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Improve transit without El Camino bus lanes

Original post made on May 1, 2015

Mountain View and our surrounding cities need better transit. We need better bus service for those who do not drive cars, and we need fixed transit to bring workers to centers of employment. But establishing bus lanes on El Camino Real is not the answer.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 1, 2015, 12:00 AM

Comments (6)

Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2015 at 7:38 am

It's refreshing to know that there appears to be at least one voice of reason on City Council. However, Showalter, and Rosenberg are not absolved of what appears to have been their sandbagging of Mountain View voters. And, plain and simple, Showalter and Rosenberg should answer to the voters whose trust they betrayed. VTA is in the crosshairs now, but memories are long, but Showalter and Rosenberg are soon to be done in this town, imho.

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 1, 2015 at 8:37 am

True is a registered user.


While there are a number of local issues on which we disagree I am pleased that you and I are in agreement on this. As I said the other night while addressing the Council I am not opposed to VTA improvements nor am I opposed to VTA riders. I do think that transit needs to be improved. However, this particular plan is not the answer.

I hope that you and other more pragmatic members of the council will continue to show leadership in ensuring that transit improvements take a "do no harm" approach.

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.

Posted by Whoops!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 1, 2015 at 9:01 am

Uhoh! Looks like Lenny is flip-flopping!!!!

He wrote, "The Valley Transportation Authority's own environmental impact report found that "mixed flow," the alternative that would have express buses sharing the roadway with other vehicles, is the "environmentally superior alternative."

I'll explain where the flip-flip comes in shortly...

At the council meeting where the vote to support a massive increase in speed and efficiency of buses along El Camino occurred, Lenny grabbed the mic and gave a misleading question to VTA. He demanded that they answer the narrow question, "according to the EIR, which of the two options had a better environmental score--Dedicated lane option or shared lane option?" The VTA rep tried to clarify the question, but Lenny wanted a a narrow answer to fit his narrow question. The answer was, "mixed use". However, if one were to actually read the EIR, it is clear that the differences are insignificant and mitigations are available. I believe the report calls them "insignificant."

So, let's talk about Lenny's campaign promises and how he is going to flip-flop. He was elected by the voters on the premise that he would lighten the ABAG mandated load of development around his beloved downtown neighborhood by forcing the build of thousands of new homes in the environmentally sensitive area of E Bayshore.

Do you see where this is going? When the EIR comes back for the E Bayshore housijg buildup, "the environmentally superior" option is certainly to build nothing there. Or if a build is to occur, that it be the customary environmentally safe office park. Since Lenny is now pushing the importance of the environmental score in EIR's, wouldn't he then reject a housing development there? Flip-flop!

Of course we can expect him to deny that, but then what about his sudden environmental concerns for BRT? Yep. Flip-flop there! At best, sleazy politics. Or simply a cheap debating tactic.... Red herring.. Whatever.

Sorry Lenny, but you should not be trying to undermine the will of the council. You have voted. It is done. Isn't it a rule or ethical violation? Sounds like more sleaze to me.

This is a socio-economic issue. Why don't you ride the bus at rush hour down to San Jose on the 522. If you did, you might see a strata of society that you have not recently interacted with. Notice that the bus is hardly empty. Notice how slow it is with all the cars clogging up the roads.

Notice how few cars yield to the bus causing it further delays.

Notice how empty each of the cars are on El Camino. 80 pct+ has just one person!!!!

After you have done that, your vote may be better informed.

Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2015 at 9:38 am

Since when does city council give a hoot about approving project based on the "environmental superior" option? I recently pleaded with council, to approved a "reduced development option" of a very large development proposal because of the significantly reduced - short and long term - environmental impact. I guess I should be grateful that I was allowed my two minutes to speak, though really, we all know the voices of the residents make NO difference when it comes to theses types of decisions.

If we are going to have this stuff shoved down our throats by hook or by crook, why bother with the dog and pony show pretending to be a free and fair society? Seriously? We all know it's not really a free and fair society. Pacs and superpacs = worst SCOTUS ruling in modern history, maybe EVER. Anyway, I digress.

/rant off.

There is a reason people want to live off the grid, and it's becoming more appealing every freaking day.

Posted by Frustrated MV resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 1, 2015 at 9:38 am

Thanks, Lenny, for an extremely coherent explanation of what is wrong with the VTA proposal for taking away two of the current lanes on El Camino for their RBT proposal! Also appreciate your counter to the claims that this is a split between income levels in these communities...many low-income residents of Mountain View also have to use cars to get to multiple places of work and they will suffer as well when El Camino is no longer useable and the diverted cars clog the neighborhoods.

Posted by I agree
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2015 at 1:28 pm

The problem with VTA's center-lane proposal is that it is NOT a transit improvement. It subtracts just as much capacity from local transit (buses) as it does from passenger autos. It mucks up transit service in the city of Mountain View, for the sake of those just passing through.

Thank of 101 and 280. How many people use those to travel within the city? Some low percent. VTA is taking a lane off a local service road and dedicating it to service trying to compete with 101 and 280 (and Cal Train and Central Expressway and Foothill Expressway). It's just not a reasonable plan. It only makes sense if you are just trying to the VTA $500 Million annual bureaucracy. It gives VTA's empire more things to play with and bill for.

So, I'd quibble with the title. Improve Mountain View transit instead of narrowing El Camino's service capacity. Because that is what VTA is doing. There is no way the demand for long distance travel through and/or away from Mountain View will come anywhere close to using the wasteful BRT capacity VTA is proposing to create. If there were, they could justify taking a lane on US 101 just as easily.

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