it's less than 1% of the population" argument holds water, but it doesn't. You must think, like the VTA, that people in this town are ignorant of statistical sampling and analysis techniques. I'm here to tell you you are quite wrong on that front. The number who have signed reflect a larger group who have yet to sign. The petition has collected that many signatures in just a few days and I am still running across many neighbors who don't know about it yet and have gone on it to sign when they've been given the information. If you think the number won't grow, you are sadly mistaken.

As for me personally putting up the money for the vote, I will on the day that you pony up the funds to pay for all the people injured by this ill-considered action, including extra commute costs and injuries to people crossing ECR. After all, if you REALLY think it's such a good idea, you have no problem with that, right?


4 people like this
Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 10:22 am

@Interesting Reading: Thanks for the link to the VTA document. A searchable version starts on Page 135 of Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Conservation/Preservation
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 1, 2015 at 11:25 am

Today's Daily Post (Paol Alto) has a front page article "Councilman softens bus-only support" - worth a read.


17 people like this
Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 11:35 am

Rosenberg's gyrations in the Post article mentioned above are comical. Giving a whole-hearted endorsement of the VTA project sets MV up to negotiate? On a project they already endorsed? This is either mind-blowing naiveté or an attempt to spin a decision that has outraged the public.

And Rosenberg says he would vote against the project as planned now. The project he just endorsed.


15 people like this
Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 11:39 am

Quote from the Post article: "Rosenberg ... says his vote was simply a way to start negotiations with VTA on the project. ... His April 21 vote was an 'advisory vote' for yes, but if he had to vote on the project as it is now, his vote would be no."

So he thinks the way to start negotiating is to first agree with your opponent.

Rosenberg is either beyond naive (as he claims) or simply lacking the ability to think clearly and critically. In either case, he's unfit for public office.


8 people like this
Posted by VTA Neglects Mountain View
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 12:35 pm

God knows that VTA could improve service to Mountain View. Right now, today, they could make the service drops they are talking about to the 22 route and reduce the number of empty seats on the buses. There are many buses with near zero seats occupied, and they feel like they are empty. What a waste.

Then the driver running that discontinued useless route (after all, VTA plans to drop them anyway when they get the OK for dedicated lanes) could run some new route in Mountain View similar to the community shuttle. The community shuttle is good, but VTA has nothing to do with it, and it only has 2 loops of coverage leaving much of the area unserved.

So, if Rosenberg manages to negotiate something like that, he's a miracle worker and this was all Machiavellian strategy.


4 people like this
Posted by BRT is needed!
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 1, 2015 at 1:58 pm

You are mis-interpreting the data regarding impact to intersections along diversion routes.

Here’s the document again: Web Link

The numbers in "Table 35: 2040 PM Diversion Route Intersection LOS Summary” on page 72 (or 77 of the Adobe PDF file) are interesting.

Let’s take the worst case scenario and look at the currently horrible intersection of Rengstorff and Central. The assumption is that drivers cut over away from El Camino to Central via Rengstorff, so there are some anticipated increased delays there. Let’s look at the numbers:

If we do what people on this forum wish: Do nothing... That is "Alternative 1” in the table. The expected delay for each car at that intersection would be: 151.9 seconds. Now, if we choose option 4b (dedicated lane through and past Mountain View/Rengstorff), then there would be an impact. That is forecasted to be 205.9 seconds. So, by doing nothing, it will take drivers during the evening commute about 2 1/2 minutes to get past that one intersection. If we do the dedicated lane, then instead of 2 1/2 minutes, it would be almost 3 1/2 minutes. So, this is the worst case noticed in this forecast and while 3 1/2 minutes is a long time, so is 2 1/2 minutes..and that we will get if we do nothing. The difference is that doing nothing also will get us no useful transportation alternative.

If you look through the tables at other intersections, you will find that many intersections are not impacted at all and that the ones that are impacted are really just incrementally worse than what we will get anyway. The real badness comes from just overall growth of automobile traffic on the roadways, which is indicated in “Alternative 1” (the do-nothing approach).

By the way, there is nothing in the document that states that if we cut lanes down by 1/3, then 1/3 of our automobile traffic on El Camino will all seek alternative roadways.

I think this is a case of “cognitive dissonance”. It’s great that you are reading the traffic analysis document, but only to find things that support your argument that the dedicated lane project would be a disaster. Even worse, your interpretation is very flawed. It’s important to take a neutral approach when evaluating the project documents. That’s why we are very fortunate to be a republic and not a direct democracy. We elect people that (hopefully) see the big picture, who in turn hires PROFESSIONALS to objectively evaluate the problems and recommend solutions.

This project should go through. The 5-7 minute delay for automobiles along the corridor is well worth the almost doubling in speed for the buses. Lots of alternatives were explored, but this one is the least impactful. If you have an idea that can reduce a 70 minute bus ride down to 40 minutes along the El Camino SJ -> PA corridor, please suggest it! If you can’t, then that is very telling.


13 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Uh, I am pretty sure the good residents go Mountain View are not suggesting "do nothing" but rather, utilizing one of the alternate VTA options OTHER than the dedicated lane option...but you already knew that. ;) And, if you didn't then who is the one one with tunnel vision?


15 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm

REPOST for egregious typos:

Uh, I am pretty sure the good residents OF Mountain View are not suggesting "do nothing" but rather, that utilizing one of the alternate VTA options OTHER than the dedicated lane option is what should be being considered here...but you already knew that. ;) And, if you didn't then who is the one one with tunnel vision?


3 people like this
Posted by @History Buff
a resident of North Whisman
on May 1, 2015 at 2:28 pm

@History Buff needs to learn more history.

The recent Palo Alto initiative to rollback a development decision cost the taxpayers of PA an estimated $100,000!!!!! Believe it or not, those initiatives with the non-existent filing fees "for citizens" (History Buff is insinuating more anti-Hispanic garbage.) actually take a lot of work to get drafted and published to be legal. That is borne by the taxpayers. That includes widowed mothers with learning disabled children that are on the verge of eviction. The money had to come from somewhere and more often than not it is from the people who can least afford it.

In MV's case, the "decision" is not even binding on VTA! So, spending 100k or more on a symbolic gesture is sound fiscal policy????

Even worse, the dedicated lane feature will lower costs by tens of millions PER YEAR! More than that, the farebox recovery will go over 60 percent!!!!

You guys are RIDICULOUS!


4 people like this
Posted by Options
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 1, 2015 at 2:32 pm

The problem mvresident67 is that those other options do not significantly speed up transit along El Camino. That is the number one complaint about the service. Even the opponents complain that they need their cars all the time because a buses are too slow.

Let's hear a reasonable alternative that will dramatically speed up public transit along El Camino. Letting all 6 lanes become an automobile-dominated parking lot is not a reasonable alternative.


20 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2015 at 2:38 pm

If you don't like the thought of potentially spending upwards of $100K in a recall and/or referendum type election, then, maybe...heed your constituency? Pretty simple stuff really. And the electorate has the explicit power to hold referendum and for just these types of cases. Shame on the politicians who don't represent their constituency and wind up costing the taxpayers, which may indeed include "widowed mothers with learning disabled children that are on the verge of eviction." Showalter and Rosenberg may have been better served to have thought a little more deeply about what their "flip-flopping" might cost Mountain View residents & tax payers before so cavilerly throwing those - who in no small part helped get them elected - literally under the bus.

Good job.


20 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Oh, oh, oh, so the VTA's other options were never really intended to be options at all...they were just something cobbled together to try and make the dedicated lane option an "easier" sell. Got it.

Wow, how much money was spent crafting these various options? Oh, and when is the traffic modeling algorithim going to be made available to the public because I am REALLY looking forward to review that!

THANKS!


5 people like this
Posted by Speed up El Camino
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 3:04 pm

I don't know how this turkey can say that the BRT without a dedicated lane won't speed up travel on El Camino Real. That's a fallacy. Most of the BRT route in San Jose has no dedicated lanes. They make savings by cutting back on the number of stops, and having buses designed for faster boarding. They also stop taking money for fares when people board. They could do that TODAY. Very few fares in San Francisco use cash any more. Everyone's got a Clipper Card. VTA is so crazy. There could still be stations built at the few stops involved, just not dangerously on the median. That alone is supposed to attract development and riders. VTA seriously argues that we need BRT stations in Mountain View, to entice further development. Wow, what a crock. There are umpteen different development projects all up and down El Camino Real, because that's the main place the city has zoned for that. Is there some other San Antonio Center project that's going to appear with BRT stations in the median, versus those near the sidewalk?


3 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 1, 2015 at 4:26 pm

BRT with dedicated lanes will be going into San Jose's eastside within months. Let's remember that Caltrans actually controls El Camino, and like the VTA has a mandate to reduce the amount of one-car/one-person transportation in urban areas. For those who have forgotten, our current Governor originally wanted to stop construction of ALL lanes for new vehicles during his earlier life as our Gov. El Camino will NEVER be improved for anything other than BRT. We have been Silicon Valley for many years now, cars for one may have made sense in the Valley of Hearts Delight, but they don't anymore if you consider more than your own personal convenience. We all talk about Climate Change, Air Pollution, and Carbon Footprint, but when given a chance to act collectively, most still choose basic self interest over the common good. Thanks again to Mike, Pat, and Ken for joining the 21st Century.


3 people like this
Posted by @old steve
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 4:40 pm

Let's remember too that the BRT route currently under construction in San Jose's east side has only about 15% dedicated lanes, and that was a lane constructed using funds VTA received for BRT. Don't be so defeatist. BRT can perform fine without dedicating a lane to it. You said it yourself, within months we'll see how well. Here are the changes from the VTA's own website. Note how dedicating a lane is only a small part of the changes of BRT:

The Santa Clara/Alum Rock Rapid Transit service will include the following features:

Special Vehicles – Equipped with green technology and comfortable, modern interiors
Enhanced Stations – Attractive shelters, passenger amenities and advanced features
Dedicated Lane on Alum Rock – East of 34th street BRT vehicles will travel in a dedicated median bus-way, separated from traffic to improve travel time (small fraction of the entire route)
Transit Signal Priority – Traffic signals stay green as the vehicle approaches the inter­section for faster travel time
High-Tech Communications – ‘Up-to-the-minute’ information through electronic message signs at stations and wireless capabilities
Rapid Boarding – Ticket machines and all-door boarding means faster stops
Fast, Frequent, Reliable – BRT lines will operate during the peak times with service every 10 minutes

See Web Link

And what you CAN do to improve El Camino Real without adding lanes is add buses that go to places NEARBY like Costco, North Bayshore, Miramote Shopping Center, residences along Middlefield and so forth. This is going to enable people to use a bus instead of driving! It will also enable them to get to El Camino at one of the 2 places with the 522 bus which currently zooms to San Jose and will soon zoom faster, as in within the next several months.....


3 people like this
Posted by All door boarding
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 4:43 pm

People in San Francisco through the back doors now! They just use their clipper cards. Silly VTA. They aren't embracing the wonderful clipper card and they think they need PAPER TICKET VENDING MACHINES. What retrogrades.


3 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 1, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Hey @, You missed my main point. Alum Rock Ave is no longer controlled by Caltrans. El Camino still is. Caltrans directs the Fed portion of VTA's funding to VTA or to other agencies. Having tangled professionally with both VTA and Caltrans, I believe they will continue to insist on dedicated lane BRT for El Camino in all of Santa Clara County as part of the Grand Boulevard. Whether we agree or disagree with that approach or not, we won't get ANY improvements until we see it their way. There are plenty of other corridors where either agency can spend BRT dollars.


13 people like this
Posted by 6600 Sigs
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 1, 2015 at 5:52 pm

It's not a done deal. The City Council can always move to reconsider the vote.

Just like we residents can move to reconsider our votes that put them in office. We need less than 6600 signatures to force a recall election.


3 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 1, 2015 at 6:20 pm

Be my guest on the recall. Just remember that 6600 Signatures is more likely 10,000 to get enough valid ones. Will there be a campaign? Who will raise the money? Councilmembers would likely campaign hard to keep their seats. Check the City charter: Can the special election be on the same ballot as the recall? Won't new candidates be the same one's we did not elect in the last election? Again, check the charter, maybe those just recalled can run again for their old seats? And regardless of what Mtn Vw wants, whenever Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and Palo Alto eventually agree to something, the VTA and Caltrans will find a way.


3 people like this
Posted by @Old Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 1, 2015 at 10:11 pm

Thank you Old Steve for educating our upset citizenry. They don't seem to have good comprehension skills--you were very diplomatic!


9 people like this
Posted by @Old Steve
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 11:11 pm

You're wrong. Dedicated lanes cost more than the shared lane option. The Federal Grant money is about $100 Million. The dedicated lane options costs $140 Million more than the shared lane option with the deluxe ticket stations and curb bulbouts. So, losing the Federal money, we still save about $50 Million in local funds by going with shared lanes.

Plus we get the satisfaction that we didn't just waste $140 Million because were were getting a Federal $100 Million grant. They can hopefully use it somewhere that it does more good than harm....

The point about all this is that transit in Mountain View is BETTER SERVED by not having the overkill use of dedicate lanes partitioning our city in two. It's not just the loss of the traffic lane on El Camino. We need the ability to have local transit service operating freely in all 3 lanes of El Camino Real. VTA has to modernize their approach and provide services to people other than commuters in Mountain View just as it does in San Jose, and just as Muni does in San Francisco. We must not settle for sustaining the old model of using San Jose as the bedroom community for Mountain View big business. The employees of the businesses do NOT want to commute that far these days. We can't afford the carbon emissions. See Jerry Brown.


7 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 1, 2015 at 11:43 pm

Why are people upset? Why are people doubtful of the BRT information?

1) Cleaner air for only a few cent per gallon vote. The multi billion dollar lie that was MTBE ended up polluting the bay area water. Now we pay 20-40 cent more per gallon

2) A 10 cent a gallon tax to improve the highways and roads. The actual law ended being, make any new HW improvement a car pool lanes or toll lanes.

So when I hear the BRT buses will beat the Millennium Falcon Kessel Run of less than twelve parsecs you have to wonder, what else is wrong with the data.

BRT can do the PA to Eastridge run of ~22 miles in 40 min or a speed of 33 mph Since the speed limit is 35 it is possible if no passenger are picked up at any of the bus stops. ? ? ?

Please have an expert review the data and tell us the truth.


10 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on May 1, 2015 at 11:46 pm

Old Steve, if you aren't interested in preserving the character of the city and the quality of life we have had, then, by all means, don't do anything. Just sit on your hands and allow a group of elected people without the decency to follow through on their promises to the citizens decide everything for you. You are free to do so.

What you are NOT free to do is to expect those of us who DO care about our quality of life to do the same. Some of us want to deal in the real world and understand that the only person able to decide the appropriate mode of transportation for anyone is that person alone. No amount of utopian ideas about transportation are going to make me take the bus to get my groceries or haul home 40 pounds of litter for my cat. It won't make it reasonable for me to take my kid to swim practice on the bus and take him home, soggy and uncomfortable, on the 522. It won't make it a good idea for me to ride a bike 5 miles and arrive at work sweaty and unable to attend a business meeting.

If you want to do those things, by all means, go for it. Nobody is stopping you. However, it is pretty arrogant of you to think you can make that decision for anyone but YOU.


3 people like this
Posted by Quality of life
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 2, 2015 at 12:03 am

Years ago it was possible to use buses to get around more quickly, but now there are so many automobiles clogging the lanes and slowing the transit network down.

Fortunately, the dedicated lane project will drop the bus commute times down by around 40 percent. The shared lane options don't do this AT ALL.

Best thing is that it reduces the annual operating budget by tens of millions of dollars EACH AND EVERY YEAR!

The arguments against the project are all straw man and red herrings. They cover up (hopefully) the last gasp of racism and discrimination against the poor in this community.


4 people like this
Posted by Misleading
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 2, 2015 at 12:15 am

I note that the anti-bus coalition keeps referring to the "closure of two lanes" on El Camino.

They hope to trick you into thinking that they will close 2 fb the 3 lanes in each direction! What actually is happening is that they are only dedicating ONE LANE to buses, emergency vehicles and possibly private shuttles.

The other dirty tactic is the constant referral to a "lane closure." It is HARDLY closed. Just the opposite. Now we will have a lane OPENED UP to allow people--real, live human beings to move quickly and cheaply up and down the longest, most highly developed and dense area in Santa Clara county.

Next time you are on El Camino, OPEN YOUR EYES and really look. Buses go by and they have people on them--sometimes many, sometimes standing room only! Contrast this to what you observe with cars. Most only contain ONE PERSON! The driver!

Even worse, there new fuel efficient buses that can haul 50 or more people use less fuel (and inject less carbon emissions into our atmosphere) than any THREE cars combines out there. Sometimes, there are TWO cars that together are less fuel efficient than a large bus!

So, how dare you accuse VTA of "closing lanes" to automobile traffic, when it is YOU who closed ALL the lanes to a workable public transit system!


17 people like this
Posted by Dumbo Not
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2015 at 12:26 am

These last 2 posts are beyond the pale. "Years ago" there were even less buses than there are today, and they mostly went to San Jose. Garg. Not easier to get around years ago.

And no one thinks there will be 2 lanes closed in each direction. No one.


20 people like this
Posted by Read their posts
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 2, 2015 at 5:10 am

It is not had to see that these supports here are likely involved with VTA at some level. They sent a "Spy" to comment at our meetings who tried to hide her affiliation with VTA. She was exposed publicly, but it was a classic example of the VTA and their dirty tactics to try and grab up lanes of ECR for themselves. They truly could care less about the actual quality of life in MV and they could care less about the citizens of MV.
I'm hoping MV is VTA's Waterloo. They sure stepped in it on this issue, and now their flunkies are about to get recalled, rightly so IMO.
Expect more dirty tactics form them and the politicians who they control, but now that everyone is watching, their pattern of dishonesty will be easily seen.


5 people like this
Posted by Pathetic
a resident of Jackson Park
on May 2, 2015 at 6:16 am

Notice the constant screaming and crying of "VTA shill!" anytime someone posts their support for the dedicated lane.

My prediction:

When the dedicated lane in SJ / Alum Rock launches and is a big success, the fools here will cry, "Oh, that's different! Can't compare dedicated lane there to here!"

If the independent audit comes back with a result of "flawed model", then the NIMBY's here will cry, "See! The independent auditors are very smart and unbiasedl, but if that same review process validates the model, then the same NIMBY's will have a whole list of excuses why that same group of auditors are incompetent and/or corrupt! There won't be any evidence of course... Just a different result.

Every time we hear the scream of "Shill!", remember that name-calling is the weakest form of argumentatiion that is reserved for those on the wrong side of the truth.


4 people like this
Posted by Dumbo Not IS!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 2, 2015 at 6:24 am

Once again, the anti-transit coalition shows either their incompetence or deception.

Above "Dumbo Not" states that buses were slower in the past than today. Even an eight year old child can read and understand the data that shows ever increasing slowness of bus service on El Camino due to increased congestion from automobiles.

So, which is it.
A) incompetent
B) liars
C) both

I think "C" is most accurate. Even with most people in MV supporting BRT and every available data point validating the project's benefits, there is nothing coming from the detractors but name calling, baseless accusations of conspiracy and constant lies.


25 people like this
Posted by Maarten
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 2, 2015 at 6:37 am

Let's see... Give up two lanes, cause gridlock, run traffic neighborhoods, close off left turns, remove 660 mature trees,and spend 233 million. Sounds like a great deal, because it will get us from Palo Alto to Eastridge faster.


29 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 2, 2015 at 8:22 am

I don't believe that most Mountain View residents are opposed to ALL of VTA's BRT proposals, just the dedicated lane option. Please try not to conflate the issue. To the VTA, even though they proposed multiple BRT options, evidently those were just "fluff" options, money spent on "studies" in order to support the ONLY "option" VTA was ever really considering, and that 's the dedicated lane option. Talk about wasteful. Wow.


5 people like this
Posted by Options
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 2, 2015 at 8:50 am

That's weird! The VTA studied multiple options and provided data on each. How dishonest of them.... :)


25 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 2, 2015 at 10:02 am

Can't wait to see the algorithm the VTA used for the dedicated lane option DEIR. And, STILL waiting for the VTA to respond to the city of Mountain View''s 14 page January letter with comments and questions on said DEIR.

Hmmm, tap, tap, tap...


6 people like this
Posted by Bus advocate
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 2, 2015 at 11:04 am

Oct 2014 eir release
Mv complaint

So, let's review. The DEIR was released in October and it took FOUR MONTHS for MV to write a letter about the document. Even worse, they wait until the public comment deadline passes.

So, from VTA's standpoint, they see a city council that appears to be stubbornly against the project and unwilling to have an open mind when hearing their presentations. They see the city staff send a laundry list of nitpick complaints about the DEIR at the last possible moment of public comment.
Why should they drop everything and respond to each and every point?

It's obvious that most people objecting to BRT have not read the letter in detail or they would have seen how minor the issues are. At best, the less small issues give the appearance of obstructionism.

Fortunately, MV city council pleasantly surprised us all and voted their conscience.


29 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 2, 2015 at 11:38 am

Goodness, get your facts straight, lest someone think your mis-informed, or worse...

Public comment deadline for the DEIR was January 14th 2015. The city of Mountain View's letter is dated January 2nd, 2015...well within the LEGALLY MANDATED COMMENT PERIOD FOR RECEIVING COMMENTS. Whether "nit-pciky" or not, by law, the VTA is required to respond to comments/questions raised by ANYONE - entity or individuals.

We are into May now...why the delay???


From VTA's website: Web Link

"The Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment public comment period officially closed on January 14, 2015."


19 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 2, 2015 at 12:31 pm


At a cost of “$223 million,” would it be more of a gamer change to leave El Camino alone and build bike lanes and safe routes along parallel side streets, perhaps turning some of the quieter streets into one-way streets with protected bike lanes. Then support axillary services like more bike parking and mobile bike repair.

Put a few million towards technology like a better ride share website (anyone compare Uber’s web technology to traditional carpool sites) and better traffic analytics that could lead to more efficient streetlights and bus routes (VTA currently plans routes based on past traffic, and doesn’t try to predict future traffic tied to construction). If Walmart’s IT team can adjust future Poptart sales based on weather reports, then we can setup some Silicon Valley talent to find new traffic solutions.

I don’t know if the construction industry is pushing construction on El Camino, but this feels a lot like High Speed Rail.


19 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 2, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Really, nit-picking typos now? Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Perhaps I am incorrect, and a public transit authority in CA is under no legal obligation to respond to comments submitted in response to a deir, and if so then it would seem to render the entire process rather pointless.


33 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 2, 2015 at 1:58 pm

In case anyone is unclear...

deir/Deir/DEIR = DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT.

Most important part of the deal being DRAFT, not certified final.

Evidently, "What?" is advancing the notion that the VTA is under NO obligation to respond to questions and/or comments made to the DEIR, and if that is in fact the case, then why bother with the sham of a public comment period in the first place? Why even bother with wasting all that money conducting "studies" and preparing a DEIR in the first place? Why not do the entire deal behind closed doors? Seriously? If a tax payer funded agency is not beholden in any manner to the taxpayers, then we are ALL skrewed. Just open up your wallets and hand over your money, no public oversight needed and more importantly, no public oversight allowed.

Government agencies gone wild. Wheeeeee!


9 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 2, 2015 at 2:20 pm

The VTA's final EIR will need to cover the environmentally significant issues raised by the cities and others. Otherwise, approval of the project will be subject to prompt legal challenges under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). I do not yet know about the requirements and remedies under federal law.


25 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 2, 2015 at 5:02 pm

Posted by Dumbo Not IS!
a resident of Old Mountain View:

...snip...

"Even with most people in MV supporting BRT..."

~~~~~~~~~~

Source please. Link preferred. If you are unable to provide credible source documentation one will be left to surmise that you are either;

A) incompetent
B) liar
C) both

Which is it?


13 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 2, 2015 at 11:00 pm

Posted by Bus advocate
a resident of Cuesta Park:

...snip...

"It's obvious that most people objecting to BRT have not read the letter in detail or they would have seen how minor the issues are. At best, the less small issues give the appearance of obstructionism."

~~~~~~~~~~


Here is the link to the PDF of the letter that the City of Mountain View submitted to the VTA during the public comment period. The link should download the PDF. If the link is not 'hot' cut & paste, and it should work.

The questions & points raised and/asked in this letter have yet (as far as I am aware of) to be publicly responded to by the VTA.

Read, read, read...and decide for yourselves whether or not you believe the issues the city has brought forward are "minor issues" and give the appearance of *"obstructionism". (*Sounds like legalese to me. you might want to save those big word 'til the lawsuits start flyin', 'er filin'.)

mountainview.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=168232ef-4a18-4f6f-9785-eddd095e90ef.pdf


3 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 3, 2015 at 10:01 am

Some posters have suggested a referendum instead of a recall of Showalter, Rosenberg and/or Kasperzak. However, a referendum is NOT LEGALLY AVAILABLE for two reasons: (1) the City Council passed no law and approved no project - it only expressed (3-2) an opinion about another agency's proposed project, and (2) the California Supreme Court held last summer that "advisory measures" are (no longer) authorized in California. It did so in removing from the November 2014 statewide ballot an advisory measure that would have instructed members of Congress from California (or not) that they should support an amendment to the United States Constitution that would supersede the effect of the Citizens United decision that has enabled corporations to buy politicians through hidden campaign assistance - such as Showalter and Rosenberg received in the fall election.


13 people like this
Posted by Not going away
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 3, 2015 at 9:41 pm

Would the one or two of you who keep posting "the majority of MV support BRT" please stop. You just look ridiculous, honestly. Every single person I have talked to is AGAINST it and the posts, likes and comments in this discussions on this board are OVERWHELMINGLY against it.

Why do you keep insisting the majority support it? Where on earth do you get your info? I have to laugh every time I see you say it.

Gary, you say a referendum is unavailable, what are our other options? How do we legitimately move forward with constructive action. These comments are a great way to gauge the general feeling but at this point its a time suck with some incredibly silly posts. Where do we go from here?


5 people like this
Posted by Nate
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 4, 2015 at 12:06 am

Well I and many of my friends and associates think the dedicated bus lane makes perfect sense, so please stop trying to shut up anyone that disagrees with you.

This does really smell like a racially motivated suppression of both the project and commentary in support of it.

I don't understand why we keep piling money into Caltrain which is just helping out Caucasian wealthy tech workers and allow bus service which helps out other ethnicities to get slower and slower. As far as I know, this is America and we have this little document called the Constitution which is supposed to prevent this kind of thing happening.


23 people like this
Posted by Rico Recall
a resident of Jackson Park
on May 4, 2015 at 6:43 am

I don't think anyone is trying to "Shut anyone up" about a dedicated lane. it just seems that way because of the avalanche of public setiment against it. You are hell bent of driving the discussion to race, but seems nobody is taking your bait.
Voters are upset that the people who they put in office, specifically to block such a terrible idea, decided to turn their backs on their supporters without any prior warning or notification that they may be leaning to closing lanes down, with the exception of you and your friends, apparently.
Corrupt backroom antics will not be tolerated and the people's voice will be heard again. I say again because the people's voice on lane closers was heard on election day as well, but sadly the voters were lied to


7 people like this
Posted by Nate
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 4, 2015 at 9:54 am

I understand that people are surprised, but what is shocking is the level of bitterness. It's one thing if they voted for something that would ruin th city, but the documentation shows that this project will provide great benefits. Since there is a strong rational case made in support of the project and an irrational case made against it, there must be an underlying emotion driving the opposition. Racial and class differences have provided such irrationality in the past, so it's reasonable to assume it is happening here too.

I wish we would stop the discrimination!


29 people like this
Posted by Understand
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 4, 2015 at 11:54 am

Quit trying to prod people into making this a class vs class thing. It clearly is not, but I guess that would help your cause.

People are upset because they voted for these candidates specifically to BLOCK the lane closers. They sent the message of the majority LONG ago on this lane closures. I can understand their anger completely and I think they are well justified.


8 people like this
Posted by Stop the madness
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 4, 2015 at 12:29 pm

This study (Web Link) shows that there are several volume/speed/mix scenarios where the cost/benefit ratio of BRT programs like this are not >1 (i.e. they have *negative* net benefits). See page 15 for the sensitivity analysis. The study also claime the economic value that accrues to bus riders can be as high as 3.5X the disbenefits experienced by drivers, though they explicitly don't put economic value on much of the time increase experienced by drivers. It is also highly sensitive to key assumptions like average speed, and the mix of drivers to bus riders prior to the change. This essentially boils down to a redistribution of economic value away from drivers and in favor of bus riders, but the magnitude of that redistribution is so wildly variable depending on assumptions that anyone claiming this is a "no brainer" likely has a political or "social engineering" agenda.


5 people like this
Posted by Time Saving
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2015 at 1:41 pm

VTA hides this, but sometimes they claim a speed up to about 50 minutes for travel from Palo Alto Transit center to the Area in San Jose. (This is the entire 17 mile route proposed as "BRT ROUTE #2". The rest of the 22/522 bus line is not up for discussion as it's already under construction via a separate $110 Million funding authorization as BRT ROUTE #1.)

Now look at the current 522 bus schedule with its 15 stops along that portion of the route. Only some are time points on the schedule, but you can see that for much of the day, the current time is already at the 50 minute mark. It's not ever been claimed they would get a 30 minute travel time on BRT ROUTE #1, but some supporters falsely claim this. That would be un-doable in this kind of consideration, even if Cal Train has service that does this in 15 and 25 minutes, as well as slightly longer. Cal Train's route which does it in 15 minutes only makes a few stops, not 15 stops.

So, essentially, VTA is proposing to redesign the road lanes to address travel slow downs between 3:30 and 5:30pm. At those times, the bus route travel currently gets up to 68 minutes and presumably future slow downs would be more of a problem at those times than at any other. But, for all the rest of the day, they are messing with success. The bus service won't get any faster to speak of, and car travel will be greatly affected.

ALso, those arguing social equality haven't proven that low income riders are more on the 522 than the 22 or that they ride more in the 3:30pm to 5:30pm window of improvement. This messes up 22, driving and other aspects of El Camino use for EVERYONE at the other hours of the day, including low income.


4 people like this
Posted by Dazed
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 4, 2015 at 2:07 pm

I just don't get what you wrote: "So, essentially, VTA is proposing to redesign the road lanes to address travel slow downs between 3:30 and 5:30pm."

That is part of it sure! Just like the baby bullet project on CalTrain. Big speed of service with only a minor inconvenience to others.

"At those times, the bus route travel currently gets up to 68 minutes and presumably future slow downs would be more of a problem at those times than at any other."

That is exactly right. Automobiles are completely blocking the path of public, group transport and it's only getting worse, especially around rush hour. I believe it can be worse than 68 minutes though.

"But, for all the rest of the day, they are messing with success."

Messing with "success"? Not for a lot of folks that either physically cannot drive not afford a car

"The bus service won't get any faster to speak of, and car travel will be greatly affected."

Gridlock will continue to increase and spread throughout the day. It used to be only bad around 5, but as you wrote, 3:30 is the new 5. Then, 2:30 and on and on...
With the spread of gridlock throughout the day, bus service would be impacted all day long.
Believe it or not, car travel will NOT be greatly affected. That is what the study shows and what will be confirmed through an independent peer review.


8 people like this
Posted by Bus Service Cuts
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2015 at 2:32 pm

All day long, with BRT, VTA is proposing to reduce service at 65 or more stops on BRT Route #2, for the 22 bus. They argue that increasing service at 15 stops which are served by the 522 bus will compensate. This just doesn't make sense. People wanting to get from point A in Mountain View to point B in Palo Alto will have drastically lowered bus frequency. It may well prompt some of them to use their cars instead. However you slice it, it will be an inconvenience to wait the added 5-7 minutes on a relatively short 10-20 minute trip.

Otherwise, why has VTA been running this bus so frequently in the first place? Certainly, the buses have enough empty seats that they aren't being run to provide seats.


13 people like this
Posted by PH
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 4, 2015 at 3:14 pm

I just spent valuable time to express my opinion and when I clicked "Submit" my posting just disappeared. The bottom line is no BRT. It is a bad idea for a lot of reasons.


18 people like this
Posted by I'll start driving: #22 User
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 4, 2015 at 4:16 pm

I take the 22 to Palo Alto usually morning. I enjoy the extra 10-15 minutes i have to walk to the bus stop each way as some exercise and felt good about doing my part by taking transit. If the 22 gets service cut, I'll have to start driving, simple as that. Not a threat or anything but if you make the 22 less user friendly, people will leave the bus in MV. I dealt with the extra 1/2 hour of just walking to the bus stop each way, each day, but my day is too busy to keep giving larger portions of it to the VTA. The fools are alienating their current user base as well as losing any hope of gaining more in the future. Not in MV anyway.


10 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on May 4, 2015 at 8:03 pm

Nate,

You claim not to understand why the MV voters are angry that their elected official lied to them in order to get elected.

You claim that by robbing the taxpayers of the use of a lane on ECR that they paid for is going to make their life better.

You claim that this is because we are racist.

Well, Nate, perhaps you would like to explain to me how this benefits the gardeners, cleaning crews and other lower-wage workers who must DRIVE to their jobs? Why do wait staff and cooks count for more than gardeners and cleaning people? Aren't YOU being racist to support a plan to make them waste time and gas so that your chosen class of worker can get to their job more quickly?

Stop the specious arguments. Your version doesn't hold water any more than the VTA studies that show that thousands of drivers should suffer so that a vanishingly small number of bus riders can get where they want a mere 5 minutes faster.


3 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on May 4, 2015 at 8:05 pm

Sorry,

should read:

You claim we are bitter because we are racist.


11 people like this
Posted by Not going away
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 4, 2015 at 8:29 pm

Nate, I'm not telling you to shut up, I welcome valid comments and discussion. I'm telling you to stop claiming this is overwhelmingly supported. It is not. Where are all these 'friends and associates' you speak of? This discussion, on multiple threads, is overwhelmingly ANTI.

You say this will bring great benefits. What specifically? Please, expand on these GREAT BENEFITS. A 5 minute reduction in time is NOT a great benefit.

And to bring RACISM into this discussion? That's just blatently ridiculous.

Back to the general discussion. I checked busses out regularly today, early this morning after dropping my kids at school, throughout the day and again this evening. THEY ARE EMPTY. As someone else chose for a moniker STOP THIS MADNESS


3 people like this
Posted by Todd
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2015 at 9:41 pm

@Not going away

When you back up your arguments with "facts" that have no basis in reality, i.e. the 22 or 522 busses are running empty (they have an average load of ~75 passengers a trip), it brings the credibility of everything you say into question.


11 people like this
Posted by @Toddy
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2015 at 10:01 pm

Hey Todd, what, 75 riders for a 30 mile ride? Most of the riders only go a few miles, so, that breaks down to what average on board of 5 people for any given mile of a trip? Out of how many seats?

See what we mean. EMPTY by your own words.


14 people like this
Posted by Not going away
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 4, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Todd, I do not want my credibility in question and truly am not putting forth false info. I'm telling you, I looked at every bus that passed me or that I passed today and they were virtually empty. Like, 80-90% empty. I'm willing to allow that there may be other busses that are more crowded that I may not have seen. Are there certain times that I should look for this? Can you help me see what you're saying, I truly want to see these 75+ riders.

Because since this debate started I have been checking out any bus I see and THEY ARE ALL VIRTUALLY EMPTY.


4 people like this
Posted by Go away
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 5, 2015 at 3:52 am

@Not going away:

Hey, I think I saw you on El Camino!

You were the sole occupant of your vehicle making it virtually empty too! I noticed you spent half he time on your smartphone, which caused a large gap between yourself and the car ahead of you, which wasted a lot of space on el Camino. Your vehicle used up more space on the road than a bus!

I'm amazed that you only saw buses that were as empty as your car. The ones I saw had quite a few heads in seats, although it was difficult to see through be shaded glass.

I'm surprised that you didn't see all the people, as there was plenty of time given all the gridlock caused by all the badly driven, virtually empty automobiles. Perhaps you were too busy coordinating your texting and driving to notice..


13 people like this
Posted by I ride a bike and see empty busses.
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 5, 2015 at 5:06 am

Simple Question: What bus route will have 75+ riders in Mtn View and at what time of day?

Someone claiming solid user numbers please tell me; I'll take a picture so we can settle this issue tomorrow. You want to be right? Tell me what bus is packed and at what time and I'll prove you right (or wrong) with a picture.


11 people like this
Posted by I ride a bike and see empty busses.
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 5, 2015 at 6:29 am

This question of ridership may be because according to VTA stats, nobody ever actually gets off the bus. A rider is counted when someone puts a toll in the box, but that rider may get on in Santa Clara, Sunnyvale or just a stop or 2 later in SJ. The VTA still counts them as riders in MV.
This makes for USELESS ridership info wrt the buses going through Mountain View.

Ride the VTA: Get on the bus and never get off? I guess. That's not an accurate way of counting. It totally skus the numbers.


10 people like this
Posted by I ride a bike and see empty busses.
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 5, 2015 at 6:31 am

Should be " but that rider may get off in Santa Clara, Sunnyvale or just a stop or 2 later in SJ. Heading out now, on the lookout for those mythical packed buses in MV.


6 people like this
Posted by @Go Away
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 5, 2015 at 8:38 am

"Your vehicle used up more space on the road than a bus!"

But his/her vehicle didn't have the entire lane devoted to them. The texting premise is an issue that deserves it's own thread.




14 people like this
Posted by Not going away
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 5, 2015 at 10:10 am

@go away, you're cute. Actually I'm the one carting 6 kids to and from baseball, basketball and soccer practices, but if making snarky comments rather than contributing meaningfully to the discussion makes you feel better, well, then I feel sorry for you. Truly.

And I NEVER text and drive, I'm not stupid like this suggested lane dedication is.

@I Ride A Bike; brilliant idea, taking pictures! I really think this is a great idea. We should all take pix and put them on big posterboard and present it at next council meeting, that speaks louder than any words we've tried in the past.


4 people like this
Posted by Go away
a resident of another community
on May 5, 2015 at 12:12 pm

This not going away character needs to go away.

Nobody believes you cart around six childeren.
Everybody believes you text while driving.


3 people like this
Posted by Stop the madness
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 5, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Don't feed the Trolls...


17 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on May 5, 2015 at 1:02 pm

@ Go away

Just because YOU have bad behavior when you drive doesn't mean everybody does. I don't text while driving either, though I see people doing it.

Also, why can't you deal with the fact that other people are in situations different from your own? Nobody here is trying to force other people to drive more cars, but there is a pretty significant group claiming that others should be forced to ride bikes or take the bus. Why is this group so arrogant as to think everyone else is in a position to do that?

I drive a carpool to school because we live on the opposite side of ECR from it. I have bad knees and am unable to ride a bike for any significant distance and surely not while carrying a week worth of groceries.

Stop assuming everybody else is driving a car to tick you off. Since you are all about non-car options, try metaphorically "walking in shoes not your own" and consider that you are lucky to be able to do what others cannot.


21 people like this
Posted by Daniel
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 5, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Srsly? The posters who are claiming racism cannot be serious. They are just trying to provoke you. It is hard to resist a troll, but you need to let them talk themselves out.

Accusing people of racism is just like comparing people to Hitler. It is what people do when their real ideas run dry and they have nowhere to go. They look silly enough without being confronted by reality.


As for you, Dwayne, you should just stop being angry at anyone who prefers driving. You are better than that.


14 people like this
Posted by Buses = Typewriters
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 5, 2015 at 4:00 pm

People are clamoring to get on CalTrain, even getting bumped off because of capacity issues (cyclists finding CalTrain wonderful). CalTrain is expanding that capacity to accommodate their growth.

I think smart transit also takes into account where the people are moving to after they leve their cars. They are NOT moving to buses. Buses have their place, but not as efficient people movers in this area, unless you close all the roads. You can to that to ANY user group though, and it'll solve all their problems. It's not a fix if it causes more issues than it fixes. Between a stupid plan and no plan, choosing no plan is the wisest choice.
Closing 2 lane of ECR is ridiculous and small minded. The VTA slogan should be "If everyone else goes away, only then will we be good"


6 people like this
Posted by Bob Loblaw
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 5, 2015 at 10:08 pm

Holy gridlocks Batman! This is going to suck! Never thought I would see 19th av type congestion in MV, and yet here we are, and it's going to get worse.


7 people like this
Posted by Car and transit user
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 5, 2015 at 11:04 pm

There has been a concern that the battle between funding bus routes vs train routes is actually a battle in class warfare and/or racial discrimination. When this issue is raised, the common response is one of denial along the lines of:
"Playing the race card!? How dare you!!!!"

When it has been pointed out that the class and ethnicity differences between VTA's bus routes and CalTrain's commuter train service explains the desire from white, middle to wealthy class to fund improvements only in the train, the response is again one of outrage.

A common response is that there is no evidence to support that the demographics is different between the two transit services, so therefore there could not be class and racial discrimination.

I couldn't believe it! My own experiences on both the train and bus informed me differently and I was disappointed that the data wasn't available to prove or disprove the allegation. Then, I thought... If there WAS class warfare occurring, then there might be a coverup from people who know the truth. I decided to investigate.

It didn't take long. I found ridership surveys covering both CalTrain and VTA's bus service! Yes, that's right! The online postings insisting on the lack of data were erroneous!

Here are links to each of the survey reports:

CalTrain 2013 survey:
Web Link

VTA 2014 survey:
Web Link

Let's look at some key data points:

Class differences: (Annual family income)
VTA Bus: $42,802
CalTrain: $117,000
Conclusion: Caltrain primarily services riders making six figure incomes, while VTA primarily services those who have a great difficulty affording the cost of housing.

Racial differences:
VTA Bus: White: 26 pct
CalTrain: White: 56 pct
Conclusion: CalTrain primarily serves white transit users, while only 1 in 4 VTA bus riders are white.

So, it seems that the data does show a substantial difference in race and class between train and bus ridership. The surveys were easy to find with Google, so either the folks that deny the race and class differences in transit either never bothered to look this up or they did look it up, didn't like what they saw and chose to quietly cover it up. Either way, it is quite concerning.

I think as a community that we need to acknowledge that both racial and class discrimination color the way we think, listen, interpret and even feel. We need to be vigilant that this bias does not affect the large actions we decide to take (fund services for white/wealthy vs non-white/poor).

With this data in hand, I feel even more confident in the justness of the dedicated lane option of BRT El Camino.


8 people like this
Posted by Last gasp is always "Racism"
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 6, 2015 at 5:09 am

No, I think you're jump to racism is one of lunacy.


8 people like this
Posted by Geek
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 6, 2015 at 9:30 am

Geek is a registered user.

@Car and transit user
You omitted one important thing:
"Express Route riders have the highest average income, of $82,357, while Core route riders have the lowest average income, at $33,167".
BRT does nothing for Core route riders, it only benefits Express Route riders, so your "class difference" argument is wrong.


3 people like this
Posted by @Geek
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 6, 2015 at 9:57 am

So, you won't agree there is a "class bias", but you do see the racial bias, correct?

Thanks transit and car user for locating the studies showing the clear racial and class biases regarding investment dollars in transit. I think the BRT project proposal is not flawless, but is the best option available to start addressing the injustice.


7 people like this
Posted by Geek
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 6, 2015 at 10:46 am

Geek is a registered user.

@@Geek
If you are too lazy to check the source then here it is: "79% of Core route riders are non-white (only), and 18% of Core route riders are white (only)"
Compare it with 26% whites total for all buses (there no separate number for the express route riders), and you once again see that BRT will have much higher percent of white riders than the number from Car and transit user post.


4 people like this
Posted by @Geek
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 6, 2015 at 11:07 am

You need to make an apples vs apples comparison. Comparing ethnicity and class at different times is not relevant to the discussion at hand.

What was pointed out above is there seems to be an almost single-minded drive to improve Caltrain services at the expense of bus. Looking at total ridership demographics across all times of day (apples and apples comparison) show a clear bias toward six-figured white riders. If you want to look at peak only, then it is even more skewed.

I find it curious that the anti-bus people now seemed concerned that the lower frequency of buses at off-peak times will negatively affect the poor. Is that concern actually sincere or is it a desperate grasp at trying to prove the project is flawed? What's more telling is that the same anti-bussers are also saying the buses run virtually empty all day long, so I guess this perceived reduction in service will have negligible impact.


5 people like this
Posted by Alvarado
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 6, 2015 at 11:22 am

It is racist to assume Hispanic riders are poor. That's a racist stereotype. Just sayin.


11 people like this
Posted by Alvarado
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 6, 2015 at 11:31 am

Just because there is a racial difference does not show bias. The motivating factor in all this is reduced quality of life for MV residents caused by gridlock, which in turn would be caused by this idiotic plan. I don't care who is on the bus or how much they make. It's a distraction issue that has ZERO to do with the plan. In actuality, VTA is screwing the poorest ridership group with this plan, but again, it is not about race or how much someone makes. It is about our quality of life.


3 people like this
Posted by Alvarado
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 6, 2015 at 11:35 am

If someone did a study they would come out with the demographics of the hair color of the riders. You could then jump to a wild conclusion that this is about sticking it to the redheads. You need to show bias, not just point a finger at a stat and make a wild assumption.
How about eye color? If there was a study showing eye color would all these anti-bus people would be biased against blue eyed people? Of course not, because that would be silly, yet you continue to be quite silly regardless.


7 people like this
Posted by Geek
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 6, 2015 at 11:48 am

Geek is a registered user.

@@Geek
I find it curious that pro-bus people take wrong numbers from the VAT report and then blame others for comparing apples and oranges.


7 people like this
Posted by Racist or just Faulty
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2015 at 12:25 pm

First of all, VTA is proposing to increase service on the 522 route and drop service on the 22 route. This will simply reduce the number of times a bus passes through a stop it will make on passenger request. Specifically in the north county, they are cutting stops available on the only route with any appreciable ridership currently. This is a net reduction in service.

Is this racist? Are they doing it because of the racial make up in the area? I don't know. But what I do know is that they have given no data which supports that the 522 route currently serves more minorities or low income than does the 22 route. The fact is the reverse is true. If there is any racism at play, it is on the part of VTA....


3 people like this
Posted by Interesting
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2015 at 12:27 pm

The data available shows:

The project will massively speed up bus service along El Camino.
The project will have very minor impacts to automobile travel time along El Camino.
There has been more money invested in improving CalTrain service than in VTA service.
The riders of CalTrain earn almost THREE TIMES the salary that riders of VTA do.
The riders of CalTrain have a much higher percentage of white riders than VTA does.
There is absolutely no data or study that contradicts the findings of the traffic study-there are only non-data driven arguments.

Given the mountain of data to the contrary....
How is it reasonable to assert that a significant source of the irrational rejection of this proposal and desire to fund further CalTrain developments instead is in no way influenced by wealth and ethnic differences?


10 people like this
Posted by Geek
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 6, 2015 at 12:39 pm

Geek is a registered user.

@Interesting
Let's see:
"The project will massively speed up bus service along El Camino." - wrong.
It'll speed-up EXPRESS bus service (522) along El Camino, regular (22) will slow down.
"The riders of CalTrain earn almost THREE TIMES the salary that riders of VTA do." - wrong.
We are talking about BRT lane for EXPRESS bus riders and their salary is not that different according to the VTA survey.
Did you even read the VTA survey?


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2015 at 1:03 pm

When BRT is built, up and running for service I think the VTA will redesign all the local bus route to fee the BRT serice. I also think that some places could use more bus stations but who knows maybe in the future.

If the BRT takes off and maybe this will prove that a subway under El Camino can be built then El Camino in the long distance future will go back to traffic lanes but that is only if you want to spend billions and billions along with extra billions of public money.


15 people like this
Posted by Alvarado
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 6, 2015 at 1:12 pm

"How is it reasonable to assert that a significant source of the irrational rejection of this proposal and desire to fund further CalTrain developments instead is in no way influenced by wealth and ethnic differences?"

The main objectors are car drivers. You need to get all their info if you want to speak about the people in opposition and their motivation.

Also, as a member of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley as well as being heavily involved with our local Hispanic community I think you should know that there is more opposition to this plan than there is support within these groups, but also that nobody I have spoken with, within my own organization or when visiting others, has voiced concerns that this might be racially motivated at all. Please reread that last sentence.

I would request that you bring your concerns to one of the local Hispanic groups in MV and let them lead the charge if they decide there is a racial motivation. Otherwise, you are doing a disservice to people you do not even know with your accusations. Please stop.


10 people like this
Posted by No Massive Speed Up
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Look, the current 522 route service runs in under an hour already for most of the runs of the day. Just a few runs at commute hours are slower than that. The BRT route is hoping to even the speed out during the day, but it's little speed up for most hours of the day.

If Rapid service were popular enough to draw riders, it would need to draw them all day long. The local routes should already be feeding it. VTA has no plans to do a better job feeding the 522 route. They are in fact saying they will use the savings from dropping the 22 frequency to fund the added costs of the BRT service.

So this talk about Massive Speed up and BRT being a big improvement are misplaced..... it's just more excuse for VTA to seek more sales tax money so they can run still more mostly-empty-seat buses in more places. It's not good service, it's just a way to increase their overhead so they can pad their salaries at the higher levels and add more "community outreach" staff to lobby.

What they should do is a better job at publicizing the existing 522 service. They don't even have eye catching signs that differentiate the 2 out of 12 or so stop locations on ECR in Mountain View which offer the faster service. They don't highlight the fact that it's the same fare. People who find out get them confused with the Express fares which are double the regular. It's really simple communication. The public isn't aware of their service and they admit that when they as for the Million dollar stations in the middle of the road and say they will attract riders. How about a big ball over the bus shelter (and there is on 1 small bench) at the 522 stops? How about having 3 or 4 benches for people to wait at the stops which are special? What amateurs. These people couldn't market free money to poor people....


4 people like this
Posted by Interesting
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2015 at 1:49 pm

A poster above is refuting the allegation that the data shows: "The riders of CalTrain earn almost THREE TIMES the salary that riders of VTA do."

Let's review the rider data:

Caltrain Annual Income (mean): $117,000 *
VTA Annual Income (ave): $42,802 **

Now, let's do some math:
117,000 is what percent of 42,802?
It is 270 percent.
The assertion was that CalTrain had almost three times (or 300 percent) higher incomes than VTA users.

I think it is reasonable to state that 270 percent is almost 300 percent, so it seems by truly examining the data and performing basic arithmetic, we have shown the assertion to be correct and this "Geek" fellow to be wrong.


Sources:
* p. 50 2013 CalTrain Triennial Customer Survey Summary Report
Web Link


** p. 50 Santa Clara VTA | 2013 On-Board Survey
Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Alvarado
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 6, 2015 at 2:02 pm

@Interesting:
"How is it reasonable to assert that a significant source of the irrational rejection of this proposal and desire to fund further CalTrain developments instead is in no way influenced by wealth and ethnic differences?"

The main objectors are car drivers. You need to get all their info if you want to speak about the people in opposition and their motivation.

Also, as a member of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley as well as being heavily involved with our local Hispanic community I think you should know that there is more opposition to this plan than there is support within these groups, but also that nobody I have spoken with, within my own organization or when visiting others, has voiced concerns that this might be racially motivated at all. Please reread that last sentence.

I would request that you bring your concerns to one of the local Hispanic groups in MV and let them lead the charge if they decide there is a racial motivation. Otherwise, you are doing a disservice to people you do not even know with your accusations. Please stop.


10 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 6, 2015 at 2:29 pm

True is a registered user.

@Interesting

So what?

Caltrain isn't profitable (very few rail transit systems are) but their ridership and fare recovery has been improving year/year for the last 10+ years. They are doing a better job of managing that system.

VTA on the other hand missed every projection with respect to Light Rail and has had Grand Jury decisions against their utter fecklessness and the Federal Transportation Administration recommended against provision of additional funding as they judged the organization so inept in its governance and management that it would not be able to manage it's current system along with the needs associated with the BART extension.

One organization is earning it's investments and providing increased returns, the other....not so much.

That aside, as absurd as the "social justice" angle of these arguments are, a bad program, poorly implemented but motivated by good intentions is still just a bad program, poorly implemented.

BRT will unreasonably hurt the overwhelming majority of residents of Mountain View and the livability of the city to the benefit of a tiny fraction of MV residents and residents of other cites.

At the end of the day, I'm unwilling to make MV a less nice place to live just so a tiny fraction of the county's populace can get to work a bit faster.....assuming VTA's projections on speed, ridership, costs, revenue are even close to correct....which they have not been in the past.


10 people like this
Posted by Cmdr Data
a resident of Gemello
on May 6, 2015 at 2:30 pm

I think we should ignore all the data and studies. Who needs them?!

We know in our gut that letting buses run unimpeded along 82 will immediately cause a massive catastrophe, so obviously that science stuff is wrong.

Let's review:
If a study concludes that a dedicated lane will not annihilate the planet, we should ignore it.

I like the additional effort people are putting into this. When faced with this so-called data, forecasts, model, rider survey and the like I appreciate all of the obviously true explanations that it is either a conspiracy from VTA to expand their vast empire or that it is a plot between out of town developers and newly elected council members. I mean, where's the proof that they didn't get a brown envelope? I think without that proof it is obviously a conspiracy.

Down with busses. Down with VTA!


10 people like this
Posted by Troll Be Gone
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2015 at 3:42 pm

You know it's a troll, when you see:

Let's review:


5 people like this
Posted by @"interesting"
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 6, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Yes, data CAN be interesting. Comparing the mean salary of one group to the average salary of another group is a great apples to oranges comparison.
Who here in the audience would like to explain the difference between 'mean' and 'average'? Any scientists out there? (Or realtors?)


10 people like this
Posted by Teacher
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 6, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Lecture on the differences between "mean" and "average":

"Mean": the darkness that lives in the heart of the anti-BRT/anti-bus crowd that believes that most of the investment on public transit should be given to affluent white citizens.

"Average": the highest possible intelligence level a member of the the anti-BRT/anti-bus crowd can hope to achieve. It is strictly a theoretical measure as none have attained it as yet.

So endeth the lesson.


5 people like this
Posted by Troll Detection Heuristic
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2015 at 7:38 pm

Be suspicious of any post pretending to be a teacher giving a "Lecture"

In this case, the guy doesn't know that the mean is an average, as is the median and the mode. Specious is as specious says.

--The Anti-Troll


3 people like this
Posted by Class Favoritism
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2015 at 7:43 pm

Any transit system which does its job of reducing car trips will serve the entire spectrum of commuter income, except perhaps the very highest end of the Bell Curve. The don't have to serve people with private helicopters living out of the area and coming in that way.

These class arguments are circular. VTA is obviously trying to reach more of CalTrain's patronage, to try to offer similar service at a more subsidized price. It can't argue a lower income demographic when it adds services to entice those of an above average income to switch from CalTrain to VTA. VTA just can't out-CalTrain CalTrain. They were there first. The environmental cost of rail travel will always be lower than the cost for rubber on pavement. The capital costs are higher, but CalTrain has a well established legacy of capacity that serves them well. Their growth is about getting more use out of the existing capital assets, with limited additional supplements like electrification.


7 people like this
Posted by Motive error
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2015 at 10:01 pm

"VTA is obviously trying to reach more of CalTrain's patronage..."

There is nothing obvious about it. I agree with many people in the area that have looked at the data and understand that VTA is simply addressing a popular request--to speed up bus transit on El Camino and other locations. Of course faster transit will help riders in other economic classes, but that doesn't mean that it is the primary motive.

The most entertaining recent idea is that CalTrain is the cat's meow of transit and VTA is the new axis of evil and incompetence. It wasn't too long ago when CalTrain was the ugly stepchild and the pitchfork and torches villagers were storming their castle. CalTrain turned things around when they looked at the user surveys and realized that their train service at rush hour was simply not fast enough. They initiated the "Baby Bullet" program and suddenly ridership went up. Sound familiar? Now VTA is trying to do something similar, but the villagers have forgotten the CalTrain Frankenstein they tried to skewer and are out again.

I've read a lot of this thread and it gave me a perspective on mountain view that I hadn't had before. It feels like the people have become distraught with all the rapid changes fueled by local economic growth and are simply not willing to entertain new ideas. Of course, the subject at hand is buses, but the recent rejection of Google's proposal is a very apropos example. City leaders ought to reassure and guide the community forward, but it appears that mountain view's council is rather inexperienced. Hopefully, they will step up soon.


3 people like this
Posted by @interesting
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 7, 2015 at 6:25 pm

Well spoken, "Teacher"! I can totally appreciate the wit in your response. But I was actually hoping for someone with a more clear explanation of the mathematics of 'mean' and 'average'. They are two VERY different interpretations of the same set of numbers. How about a math or science teacher this time?


8 people like this
Posted by @@interesting
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm

Oh, I can answer this 'mean' vs 'average' question. But first some context.

A poster above attempted to dispute the numbers that proved that transit investment is focused on white, affluent users, leaving everybody else to either fend for themselves in car or use automobile congested bus routes. They saw that VTA uses the label "mean"' and CalTrain uses the label "average." By calling this out, they attempted to fool us into thinking it was an unfair comparison.

The anti-bus special interest group has been accusing VTA of falsifying data, covering up corruption and incompetence. Now, here's the funny part:
"AVERAGE" AND "MEAN" HAVE IDENTICAL MEANNGS!

That's right! The anti-bus mudslingers have been caught out. This is the most basic of terms in statistical reports. In attempt to fight against or suppress the truth, they have revealed something important:

The people who are fighting BRT dedicated lane are either:

1. Corrupt liars who knew what "mean" and "average" meant and tried to bluff us into ignoring the data showing the social inequity.

2. Incompetent. They throw their opinion at us as if it is better informed than transit professionals, calling VTA incompetent!

So, when talking to a local anti-bus special interest group member, try to identify which one they are as soon as you can. It will save a lot of frustration in debating them.


3 people like this
Posted by @interesting
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 7, 2015 at 7:25 pm

A thousand pardons! I read 'mean' but was thinking 'median', which could yield some very different numbers. Not suggesting which direction... just commenting about the theoretical differences. Sorry, my mistake.
I still totally appreciate the teacher's wit, by the way.


7 people like this
Posted by Average
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2015 at 12:43 am

Common usage is average to mean mean. No pun intended. But it's accurate to include median as a form of average. Considering the arithmetic done by VTA on other items, I wouldn't trust their rendering of mean rider income. It's very subjective. They don't have tax returns to go by.


10 people like this
Posted by Not Anti Bus
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 8, 2015 at 10:58 am

My family uses the bus nearly every weekday, and it is great that our house and the places we go are near a 522 stop. So we are in favor of buses.

Even though the bus is important to my family's life, we are against the dedicated lane. It is not right to take 1/3 of the lanes for the infrequent buses on the BRT schedule. We drive on El Camino Real, too, and it is not easy for us to take another route, so losing 1/3 of the lanes will make life worse.

I can't believe that taking away the lanes will add only a few minutes to cars. The VTA must be thinking all those cars will go on some other roads, but if El Camino Real is so important to the BRT bus, it will be just as important to all the drivers, too, so the traffic will just get very bad.

Comparing the Baby Bullet to the BRT doesn't make sense to me. People like the faster train, sure. But the train does not have the disaster impact on traffic that taking away the lanes does.


7 people like this
Posted by Interesting
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 8, 2015 at 11:47 am

The reason for the gridlock is more and more people moving in. Maybe we need to stop the building of new house/building since obliviously our area is saturated. And that will cut down on the water use. Win win.

But no, we keep on building because we want more grid lock and more mess. No matter what is done, if we keep increasing the amount of people that live here and work here, the worse this area will be. This area was never intended to be a big city metropolitan.


6 people like this
Posted by Not Anti Car
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 8, 2015 at 11:52 am

My family and I drive our car on El Camino almost every day and almost never use the bus. However, we are supportive of the bus lane option of BRT because we see traffic getting worse and worse along that important road. The way things are going, we are fast approaching a cap on how many people will be able to move along the road. And what happens when that cap is reached? They will use the neighborhood roads to get around the traffic.

So, how do fix it? I don't think there is a slam dunk fix. It's all about mitigation. When the road is completely full, the only way to move more people is to share a vehicle. The most efficient way to move a lot of people in a smaller amount of space is through shared transit such as buses, shuttle and the like.

Currently, we see buses and shuttles using El Camino to move people, so there is clearly a demand for such services. But as the road fills, these transit services become less and less attractive. Cars are nice, because they are completely predictable in that they are ready to go when you are. We've visited cities with excellent transit services where the schedules are so in tune that the predictability is there, so it isn't a stressful situation to rely on public transit.

Now along El Camino, I understand that because of all of the traffic, the schedules are difficult to keep.. VTA has mitigated this somewhat by having the buses come more often, which results in people waiting for less time. The problem is that it is taking longer and longer to get from point A to point B. With the dedicated lane, this predictability comes back and they do not need to come as often. This saves money and provides better service. Better service means more riders. More riders means fewer cars on this road. Everybody wins.

So, even though I don't expect to use the bus very often, I do recognize that the project is very important to keep people moving along the corridor. I love my car, but I am willing to drive a few extra minutes in order to provide a massive speedup for bus users.


6 people like this
Posted by problem with Dedicated Lane
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2015 at 12:35 pm

The problem with the dedicated lane is that VTA can't put the 22 bus in it. Of the bus riders on El Camino 2/3 use the 22 and only 1/3 use the 522. The 522 is already running at 95% of the speed it will after BRT, except for the very peak of commute time in one direction, southbound in the evening and northbound in the morning. If people could reasonably reach a 522 stop from their start and destination, they would already be on the 522 bus.

VTA must be thinking that with the 22 bus being slowed down by the traffic caused by losing a lane, more people will take the trouble to switch to 522. VTA knows they have no way to route AROUND ECR like drivers. VTA's real reason to take the lane is to slow down its own 22 service and make more people walk up to a mile more to reach the 522 stop. VTA are a bunch of crooks and liars.

Also, the speed up of 522 service is so slight that you have to be part of the 10% of the bus riders going clear to San Jose from Palo Alto to see an affect of saving 10 minutes. If just going to Sunnyvale, you see hardly any savings of time.


13 people like this
Posted by problem with Dedicated Lane
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2015 at 12:45 pm

And of course, except for one hour in the afternoon, if you are headed South, you don't even save 10 minutes when riding the whole route. Unless the buses running south at 8am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm..... are empty, there are a WHOLE lot of people who won't see a speed up of even 10 minutes on a trip all the way from Palo Alto to the Arena. And if they are headed to Bernardo, the will hardly notice the difference.

What a crock. VTA disgusts a lot of people through their lousy service planning and gargantuan budget. They get support from unions because they have over two thousand workers. Many many make over $100K per year. See Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by No problem with dedicated lane
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Ignore the "problem with dedicated lane" troll above. They state that with a dedicated lane that the speed benefit would be at most 10 minutes. That is simply a vast understatement. The time will drop by around 40 minutes when coming from SJ. This is what the data says. If you don't like data and trust your gut better, then use it. If the 522 can move along El Camino unimpeded by the ever increasing gridlock, then how can it be ONLY a ten minute speedup?!?! So, use your brain or use your gut. Either way the troll's comments are nonsense.


26 people like this
Posted by I'll decide for myself
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 8, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Yes, ignore the countless "trolls" who are against this stupid plan and pay attention only to the single troll here, likely paid by the VTA.

Actually, I'll pay attention as I see fit and ignore as I see fit. Everyone should probably do the same. Don't let bullies try to tell you what to do here.


8 people like this
Posted by 522 route realities
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2015 at 3:13 pm

VTA argues they will speed up the travel time from Palo Alto to the Arena and reach as low as 48 minutes in the best case.

This doesn't adequately forecast the impact of increasing cross traffic, and it's impact on the ability of the 522 bus/BRT changing the light to clear quicker. There has to be some discretion used on this, or the cross traffic would be dangerous. You can't just instantly switch a light to green without giving cross traffic time to react. But say they do reach 50 minutes as they forecast, just keep in mind that this is a stretch. Keep in mind that the major contributor to this length of time is that they must stop 15 different times along the way, and also pause at SOME of the signal controlled intersections along the way. 17 miles at 35 miles per hour when moving is 30 minutes of the travel time. Slowing, stopping, starting and being stopped consumes the other 20 minutes of VTA's promised time. This is not the WORST time, this is what they say they will achieve at BEST on every run. More reasonably, this runtime will end up being 55 minutes or 60 minutes in the real world, versus their hopes.

Here are actual times from the VTA schedule for the 522 bus. Presumably these are based on real world experience.

Palo Alto Transit Alameda & Naglee Elapsed time for Run
5:54am 6:44am 50 minutes
7:05am 8:01am 56 minutes
7:34am 8:33am 59 minutes
8:02am 9:04am 62 minutes
8:33am 9:34am 61 minutes
9:04am 10:04am 60 minutes
9:35am 10:36am 61 minutes
10:06am 11:08am 62 minutes
12:04pm 1:12pm 68 minutes
3:56pm 5:10pm 74 minutes
4:56pm 6:19pm 83 minutes
5:11pm 6:32pm 81 minutes
5:58pm 7:10pm 72 minutes
7:04pm 8:08pm 64 minutes
7:43pm 8:43pm 60 minutes
8:33pm 9:33pm 60 minutes
9:00pm 9:58pm 58 minutes
9:30pm 10:26pm 56 minutes

As you can see, many of the runs during the day (other similar runs omitted, but this is a sampling of the overall number of runs and distribution of times required for completion) already come close to
the goal VTA has for BRT.



3 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2015 at 3:37 pm

@522 route realities

By that same logic you could say that El Camino isn't and won't be gridlocked (even with BRT lanes), except for a few hours in the morning and evening.


8 people like this
Posted by 522 Route Fictions
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 8, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Whoops! Looks like our anti-bus, anti-poor/middle-class troll is at it again! He failed to shut down a LASD school to send more tens of millions to his favorite taxpayer funded private school for the ultra-wealthy, so this is his new passion. Posting countlessly under different names to attempt to show community animosity for the BRT project. (Bet there will be yet another denial forthcoming!)

Let's examine his data:
He pulls numbers from a schedule table and states, "Presumably these are based on real world experience." Whoops! Here he either shows his ignorance that the schedule times are hard to stick to with all of the gridlock caused by automobile traffic...or he shows his unethical conduct that he is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the community.

But then, he completely ignores the fact that even if the bus was somehow able to stick to this schedule, it is clear from the data how badly the automobile traffic is restricting the flow of public transit!
For example, according to his schedule data, the fastest the bus can go along the route is 50 minutes and the slowest it goes is 83 minutes.

Let's think about this. What is the difference between 50 and 83? That's 33 minutes difference!!!! That amount of time is completely due to all of the automobiles tying up El Camino, many of which are empty except for the driver!!! Another way to look at it is the automobile caused congestion is increasing the commute time by a whopping 60%!!!

But the problem is even worse. The commute times are increasing each year as density increases. And the Grand Blvd is just getting started with their massive re-developments. This problem is bad now, but is going to be monstrous unless something changes. Widen El Camino, build a skytram, build a subway or do a bus lane. The last option is the most cost effective and has the advantage of actually being POSSIBLE!. (skytram indeed!)

But, there's more! Our anti-bus troll thinks he has hoodwinked us by showing data, but then he tries to cover up the obvious conclusion to be drawn (see above) and comes up with this explanation about why VTA's projections can't possible be right. The problem is that this guy is clearly not a transportation expert. He is just reaching for some explanation to fight against the obvious truth that this project will massively speed up transit that is being used by riders in lower economic classes and other ethnicities besides white. I'm sorry, but many of us find that unacceptable. One thing that is so wonderful about Mountain View is that it is more culturally diverse than our PA and LA neighbors. It might tick some of our neighbors off, but yes, we do make decisions that might help people beyond white, wealthy culture. So Sorry! Must be tough for you...


11 people like this
Posted by Troll is as Troll Does
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Troll alert. The last posting is clearly trolling at work. So many words. SO little content. Says BRT is connected to school districts. I'd like to see kids try to ride to school on that 522 service. It only stops at Showers Drive and Castro Street. No way to use that to ride to school in Mountain View. Argues to support VTA that their schedules are inaccurate and don't reflect the truth. Way to support VTA! They are clearly morons, and they can't make an even approximately accurate schedule.

Just keep in mind the VTA salaries, and how many non-drivers make over $100K per year. It's a gravy train, and they also all get government pensions. What a scam! See Web Link and remember, this is just 2013. They made a lot of high priced new hires in 2014... After all they escalated their rip off plans hugely, and you need many $125K managers to foist this BRT con on the unsuspecting public.


6 people like this
Posted by Troll Alert!
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 8, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Whoops! The "Troll is as Troll Does" posting is like the pot calling the kettle black!

This troll is so desperate to keep bus riders out of his community, that he just makes up garbage and spews it on this board:

"I'd like to see kids try to ride to school on that 522 service. It only stops at Showers Drive and Castro Street. No way to use that to ride to school in Mountain View."

Who in their right mind would expect a limited stop EXPRESS bus to only go a short distance!??? If it stopped every few blocks, then it wouldn't be an EXPRESS! That's why there is local service too! Wow. How embarrassing to be so incompetent on something so basic! I think we can all see that either anti-bussers like this are either stupid or they have a secret motive that is to disgusting to be honest about.

For the low cost of several minutes of automobile commute time, it saves 30+ minutes of efficient, shared transit commute time. Seems like a no-brainer decision, at least for most of us!


16 people like this
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 8, 2015 at 4:52 pm

Linda Curtis is a registered user.

So many of you have made excellent points.

@Parent in Palo Alto: Instead of "hope" you should now be feeling WORRY as your children will now encounter many more cars on every street. These cars all used to stay exclusively on ECR but will now be crowded out to all our residential streets where children play, bike, and ride they skateboards. What a terribly unsafe combination. And how is this "social justice?" Those without cars need these streets to be quiet and safe, too!

What a bad and dangerous plan.

And why put a light rail exactly where buses already go? Put it somewhere else to connect with more riders. I suggest that the light rail to Synopsys add a route that continues through the MV Business Park to Google and Intuit, etc., in addition to the current one that turns to go to downtown MV.

Light rails should always go express style along freeways, like Guadalupe Pkwy. to speed them up, instead of along streets with many traffic signals due to cross streets, like along First St. in SJ. What a slow mess this truly is. Two hours from SJ to MV on light rail! It will be even worse along ECR, and so totally unnecessary due to the 522 and 22 buses already there, with or without the unnecessary dedicated bus lanes, which will not improve their service as claimed by the computer model VTA came up with. Other studies disprove their claims. VTA's computer model is sure "garbage in, garbage out!"


41 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 8, 2015 at 4:57 pm

Troll Alert!:

...snip...

"I think we can all see that either anti-bussers like this are either stupid or they have a secret motive that is to disgusting to be honest about."

~~~~~~~~~~

Whoa...wth is your defect? Seriously. Give it a rest. Try honoring your mother this weekend by keeping your mouth shut and your fingers off any keyboards. Thnx.


11 people like this
Posted by Get along
a resident of The Crossings
on May 8, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Can we please stop all these Troll comments? One persons troll is another's saint. Let the arguments stand on their own without these as hominem attacks...


22 people like this
Posted by BRT doesn't need a dedicated lane
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2015 at 5:32 pm

Despite what the troll guy says, the flaw in the VTA argument is that BRT does not need a dedicated lane, and it is not light rail. VTA would like to treat it like rail. This leads to the situation where they have to cut the true local bus service route, the 22, because of their creation of a dedicated lane. That lane will have one bus every 7 minutes at best. Yeah if an emergency vehicle comes along, and if it thinks it can get out of the lane after a while, it might cross into that lane to get around traffic, but no one else, including the workhorse 22 buses, will be able to pass up any accident, demonstration, or anything else which messes up the road.

Besides this, VTA has already arranged to spend $110 Million for construction and to purchase the BRT vehicles. They will make station cuts and modifications between Eastridge and Diridon Transit Center later this year. Surprise. If you cut out 5 of the 15 stops on that portion, it will speed up the BRT vehicle from Eastridge to downtown San Jose. Then since it is all one 30 mile route, the same BRT vehicle will head on up through Mountain View to Palo Alto. We will have BRT service, with whatever rules VTA makes about having your ticket before boarding. It should be faster to use, and it won't have any dedicatated lanes. It will keep working in harmony with the 22 route, so there will the same level of service in Mountain View.

What's wrong is when people say BRT can't run without the dedicated lane. This is just not true. VTA has bet $110 Million on it, and now they just want to triple down and make the total $350 MIllion for dubious reasons. They should wait and see how well it works before forecasting they need to make still more changes for it to work better.

And so it goes.... now back to the troll guy with the rambling style.


6 people like this
Posted by Deaf Ears
a resident of North Whisman
on May 8, 2015 at 5:42 pm

It does appear that the guys who hate BRT keep failing to look at how slow el Camino is and is getting. Only way is to prioritize bus. Why is this hard to understand I dont know. I think these guys only drive and not bus.


23 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 8, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Get along:


"Can we please stop all these Troll comments? One persons troll is another's saint. Let the arguments stand on their own without these as hominem attacks..."

~~~~~~

Some of the best trolling I have ever witnessed never came close to calling others "stupid" "disgusting" "incompetent" or having "secret motives" etc. ... THAT kind of trolling is ignoble, at best.


8 people like this
Posted by Thank you deaf!
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 8, 2015 at 5:47 pm

Deaf ears got it right! People who don't take the bus and are not transit professionals should take MVResident67's advice to honor their mothers and shut their pie holes.

Forget the model. Just looking at the DATA shows how massively slow the bus is at peak due to car congestion and how much faster it would be if there was a lane not clogged with automobiles.

Most lanes would still be dedicated to all the emoty minivans, hummers and the like who enjoy driving everywhere.


4 people like this
Posted by Transit Professional
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 8, 2015 at 7:28 pm

I'm a transit professional, and I see what's going on here. VTA doesn't care a bit about Mountain View. VTA wants to curry favor with Big Business in San Jose who want to have transit that serves their needs. They hope to recruit a lot of Mountain View residents to work for their organizations. Everyone forget that if you are going to work in the morning headed South, then you work down there, and you live up here. It's all a plot to get more workers for San Jose. Build BART. Improve ACE. Get High Speed Rail. It's all so business interests in San Jose can import workers from everywhere.

And, it's not low income people. Why would a low income person live in Mountain View only to work in San Jose? No, this is medium to signficant incomes, with jobs in San Jose but using Mountain View as a nice place to live.


13 people like this
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 8, 2015 at 8:15 pm

Linda Curtis is a registered user.

Instead of a dedicated lane, less car congestion can be created when people willingly riding the buses instead of driving because VTA spent this money creating lots more routes, adding lots more buses to really make them much more frequent, keeping 22s & 522s in the same #3 lane of ECR so no one need run across to the median to catch a surprise 522 (which VTA plans to have load at the median) that came before the 22 they expected at the curb.

Lots more buses, even shuttle sized ones, running all over the place, would provide riders lots more added service to get people places they need to go, even off of ECR (!), and will provide more jobs for drivers.

These ideas would be money better spent than destroying our important tree canopy that shades those walking, biking, and driving and riding buses into the late afternoon sun west bound on ECR! The trees along ECR and on its median keep the sun from being dangerously blinding. And they would take decades to grow back. Not worth it.

A VTA official told me personally, not long ago, that BRT in a dedicated #1 lane on ECR is worth it because it could come from the edge on this side of SJ to the middle of MV (presumably Castro St.) 10 minutes faster. Oh wow, what a joke. We must not pursue this dumb, expensive plan, or fall for its wishful fantasies of such improved service to make it worth it.


14 people like this
Posted by Greg Perry
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 8, 2015 at 9:48 pm


Given VTA's cost structure, you aren't going to see a massive increase in bus service. The last attempt at that was creating "community shuttles". They did a good job of reducing cost for a few months.

Then ATU (the driver and mechanics union) took it over and doubled the cost from 49 dollars per hour to more than a hundred.

You aren't going to see "Lots more buses, even shuttle sized ones, running all over the place". There is no way to afford it when you are paying more than twice the going rate.

This is why an increase to 522 is paired with a reduction in 22. It's the only way to balance the books without actually getting a handle on their expenses.


27 people like this
Posted by @Greg Perry
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2015 at 12:34 pm

For yet another illustration of VTA's out-of-whack cost structure and lackluster planning, check this Mercury News article:

"Transit Tab for 49ers' Levi's Stadium soars"

Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 9, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Linda Curtis is a registered user.

Good points about the costs and the inabilities of VTA.

I like the comment a read a ways back in this thread that I think VTA must realize:

"I take the 22 to Palo Alto usually morning. I enjoy the extra 10-15 minutes i have to walk to the bus stop each way as some exercise and felt good about doing my part by taking transit. If the 22 gets service cut, I'll have to start driving, simple as that. Not a threat or anything but if you make the 22 less user friendly, people will leave the bus in MV. I dealt with the extra 1/2 hour of just walking to the bus stop each way, each day, but my day is too busy to keep giving larger portions of it to the VTA. The fools are alienating their current user base as well as losing any hope of gaining more in the future. Not in MV anyway."

Having worked in many capacities for Santa Clara County over the decades, which even included some work with VTA, I know well how incompetent they are and how much money they hog up and waste.

Forget dedicated bus lanes. There are better ideas.


23 people like this
Posted by VTA Pigs at the Trough
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Re: the Levi's Stadium article Web Link , this is illustrative. They say it costs them $38 a rider to run a 100 person bus and travel what, 20 miles tops? In a private passenger auto for each rider, the cost would be $0.45 per mile, or $9 per person.

It boggles the mind that VTA can't do it cheaper with 100 people all together in a bus. $3800? $100 for the drive. Where does the other $3700 go?


10 people like this
Posted by BCS Parent
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2015 at 7:42 pm

"VTA Pigs at the Trough" has it exactly right! This reminds me of the battle we had with the Los Altos School District. They think they have the RIGHT to educate their less affluent students on campuses that should be reserved for our elite charter school students. Sure, we lost that battle, but we kept nipping at them, arguing at every possible opportunity. A "Death by a Thousand Cuts" strategy.

We need to keep this same strategy against VTA. We need to ignore all their successes and remind them of anything that did not work out well. Of course, the funny thing is that we and the local cities were ALL OVER VTA about developing transit services for the stadium, so the supposed onslaught of parking and traffic wouldn't overwhelm us. Of course, "Pigs" and I knew that the sky would not fall when the events started, so this was just to torture VTA.

Keep up the fight! Let's keep those buses from infecting our community!


22 people like this
Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 9, 2015 at 9:14 pm

Maybe we can learn from the Levis stadium planning and not fall for any hyped up data of minimal traffic impacts, convenient and affordable master plan that are associated with a large project trying to get funds. Also ask why Palo Alto and Sunnyvale have rejected BRT?


20 people like this
Posted by Transit Myths
a resident of another community
on May 10, 2015 at 5:47 pm

Yeah, Levi's stadium's VTA fiasco is terrible VTA says running buses costs them $38 per seat on a 100 person bus. Meanwhile, there are private companies selling rides from all over on such buses, for $27 and up, and they are in it to make a profit. So VTA's cost structure is very wasteful. Keep in mind that you can't blame unions too much for the drier cost on a $3800 bus ride. The driver doesn't get much of it.

But as for Transit Myths like the one VTA is spinning on this wasteful BRT dream, this is all a case of telling people what they want to hear. Nothing at all supports the idea that VTA will suddenly get more riders on the limited stop service up from San Jose. Colorful buses and hype won't solve the problem of it taking 50 minutes, and they already have 522 service taking about 50 minutes at most times of the day. Oh yeah, it may be 55 minutes or 62 minutes, but is that really the reason people don't ride it? 62 minutes is just too long to ride, but heck 50 minutes will swing me to ride? So here's another case of telling people what they want to hear: Web Link The High Speed Rail mythology is unbelievable. They may as well say "with 10 rides you get a free cancer cure."


5 people like this
Posted by Transit Realities
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 10, 2015 at 6:42 pm

This is an excellent project that will greatly speed up public transportation all throughout dense and rapidly growing El Camino.

To the anti-BRT crowd. Let's review some of your arguments against the project:

1) "Dedicating one out of three lanes to public transit will bring El Camino to a standstill for automobiles."

Actually, that is incorrect. Read the traffic study. Automobiles only be delayed a very few minutes.

2) "Because auto traffic will be delayed on El Camino, the cars will use alternate routes and put those to a standstill."

That is also incorrect. You really need to read the traffic study. Again, the increased time is minimal.

3) "The study is flawed! The model is incorrect!"

Actually, it's not. But since a vocal few keep screaming about this, there will be an independent evaluation over the summer. If the model is shown to have poor forecasting ability, then the project will be delayed until better forecasting can be accomplished.

4) "The BRT dedicated lane is less environmentally friendly than the mixed lane option."

Yes, that's right. In order to make this project happen, certain trees in the median along the route will need to be removed. It's more environmentally friendly to stay home then it is to go out and socialize with your friends and family (less consumption of gas, water, energy, etc..). Does that mean you should stay home? No, of course not. The benefit to going out outweights the environmental cost.

5) "Illegals use buses. Why are we supporting things that enable illegals!?"

Sorry, but this is America. We are a (relatively) compassionate country, which many consider to be a strength. There are countries that have very aggressive border controls and will imprison or even torture undocumented immigrants. If you would prefer polices like this, please move there. You can go into any US embassy, surrender your passport and relinquish your US citizenship. Have fun!

6) "This project is so expensive! We cannot afford it!"

This is also incorrect. First, the capital expenses are already paid for through Measure A and federal grant money. If we don't do this project, there would be no refund and we would love the fed money. More importantly, this project will REDUCE the annual operating expenses for VTA! Yes, that's right! If we don't do this project, taxpayers will be paying MILLIONS each year unnecessarily.

7) "Bus service is not very good on El Camino. Why should we invest money in something that is not very good?"

Um. Because this project will make it very good. People complain that it is slow and difficult to make connections because of unpredictability. Now there is a project will fix that. This is very simple.

8) "We don't need this. If people want to travel quickly on public transit, they can just use CalTrain."

Caltrain is great for people that both live and work near the tracks. If you don't, then you're screwed. If you are low income, then you're screwed (Caltrain is VERY expensive). If you don't work a standard 9-5 work day, then you're screwed. Bus service is 24 hours/day. Caltrain is not. BRT runs along a dense corridor of business and residences. CalTrain does not.

9) "When a lane is closed today for construction, it really causes gridlock on El Camino. That is what will happen when this project is completed."

Construction projects are usually blocking the right lane where businesses, apartment buildings and streets. There are big scary signs set-up with blinking warning lights. Construction workers may be flagging you to slow down or just working in that lane forcing you to stop texting and pay more attention. Contrast that with BRT which will have two middle lanes clearly separated from the rest. It will not change from day-to-day, but remain constant so people are accustomed to the minor difference. Comparing a construction lane closure with a co-ordinated planned permanent solution makes no sense.

10) "Since so few buses are planned in the dedicated lanes, it seems like a big waste of space!"

Actually, it's not. What IS a waste of space is all these cars filling the roads just to move one person. Emergency vehicles will be able to use these lanes in cases of emergencies which will save lives. Currently, El Camino can be gridlocked and many automobile drivers are either too selfish or stupid to get out of the way of the ambulances. This will not get any better. Also, VTA announced that they are open to negotiating a deal with private shuttles (like Google buses) to use the lanes. This could be a source of revenue that would make this even a better financial deal for county residents than it is forecasted to be.

Now that we have disposed of many of the superficial arguments against the project, I wonder if the anti-BRT crowd will give their approval? I think not. There is clearly SOMETHING that these people have against the project that they are either unable or unwilling to vocalize. Care to speculate?


9 people like this
Posted by Transit Realities
a resident of another community
on May 10, 2015 at 10:57 pm

VTA just tells people what they want to hear. The changes for BRT won't make El Camino Real bus service any better. They make 2 stops per run in Mountain View on the 522 route. They do this 65 times each weekday, and less on the weekend. But the problem is that the 22 bus stops 90 times per weekday, at a dozen different locations. These are the places people use service. The changes don't do anything to help the service of the 22. In fact, it admits to planning to slow down the time it will take to get around within the city or to Palo Alto or Sunnyvale.

So, how the hell is this an improvement? VTA tells people some buses will run faster, but they don't mention that these are the ones who have the fewest riders... and the fools don't stop to ask the question.
[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or personal attack]


4 people like this
Posted by Uhoh
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 10, 2015 at 11:17 pm

I keep reading about how people are very concerned that the BRT will negatively affect the local, non-express bus service. Do these people actually care about this? I think not. It is a "red herring" argument meant to mislead. (Argumentation techniques such as this is used by those who do not have the facts on their side.)

What these self-professed caring people neglect to mention is that just like transit systems throughout he world, users may use both express and local services via a transfer to optimize their route.

It's also important to note that these same anti-bus zealots that are so concerned for all the many users of the regular bus services also claim that the buses run empty all day long.

So, which is it? Are there lots of riders or very few? Or do you change the facts to match your argument?

Thank goodness VTA is in charge of this process. Personally, I think that the massive speed up in bus service is worth the extra few minutes an automobile commuter might experience.


14 people like this
Posted by Empty Buses
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2015 at 12:20 am

None of the buses are ever empty, because they always have air on board, and of course the driver. So a 120 seat bus always has 1 occupant, and often as many as 5 or 6! In fact, I may be sitting on the bus right now as I type this and the other 2 riders could be snoring.


5 people like this
Posted by Empty Heada
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 11, 2015 at 4:15 am

The anti-bus mafia that would to keep these vehicles out of our community has once again failed to convince most of our community.

A recent claim made is that all these so-called "empty" buses are not truly empty, but may actually contain six people. Let's leave aside the fact that some of these buses are actually STANDING ROOM ONLY at peak, so six people is hardly a max load.
[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or personal attack]

Some of the anti-bus coalition make the claim that buses are an environmentally poor option. Let's think about that for a moment.

Let's assume what our anti-bus friend says is true. That buses run with a max of 6 people. Let's say that six person bus is driving next to four mini-vans where two are carrying one passenger and two are driver-only. Of course, anyone who actually looks at automobiles driving along el Camino knows that most of the cars contain just the driver, but let's give our anti-bus zealot the benefit of the doubt.

So, our environmentalist anti-buses will lead you to believe that the six person bus is less fuel efficient than the four minivans driving along side. Oops! Once again, we have caught them in a lie. The buses get 5mpg, while the newer gas fuel efficient minivans (more benefit of the doubt) get 16mpg. So, those four minivans combined get only 4mpg!!!! That's right! The bus is TWENTY-FIVE percent more fuel efficient than the minivans and that is when the bus is only FIVE PERCENT FULL!

So, please I implore you. When you hear assertions made by the anti-bussers, ask yourself: "Is their claim a deliberate lie or is it merely the words of [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or personal attack]


12 people like this
Posted by Old Dusty VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 11, 2015 at 6:27 am

I'm just so all the residents are now aware of this issue and are organizing to make sure the VTA doesn't co-opt MV for their own selfish desires in order to try and be relevant in a society that has already left them behind.


19 people like this
Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2015 at 9:24 am


I hope that people remember all of this frustration next year when we see YET ANOTHER sales tax increase on the ballort. We do not need more sales tax or fee increases.

Over the last several elections, voters in Santa Clara County have passed multiple tax and fee increases including VTA's 2000 Measure A ½-cent and 2008 measure B ¼-cent sales taxes, Santa Clara County's Measure A 1/8 cent sales tax, the state prop 30 ¼ cent sales tax and the 2010 Measure B Vehicle Registration Fee of $10. Additionally, we're on the hook to pay back numerous state bond issues including high speed rail, last year's Proposition 1 water bond and the infrastructure bonds of 2006.

All of this nickel and diming has contributed into making the Bay Area a horribly expensive place to live; especially for people of modest means, who must pay the greatest percentage of their income in these regressive taxes and fees. Adding to the painful drip-drip-drip of painful tax increases, we have both the City of San Jose and VTA talking about yet more sales taxes on the 2016 ballot. Each increase by itself does not amount to much, say a quarter cent, but the cumulative effect is to add to the unaffordability of the region. Governments in this state collect enough in taxes; now it's time to spend that money more efficiently.

For example, VTA needs to eliminate waste and "gold plating" of its capital projects. The El Camino BRT project has been beaten to death on this thread, so here are some more issues to consider:

We have already approved two VTA sales tax increases to fund the horribly-expensive BART extension to San Jose. Its high cost could be cut by reducing the scope to eliminate duplicate facilities. Specifically, a revised "build alternative" needs to be added to the study that eliminates the duplicative and wasteful section between the San Jose and Santa Clara Caltrain stations. The BART segment from the San Jose to Santa Clara Caltrain stations would duplicate both the existing Caltrain line and VTA's 22 and 522 buses (and the proposed BRT) to a station that has only 900 riders. This is extremely wasteful and sends the wrong message to voters who will be asked to approve more sales tax increases in 2016. This is extremely insulting considering recent voter approval of all the taxes/fees listed above.

Regarding the endless tax/fee increases, when is enough enough?


28 people like this
Posted by Stop the madness
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 11, 2015 at 10:24 am

@Transit Realities and @Empty Heada both appear to be nothing but shills (paid or otherwise) for the VTA. When the VTA provides actual passenger loads by time of day and segment of the route then we can have a reasonable conversation about whether or not this idea will be a net positive. Their projections are hugely sensitive to some key assumptions that the public can't validate without better data. And I don't think the VTA has earned the right to just say "trust me".

In the meantime, I suggest our city council members get out and ride the buses at several different times of day to see for themselves how things look.


37 people like this
Posted by Robin Iwai
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 11, 2015 at 11:32 am

I take offense at this "anti-bus" label. Plenty of us are entirely in favor of efficient, affordable, well-thought out public transportation. Disagreeing with a plan that will rip out a hundred or so trees, eliminate 2 lanes of a busy main thoroughfare, and make a whopping 2 stops along the entire length of El Camino in MV does not make me "anti-bus" it does make me "anti-VTA" and "anti-stupid decisions by elected officials"


13 people like this
Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on May 13, 2015 at 6:07 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

Robin Iwai misses one more flaw with VTA's proposed BRT plans. They call for leaving the 22 bus service in the 2 general traffic lanes. They call for reducing the frequency of 22 bus service, because they can't keep the buses separated due to the chaos that results from only having 2 lanes, with 1 idle and empty 99% of the time (reserved for a BRT bus coming every 10-15 minutes only). Since 90% of the bus service in Mountain View is provided by the 22 route, VTA's plans are to curtail the amount of service they provide for Mountain View and the entire north County. They only want to focus on people traveling to San Jose.

It's important to note that mucking up the local bus service is part and parcel of VTA's plan to muck up the road usage by cars all over the city, fanning out from El Camino. How can this help reduce car trips? It just won't.

A better option is to have the 522 and 22 service keep using the 3 general purpose lanes, with stops along the curb and existing parking preserved. The 522 can pass by 22 buses when needed. (522 only stops at 2 places in the city of Mountain View, so it is often in the middle lane of traffic.) If and when it becomes a slow down to bus service, then the curb lane could be converted to an HOV lane as on Lawrence Expressway during peak hours, say 3:30-6:30pm Turns by any vehicle are still allowed, as is using the HOV lane as a merge lane. This HOV lane would be accessible to carpools and shuttle buses of all sorts as well. That way, the buses get better speed but we don't forcibly idle 1/3 of the roadway.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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