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El Camino bus plan faces backlash

Original post made on Apr 30, 2015

Tuesday's meeting on Mountain View's annual budget was overshadowed by a crowd of public speakers wanting to talk about the council's controversial move last week to support creating dedicated bus lanes on El Camino Real.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 30, 2015, 1:51 PM

Comments (128)

Posted by Greg Coladonato
a resident of Slater
on Apr 30, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Greg Coladonato is a registered user.

In Councilmember Siegel’s Guest Opinion published in tomorrow’s Mountain View Voice (which hit the newsstands late this morning), titled “Improve Transit without El Camino bus lanes”, he writes,

“Like many other people, I was surprised and disappointed by the Mountain View City Council’s three-to-two advisory vote on April 21. But I think we should focus on VTA, not the council. VTA has been using its public participation process and environmental review neither to hear what the public wants not to respond to the project’s environmental impacts. However, if enough people speak out, dedicated bus lanes all the way through Mountain View will not be built.”

With that passage in mind, I was pleased to see this notice in my inbox this afternoon:

VTA Holding Three Public Meetings for Proposed Biennial Budget

San Jose, Calif. – Starting Monday, May 4, 2015, VTA will hold three public meeting to present the Proposed Budget for FY 2016 and FY 2017. The goal of these meetings is to inform the public and obtain input to improve the Biennial Budget.

Monday, May 4 at 6 p.m.
City of Mountain View, Council Chambers
500 Castro Street, Mountain View
Served by VTA Bus Lines 22, 35, 51, 52, 522, light rail.

I intend to be there, and I hope others who think this project would be a poor use of money and of roadway, with more negative impacts than positive benefits, do the same.

Anyone who would like to meet beforehand to compare notes, look for me outside council chambers, starting at 5 PM that evening. I'll wear a nametag.

Posted by Susan
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 30, 2015 at 2:26 pm

HIGHWAY 82 should not be held hostage by buses and bicycles! I think our supportive City Council members have lost their minds, and I know them personally. Shame on you. Please rethink.

Posted by Ken
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 30, 2015 at 2:26 pm

""If we had said no, here's what would have happened: the VTA board would have said, 'We're going to make a decision for them.' They'd be cramming something down our throats," Rosenberg said."

So instead of putting up a fight that you might lose, you decide to forfeit instead, and guarantee a loss. Smart.

And not only that, even if you're looking out for the people that work here, and not just live here (i.e. The people that voted for you), you decide to only focus on the people that might ride the bus and not the people that actually drive for the myriad of reasons that people might choose a car over public transit. Politicians are the same at every level, are my they?

Posted by konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 2:37 pm

The raeson for the voter is quite clear!

Pat Showalter, Ken Rosenberg , and Michael Kasperzak have ignored the interests of Mountain view residents and instead have bowed down to the VTA.

VTA union support will come ion handy fort those who seek higher office.

Posted by OldMV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 30, 2015 at 2:47 pm

When will I get a chance to sign a recall petition for Rosenberg, Showalter, and Kasperzak? I'm glad that Lenny Siegel didn't cave in to VTA pressure also. The three turncoats have violated the trust that MV citizens had in them when we voted for them? Get them to reverse their votes, or throw them out of office. Note also that Sunnyvale, Los Altos, and Palo Alto have expressed their opposition to VTA's "dedicated bus lane" proposal --- and there is absolutely no way that VTA could get Los Altos to support it because they are anti-change and have too much common sense. My guess is that VTA will be forced to modify its proposal to a minimally invasive one that keeps all present traffic lanes on El Camino and that somewhat improves bus service.

Posted by Conservation/Preservation
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 30, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Greg - thanks very much for the meeting info. I hope everyone opposed will attend the meetings.

While Councilmember Siegel's comment "But I think we should focus on VTA, not the council...." is generous and diplomatic, I believe all elected officials should hold themselves to a high standard. I think some focus on some of the people we elected is warranted.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm

BART is a very expensive system to build and maintain. I read BART is needing track up grades and its computer system is still stuck in the 70's. Breakdowns are becoming more frequent as the system ages and a need for a 2nd transbay crossing is needed. They are talking billions of dollars for computers, stations, tracking and haven't even talked expansion

Union Pacific still uses the tracks on Caltrain so I think going overhead is the only option. I don't think Atherton/MP and Palo Alto will like those big BART pillars. Union Pacific will sue, tunneling will costs billions and with our way of financing will take years.

Posted by Jay
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 2:59 pm

It's unfortunate that this article did not mention the dirty tricks that the VTA has been up to, such as having a lobbyist/employee attend the meeting and speak in favor of the dedicated lane BRT option without disclosing her clear conflict of interest. Good thing the mayor caught on and called her out. When one party plays by the conflict of interest rules and others do not, those of us opposed to the poorly thought out dedicated lane option lose. It's truly unfortunate that two of the 7 council members could not vote - it implies that the majority of the council supports the dedicated lane proposal when this likely is not the case.

Rosenberg and Showalter should be recalled. They are slapping their constituents in the face so that they can feel good about about themselves for "helping" those that don't live in town. Undoubtedly they will also insist that the VTA provide these people with taxpayer-paid bus passes too (the only way VTA will ever hit its ridership projections).

Regardless of whether one generally is for or against BRT, no rational person can support the project at this point given the VTA's blatant dishonesty when it comes to manipulating the public discussion and lack of transparency around the "assumptions" used to project the impact on local traffic.

Posted by PH
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:10 pm

I took the time to explain why I think BRT is a bad idea. It was rather lengthy and when I hit the "Submit" button it disappeared. I will just say again that it is a bad idea. I would like my tax money to be used to fix all the bad roads we all have to drive on. When will the individual citizen get a break? We all pay for mass transit that doesn't run at capacity and is just a black hole that swallows up public funds. They need to fund projects that are profitable and ones that will address the transportation issues of the future. We should of had BART years ago and many of our current problems would have been avoided.

Posted by Give VTA your feedback
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:14 pm

VTA is conducting an online survey to better understand our transportation needs. Fill out the survey! Let them know exactly how you feel about closing down 2 lanes on El Camino Real.

Posted by Gerry Kelly
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Just look at the traffic jam resulting from the Prometheus development on El Camino at Mariposa which shuts down one lane of traffic. Imagine that for the entire length of El Camino. Council Members, get it right and oppose this stupid plan.

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:44 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.

Posted by Jay
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:47 pm

The survey linked by @Give VTA your feedback is a great first step to sending feedback to VTA (even though many of the questions are "loaded"). Please make your voice heard - the current results are presented after you complete the survey.

Posted by Jay
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:51 pm

@True. I agree with you that the assumptions need to be tested and fully vetted. The challenge with running real live tests by blocking a lane is that it does not take into account the *incremental* BRT ridership that won't be traveling by car. I'm sure there would be a way to synthesize the results of such a test by meshing with BRT ridership assumptions, but the analysis is more complex than just closing one lane each way on ECR.

I agree fully that the underlying data and assumptions need to be made public for truly independent third parties to test. Although VTA committed to having the model "peer reviewed," if they alone select the reviewer ("public transit advocates," no doubt) we already know how that "review" will come out.

Posted by CopperC
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Bus lanes should be available to taxis, police, Ubers, Lyfts, and cars driven by pregnant women.

Posted by Jay
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:52 pm

@True. I agree with you that the assumptions need to be tested and fully vetted. The challenge with running real live tests by blocking a lane is that it does not take into account the *incremental* BRT ridership that won't be traveling by car. I'm sure there would be a way to synthesize the results of such a test by meshing with BRT ridership assumptions, but the analysis is more complex than just closing one lane each way on ECR.

I agree fully that the underlying data and assumptions need to be made public for truly independent third parties to test. Although VTA committed to having the model "peer reviewed," if they alone select the reviewer ("public transit advocates," no doubt) we already know how that "review" will come out.

Posted by Randy Gongwer
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:54 pm

"@Give VTA your feedback" - The survey is full of very general statements which ask you to select whether the statement is of low medium or high priority. It really is a waste of time until you can specifically provide the survey with your own comments. The survey asks questions like "All projects will result in a safe, reliable and comfortable transportation system" Asking if safety is important is not something I would expect to see on a survey. I would like more specific information on what projects are currently underway and what future projects are slated.

If anyone starts a recall on Rosenberg and Showalter, I will sign the petition. I am against closing down 2 lanes and assigning them to bus only traffic on El Camino Real in Mountain View.

Posted by Too iportant
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 30, 2015 at 3:56 pm

This is just the start. Literally EVERYONE I speak to is saddened or maddened but thankfully everyone is ready to take action, weather it be recalling or protesting. We simply won't be played like the fools that Rosenberg and Showalter thought they had on their hands. People are motivated and ready to work in order to have the council reverse their decision, or put their things in a brown box and show them the exit door.

Posted by friend
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 4:07 pm

If NYC can handle their traffic and public-conveyance w/o resorting to this tomfoolery, why should MV? And their buses are used to capacity... Just who or what is benefiting from this action?

Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm

It is ridiculous for Ken Rosenberg to state that "those who oppose the plan, don't have a great alternative." Is it his opinion that we must do something foolish just because nobody has a "great alternative"? What incredible hogwash.

I wish people would consider that a perfectly acceptable and intelligent alternative to doing something foolish is to do nothing at all. It is NOT more intelligent to waste money doing something foolish, only to find out it was, indeed, foolish.

I was reading earlier today that numerous ECR crossings would be eliminated if this plan were to be put into effect. At least SEVEN in Mountain View (including Ortega and Distel, lights included) as well as TWO more in Los Altos. When that happens, who is the city council going to blame when people cross in the middle of ECR because the don't want to walk to the corners? When they get hit by cars or buses, whose fault will it be? We have been adding stops and crossings on city streets because people keep crossing outside crosswalks and getting hit. Are we to believe that the same thing won't happen on ECR? How are the kids supposed to get to school from the NEC areas with fewer crossings?

If these people want to convince us this is such a great idea, why don't they run the experiment of closing those streets and crossings on a temporary basis and show us that it won't wildly disrupt our commutes? Are they afraid that the result will show us that what will REALLY speed up the bus routes is the fact that they will not have to stop at NINE fewer places then they currently do and that they really don't need to steal a lane from the taxpayers?

Posted by Sarah
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 30, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Insanity no. 1:

"For the first time last week, VTA officials indicated the exclusive lanes could also be considered for emergency vehicles and possibly private company shuttles."

Hello? Aren't there enough private-company buses and shuttles clogging the streets of Mt. View already? Please don't even CONSIDER private company shuttles.

Insanity no. 2:

from Rosenberg:

"It's my job not just to support people living in Mountain View but also those who work here."

Sir, you grossly overestimate yourself. You are NOT supporting people who live in Mt. View unless you're talking about private company employees who happen to live in Mt. View.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 30, 2015 at 4:31 pm

Unfortunately, the VTA survey mentioned by "Give VTA your feedback" is extremely slanted. It's quite surreptitious in attempting to get you to support their agenda by appealing to your heart strings. Please be really careful if you submit this survey - I backed out of it because the questions are so double-sided...

It probably not a bad idea to oppose them using your OWN language versus their slippery "Do you think it's important for people to be able to get to work?" type questions...

Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 30, 2015 at 4:44 pm

You are right about the VTA poll, Bob. It is the written version of a "push" poll, with questions worded to elicit the answers they want to hear. That way, they can say they gathered data and they have support, when the truth is really that the data was collected in a biased manner.

I can only assume that the secret nature of all these "studies" the council has supposedly seen can mean one of two things. Either they think we are too stupid to understand the results OR (more likely) that there are enough people with backgrounds in statistical analysis living here that they would see through the smoke screen that the VTA is putting up.

Personally, I don't like either implication.

Posted by Keep calm and let go of your cars.
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 4:50 pm

First of all, everybody relax. Calm down.
Second, I'll preface my comments by disclosing that I come to you with a bias; I'm a biker and a fan of public transportation fan.

When I read through the angry comments, it's clear that the folks complaining also have a bias - they're hell-bent on getting around with their car and don't want to improve public transportation, even if it's a net positive for the region.

1) "I can afford to get around with my car, so don't ruin it with less car lanes and more bus lanes. I got mine, and I don't really care about yours."

2) "I want to continue getting around the way I prefer, which is in my car, and I don't want to start a new habit of taking public transportation. Only exception I'll make is for Giants games, of course."

Increased car ownership and building massive roads that have even more car lanes does not fall under smart growth.

Seems like people are here are afraid of turning this region into the next Manhattan, but don't care if it turns into the next LA or Houston (everyone drives). Except that it can't even do that because there's no freakin' room to spread/sprawl, so the folks who can't afford housing keep getting pushed out to more affordable locales and are forced to take even crappy public transportation for work. (For the record, I can afford to live in MV, so this isn't a rant from "some poor dude.")

In addition, there were references made to how buses on ECR travel empty/barely using capacity. Why? Perhaps because 22 and 522 take too damn long to get anywhere. Consider that if public transportation (i.e. BRT) is faster/cheaper/easier than driving, people will have a better option to get around than driving, and many will ditch their cars.

Translation: that means those of you who live and die with your car can continue to drive it around, while the rest of us use BRT and other public transportation options.

Posted by svsportz
a resident of Willowgate
on Apr 30, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Rosenberg should resign immediately. Does he really think we are this stupid? Does he really think that his claim of "his naivete' as a rookie politician caused him to do a poor job of articulating how his views had evolved" gets him off the hook? If he was so naive, he should not have run for council. Poor choice. Resign.

Posted by Will work for RECALL
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 30, 2015 at 4:56 pm

When you live in an area of incredibly smart people you have to hide from them or they will stop you from doing something corrupt. Hence, secret meetings and documents.

When is the recall expected to firm up? I'm not an organizer, but i am ready to work for the recall effort in any way I can. I'm laughing now, because I've never once worked for anything remotely resembling a political cause so his will be a first for me. Don't step between a Mom and her family time I guess.

Posted by @Greg Coladonato
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Great info on the May 4th meeting.

However, please note that with much less fanfare, the VTA Board of Directors will have a workshop tomorrow May 1 at 8:30AM on two topics: budget and next steps ECR BRT project.

Agenda and Location:

Web Link

Email contacts for the VTA Board:

Rich Larsen (Los Altos Hills) represents our area Web Link

Jeannie Bruins (Los Altos) is the alternate for our area
Web Link

Posted by oldabelincoln
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 30, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Where in the devil is that recall petition???

Posted by No thanks
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 30, 2015 at 5:57 pm

bikers on el camino are what's slowing down traffic. Get out of the way. Leme guess your a Google employee. I oppose bus lane. The city of mountain view has there hands so far in Google pocket. I bit Google approves thus idea 100%.?

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 6:45 pm

I am supporter of mass transit but I am also supporter of good road improvements.

Caltrain and building it above the streets would be a good start, no more crossing gates blocking traffic. More street connections to and from Central Expressway with better interchanges. Widening certain streets and improve traffic routes. Improve Oregon Expressway, Lawrence and San Tomas by adding full overcrossings or under crossings.

Yes private shuttles work but will come a time that these companies will downsize or move large parts of their workforce out of area. Shuttles maintained by shopping centers, hotels and office parks might keep them going. Right now companies have a good bottom line which leads to things like shuttles, free food and little perks.

Gas won't always be cheap, traffic won't get better but we can reduce the number of drivers at rush over time.

Doing improvements now will cost less now then 20 years down the road.

Mountain View is not a island in sea of orchard, people here move, change jobs, have kids or not, grow old, change driving habits. When your kids are all grown up you change where you are going.

I am not saying people to give up their cars you might just have to drive your habits a little bit.

Posted by The DoubleCross explained with DoubleTalk
a resident of Slater
on Apr 30, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Showalter apparently has not come up with her explanation yet. Rosenberg's account is that sometime after he and Showalter assured landlords they would NOT take action - such as rent stabilization - to keep renters from being forced out of Mountain View and received some $100,O00 worth of mass mailers secretly paid by landlords, he started feeling guilty and now wants some MV renters or MV former renters to have a quicker bus ride to and from Mountain View at public expense and at the cost of two lanes of travel on El Camino.

Posted by Jat Ess
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 9:17 pm

How about removing parking lane and putting the busses there and leaving the car lanes alone?

Posted by Not going away
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 30, 2015 at 10:10 pm

The title of this piece is misleading, this is not a backlash it is an all-out assault. Every single MV resident I have talked to knew nothing of this decision and is outraged. And many more than I expected (because frankly many people are free with talk but short of action) are ready and wiling to back it with active support and participation.

It angers me that a very few minority think THEIR idea of what is right trumps the majority.

We are taking our city back.

Posted by Odd
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 30, 2015 at 10:24 pm

That's odd. Most people I talk to support the dedicated lane. I do understand that many are afraid to speak out in support publicly because of the aggressive and borderline violent tactics from the angry few.

I think between the private chats the council had with supporters and the superficial and weak arguments from the detractors, they had no choice but to vote to support BRT.

Posted by Calum
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 10:33 pm

I think it is selfish and uncaring of the opposing commenters here to ignore the extremely real benefits that the dedicated bus lanes would bring to the tens of thousands commuting into our city every day. Those commuters' employers are the ones funneling wealth and revenue into the city, but you would reward them with multi-hour commutes. Not to mention the fact that the net impact of the bus lanes on traffic will be marginal at best because of the number of cars the project takes off the road.

Get your heads into the future. Millions are going to flood into the Bay Area in the coming years, and you would condemn us all to an antiquated, car-dominated, traffic-heavy hell. Let's step into the future and finally approve some modern public transit in this city.

Posted by Not going away
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 30, 2015 at 10:38 pm

Violent tactics? At first I read your post with honest integrity but "Violent tactics" kind of blew you out there "odd". What VIOLENT TACTICS are you referring to, little Drs,stix don't you think?

I really am sorry, wanted to give you benefit of the doubt for a legitimate objection but I have a very hard time believing you. How can people on anonymous boards be afraid to speak up? Because these anonymous boards are overwhelmingly against it and, again, every single parent I spoke to today at my children's school (and I spoke with MANY) are absolutely against it.

And what are these "private chats the board had with supporters"? Can't imagine who these supporters are other than the VTA themselves. And there you are likely correct, they probsbly were very private.

Posted by Eamonn
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 10:45 pm

"HIGHWAY 82 should not be held hostage by buses and bicycles" says Susan. Oh that's just priceless! What do you think cars have been doing for the last thirty odd years?

Posted by Not going away
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 30, 2015 at 10:50 pm

Drs,stix should read "dramatic"

Look, these anonymous threads/comments are all fun but seriously....any of you MV residents, if you truly don't want this fiasco and ridiculous politically motivated issue to pass right under your noses then you NEED TO GET INVOLVED. This is one you can't sit back and watch everyone else fight for.

step up. Or you relinquish any right to complain about traffic. Not only on El Camino but on all your neighborhood side streets too because guess what. These cars are going to start coming thru your neighborhoods, Going up El Monte and Springer and miramonte to get to Foothill. Or over to Central. Take two lanes off ECR the cars have to go somewhere.

get involved before it's too late.

Posted by Eamonn
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 10:54 pm

The population of the Bay Area is going to hit 9 million by 2040. How do you think all these people are going to be accommodated? More car-centric sprawling eyesores like El Camino Real? Unless you plan on implementing a Chinese style one-child policy, we're going to have to retrofit our cities into the compact walkable neighborhoods that younger generations want. And if you don't believe me then how do you explain all those employee shuttles running up and down the freeway every morning between here and the only compact walkable city in the Bay Area?

The thing about road diets like this is that they're a bit like climate change and vaccines. There's a huge disconnect between how they actually work and how people think they work. All the opponents are making an assumption that this is going to cause congestion, when if you do your homework you'll find that the reverse is true. It doesn't cause congestion on neighboring streets, it spreads traffic thin across the street grid like a homeoppathic remedy rather than funneling it into crowded supercorridors. Dedicated lanes will make the bus service competitive with driving times, and as we know from Caltrain that is a recipe for ridership increases beyond even the most optimistic projections. As densities increase along the corridor in line with the Grand Boulevard plan, ridership is going to increase even more and more people will be able to use ECR without it becoming the traffic-ridden nightmare that it is now.

BTW, I have to laugh at the article's mention of a council member taking a bus ridership survey by taking a cursory glance into buses on the street through his window. If that's the kind of research that our council members are doing then I for one am glad that the VTA has the final say on this. I also think the writers at the MV Voice should do a bit more research before penning such biased and poorly-researched articles.

Posted by Eamonn
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2015 at 10:58 pm

@No thanks, El Camino is clogged by thousands of cars every hour and you're going to blame congestion on the handful of cyclists who are brave enough to ride on it? On the far right of one of its 8 lanes? Are you a writer for the Onion or something?

Posted by Me too
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 30, 2015 at 11:17 pm

Me and a lot of people I know want the bus lane, but man! The anger exhibited for this project on here is over the top. Nothing what I hear around town talking to real people.

I guess it doesn't take more than a handful of people to create the impression that "tens of thousands of Mountain View's residents oppose a bus lane" when there is no validation of their identity. I think Ken and Pat saw through this smokescreen and voted accordingly.

Posted by Not pt going away
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 30, 2015 at 11:28 pm

Well "me too", I guess time and effort will tell. But frankly. I think you've got your work cut out for you because every indication I've had is the "againsts" FAR outnumber the "fors"

Question for you. Truly, honestly curious. Who are you talking to? What demographic? What age? I REALLY want to know who and where are all these huge numbers of people are that want this.

Posted by Realist
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 30, 2015 at 11:37 pm

@Not going away - You wrote, "Can't imagine who these supporters [who convinced Rosenberg and Showalter to flip] are other than the VTA themselves."

Besides VTA employees, there are three other factions that I can think of who would lobby for the lane closure proposal: (1) Anti-auto fanatics. This includes the bikes-take-over-MV crowd, and those with what they imagine is an "environmentalist" outlook; (2) Developers, who cynically promote the fantasy of a no-cars solution in order to justify radical overbuilding, not just on ECR but throughout the South Bay; and (3) Well meaning people who have drunk this Kool-Aid.

My guess is that the unnamed persons who convinced Rosenberg and Showalter were in the second group.

I'd love to have a referendum to see what the people of MV really think of this idiotic idea.

In the meantime, here's a link to the petition asking the council to reverse its position: Web Link

Posted by Petition Please
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 30, 2015 at 11:41 pm

Can someone link the petition to this comment strand? Thanks.

Posted by Still?
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 1, 2015 at 12:09 am

Is this petition still going on? I'm amazed that passed the 0.5 percent of MV residents, although that means that 99.5 pct haven't. Of course, online petitions are meaningless. Both legally and the fact that many or most of the signatures were "forged" as there is no validation or certification.

Can someone post the link to the TV Guide? This show is getting old and I (and the rest of the 99.5 pcters) are ready to change the channel.

Posted by Fake Neighborhoods
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 12:43 am

Dear Mr. "Still?" You are a fake. You do not live in North Bayshore. Your comments match those of many other posters with various neighborhoods, and your intent is to muddy discussion and create a distraction. You should be ashamed of yourself.

You are obviously an outside agitator. You may be paid by VTA for all I know. Your conduct is reprehensible.

Posted by Interesting Reading
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 12:46 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

Posted by And...
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2015 at 12:58 am

...this is the aggressive behavior previously written about. (Referring to "Fake Neighborhoods" commentary above.) If anyone dares to support fast and efficient public transportation along El Camino they are threatened and accused of some great conspiracy. This "Fake Neighborhoods" matches the writing style of a well known figure in the area best known, if you can stand the irony, for posting messages to these boards under many different names to assault the good name and reputation of a certain public institution.

Fortunately, we still live in America where the freedom to express ones opinion is held in high regard. Hopefully, this handful of rowdy, aggressive and unethical opponents to building a quality bus system will remember this and discuss the points raised and not simply resort to name calling, threats, unsubstantiated insinuations and the like...

An acquaintance just IM'd me to say that he is now supportive of the BRT after reviewing the attacks against the project and people supporting it. His point was that there was nobody credible on the opposition side and the few that might be had big conflicts of interest.

So, do please continue your strategy! It worked so well with the other thing(Not!!). (he knows what I'm referring to), that we are hoping that your magic will have a similar effect with BRT.

Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on May 1, 2015 at 1:00 am

It is about time that those who use the "the population here will grow to over 9 million" and "we have thousands of people that need to get around" arguments wise up and understand that lots of residents here aren't big fans of the "pack them in like sardines" mentality that you have.

It would be great if you figured out that people who have lived here for any length of time like the city as it was at the time we got here. Although some change is inevitable, not all change is good or wise. The decision of the local governments to buy in the the incredible foolishness of the ABAG "requirements" has clearly caused this problem in part, because some politicians who live well away from the effects of their decisions thought building tons of housing here would be a great idea.

Did they put any thought into what the citizens thought of that idea? Clearly not. Do they consider the infrastructure needed to do this amount of building? Clearly not as well, otherwise we would be talking about getting more water storage for the state to support all this housing or how to build enough schools to educate the children that will be moving here rather than how to move yet more people in and out of the area every day.

The only thing I see here is that our city politicians are just as foolish as the state-level ones. They are selling the panacea of transportation while they distract us from the fact that we in this state are spending billions of tax dollars to "improve" transportation for a small number of people while ignoring the need for services that ALL of us need. I hope the public transportation cheerleaders remember that when water costs triple what it does now because we built a train for nobody to ride rather than water storage for ALL of us to use.

Posted by @And...
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 1:17 am

Fellow Transit Enthusiast:

I supposed you are as aghast as am I at VTA's planned elimination of half of the current 22 route service along El Camino.

Adding doubled frequency at the Whole Foods and at the Castro Street Intersections can't begin to make up for the loss of service all along the 4 miles of El Camino Real.

There is no other public transit on El Camino Real in Mountain View. C'est la view. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. It's all because VTA and its labor unions know that spending the $230 million in capital costs to make these changes and service "improvement" reductions will eventually come back to a call for another bus route along El Camino, one that we don't have now. This is because the service cuts can't be accepted. They are banking on that, to get more public money to pour down their rat hole.

Posted by @conspiracy theorists
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 1, 2015 at 1:33 am

When you guys are done fictionalizing what is happening with BRT, can you please turn your attention back to UFO's, crop circles and whatever else feeds your illness

Thank you,

True Citizens of Mountain View

Posted by Suport for Action
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 1:40 am

A recall is one option and it does make sense because the double-dealing goes beyond the issue of support for the bad BRT plans. It's a case of purposely dodging the question, which was in the voter's mind, before the election with an inaccurate response.

But another option is a petition for a ballot measure in Mountain View where citizens can simply vote whether they favor dedicating a lane to specified buses only. VTA is blocking its own 22 buses from the lane. That's particularly ironic. A lot of low income people are riding the 22 bus....
and then Rosenberg says he's supporting it for the low income people.

There's a big advantage to the clarity not of just a recall, but of a ballot measure to poll the electorate on its feelings. I think it could go beyond that and bind the city council's actions as well.

It could be done in parallel with recall campaigns. Both sides would be out in force, but it is illegal for VTA to spend its funds on such a campaign. Then we'd find out (perhaps) who's really behind the support, because money would be needed on both sides.

Posted by svsportz
a resident of Willowgate
on May 1, 2015 at 8:25 am

I see two related points here, at least for me --
1. It is time to remove local politicians who promise one thing and then do the exact opposite. This has to stop and Rosenberg should resign immediately if he is playing this game. It is unethical in my mind for someone to campaign on "no El Camino bus lane changes" and the so quickly change his mind or have his mind changed for him or never really felt as he originally said. Add the Mystery advertising mailings during the election period. Something is wrong here in Mountain View and this council member is not helping the situation. Resign.
2. It is amazing that anyone actually wants the express bus lanes when the busses are almost empty and traffic is already tough on El Camino. Look at the VTA's expert opinion of light rail and you can see their lack of expertise in planning -- empty light rail trains moving slower than I can walk -- takes 2 hours to go from Mountain View to San Jose. I guess I can just drive to San Jose on EL CAMINO REAL! Is the strategy to slow down El Camino driving so much that the drive time become worse than VTA light rail's ride time? Is that the plan?

Posted by I agree they should resign
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 1, 2015 at 8:43 am

At least it's not a situation that will tear the town apart. The readiness for action by the united MV citizenry palpable, like nothing I have ever seen in MV before. Though clearly some are for the lane closures, it's not a divisive issue for the town in general. Most people feel strongly against a designated lane. In fact once these strong feelings have an avenue for action, they will send quite a message, for now and for our future candidates and council members.

Resign or Recall. If they care about MV they will resign.

Posted by Keep calm and let go of your cars.
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 1, 2015 at 9:22 am

PRO tip to everyone reading these comments: use the Ctrl + F, or Cmd + F, to easily search by text if you're looking for specifics.

@ No thanks (Bailey Park)

I do not work at Google.
I live in MV and I work in Cupertino (not Apple).
Therefore, I take my CAR down ECR (yes, really) and then hop on to 85, heading south.

To be clear, BRT would be BAD for me considering I drive to work.

However, I still SUPPORT BRT because it would be good for MV and good for the region. What happens to my commute? I don't know, but I would seriously consider ditching the car and commuting by bus + bike.

I urge everyone to think beyond "What is convenient for me today?". Instead, please think about "What is better for MV, and all the wonderful people that help make MV great?"

With respect,
-Keep calm (Rengstorff Park)

Posted by @Greg Coladonato
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 9:23 am

Today's VTA Board of Directors workshop on ECR BRT is live on webcast.

See here

Web Link

Posted by The DoubleCross explained with DoubleTalk
a resident of Slater
on May 1, 2015 at 9:45 am

At peak hours, VTA's "optimal" plan call for one bus every 10 minutes (about 3 miles). The rest of the time, the lanes would be vacant with other traffic stuck in the remaining two lanes on El Camino. Left turns from El Camino would be limited to intersections with signals and at those signals would be delayed by each bus that comes along (like light rail), Riders would be required to walk or otherwise travel to the few BRT stations (a mile apart - 2 in Mountain View) and to cross to the center of El Camino to catch a bus. Riders must first purchase a ticket. Tickets are then not presented to board the bus, so more citation writers and police must be hired to catch non-paying riders. Sick riders and criminals would be free to board at the front or back of the bus. If you don't get sick or mugged, thank your lucky stars. Then, when riders exit these buses, where are they going next? To a bus stop somewhere taking them somewhere else? This appears to be a make-work plan for VTA employees, consultants and contractors. - not a plan to help many people get to any work.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 10:15 am

It might help if VTA to build a extension to SA Center.

It would help to plan express buses to Cupertino.

Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 1, 2015 at 10:15 am

I will sign a recall petition for Rosenberg, Showalter, and Kasperzak as soon as it's ready and I urge everyone to do the same.

Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 10:37 am

> "... thousands commuting into our city every day. Those commuters' employers are the ones funneling wealth and revenue into the city, but you would reward them with multi-hour commutes."

The commuters who work for the high tech companies ride on air-conditioned, Wi-Fi enabled private buses.

Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 10:50 am

Do you by any chance work for the Plan Bay Area group, aka ABAG? You wrote,
"All the opponents are making an assumption that this is going to cause congestion, when if you do your homework you'll find that the reverse is true. It doesn't cause congestion on neighboring streets, it spreads traffic thin ..."

Did you read the EIR for this project? If you had, you would see a list of intersections that would be "significantly and unavoidably affected" by bus lanes. Some of them might be in your neighborhood. This is part of the VTA's diversion "strategy."

Several yeas ago, Palo Alto did some "traffic calming" on Arastradero Road by removing lanes. Traffic on a small residential street one block north of Arastradero increased 24 percent!

When you clog an artery, traffic -- like water -- will find another route.

Posted by 55 Yrs in MV, 35 in tech
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2015 at 10:59 am

"The commuters who work for the high tech companies ride on air-conditioned, Wi-Fi enabled private buses. "

RRRREEEAAALLY!?!?! I know some do, but I am sitting in a building of about 3K tech workers right now and not one of them took a luxury bus to work. It depends on the company. Most have no buses at all.

Posted by Not going away
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 1, 2015 at 10:59 am

Exactly History Buff, exactly. Look, the idea of "giving up cars" is wonderful for those living in tight urban areas like SF. Or a little European village in the Alps with cobblestone streets and a 3 mile radius of the city limits.

We are not that. We are a sprawling suburban area. Most of us moved here to have exactly that, space to move and get around. If we wanted to bike and walk everywhere we would have moved to SF and gotten exactly that. As much as it's lovely to walk to the corner market or to your local favorite business, I will say again that is NOT what I bought for here or expected to have here. I WANT my little plot of yard and to be able to drive where I want to go.

And don't try to make me feel ashamed or non-progressive for feeling that way. It's quite simply my way of life. It doesn't have to be yours but it IS what most people want when they choose the suburbs.

Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 1, 2015 at 11:01 am

Recallers Unite??

Every time somebody changes their mind you are going to drop what you are doing to organize a recall campaign? Please understand the time and effort involved. Congrats to Greg for using his real name, wish I had the same guts. However, having lived here 20 years and been threatened in public for speaking freely more than once, no more for me. BRT is under construction in Alum Rock. Since many folks are being priced out of Mtn Vw, and giving up cars and insurance even to stay anywhere in Silicon Valley, No BRT would mean even worse conditions for minimum wage workers in Mountain View. I suspect the Mayor sees empty buses because he does not sell Ice Cream at 7:30 am. The 22 is the only lifeline transit in our County. It should be only local service with more people riding BRT's faster buses longer distances. Remember, our own clean air rules prevent anyone for any reason adding more lanes for everybody's cars, thus the new 101 HOV lanes. Thanks to Mike, Ken and Pat for waking up to the 21st Century.

Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 11:46 am

Front page interview with Ken Rosenberg in today's Daily Post: "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.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 11:51 am

Mountain View id not a ordinary suburb in which people work in a job center and come home to roll up the sidewalks.

Posted by Gardener
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 1, 2015 at 11:57 am

Gardener is a registered user.

@Not going away, your sentiment is well understood. You moved to Mountain View because it was how you wanted it at the time. A lot of people did. Now things have changed and that upsets you.

What you need to understand is that Mountain View is going to continue to change, probably at an increasing rate. We can either accept that and plan intelligently for that change or stick our fingers in our ears and pretend it's not going to happen. But denying a problem exists is the opposite of finding a solution. You can't put up walls and keep everyone out so nothing ever changes. Let's make things better for future generations of Mountain View residents and accept that might mean some changes to the current (and past) way of life.

Posted by 55 Yrs in MV, 35 in tech
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 1, 2015 at 12:01 pm

VTA sees their shills on the council being sent home so now they are scrambling to come up with some sort of message to appease the angry majority.

Too late. The voters will now insist on representation of their views so either the vote gets changed or the liars go home, plain and simple.

*This is a huge watershed moment for our quality of life in MV it looks as if people are ready to fight in any and every way possible to preserve it.

Posted by 55 Yrs in MV, 35 in tech
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2015 at 12:38 pm

I've LOVED the changes in MV over the years. I think it continues to be an exciting and vibrant place to live. Unfortunatley, every once in a while, some ill-conceived plan gets brought up and the citizens have to get involved to stop it. We tried that via the ballot box, but we were lied to. Yes, it happens in politics, from some people anyway, but thankfully we have the ability to change that, and I think we will.

Posted by The Double-Cross explained by DoubleTalk
a resident of Slater
on May 1, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Enough from Rosenberg. His explanations make no sense. Let's hear from Showalter and Kasperzak. They threw Mountain View UNDER THE BUS (only lanes). If they continue to hide, get on with Recalling them from office.

Posted by Not going away
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 1, 2015 at 1:44 pm

@Gardner You're right, given that our council sold their souls to Google change is inevitable. I'm not opposed to change, just opposed to STUPID change. Taking two traffic lanes from an already congested road is just plain ridiculous. Think of the effect it will have upon all the businesses along that route. Who's going to go to a store/business if they can't get there in a reasonable amount of time?

And for the record, I'm not just some old timer who's been here since the 50's. We bought here about 10 years ago, we have young children in school, we're part of the tech development. But that still doesn't mean we have to give everything up we'd hoped to have here. Nor does it mean we have to sell out our streets to commuters blasting thru to other communities.

Posted by MWoman
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 1, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Lots of comments here - some obviously by the VTA hacks - similar to the VTA hack who tried to hoodwink the public at the Council meeting last Tuesday.
The VALID way to see what the Mountain View residents REALLY think, is a referendum. I believe the Council owes this to Mountain View - especially after the flip-flops of Rosenberg and Showalter. I do have to laugh at Rosenberg's weak excuse for his vote - if he's really that ignorant and weak, he has no business in public office. Showalter and Siegel have yet to tell us why they voted the way they did.
If these three think their vote will gain corporate donations (dark money) in future elections, they've made a very very bad choice. Their future political aspirations are as good as over, because they WILL be recalled. And they should realize that their betrayal of the voters - by voting against their clear campaign promises - will follow them forever.

Posted by Bobster1985
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Gosh, a politician who changes his mind after carefully evaluating all the information presented to him. We can't have that! No, politicians must rigidly hold to previous positions regardless of changing circumstances or new data.

Recalling elected officials the moment they vote against your wishes is dumb. No temper tantrums, wait until the next scheduled election, please.

Posted by zippo
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 1, 2015 at 2:53 pm

We should just have a referendum and let the voters decide. That way there will be no question about the will of the people.

About the recall, when trust is so egregiously violated on such a pivotal issue as lane takeovers on ECR, I think recalling is a fine and democratic option for the people who now cannot trust Rosenberg and Showalter on anything they said or will say. They blew it up all at once and I would feel better represented without them on the council. I also suspect corruption along with those who have commented before me
BRT is fine. Designated lanes are not the answer.

Posted by Referendum Aye
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 4:01 pm

I'm for a vote too.

One thing that might swing votes away from a dedicated lane is that BRT is going to start running later this year. From Web Link :

Santa Clara-Alum Rock BRT Project

This project will upgrade the eastern portion of the Rapid 522 corridor between Downtown San Jose and the Eastridge Transit Center. The project would install new, bus-only lanes on Alum Rock Avenue between US101 and I-680 that will allow the BRT vehicles to bypass automobile congestion as well as rail-like stations that allow for fast, all door boarding. The project will begin construction in 2013 and new BRT vehicles will start operating from the Palo Alto Transit Center to the Eastridge Transit Center in early 2015.

End Quote

They are a little late but they did start construction in the middle of last year. It will be interesting to see how just the boarding speed ups and station eliminations in downtown San Jose speed things up. It will show how well the shared lane idea might work, even before the other possible improvements short of a lane dedication, e.g. adding $233 Million to the $120 Million already underway on Route #1

Posted by The DoubleCross explained with DoubleTalk
a resident of Slater
on May 2, 2015 at 1:46 am

It makes sense to see how well or poorly dedicated bus lanes work on Alum Rock in San Jose which is exactly why the VTA is not waiting another year to get the VTA Board to rubber-stamp its senseless plan for El Camino Real. Thanks to three stooges on the Mountain View City Council, the VTA will now almost certainly have Board approval before the end of this year.

Posted by Sarah D.
a resident of Willowgate
on May 3, 2015 at 1:55 am

I am for public transportation as well as private car use. The flexibility and freedom that each offers in its own way is undeniable. They need to co-exist, because one will never eliminate the other. Successful solutions have added benefit with minimal negative impact. There are several proposals within the main BRT project, only one of those is the dedicated median lanes. More consideration needs to be given to the other proposals, specifically to the construction of "bulbout" stations. Let's look at ALL the options offered and stop focusing only on the median lane proposal.

Posted by Too bad
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 3, 2015 at 7:04 am

It's a shame that the dedicated lane option is the only alternative that would almost cut in half the commute time along the route. It makes the dedicated lane option look great!

Oh well. Case closed. Dedicated option it is!

Posted by VTA Too Bad Liar
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2015 at 2:41 pm

The dedicated lane and BRT together will not result in anywhere near a 50% cut in commute time. Route 522 currently leaves Almaden at Naglee at 8:09am and reaches Castro Street up here at 8:59 am. That's 50 minutes. The VTA's optimist projection is for a reduced trip time of 45 minutes. That's a 5 minute savings for the rider. Returning at 5:43 gets you back to Almaden and Naglee at 6:32pm, or 49 minutes.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 4, 2015 at 9:59 am

One of the comments I don't see here is the ridership of the VTA, which is negligible at best. The other day I saw two VTA buses on El Camino - one had 1 rider, the other had 2. Is it really necessary to dedicate a lane to buses that have so few riders? There's certainly no guarantee that adding stops will encourage ridership. Just sayin'. They've always had very low rider numbers...

Posted by keenplanner
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2015 at 11:05 am

HIGHWAY 82 should not be held hostage by automobiles, most holding one selfish driver! I think our supportive City Council members have lost their minds, and I know them personally. Crazy like a fox. BRT will move more people than the knot of car traffic. We need to move into the future and stop being so attached to cars.
Participate in being part of the solution, not just another driver contributing to congestion and pollution.

Posted by ForTransitButAgainstBRT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 4, 2015 at 11:20 am

Thanks. My thought exactly -- and one I've been arguing on this discussion board, and presenting to the MV city council, VTA, and our elected state representatives.

VTA's assertion (actually, a pipe dream) that BRT buses and dedicated lanes for them will somehow make the ECR corridor an attractive transit option -- and boost ridership -- has no basis in reality.

My strong advice to VTA: Find a viable, practical way to get more than two or three people at a time to ride the 22 and 522 routes, THEN we can talk about carving up El Camino for dedicated lanes. Until then, VTA, resist the urge to spend hundreds of millions of dollars just because it's there!

Posted by Stop the madness
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 4, 2015 at 12:41 pm

This study of the cost benefit of BRT schemes (Web Link shows on page 15 that if pre-project ridership is 90/10 or greater, there are NO scenarios where there is a positive cost/benefit ratio. Has VTA provided any hard data around the mix of car vs bus ridership in Mountain View today?

Posted by Geek
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 4, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Geek is a registered user.

2Stop the madness
Within Project Corridor
Web Link
3,278 riders on 522 bus. I'm not sure if we need to count 22 bus as it will not use the dedicated lane.
36,500 to 52,600 vehicles per day.

Posted by VTA Omissions
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2015 at 4:05 pm

For bus ridership, VTA counts every rider at any point on the route the same as riding the entire run. For car traffic, they look at a point in Mountain View or wherever and talk about the cars passing that point any given day.

So, they inflate the proportion of bus riders by quite a lot. In BOTH cases most traffic uses a small portion of the entire route, perhaps even more so in the case of cars, because there is ready access to roads on either side for cars, and bus riders have limited service in the areas on either side of the well-served El Camino corridor, a very thin narrow band of service.

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 4, 2015 at 10:48 pm

A bombshell (of a development) concerning bus-only lanes was dropped at tonight's (May 4) VTA budget presentation at Mountain View City Hall. More on that tomorrow.

Posted by Even
a resident of The Crossings
on May 5, 2015 at 1:09 pm

VTA had poor records on planning, they had built Mountain View section of light rail with single track at 20 million, now add 2nd track with 60 million extra. They could built 2 tracks rail at 1st place if they had vision.
Web Link

Posted by Even
a resident of The Crossings
on May 5, 2015 at 1:13 pm

VTA had poor record on planning. They built Mountain View light rail with single track at 20 million, now they spend 60 million for 2nd track. They could build 2 tracks at 1st place if they had vision.
Web Link

Posted by Even
a resident of The Crossings
on May 5, 2015 at 1:29 pm

If VTA want mass transit, do not waste the $223 million for BRT, do not take lanes from existing traffic. Have a longer vision, build an overhead or underground rail around El Camino Real by phases.

Posted by ForTransitButAgainstBRT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 5, 2015 at 10:27 pm

What's this "bombshell" you mention?

Posted by Greedy VTA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 6, 2015 at 11:00 pm

Question: Why does VTA need $280M to kick cars out of two lanes? I mean the lanes are already there?

Answer: The VTA is a money wasting corrupt organization that lies in their proposals and never delivers on their promises.

So you can see why Rosenberg, Showalter, and Kasperzak all love the VTA. Birds of a feather!

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 7, 2015 at 12:08 am

The "bombshell" dropped at the May 4 VTA budget presentation is that VTA staff wants more money and will ask the VTA Board to place an increase in sales tax on the county ballot for June or November 2016. County-wide tax measures rarely gain 70% voter approval with no opposition. The VTA could never get 66.7% approval after voting to install bus-only lanes on El Camino (if voters are alerted to the action and the folly of it). The VTA staff and Board will not likely continue to push for the lanes if residents are ready to rumble and defeat any VTA ballot measures. Of course, any delay in deciding on bus-lanes until after a sales tax election should be taken as trickery and dealt with accordingly.

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 7, 2015 at 12:14 am

True is a registered user.

VTA is an ineptocracy. They can't plan or project to save their lives, can't manage their way out of a wet paper bag and thus despite untold "investment" (read waste, fraud & abuse) haven't been able to provide services that work well enough that people are drawn to use them.

So rather than fix their interminably long list of foul-ups, rather than fix their decades long history of poor governance, rather than find ways to provide comprehensive and integrated service that is useful to a broad spectrum of the county they instead plan to bollocks up traffic on the primary surface artery for little to no benefit to the majority of the citizens of the impacted areas.

Another doomed to fail program from the fetid money-pit that is the VTA.

Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2015 at 8:57 am

Gary from Sylvan Park mentions that VTA wants ANOTHER sales tax increase. This is annoying, but not news, as they've been quietly pushing this for months. The "push-poll" discussed early in this thread is to try and build a case for this.

I strongly feel that 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 BART extension’s 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 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?

Posted by ForTransitButAgainstBRT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 8, 2015 at 8:28 am

I don't want to beat this thing to death, but my objections aren't just from observation -- they're from experience....

The other day, I took the 522 "RAPID" bus from MV to Santa Clara to meet a client. This was during peak commute time -- 5:30 p.m. -- and the bus was, at best, 35 percent full. Again, this was peak commute time! Returning a couple of hours later, I took the 22 home and I was one of a maximum of five passengers the whole way.

I understand that people need to take the (5)22 to get to/from work and elsewhere, so I have no problems with these routes existing. But again, the notion of dedicating ECR lanes for these buses far exceeds the definition of preposterous.

VTA: Wake up and smell the logic!

Fellow residents: Let VTA, Caltrans and our elected officials -- Showalter, Rosenberg and Kasperzak excluded -- that you, too, feel this is not just a colossal waste of hundreds of millions of dollars, but a massive, unnecessary upheaval of a viable existing roadway and the trees along it.

Posted by Stop the madness
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 8, 2015 at 8:59 am

@ForTransitButAgainstBRT -- Thank you for your real world observations. I think it's time for every single one of our city council members to get off their collective behinds, and take a similar ride during peak hours to see for themselves what this looks like. VTA will not provide real ridership data that would allow for an intelligent decision on this, so our local leaders should get out and see it first hand.

Posted by VTA Salaries
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Check this out. Web Link

VTA runs all those nearly empty buses to keep the unions happy. VTA is the worse example of governmental ineptitude.

Posted by Great idea!
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 8, 2015 at 1:17 pm

I think the council should use the 522 at peak. They can experience first hand the hell of watching this "rapid" bus slogging along behind all of these virtually empty automobiles. They can realize that even with low ridership, they still use less fuel/person than the automobiles locking up the roads. They can realize that the constantly texting, aggressive commuter drivers that keep cutting off the bus from making their scheduled stops may not deserve a virtual monopoly of this public highway.

Finally, after seeing how slow the rapid bus is currently, they can finally realize how much better it would be with a dedicated lane. So, great idea!!!

Posted by Defund VTA-Recall Rosenberg
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 8, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Yes, when you see how many people are actually on the bus it boggles the mind as to how ANYONE can come to the conclusion that a designated lane is a beneficial idea for the masses.

VTA should be completely gutted and rebuilt. They're a suck-hole for money used without benefit.

Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 8, 2015 at 5:40 pm

BRT wants to do the San Jose to PA run in 48 min! That's 25 miles in 0.8 hours just about 33 MPH near the speed limit. But you forgot to pick up all the passengers!

Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 8, 2015 at 5:44 pm

VTA also hates cars so much 3500 parking spaces will be removed. That does not do well for the small businesses on El Camino or the monster Apt buildings with 10 visitor parking spaces the rest were to use street parking.

Posted by No VTA Tax Increase
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 11, 2015 at 1:06 pm

Tell them where to put their tax increase. No way in hell! I'll buy ANYTHING I can outside MV in order to not give VTA any more of my money. It would be like paying a thief to rob you.

Posted by MV 1980
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 11, 2015 at 2:29 pm

I'm all for removing the newly elected. A number of my friends and neighbors are asking how to go about signing for the referendum and want to send the links. Is this also available through Many people are part of that network and it would help if posted there as well. Thank you!

Posted by I'm for RECALL!
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 11, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Here is the Thread on what is needed for a recall. The first step is to contact Mr. Wesley confidentially with your written reasons why you want the recall. After that we can get the petition going, but steps must be taken first in order for the petition to come about:
Web Link

Posted by @ VTA salaries
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 11, 2015 at 4:50 pm

No wonder all our schools and infrastructure is going to hell, once all the people steal all that money for their salaries and OT, there is nothing left.

The answer by liberals is to tax more.

Posted by svsportz
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 11, 2015 at 5:45 pm

Re- VTA salaries: I was about to agree with you until you added your last sentence. Don't pull this "liberals" tax nonsense here. It doesn't apply. Go back to listening to Rush and Sean and get yourself all steamed up on something else then get your blood pressure checked for free. You have become a standard politician with your last sentence.

Posted by Bleeding Hearts
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2015 at 12:03 am

It's not liberals that cause VTA waste. You can have bleeding heart Conservatives too. VTA practically burns $10 bills for fuel, that's how bad they waste money. It's not all going to high salaries. Designing service that runs through poor neighborhoods doesn't help the poor if it only attracts 10 riders at at a time and costs BTA $20+ each for their ride (even if they only pay $1.) Half of the poor poor people on the bus are probably wishing they had different service because they have to go out of their way to make use of that lightly loaded service. VTA needs to get more clever with defining the services they provide. Maybe they should fund Uber rides for those with low incomes. Maybe that would cost 65% less to the taxpayers, and the poor people would love it at $2 per ride.

Posted by @svsports
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 12, 2015 at 11:12 am

Who do you think controls the talks for salaries for public officials in secrecy deals? UNIONS and what are unions, they are a super Liberal PAC.

Posted by svsportz
a resident of Willowgate
on May 12, 2015 at 11:54 am

Monta Loma, you are going off target here. Of course some unions have gone overboard but remember these FACTS that you don't get from your tainted "news" sources unfortunately-
1. Unions Gave Us The Weekend: In 1870, the average workweek for most Americans was 61 hours — almost double what most Americans work now.
2. Unions Gave Us Fair Wages And Relative Income Equality.
3. Unions Helped End Child Labor.
4. Unions Won Widespread Employer-Based Health Coverage.
5. Unions Spearheaded The Fight For The Family And Medical Leave Act.
Now get back on target and be grateful for what you have In the USA.

Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 12, 2015 at 12:07 pm

I'm sorry if some folks think transit operators are overpaid. I'm sure that is why several are always sleeping in campers between shifts at the VTA North Yard. One would generally only choose to do that if home is too far away to commute between shifts. VTA is trying to reduce operating expenses with the BRT project. However, in Mountain View we seem to care more about single passenger cars sitting in traffic than supporting those willing or able to give up car travel for the sake of saving money for themselves and the obvious environmental benefits for all of us. Given that VTA generally uses hybrid buses wherever they can now, BRT is the best option for El Camino in terms of cost and climate change. The dedicated lane version of BRT is clearly the most efficient. Or we could go back 50 years to when our County Supervisors decided they wanted no part of BART. Who knows what we could be doing now if we had not had such close minded elected then. Every VTA board member is elected from somewhere in our County. I thought we wanted to lead the world into the future, what with NASA and Google and all. But apparently only when it does not change our habits. Old fashioned Nimby's just like our neighbors in Palo Alto.

Posted by @Old Steve
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2015 at 1:48 pm

I am curious sir, whether you realize that the dedicated lane plane means

(1) About 60 times per day, a 22 bus which stops at all 12 or so stops on El Camino Real will make its way along the curb lane, as it does 88 times per day now. It will handle almost all the travelers moving within the city and to nearby cities as well. Current volume is about 100 people riding on the 30 mile route at some point, many just a few stops. Estimate is about 10 people max riding in Mountain View, per route at present. 88 cycles per day at present. Cutting service back will beef up riders on the reduced service so maybe 15 people per cycle will travel within MV on the 22 service, or about 60 people per hour, on buses in the curb lane.

(2) About 90 times per day, a double length articulated bus will move through the dedicated lane along the median of the road. It will stop only two times in the city at Whole Foods Market and at Castro Street. VTA doesn't release detailed forecast numbers, but based on the ridership they hope for, one can extrapolate. They hope for 9000 riders per day along the entire 30 mile route of the 522BRT service. So we see an average of 100 riders per trip. Many will travel under 15 miles, i.e. not only will they not go all the way to San Jose, but they will certainly not proceed to Eastridge. Many will board South of Mountain View. So in Mountain View, you're talking about rides for maybe 20 people through or to one of the two stops in the city. This is only if VTA's highly optimistic projections materialize. With such constrained service they seem improbable. So, say a max of 20 people, at a max of 6 times per hour, or 120 people per hour passing along some point of El Camino Real. More likely, it will be less, perhaps about the same 60 people per hour on BRT522 as on 22.

So, how does the compare to the current demand in the city, and how will it stand up to demands for locomotion from future residents along El Camino Real.

Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 12, 2015 at 2:42 pm

By definition, projections are only projections, and modern signal preempted BRT is more flexible than any other mode of transit. Caltrain only stops twice in Mtn Vw, people seem to ride it. With BRT, if the ridership is not there, it does not have to be 90 trips. If the 22 runs in BRT lane, you need much more construction. Without dedicated lanes, BRT is just the current 522.

My own ridership experience suggests that @Old Steve's figures would not stand up to the same scrutiny as that the figures of the VTA are being subjected to. If 300 people in the peak hours ride BRT in any part of Mtn. Vw, anytime within the next ten years, we'll be doing our part to slow climate change. Anybody with other ways to create that opportunity ought to be talking to VTA on a regular basis instead of writing here!

Posted by Environmentalist
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 12, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Speaking of climate change, Traffic = carbon emissions. Gridlock = bad traffic = worse carbon emissions.

The REALITY of the situation is that we will have gridlocked traffic on ECR much worse and much more polluting than what we currently have. The DREAM of the BRT is that everyone will start taking the bus and leave their cars at home(because nobody needs to go anywhere but up and down ECR right?) That's a pure fairy tale fantasy.
Lets deal with reality and avoid increased traffic congestion in MV by stopping BRT and keeping the quality of life we have worked hard to enjoy.

Posted by @Old Steve
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2015 at 3:53 pm

You really don't seem to know the current status. The 522 service that runs now is not the 22 service. Skipping 10 stops really does speed it up. It's working now, and it offers advantages to the same riders--those traveling longer distances. Its problem is the fact that it only stops twice in Mountain View, and BRT522 is not promised to change that.

Furthermore, the 522 and 22 routes are really two different services serving downtown San Jose. The portion which feeds downtown San Jose from Eastridge is already being upgraded to BRT, and that portion will only have a small portion like 15% as a dedicated lane. The major change in speed there will be to eliminate 4 stops in downtown San Jose for the BRT service, which are each spaced by only a block apart.

When the southern part of the 522 route has the small section of new dedicated lane finished, around Jan 2016, BRT vehicles will run on the entire 522 route. VTA touts the improvements of the BRT vehicles themselves, which will upgrade the 522 service all along the route.

So, we should wait till we see how the BRT522 service functions along the part of the route north of San downtown San Jose with no new lane dedications. VTA rushes this decision through now to hide the problems with its BRT522 plans. Mainly the problem is the serious degradation it proposes to the 22 line, which should instead see service improved. For much of the day it could run with smaller buses or vans at increased frequency, and this would yield a much improved rider experience during those times, at a reasonable cost. It's the 22 route that is the workhorse, and VTA has made no convincing argument that their decision to favor the long ride parallel to CalTrain is the right way to service riders north of San Jose. It's all smoke and mirrors and wishful thinking.

CalTrain will always be much more than BRT522. CalTrain operates over a 60 mile distance with only a few stations spaced at great length. Feeding the CalTrain stops we have parking lots and a network of transit options using the stations each as a Transit Hub. Except for really 3 locations, BRT stations will not serve as transit hubs. CalTrain runs from Mountain View to Downtown San Jose in 15 minutes, versus VTA's hope that they will see travel times of 40 minutes along the parallel route. Both CalTrain and BRT522 need improved feeder service to achieve their planned ridership increases. At this point, I think any reasonable person would see that CalTrain is better positioned to draw this ridership demand over the long travel times. Rising housing costs and a high tech increase in the workforce mean that fewer and fewer low income people travel to or from Mountain View, and VTA is betting in the opposite direction. Travelers from San Jose to Mountain View an afford the CalTrain fare, which is only higher because VTA's fares are 90% subsidy and CalTrain is less than 50% subsidy.

Posted by @Old Steve
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2015 at 4:15 pm

To be clear, 522 skips 10 stops just in Mountain View. Over the entire route, it skips 80+ stops out of the 110+ stops made by 22. Now, today, every day. Travel time on 22 from Showers Drive to Downtown San Jose at 8am is 45 minutes on the 522 versus 55 minutes on the 22. At 5pm, 522 is 60 minutes versus 70 minutes on the 22. The BRT improvements will mostly come at the peak commute time, and the dedicated lane is only part of the cause at that time. Their claim is that they can board more riders in shorter time during the peak times when demand is high,. This is due to the design of the BRT vehicles, and the rule to be added about "No cash fares". They could do that now.

Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 12, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Folks Probably should not judge others' experiences without walking in their shoes. I ride both 22 and 522 at least once a month, and I am familiar with the BRT Alum Rock project as well. I have the same ridership frequency on Caltrain and have been using it since 1962 when it was a dying, privately operated passenger service. From many parts of Sunnyvale and Santa Clara it will be easier to get to work in Mtn Vw on BRT than on Caltrain. We need both. Caltrain is at peak hour capacity until at least 2019, and if you pick the proper peak, so are the 522 and 22. The goal is more capacity for people, not more capacity for cars with only a driver in them. Some folks will divert initially, some visionaries will try the new service and like it. Folks already on the bus will be better off, and in ten years more people will be on the bus. More smaller buses or vans won't lower VTA's operating costs, which is part of their goal. As far as the income levels of VTA riders, which highly paid high tech workers will be working on Castro Street rather than eating there? One could easily live in Santa Clara, walk to El Camino, work on Castro Street, and not even own a car. VTA needs to figure out the best way to serve everybody. Assuming all the cars currently on El Camino will stay there no matter what is not any better methodology than what folks accuse VTA of doing.

Posted by CalTrain Facts
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2015 at 4:57 pm

Actually, this week, CalTrain just started running an additional 150 seat car on each run served by the Bombardier design trains. That ups their capacity for standing passengers as well. There are more such additional cars being prepared for service, and they will start running very soon now. This extra capacity is real, and almost immediate. Each set of train cars makes about 4 complete cycles up and down the tracks each day, so multiply this set of 150 extra seats by 8.

I don't think anyone standing on CalTrain is going to switch to VTA to get a seat, not ever.

Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 12, 2015 at 5:38 pm

@Caltrain Facts -- These cars are only a short term fix until Electric is complete. Watch how fast they get full again! I know a Macy's employee in SF who won't move from Union City to Palo Alto because BART is so much cheaper than Caltrain. (She does not pay for housing either way)

If BRT can shorten the walk on either end, be competitive for schedule, at 25% or so of the fare, how do we know nobody would ever switch?

We are not a car only suburb anymore, and we ALL need to stop acting like we still live in one.

Posted by Bus User
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 12, 2015 at 6:42 pm

Old Steve says it best!
I'm afraid these specious arguments against the dedicated lane are primarily coming from one person in Los Altos. He trolls forums and tries to represent the side of "blue blood" affluence and homogenous culture. (Yes, it’s that issue where a group of wealthy parents use taxpayer money to fund an exclusionary private school for themselves. ) These straw man attacks on BRT claiming that he's trying to defend the "workhorse" 22 route. What a joke. This man would NEVER step in a bus and could care less how slow the 22 and 522 route gets, but NOW he’s all concerned??? Ha!

There are so many people that live, work and shop near DIFFERENT parts of El Camino that a fast, efficient transit option is crucial. It is ridiculous to expect people living near El Camino to commute to a train station, hope they are at a commuting hour when the trains run frequently, commute back to El Camino to go to work or shop and then do it all over again. So, Çaltrain is not a solution for most people. It is a solution for a certain type of commuter. Being able to step on and off either local or express transit on El Camino is the #1 highest demand for transit along that corridor. Dedicated lane is the most economically sensible and least impactful of all the options studied.

So many people in Mountain View support this measure, despite the internet trolls claiming otherwise. Thank you Steve for voicing your support!

Posted by @Old Steve
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2015 at 8:23 pm

I don't know if it matters that the train expansions done now are just temporary. Expansion is expansion. They may also add trains at certain times of the day, just as they had cut some when the economy tanked. CalTrain seeks to keep up their farebox recovery and they are up at over 60% recovery right now. So, they don't lack funding to add service event if it costs more than just lengthening trains from 5 cars to 6 cars. Wisely, they start there because the marginal cost is lower for that.

With electrification, they plan to redesign stations and increase to 8 cars per train. That's the biggest source of ridership capacity growth, but they will also add trains. Additionally, they project more stops for the existing trains, because the electric motors will allow quicker stops and starts.

What's too bad is that VTA doesn't proceed with cost effective simple steps to increase ridership. They really should have marked the stops where 522 service is available a long time ago. The fact that this service is the same rate as regular service is not well known either.

Of course, the bottom line is that with a speed up of only 3 minutes in travel time to ride 522 or BRT522 compared to the 22 service, those traveling just 6-7 miles are only motivated to use 522 if they are both starting and ending up very new one of the rare unlabeled 522 stops. Otherwise, it doesn't take much added walking time to use up the advantage of just riding the 22 bus. Most people choose to just ride the 22 bus.

Posted by svsportz
a resident of Willowgate
on May 12, 2015 at 8:42 pm

"So many people in Mountain View support this measure" is a total fabrication, bus rider aka ghost VTA spokesperson. Also, I live and work in Mountaun View, not Los Altos. I for one have posted here so your lie is revealed. This VTA plan is stupid.

Posted by Huh?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 12, 2015 at 9:13 pm

"Also, I live and work in Mountaun View, not Los Altos.."

Your opinion is worth exactly zero since anyone who cannot spell "Mountain View" correctly, clearly is not capable of rendering an informed opinion.

Live in Willowgate? Hope you enjoy the ever increasing noise of your beloved trains! We in Cuesta enjoy a beautiful walk to the bus and traveling to both work and play on the inexpensive and environmentally friendly bus.

Posted by svsportz
a resident of Willowgate
on May 12, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Re: Huh?

Glad you are the wizard of Mountain View so you have all power to say who has "zero worth", right? No problem with your crass comment about my neighborhood. It has no place in this issue and purely shows the type of person you are. Is Cuesta where the germy hospital is located?

Posted by Clipper Card
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2015 at 9:40 pm

VTA is very bad at communicating about the Clipper Card. When I ride the bus, I see loads of people paying by Cash. Clipper Cards are easy to use. You can get one at Walgreen's and add funds there or online via the Web. We don't need fancy stations with expensive $100,000 ticket machines at the 522 stops. What a waste.

Some people don't use Clipper because they want a day pass. A day pass costs $6 and a regular ride costs $2. What is not obvious is there is a cap of 3 fares charged per day on Clipper. So you automatically get a day pass when you pay by Clipper.

So VTA should spread the word about clipper and speed up boarding time for everyone.

Another good reason to use Clipper if you take CalTrain to San Francisco is that your VTA ride will be free. Sorry, not downtown San Jose. VTA only comps your ride if you head across 3 zones, which means San Bruno or North, or to Gilroy to the South. VTA won't pay your fare if you catch CalTrain and travel within their territory except for Gilroy and Morgan Hill. Go figure.

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 12, 2015 at 10:33 pm

A Clipper card can get you into a Clipper NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. You take the 522 on El Camino south, hop on a Greyhound, transfer to some LA buses and then pick up a newspaper to read which team won the game you missed while trying to get there on buses!.

Posted by @Gary
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2015 at 10:39 pm

Clipper started off as TransLink. Go Los Angeles TransLinks.

Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 14, 2015 at 4:35 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Oh great, Eamonn and his 'tude shows up here as well as the SJMN comments.
For another perspective, the RTD runs both Light Rail and the bus system for the Denver Metro Area.
The I-25 Corridor Light Rail Project is pretty much finished.Instead of adding ONE EXTRA LANE EACH WAY, a Light Rail set of tracks were added.
That construction was called T-Rex if you want more info on it.
The only way to get proper transit is to add the VTA to existing CalTrain right of way, just like RTD Light Rail has. There is NO ROOM to make a " Busses Only " lane on ECR.
What RTD did is to create an OVERHEAD BUSSES ONLY lane that connects to the TOLL ROAD LANES created that are on the separate lanes on North/South I-25 going to the commute cities north of Denver.
The GOLDEN LINE Light Rail Link actually follows the original TROLLEY Right of Way that Denver and Lakewood originally had.
All the Regional Transit meets at the original Union Station that the UP and the AT&SF used. A Light Rail track is planned for DIA.
RTD busses are seldom empty. The same applies to Light Rail trains. VTA trains are usually empty.
Bite the bullet and use the CalTrains Right of Way for VTA or busses; that is the only land available for a real mass transit solution.

Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2015 at 6:05 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

The only thing is that there is not really any need for such a dramatic improvement to ECR traffic. CalTrain upgrades are already going to increase capacity there to ride from Palo Alto to San Jose/Morgan Hill/Gilroy. The long haul is covered. The need along the ECR route is to handle increased traffic in the form of short trips of under 5-10 miles, and the portion of the trip actually on ECR is often as little as 2 miles. So BRT doesn't do it, and neither would another light rail line along CalTrain. Current transit solutions have no facility for dealing with trips that originate a few miles from ECR, make small use of ECR for some further movement, and then end also a few miles from ECR.... That failure is why people are so upset, because that's why they use their cars!

What we need is Agile Transit, not treating every trip as a straight route using ECR as a backbone for 8 to 17 miles of travel. It's doable. It has to be done if you want to reduce use of ECR without just adding a lot more travel miles for these many trips.

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