Accompanying this post is a diagram of the 3 routes for VTA BRT. VTA Route #1 is already under construction without any removal of traffic lanes. The new BRT bus vehicles will be running through Mountain View in 2015, separate from any consideration underway in how to manage VTA BRT Route #2. It's a bit confusing that VTA has separated one current bus service (22/522) into two consecutive segments and called one BRT Route #1 (Red) and the other BRT Route #2 (blue). You must look at both the Red and the Blue routes to see the path of travel for the current VTA 22 and 522 buses.
Some of the arguments in favor of the most drastic version of BRT Route #2 have relied on pointing up the speed in travel from Eastridge to Palo Alto. Notice how there will already be some speed up to this service with the changes creating BRT Route #1. That will occur before changes begin on BRT Route #2.
At this point, the Environmental Impact Report has not even been finalized for BRT Route #2. Many serious concerns were raised with one draft of this EIR. It appears likely that there will be more issues with the responses when VTA revises the draft EIR as the next step in the EIR development process.
Environmental concerns in Mountain View include traffic and other factors. The VTA's most extreme plan includes closing 7 or more penetrations in the current median and removing some signal controlled intersections. Pedestrian crossings will also be eliminated in some cases. This seems highly contradictory to the plans for a GRAND BOULEVARD vision for El Camino, complete with improved walkability. Additionally, VTA's arguments supporting the drastic version clearly include deterioration to local bus service on the 22 route. Resources promised to be used to favor the 522 route with its (only) 2 stops in Mountain View will also inhibit development of other local service which is seriously needed with the planned local population growth.
As a result of all these concerns, other city councils have put specific conditions questioning the idea of so much favoring of the 522 service versus the 22 service. They point to the elimination of the lane of general traffic as being bad for the environment when all things are considered. What Mountain View has done is to forestall its own examination of that that factor, and just give blind approval to the concept and essentially abandoning due diligence.
So, I offer this perspective, to show that those who question the lane changes and the parking elimination are not anti-transit. They are pro with regard to REASONED CHANGES for transit service, and not blind support of a dogma saying any transit is good transit. It's just not true.