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Proposed El Camino bus lanes won't work

Original post made on May 15, 2015

I oppose the recent vote of the City Council to endorse the plan for dedicated bus lanes on El Camino Real (ECR) and am calling for some specific actions.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 15, 2015, 12:00 AM

Comments (101)

73 people like this
Posted by MVresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 15, 2015 at 6:31 pm

In response to Robert Franklin's "El Camino Bus Lanes Won't Work" opine, hear hear! Thank you for the thoughtful, objective, reasonably put forth commentary. You have captured what so many of us are saying. Now where do we go from here? This CANNOT be allowed to go forward. What can MV citizens do to assure that this is stopped?


76 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 15, 2015 at 10:22 pm

Publicize the lunacy of the VTA's plan for bus-only lanes on El Camino and ensure that any such decision by the VTA Board of Directors would doom the agency's planned 2016 sales tax increase ballot measure.


52 people like this
Posted by Another Thought
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2015 at 12:14 am

They won't work for the bus service either! Most of the service (90%+) used by local residents is on the 22 route, which continues to run along the curb. VTA forecasts a slow down and a service cutback for this route. Yuck.

"If we build it, we can waste more taxpayer money." As little as 9% of the cost of running these buses is paid by the riders. No wonder they say they want a sales tax hike to support this kind of wasteful inefficient service. Envision Silicon Valley. Yeah, right. Envision it with an EVEN WORSE BUS SYSTEM than at present. Spending money willy nilly and making changes doesn't automatically solve problems. Look at their light rail expenditures. Was that ever a waste. The city has to run its own Community Shuttle, that's how little VTA does for the city.


61 people like this
Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Gary from Sylvan Park, 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. There is also a permanent transit sales tax that voters approved in 1976. We’re also 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. Why don't we hear from the "social justice" people about the effect of all these taxes and fees on those of modest means? Instead of raising the minimum wage let's lower the tax burden.

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. This expensive BRT project does not pass the smell test; how can you remove a third of El Camino's capacity and not expect adverse effects on other streets.

Another unnecessarily expensive project is the BART extension. It’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. It is extremely insulting considering voter approval of all the taxes/fees listed above.

Regarding the endless tax/fee increases, when is enough enough?


5 people like this
Posted by Absolutely incorrect
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 16, 2015 at 7:49 pm

Steve, you could not be more wrong.

Developing a solid infrastructure like transportation, water, energy, etc.. sets us up for a long term, stable and growing economy. These infrastructure upgrades must be paid for. To say that taxes to pay for these is the reason why it's expensive is simply not true. Even with state and local taxes, so many more want to move here. That raises housing costs and creates a run on resources and services, so prices go up. Taxes obviously have little to do with it.

Complaining about paying for infrastructure we need is the exact definition of "nickel and diming." It was George W. Bush's strategy that sent our economy into a tailspin. Lets not return to those terrible years!


62 people like this
Posted by Ste
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2015 at 7:53 pm

Absolutely incorrect, you're missing my point. We pay plenty and the voters have approved all the taxes and fees that keep coming on the ballot. The reward for approving a tax/fee increase seems to be another one in two years. Enough already. Spend what you have wisely and don't "gold-plate" the projects.


6 people like this
Posted by No gold plate
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2015 at 10:56 pm

What "gold plate"? Did you even read the project proposal? There is no gold plating on any of the buses

This thinking or rhetoric is exactly what George W. did to our country.

I think uninformed opinions such as yours are a big reason why most MV residents support the dedicated bus lane. It would be a different matter If the arguments against fast and efficient busing were valid, but that has certainly not been the case.


55 people like this
Posted by Gold Plate
a resident of another community
on May 17, 2015 at 1:45 am

There's gold plating because it hard wires in an inflexible infrastructure with low utilization now, let alone after planned and likely changes in the population distribution. BRT is a solution to YESTERDAY's problem, not today's.

Consider: A huge change would occur if there were just a 20% increase in the fraction of employees living within 5 miles. There are other alternatives to private one person cars that can improve on the 75 person bus traveling to SF from Cupertino. There could just be bike paths for one thing. There could be something other than VTA buses, BRT or not, running at 10-15% average seat occupancy. Crazy VTA focuses on out of date plans to increase speed of longer commutes, ignoring the fact that there is NO AVAILABLE HOUSING ON THE PROSPECTIVE OTHER END of those commutes to increase capacity there either. On demand shared vans that take customized routes could improve traffic and carbon emissions for travel within 5 miles. The past said concentrate on corporate buses for trips of 20 miles or more, but omitted looking at shared transportation for smaller batches and shorter distances..... technology hasn't really been brought to bear on things that become practical with the increases in office density now in play.

The past idea was a carpool of 2 people who got together and synced their work schedules on a static basis. Simply make this practice agile and you have the possibility of apps that let more than 2 people ride in a single public car which cycles over and over during the day. Small vans can be agile in their affect on traffic, their affect on scheduling, their ability to offer flexibility in scheduling, and the ability to support a worker who has walkability around the residence for other purposes but just needs a "Lyft" to work with coworkers. Walkability doesn't mean no use of automotive technology ever in one's daily life, requiring an underground subway to work. Nope, that's just case 0 of walkability.

VTA needs to wise up and read Plan Bay Area for Pete's sake. There is no bedroom in San Jose for future new workers in Mountain View.


40 people like this
Posted by VTA has failed us
a resident of Gemello
on May 17, 2015 at 7:24 am

Nothing they have ever promised has come true, then they falsely blame their failure on some outside influence or issue. Turn off the wasteful spigot of money going down the VTA drain. Their only idea is to close the roads except for buses. What a brilliantly ridiculous idea from the out of any good ideas VTA.


7 people like this
Posted by Density
a resident of another community
on May 17, 2015 at 7:57 am

Increasing density will bring more and more gridlocked roads. If people cannot move efficiently around the area, then the economy will stall. Quality of life plummets and companies move to areas that don't have these problems.

We can dream about new technologies that will solve all of our problems: self-driving cars, mag-lift sky trams, teleporters(!!) or even the promise of telecommuting actually WORKING!

More reliably we can build out a transportation network that provides fast movement between each "node" (stop/station). Unfortunately, one of out most major and dense series of nodes (El Camino Highway) has major traffic congestion and has compromised major portions of the network. We need to start solving it NOW while the economy is strong.

The proposal in place is the best option available and is already funded. The nodes along El Camino will now have efficient transfer capability. With CalTrain's efficiency, El Camino upcoming efficiency, BART connection coming, it will then be viable to build out efficient transfer services between them.

Other areas in the world with excellent public transit systems have solved this problem. It wasn't easy. The best things in life never are.


43 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 17, 2015 at 8:49 am

The comment above including the assertion that "most MV residents support the dedicated bus lane" is completely fictional. Three politicians on the 7-member MV city council expressed general "support" for the plan after being approached by political operatives behind the scenes. But very few residents have expressed any support, and even the 3 politicians involved criticized the plan at the April 21 meeting and one (Rosenberg) since that meeting. If VTA staffersconsultants and board members think they can impose lanes for one bus every ten minutes on El Camino and then get another sales tax measure approved in 2016, they are quite mistaken.


7 people like this
Posted by Gridlock
a resident of another community
on May 17, 2015 at 12:26 pm

A sure way to promote gridlock is to use El Camino Real as a dividing line and prevent passing over it is a part of a short efficient trip within the community. VTA imagines fictional people who want to whiz up and down ECR, but they don't exist for the most part. Because of housing shortages and changing preferences, the travel spanning the county is on the decline. We need to be prepared for a quantum shift, where even more travel around Mountain View occurs, travel which can't make use of BRT on ECR.... that's the long and the short of it. This wrong headed idea is recognized as such by different people for different sets of the many aspects where it misses the mark. BUT IT DOES MISS THE MARK, which is PAR FOR THE COURSE by the VTA monstrosity: 10% FARE BOX RECOVER, 10% OCCUPANCY OF SEATS, LESS THAN 10% OF THE PEOPLE USE IT, 10% OF THE POTENTIAL SERVICE EFFECTIVENESS and headed DOWN at a 10% rate per year. Great.


7 people like this
Posted by Bus Advocate
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 17, 2015 at 1:15 pm

"A sure way to promote gridlock is to use El Camino Real as a dividing line and prevent passing over it is a part of a short efficient trip within the community."

Good news!

Many want to actually go FURTHER than bussing within a single city. You are probably reading propaganda put out by anti-bussers.

Dedicating one of three lanes for bus travel hardly PREVENTS passing over El Camino. Glad we got that straightened out for you...

"VTA imagines fictional people who want to whiz up and down ECR, but they don't exist for the most part. "

Good news!!

The people that want to go up and down El Camino actually exist! You can see them every day locked in traffic gridlock either in a car or a bus.

"Because of housing shortages and changing preferences, the travel spanning the county is on the decline."

Whoops! Actually for the same reasons you state, cross-county travel is on the rise! If housing was plentiful, then people would live closer to work and then there would be less cross-country travel.

"We need to be prepared for a quantum shift, where even more travel around Mountain View occurs, travel which can't make use of BRT on ECR.... that's the long and the short of it."

Absolutely! That's why MV has the wonderful community shuttle. If there is such demand for public, short distance transit, then why are they empty throughout the day??

"BUT IT DOES MISS THE MARK, which is PAR FOR THE COURSE by the VTA monstrosity: 10% FARE BOX RECOVER, 10% OCCUPANCY OF SEATS, LESS THAN 10% OF THE PEOPLE USE IT, 10% OF THE POTENTIAL SERVICE EFFECTIVENESS and headed DOWN at a 10% rate per year. Great."

Good news!!!

The 10 percent farebox recovery is forecasted to go up to 60pct thanks to the BRT project. Blocking the BRT project will cost taxpayers a lot of money. That's irresponsible!

Even better news! A single bus that is 10pct loaded, is still more fuel efficient than 90pct of vehicles on El Camino.

And, to all the CalTrain lovers who hate VTA because of a low farebox recovery, your precious train is only at 40 percent! And that is when our economy is at an all-time high. What happens with a decline? Fixed costs take over and down goes the recovery number!

Finally, to all the anti-VTA car lovers complaining about a low farebox recovery for buses. Don't forget that automobile use of the roadway has a ZERO PERCENT "FAREBOX RECOVERY"!! That's right. 0%. So, don't get all high and mighty....

So far, not a single argument against the dedicated lane had held up to scrutiny. That's a big reason why it should be approved.



8 people like this
Posted by 100% Farebox Recovery
a resident of another community
on May 17, 2015 at 10:54 pm

Take a taxi. No one subsidizes that. 100% Farebox recovery. Or better yet take an Uber. Oh, my, that's a car!


9 people like this
Posted by 0% Farebox Recovery
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2015 at 6:51 am

Don't be foolish. The roads are 100% subsidized by taxes.


32 people like this
Posted by leave ECR alone VTA!
a resident of Gemello
on May 18, 2015 at 7:31 am

The majority of folks in MV do NOT want a dedicated 522 bus lane on ECR and hopefully will get that message across by voting down another VTA sales tax increase since electing our new council members did not seem to do it. WE just don't!
I've lived in MV for over 60 years drive to work on ECR and can tell you through observation that there is no way taking a lane away from cars on ECR is going to make VTA more efficient or increase ridership through MV.
The people that want to ride the 522 are already doing it. All 10 of you on your stretch bus limo! I've had time to do a head count of all of you while I've been sitting in traffic trying to get across town.
The people in MV are not against reducing traffic, but a dedicated bus lane will not help the majority of us who use ECR a couple of miles here and there to do errands, hang out downtown, take our kids to school, already commute locally to work, get to PAMF or ECH/docs, high school, etc...
Building apts up and down may allow more people a place to live closer to work, but from what I have observed, again wile sitting in traffic, they all are being built w/parking or garages and they will all want to get across town, too! Because really, who can afford to live in one of these new apts and work at a minimum wage job along ECR?
For the majority of MV citizens who travel on ECR, a more helpful solution to get us out of our cars is to give us more direct ways to get somewhere ACROSS town in decent time. The 52 that goes to Foothill is an example of a bus that works efficiently for that purpose. Seen that while sitting in traffic, too! And how about creating safer bike lanes and dross walks? Where are they? It scares me to see bike riders on ECR or pedestrians darting across ECR between cross walks.
In the meantime, thank you bikers, walkers, car poolers, train riders and those already using Uber, Google shuttle, and company buses. You are the forward thinking people MV citizens should be supporting! Not the 10 VTA 522 riders!
And thank you for letting me express my opinion. I'm just sayin'...


29 people like this
Posted by Stop the madness
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 18, 2015 at 9:56 am

@Bus Advocate is clearly nothing but a (probably paid) shill for the VTA. S/he consistently posts long and detailed responses (under a variety of pseudonyms) to issues raised here but rarely provides actual facts and data. Simply re-stating the deeply flawed VTA assumptions behind the plan is hardly legitimate rebuttal. The VTA and their operatives need to be stopped...


12 people like this
Posted by Disgusted MVer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 18, 2015 at 10:08 am

Apparently anyone who supports the project is a "paid shill"???

How ridiculous. It really shows how desperate the critics of BRT are since they resort to name calling. All the data available supports the project, which explains this.

As a long time MV'er who used El Camino frequently, I have absolutely no problem with the project. From the limited frankly emotionally disturbed tactics of the opposition, it's obvious that the more reasoned and intelligent position will prevail.


46 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 18, 2015 at 10:31 am

Disgusted MVer: "As a long time MV'er who used El Camino frequently, I have absolutely no problem with the project. From the limited frankly emotionally disturbed tactics of the opposition, it's obvious that the more reasoned and intelligent position will prevail."

~~~~~~~~~~

Good for you. Evidently you needn't trouble yourself with responding to comments here in the future...since it's obvious that everything's coming up roses for you. Yay, you!


33 people like this
Posted by The voters will have the last word
a resident of Jackson Park
on May 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm

I'm still waiting to talk to ONE SINGLE PERSON on the street that thinks lane closing ECR is a good idea. I have not found a single person yet, only a repetitive poster here on the boards. I have found people genuinely angry about it and how the politicians lied to them.


13 people like this
Posted by PH
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 18, 2015 at 4:28 pm

Once again I spent a fair amount of time only to have the website crash as I was trying to post my thoughts: So let me just say NO BRT, it's not a good idea.


11 people like this
Posted by anti BRT but want out of my car
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 19, 2015 at 1:53 am

"leave ECR alone VTA!" is right, a more helpful way to free us from driving is to make alternate transportation safe and easy

Bike lanes throughout town would help. I would love to ride my bike to Farmer's Market or Castro Street. There's a nice wide lane on Phyllis from Grant to El Camino, but once I cross El Camino onto Calderon and downtown Mountain View, my choices are the sidewalk or narrow streets between parked and moving cars. I could take the Stevens Creek Trail to Dana Street but then what's the safest way to get to Castro Street?

This BRT is bewildering as it does nothing to help MV residents travel to popular destinations (such as Costco, Shoreline Amphitheater, the Senior Center or Teen Center, PAMF, YMCA, most any supermarket, etc) within MV.

Is there fairly quick, affordable, and reliable public transportation from Mountain View to either SFO or SJC airport?


39 people like this
Posted by Stop the madness
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 19, 2015 at 6:25 am

@Disgusted MVer -- No, not all supporters of this idiotic plan are "paid shills". Most are either misguided, or are anti-car idealogues. I was referring to one specific poster, who uses multiple aliases to regurgitate lengthy and unsupported VTA talking points about this proposal. The alleged benefits of the BRT are hugely sensitive to assumptions in the VTA calculations and they are unwilling or unable to provide the actual data to validate those assumptions. Simple data like *actual* ridership for each segment of the total route at various times of day are not provided by the VTA, but are critical to assessing the merits of the plan. Sure, there are studies that show benefits of BRT type approaches under very specific conditions. There are also studies that show when those conditions are not met, the negative impacts and costs far outweigh the positives. Until the VTA comes clean and provides real data to support their claims, any reasonable person should oppose this plan as nothing more than another VTA power grab and waste of taxpayer money.


8 people like this
Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 19, 2015 at 9:55 am

Funny, for all the ranting about empty VTA buses on this thread and the many other recent threads about BRT, the 22 bus was pretty damn full when I took it home from the U2 concert at SAP center last night. Standing-room only, in fact. At 10:45 at night.


45 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 19, 2015 at 10:10 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Somehow, spending a quarter of a billion dollars, jamming traffic, and impacting neighborhoods for buses that are only filled after the occasional concert (maybe 10 times a year?) is the exact type of thinking and reason that most people oppose it. Or are you being facetious?



Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


15 people like this
Posted by mmmkay
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 19, 2015 at 11:59 am

OMV Resident,

If there will be a U2 concert every week night going forward,
then your argument holds water.


6 people like this
Posted by No proof
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 19, 2015 at 2:21 pm

It's strange that with all the apparent opposition by the wealthy peninsula communities, that they have not gotten together to fund their own study. If the traffic model that VTA (and many others) use is so fatally flawed and erroneous, it should be no problem to demonstrate this with an alternate model.

I guess there is no confidence that a "new and improved" model would show a different result. This is not surprising, as VTA appears to have done a comprehensive job.

The letter sent by MV to VTA contains very minor points. They want VTA to look further away from El Camino than the published study does. I'm sure if VTA had published the draft study that covered this broader area, then MV would have asked for broader still. The rest of the doc is similar.

So, let's see an alternate model!

(I completely agree with the poster who was disgusted with the name calling. If the anti-transit people are feeling defensive as their arguments are destroyed, then maybe they should open their minds to the fact that they are WRONG.)


24 people like this
Posted by Riiight...
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 19, 2015 at 3:30 pm

@Bus Advocate

Does it get tiring building up and knocking down all those straw men?

A lot of the things Bus Advocate says might be nice if they were true. But they're not. He/She is hoping that by stating something factually untrue over and over again (particularly under multiple pseudonyms, attempting to give the impression of a larger group) that that statement will gain acceptance. It's now a tried and true method of political discourse, but you know what? It doesn't matter how many times I say I have a pony in my backyard, I still don't see any hoof prints.


13 people like this
Posted by K
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 19, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. VTA's traffic study is ordinary at best. I remain unconvinced.

Give us bike lanes and we'll talk.


8 people like this
Posted by Bus Advocate
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 19, 2015 at 6:13 pm

"Does it get tiring building up and knocking down all those straw men?"

The "straw men" are actually the arguments posed by the anti-bussers here in this forum. I don't understand why you are having trouble comprehending this obvious fact.

The project is good and everybody intelligent knows it. The main objections stem from the fact that white, affluent homeowners in the wealthy peninsula cities will not be the prime beneficiaries. This is an age-old problem. "Let'em eat cake!" (Paraphrased). Bus projects all around the country have an up-hill battle while roads and expensive train services take the lion's share of the taxpayer funding.


47 people like this
Posted by MVresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 19, 2015 at 9:01 pm

@No Proof from "Cuesta Park" where are you really from? You blew your cover when you refer to the peninsula communities as "they". If you truly lived in Cuesta then you would have said "we". But you're probably Bus Advocate and one of many other the ONE who seems to be supporting this.

I can tell you. Every single REAL LIFE PERSON I've talked to finds this to be the most ludicrous proposal and are quite simply shocked that it's even being considered.

Fortunately I can tell them there is a very large contingency gearing up behind the scenes and ready to rock this thing off the books.


11 people like this
Posted by @Bus Advocate
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2015 at 9:13 pm

VTA Admits that they don't get commute-hour increases in patronage from Mountain View or Palo Alto. Case closed. THat's why they should stop the dedicated lanes south of these two cities. It won't affect you since you don't live here. We cannot afford to screw up the 22 bus lines via the changes VTA has proposed. We have to see equal treatment for 22 and 522 since OUR RESIDENTS USE 22, not 522. And they use both evenly throughout the day.


3 people like this
Posted by No Proof
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 19, 2015 at 9:32 pm

MVresident2003 wrote:
"@No Proof from "Cuesta Park" where are you really from? You blew your cover when you refer to the peninsula communities as "they". If you truly lived in Cuesta then you would have said "we". "

Once again, the opposition to busing along El Camino resorts to personal attacks rather than reasoned, fact-based arguments. But I will do you the favor of responding. When I wrote about the communities that rejected the plan in the third person, I was referring to Palo Alto and Los Altos. Mountain View City Council, our representatives, voted to support the dedicated lane. Being a long time resident of MV, I used the third person.

The fact that the opposition to busing continues to make these mistakes or are being deliberately misleading, is yet more evidence of the validity of the project.


3 people like this
Posted by Roland
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2015 at 10:02 pm

So many opinions, so few facts.


10 people like this
Posted by MVresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 19, 2015 at 10:23 pm

@No Proof, your verbiage led me to believe you weren't really a Cuesta resident but someone stirring things up. I apologize if you're sincere. But please do not imply that someone is personally attacking you. There's no attack, just a legitimate questioning of comments and facts.

You are correct in that Mountain View City Council, our representatives, voted to support the dedicated lane

Unfortunately that is NOT what they were elected to do.


3 people like this
Posted by @Cuesta Park guy>?
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2015 at 12:59 am

I dunno if he is from Cuesta Park. It's not such a low income neighborhood and he acts like Palo Alto is too ritzy to support efficient transit. Seems very biased to me. Same for Los Altos. He neglects to mention Los Altos Hills. Maybe he has just missed all the rising home values to the point that Mountain VIew houses in 94040 like the Cuesta Park neighborhood average $1.7 Million sale price today.

He also seems prejudiced to think that only low income people will ever use public transit. Attitudes like that are outmoded. Things change when the car is less mandatory and residences are more walkable. This will never happen until people like him open up their horizons. There are many houses in his neighborhood who can't do that now, but a little upgrade in transit options could aid them. It's not just his maid who might take public transit to the house these days, if his maid doesn't arrive in a van....


27 people like this
Posted by MV Libertarian
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 20, 2015 at 1:12 am

At tonight’s (5/19/2015) City Council meeting, Lenny Siegel proposed that El Camino Real BRT be added as an agenda item at an upcoming meeting so the council could discuss issues and suggestions which had been raised since the 3-2 vote in favor of dedicated BRT lanes at the 4/21/2015 meeting. He wanted to get clearer direction from the Council when representing the city at the next quarterly meeting of the VTA El Camino Real Rapid Transit Policy Advisory Board on 6/19/2015, given the overwhelmingly negative public response to the vote and apparent waffling on their positions by some of the council members. However, in a continuation of the Council’s stonewalling on this topic, the motion was defeated on a 2-2 tie vote --- For: Siegel & Inks, Against: Showalter & Kasperzak, Recused: McAlister & Clark and Absent/Abstained: Rosenberg. It will be up to residents and businesses to continue to raise the subject online and in oral communications at Council Meetings given the Council’s reluctance to even discuss this matter further.


29 people like this
Posted by Effect on El Camino Real
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2015 at 1:18 am

The fact is that there are 3 problems with VTA's attitude:

(1) They don't plan for transit in the broader community. The divide routes into CORE, LOCAL, and COMMUNITY SHUTTLE. They make the CORE routes so long that it magnifies their ridership, but that distorts their true usage. They rely on the inflated numbers from CORE routes plus the CORE route mileage to claim massive service to the county, but this is just not so. Even the CORE routes are a poorly effective transit service. The Cuesta Park guy falls for their false claim. This is the issue of not serving areas somewhat removed from El Camino.

(2) They don't have an accurate view of the ridership on the 22 and 522 route through Mountain View. Their changes to make the dedicated lane will sabotage the effectiveness of the 22 route, needlessly. In fact, 22 is the only route providing somewhat useful service to the north County. This means they are harming the transit users who currently rely on their service.

(3) VTA has the attitude that transit use is BAD MEDICINE that everyone must increasingly swallow. They rely on harming the car usage of El Camino Real to try to force some people onto their buses. Never mind, they say, that this will totally change the neighborhoods, not just far the far away areas, but for streets like Latham and Church which already get diverted traffic bypassing El Camino Real. Things are so bad that Google buses ride Villa Street to bypass Central Expressway and El Camino Real. Google is using South Whisman Road and E. Dana Street to route their buses along Villa, already today. They should be using El Camino Real, or Central Expressway, but they lumber along on Villa.


39 people like this
Posted by Start the recall
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 20, 2015 at 2:51 am

I don't want dedicated bus lanes on El Camino. I want to remove Showalter, Rosenberg and Kasperzak from council for even thinking this was a good idea. And I think VTA's board should be elected. And I'll never vote for another VTA tax increase. Get the recall started.


36 people like this
Posted by NO MORE MONEY FOR VTA!
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 20, 2015 at 7:21 am

I completely agree with the above poster on all counts. VTA is killing citizen support in MV, soon to include Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, and los altos as they will also have to deal with the gridlock spillover into their towns as well.
This seems to be a final death rattle of VTA, throwing it all out there in an "All or nothing" campaign for lane closures. It shines the light on how we need to rethink transit and how out of date VTAs ideas are.

They must be completely oblivious to how hard this PR hit is to them, but they'll see it repeatedly as the public disgust continues to grow as it has been doing. Next time they casually ask for a tax increase to fuel their continued waste, they may start to realize the damage they did to themselves with this lane closure idea. They seem to forget they need public support, so they need to listen to the needs and concerns of the public who is funding them.

I'll not agree to pay one half of one penny to VTA for anything. It would be like throwing money down the drain.


5 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 9:19 am

Let's be clear. All those proposing to not support VTA's next sales tax -- you do realize you are constraining every road and street in Santa Clara County to a potholed future significant enough to damage your vehicles well beyond your total sales tax liability. You see, local sales taxes to help fund transportation projects the state no longer funds need to address both transit and roadway projects in order to be successful. And by the way, VTA board members are elected officials from each of our cities and the county.

If you don't like the way they vote, that should make them easier to replace in a smaller election. Many folks rant about big government. Wouldn't be bigger government if the VTA board was separate and directly elected? Then we could pit one part of the county against another in campaigns over what to build next. Wouldn't that be fun? OR NOT!


8 people like this
Posted by @Old Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 20, 2015 at 9:57 am

These people claiming to be so upset at having fast and efficient public transit on El Camino vote down any proposed tax increases anyway.

I checked in with six different people in my neighborhood and only one was opposed to having a dedicated lane. It seems that the Council decision to support BRT was truly in line with what people want.


37 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 20, 2015 at 10:12 am

Perhaps by not supporting yet another VTA tax increase the tax payers would be sending a message to the VTA board -- try spending the TREMENDOUS amount of tax dollars that you already receive on an annual basis MUCH more prudently.

What goodwill I once had for the VTA has been erased, and I am done giving.


6 people like this
Posted by Geek
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 20, 2015 at 10:50 am

Geek is a registered user.

@@Old Steve:"I checked in with six different people"
Wow, that is really statistically significant sample size. Thanks for sharing.


9 people like this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 20, 2015 at 11:08 am

"I checked in with six different people in my neighborhood and only one was opposed to having a dedicated lane."

BWAHAHA! You lie to us as easily as Showalter and Rosenberg.

Are you in the neighborhood association?


8 people like this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 20, 2015 at 11:27 am

Also, if VTA cannot fix potholes (as if they actually do this to any significant level) with the MILLIONS we are already giving them, they are a useless entity and should be wholly replaced by an organization able to perform within their assigned budget.
Fix the pot holes with the millions you already have. Do SOMETHING right for once, ANYTHING! VTA is where money goes to die.


3 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 20, 2015 at 12:10 pm

VTA does not fix potholes. They allocate sales tax revenue to Cities and the County who hire construction contractors to fix potholes. Most local agencies only maintain sufficient staff and equipment for "emergency" or "specialized" repairs. So voting against the sales tax for transportation is voting against the self interest of every cyclist, driver and transit rider.

Still, people do it all the time, so be our guest. When it fails by one vote we'll know who to thank.


32 people like this
Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2015 at 12:14 pm

We've voted for lots of taxes and fees put up by VTA, including a $10 vehicle registration fee that is supposed to be used by road work. Unfortunately, the money is never enough and every two years they're back, like clockwork, looking for more money. Voting "no" is the only way to break the cycle.


3 people like this
Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2015 at 7:01 pm

"We have voted for taxes over and over and it is never enough, so they keep coming back for more." That isn't an argument for rejecting future taxes, it just means that people aren't paying enough. They expect roads and transit to be free, but they aren't. The way to break the cycle is to pay enough to actually cover the real and full costs, but nobody has the guts to propose a tax that would do that, hence the nickel-and-diming.


26 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on May 20, 2015 at 7:35 pm

Wrong, Donald.

The way to break the cycle is to STOP giving the VTA a blank check and expecting them to use the money wisely. They need MUCH great oversight from an independent review body of county citizens, who would alert the public to the amount spent on each project and precisely how that money is spent.

They have proven that they can spend as much money as they can get. What they need to prove now is that they will spend the money in ways that they COMMUNITY wants, rather than follow the misguided whims of various social engineers whose lives are unaffected by their foolish decisions.


4 people like this
Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2015 at 9:25 pm

Nobody has ever given VTA a blank check. They have been given moldy crusts and survival rations and then they get critized for not producing a gourmet meal. VTA is the Congestion Management Agency for our county. If you cut them off you will get NOTHING at all in the way of traffic relief. That would be cutting off your nose to spite your face. It might make you feel good in the short term, but you would regret it in the long term.

What is your alternative? You really have none.


36 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 20, 2015 at 10:16 pm

Maybe Santa Clara county should be split into North and South for purposes of board representation and dollars allocated to the VTA? All VTA board members shall be elected and both North & South Santa Clara County shall have an equal number of elected board members.

Let's try to level the political playing field just a tad...you know, since North Santa Clara County residents are the ones getting skrewed by the dedicated BRT deal, and anyone with half a wit about them realizes this to be true.


7 people like this
Posted by Split VTA
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2015 at 10:23 pm

VTA's service to the north county stinks. This idea of having Congestion Management be done by the Transit Service Provider looks good on paper but just doesn't work. Santa Clara County is the only county in the state with this bizarre design.

Separately, the board of the county Transit Agency really should be elected and responsible directly to the voters. Once again, only in Santa Clara County do we have this weird unconstitutional structure where no city but San Jose has permanent voting power. Blatantly unamerican. Contrary to common sense.

Yep, VTA, TOO BIG TO CONTINUE, GOTTA FAIL IT.


6 people like this
Posted by @Old Steve
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2015 at 10:28 pm

VTA's special county sales taxes don't go to road maintenance. They go to transit and transit "improvements" like subsidizing the future cost of Bart operations between Warm Springs and San Jose. CIties pay for roads. Caltrans pays for freeways and State Routes like 82. VTA wants to undo the state paying for 82. Stupid VTA. County transportation funds specially designated as such are administered by VTA, but not by the transit division. 0.25% of the STATE portion of the sales tax is forwarded to the county for transportation (roadway) maintenance. This is separate from a locally approved 1.125% sales tax which all goes to VTA for their squandering pleasure, none on roads.


15 people like this
Posted by Moldy Crusts
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2015 at 2:52 am

VTA collects $500 Million worth of moldy crusts, each year.


7 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on May 21, 2015 at 10:19 pm

Moldy makes a very cogent point. We should be getting a LOT better service for half a BILLION dollars EVERY YEAR. It sounds like we should be getting a smorgasbord, not table scraps.


11 people like this
Posted by MVresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 22, 2015 at 9:41 pm

I saw this comment on another thread and feel like it represents a lot of the discussion going on here regarding development or lack of.
*******************
Restricting development is self-preservation. No, I don't hold any anger for this, even though it priced me out of the area.

I can remember when houses were being built all over the hillsides, and fortunately, people saw that the area would soon be covered with buildings and pavement and there would be no natural beauty left, at the rate things were going. They saved the Bay Area from developers who didn't care if the area lost what was left of it's beauty.

The SF Bay Area is not required to create housing for everyone who would like to live there. It would end up a mass of high rise construction, 100's of stories high, with impossible gridlock traffic - if you think it's bad now, what would it be like with wall-to-wall high rises? And what do you do with the waste?

And even if you allowed this, there will still be a point where no more can be built. And then what happens to the people who want to come then? Same story, in a way uglier environment.

Unless you are Bill Gates, you can't have everything you want. I would rather go visit a beautiful SF Bay Area, than live in an ugly one.

Anyone who gets so angry about this is like a two year old throwing himself on the floor in the grocery store because mommy said he can't have the candy he wants.
*************
All I can say is "hear hear".


6 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 24, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Are ECR lights currently timed?

Here is a multi step plan for VTA
1) Why can't the bus have a priority traffic light button. Not stopping at 10 light = over 20 minutes savings alone.
2) If cars are clogging the lanes, add a priory lane lights. Use those bright yellow pedestrian crosswalk LEDs and direct cars not to be in the lane. When the bus passes then allow the cars back in. This would work for the 522 and 22 buses also.

VTA pay some smart people to do a plan not a 1990 bus lane idea.


18 people like this
Posted by Thom
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 25, 2015 at 9:10 am

ECR is already subject to terrible congestion at many days commute times. Taking away a lane would result in that impassable congestion extending through all commute times.

I already take CalTrain to avoid ECR whenever I can. But, sometimes other commitments require me to use ECR - and this change would take it from bad to worse.


7 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 26, 2015 at 7:17 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

I'll keep saying this:

Invest in a few tickets and a preparation to see RTD's solution to the same problems. I have seen MANY EMPTY VTA trains and FEW EMPTY trains on RTD's Light Rail.
Quite a few RTD Light Rail trains USE THE SAME RIGHT-OF-WAY as regular trains do and everything is getting connected ( AMTRAK, RTD Bus and Light Rail ) at the old Union Station near one of the hottest real estate markets in Colorado.
The only problem for build-out of the original Light Rail system is that Buffet killed any more use of heavy railroad right-of-ways instead of giving them free of charge like the original owners of the trackage rights used to do.
The RTD bus lines serve ALL the people in Metro Denver; My wife took the Express line to commute to Downtown Denver where she worked. Our house is in Evergreen ( think Los Altos Hills without the expensive price tag ) at those buses are never empty. The same applies to Light Rail trains.
The RTD buses share the road and use HOV/TOLL roads that have barriers with access points; a TWO PERSON or MOTORCYCLE gets the HOV rights to use those roads. Denver's Colfax Avenue is the same as the ECR in the SFBA. BUILD ALONGSIDE is the rule. Even Downtown Denver has mixed Light Rail auto traffic usage.

You do not have to go to Europe to see a working system, just spend some of our hard earned money to TEACH these VTA chair-warmers ( and some MV " representatives of the people " ) by showing them a system that works. No, don't close off a lane of ECR. SHARE THE ROAD works for buses as well as cyclists.


18 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 26, 2015 at 10:41 pm

At tonight's (May 26) Mountain View City Council meeting, speakers from other cities including Cupertino reported the VTA and CalTrans had refused to prepare an EIR on the planned addition of a combined HOV and toll (rich man) lanes on Highway 85 and that three cities were filing a CEQA lawsuit this Friday. The news for Mountain View residents is that the additional lanes will end at Stevens Creek Blvd in Cupertino and not extend north toward 101. The result will be even more gridlock on 85 north of Stevens Creek in the morning. It well appears that the VTA is about enhancing its own income, power and longevity. Improving transportation is (at most) secondary. That much has been clear from its VTA bus-only lanes project.


12 people like this
Posted by vta stinkage
a resident of another community
on May 27, 2015 at 2:24 am

Note that when it suits VTA, they claim the added mixed use lanes for express and HOV purposes will also allow them to operate BRT on 85. That's the final connection to the fantasy on El Camino Real in Mountain View. How come shared use works on 85 and doesn't on ECR? Follow the MONEY. VTA is out to get fed funds and pump up the empire any which way they can.

End the VTA conspiracies.... Please?


3 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 2, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Not sure if anyone said this, but if the city engineers would coordinate the traffic signals to the flow of traffic, there would be no problem. But we all must stop at every single light, and waste 2 or 3 min burning fuel.


5 people like this
Posted by Outside observer
a resident of another community
on Jun 2, 2015 at 3:34 pm

The BRT program has upgraded signal coordination. Lots more people will move along el Camino than today.


11 people like this
Posted by Non sequitur
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm

When the BRT vehicles are running at 10% capacity, speeding them up doesn't move more people along. It doesn't matter how fast they go. You're diverting personal auto traffic to other routes. That reduces the people moving along El Camino Real. You're making it less convenient to take the local bus service serving El Camino Real because it will slow down and run fewer buses per hour. That makes people look for alternatives. That reduces the number of people.

That is, unless you simply do BRT service in the existing curb lane, and allow things otherwise to stay as they are. You can make the curb lane an HOV lane during the hours of 4 to 6 pm, and get ALL the benefit of a dedicate lane plus make interconnections between 22 and 522 more convenient. Overall speed of travel isn't a major issue for the amount of improvement that the signal coordination can add, but go ahead, do that too, just with the curb lane.


4 people like this
Posted by Outside observer
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2015 at 2:39 pm

The alternative you talk about will provide minimal to no improvement in public transit. Only a dedicated lane will do so.

It's interesting to drive along 85 and peer into the windows of cars using the HOV lanes. Many, many single driver and no passengers. No clean air access tag either. During peak rush hour, people get frustrated with the gridlock so they break the law.... And then the HOV lane gets slow too.

Having a bus/shuttle lane will greatly increase ridership which will increase number of people moving along el camino. It will not happen overnight, but major infrastructure improvements like this take years to achieve their full potential.


14 people like this
Posted by Recall Rosenberg/Showalter
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 3, 2015 at 2:51 pm

VTA is dead in MV. Recall their corrupt stooges Rosenberg and Showalter.
BRT will never be tolerated except in the minds of the people who's jobs depend on this horrible and ill-conceived plan of desperation.


5 people like this
Posted by BRT Starts Jan 2016
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2015 at 2:56 pm

IF dedicated lanes are needed for BRT to work, then why has VTA scheduled service to begin Eastridge to Palo Alto in January of 2016? Between Eastridge and the Arena, they are adding 3 miles worth of dedicated lane, but all the rest is forever shared.

So, BRT can work without dedicated lanes. They're rushing agreements to accept lane dedications in Mountain View because they don't want everyone to SEE THIS WORKING!


6 people like this
Posted by BRT Starts Jan 2016
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Another interesting factoid: VTA was originally scheduled to start BRT service to Mountain View this Spring, but they slipped the scheduled. How convenient, to promote their desire to dedicate a lane....


9 people like this
Posted by Recall Rosenberg/Showalter
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 3, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Exactly. If BRT will ONLY work with dedicated lanes, then it is doomed to failure because the route would have ZERO dedicated lanes except for a tiny fraction of the total. This tiny fraction would severely impact the citizens of MV and is simply not needed. The facts prove this. BRT will either work w/out dedicated lanes or will fail because if dedicated lanes EARE needed, they do not exist anywhere except the proposed 3 miles in MV.


11 people like this
Posted by not an economist
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 4, 2015 at 2:40 pm

at OUtside oberver.

"Having a bus/shuttle lane will greatly increase ridership which will increase number of people moving along el camino. It will not happen overnight, but major infrastructure improvements like this take years to achieve their full potential."

Total nonsense. Bus travel is an inferior good used mostly by low income people. As the income of the area rises, demand for public transportation will decline.


8 people like this
Posted by @Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2015 at 7:04 pm

oh my gosh. No one pointed out that you are too outside to know what's going on. The dedicate lane is not proposed to serve shuttles, neither the Community Shuttle for Mountain View nor any future shuttles operated by others. This is a lane dedicates solely to buses which make virtually no stops, like BRT does. There are only 2 designated BRT stop locations in the entire 4 mile length of El Camino Real in Mountain View. Being that the lane is along the median, adding stops is non-trivial. No shuttles fit in with VTA's plans.

Now if you make an HOV lane by the curve with restricted use at peak times, like 4 pm till 6pm, then shuttles and VTA workhorse service like 22 could also make use of the HOV lane. That would be better, but it's not one of VTA's listed options. "VTA" = Very Troubled Agency. Just say not to VTA. That's the better way.

The future for the riders is in local shuttles and carpool like uses such as UberX. These modalities deserve equal treatment to any very expensive options like VTA's "Rapid" thingies.


5 people like this
Posted by @Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Make that an HOV lane by the curb, rather than a dedicated lane by the median. This will work much better, and be much less expensive to add. See Lawrence Expressway for your example of HOV in the slow/turn lane.


6 people like this
Posted by Outside observer
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2015 at 8:46 pm

@ "not an economist” you said "Bus travel is an inferior good used mostly by low income people. As the income of the area rises, demand for public transportation will decline. “

As the population and density of the area grows, there will be an increasing number of service personnel who may not be able to afford a personal automobile, so will be more reliant on buses. With an aging population of long term residents, there will be increased number of senior riders. Since no more automobile lanes may be added to El Camino, there will be an increased need to travel unimpeded by a wall of unmoving automobiles. So, it seems the need is certainly growing.

@ "@Outside Observer” you said "oh my gosh. No one pointed out that you are too outside to know what's going on. The dedicate lane is not proposed to serve shuttles, neither the Community Shuttle for Mountain View nor any future shuttles operated by others.”

Well, I’m not too far an outsider to have watched the Mountain View City Council meeting video and heard from VTA themselves that they would be open to allowing corporate ran shuttles to use the bus lane. I think VTA is just trying to solve a difficult transportation problem on the very important El Camino highway. Shuttles have the advantage of moving lots of people in a small amount of space, which would be compatible with the VTA’s mission, as far as I see it. Does that mean that every single privately ran shuttle would have immediate access? Of course not. But is it so hard to believe that a reasonable number of strategically selected shuttles that move a lot of people could be considered? Absolutely.

"Make that an HOV lane by the curb, rather than a dedicated lane by the median. This will work much better, and be much less expensive to add."

I’m not sure what you mean by “work much better”. A bus in the median lane with coordinated lights can go as fast as it needs along El Camino making it truly a rapid transportation option. Having to share the right lane with hundreds of other vehicles with only two (or more) people in them (or an affluent sole driver with an expensive electric car), would significantly slow down bus service. Amateur drivers texting, lane jumping, turning... Very, very slow....


3 people like this
Posted by High School Graduates and Google
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2015 at 12:40 am

These lawyers are amusing. Yeah, sure, MVLA graduates are a BIG SOURCE of employees for Google. Kids just love to stick around their home town and work for a High Tech Employer they can reach by bicycle from their parents house after they finish college. Google really focuses on hiring workers who graduate from high school near to their HQ, so long as they also complete college.


5 people like this
Posted by Glad you agree
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 5, 2015 at 1:12 pm

"Having to share the right lane with hundreds of other vehicles with only two (or more) people in them (or an affluent sole driver with an expensive electric car), would significantly slow down bus service. Amateur drivers texting, lane jumping, turning... Very, very slow...."

So there you have it. Since there will be ONLY 3-4 miles of dedicated lane, ONLY in MV. BRT will not work. It will be "Very, very, slow..." as stated above

They are admitting it themselves now. All that damage to MV's infrastructure and quality of life, all those established trees ripped up and gone for good, all for nothing. This is why it is the dumbest idea to cross MV for quite a while.


4 people like this
Posted by What?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 5, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Glad you agree? makes no sense. The dedicated bus lane is proposed to go from SJ - PA. Will the entire route get approved in this go around? Have to wait and find out....

The shared lane concept is active now and is very, very slow. Already been tested and is an obvious failure.

It's going to be so ironic when the project gets built and is a success. The status quo trolls on this website will have pie in their face once again.


5 people like this
Posted by Glad you agree
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 5, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Well, yah, except every other city has slammed the door in the face of VTA's proposal, and if they didn't buy off the corruptible in the MV City Council, MV would have said no as well. Well, actually MV did say no when they voted, but that corruption issue caught us off guard.

Every city knows it is a RIDICULOUS idea and thus sent VTA packing when they came to ask. That happened.
So is VTA going to force every city to do what none of them want to do?
Yah, lets see how that works out for them.


4 people like this
Posted by Bus Advocate
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 5, 2015 at 2:32 pm

The above poster demonstrates EXACTLY why these anti-bus, anti-poor ingrates hold no credibility.

They wrote:

"Well, yah, except every other city has slammed the door in the face of VTA's proposal..."
and
"Every city knows it is a RIDICULOUS idea and thus sent VTA packing when they came to ask. That happened."

Every other city said 'no'???

Santa Clara said Yes!
San Jose said Yes!

The fact that you don't know this is proof of ignorance of how out of touch you are. Nobody with the least bit of intelligence would respect the opinion of people that write such obvious falsities.

Your charges of corruption are unsubstantiated. More proof of incompetence.

When only the unintelligent argue against a project, that is even a stronger demonstration of it's validity. So, keep talkin'! The more you talk, the better BRT looks!


8 people like this
Posted by Bus Advocate Also
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2015 at 4:07 pm

San Jose controls VTA so they made sure they got no lanes taken away for BRT. Then they said yes. Get real.


3 people like this
Posted by Recaller
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 5, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Quit trying to find some minute error in someone's post that you think will somehow make everyone think this is a good idea. I agree. Get real.


5 people like this
Posted by Bus Advocate
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 5, 2015 at 5:01 pm

"Minute Error"???!!!! The poster said that every city is against it!!!! When, in fact, most SC cities with a significant investment in El Camino are for it. Factor in the cities' population counts and we see there is OVERWHELMING support for the dedicated lane.

The anti-bussers arguments are so full of holes, outright factual errors and lies that it must be embarrassing for the few intelligent anti-bussers that oppose thr project on simply a greed basis.


3 people like this
Posted by Will it or won't it?
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 5, 2015 at 5:03 pm

So how will BRT work without designated lanes in all those other cities and why can't it work like that in MV?
It will either work without designated lanes or it will not. Which is it?

If it will work without the designated lane, great, ditch the lane idea.

If it won't work without the designated lane, then it is doomed, unless VTA somehow finds a way to shove it down the throats of the unwilling cities and all their citizens.

So, really, which it is?


3 people like this
Posted by BRT Starts Jan 2016
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Just remember. Project #1 for BRT was the 522 route from Eastridge to the Arena in San Jose. That took no lanes away from traffic. It's been delayed and drawn out but it is due to begin operation as soon as January 2016. At that point, the BRT vehicles will run from Eastridge to Palo Alto CalTrain. This is the situation. Get Real. Lane dedications aren't part of the picture in that time frame.

What is happening between now and January 2016 is the completion of a short 3 mile stretch of added lane along one section of the 14 mile scope of BRT Project #1. Project #1 covers 522's route from Eastridge to the Arena, about 14 miles. 522 stops at 4 places in downtown San Jose will be eliminated. New fancy stations will be constructed at the remaining stops of Project #1 complete with $100K ticket vending machines. Them's the facts, ma'am. Oh, and they also jazzed up the Eastridge Transit Center. That part is done.


5 people like this
Posted by Yep
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2015 at 8:47 pm

BRT has already started. Of course, like all great projects, it is multi-phased over years. The controversial dedicated lane option from Santa Clara to PA is in the proposal/planning stage. As was previously written, most cities have signed off on it so we can expect some big improvements on our part of El Camino in the next few years.


6 people like this
Posted by "Most Cities"
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2015 at 12:30 am

The dedicated lanes proposed in BRT Project #2 were originally just Santa Clara. Then they tried to coerce Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Los Altos and Palo Alto into participation. They got considerable push back about this. Right now not even Santa Clara is in favor of lane dedications in their city. See Web Link for a perspective. Also Web Link

NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS supports indiscriminate plans to needlessly remove traffic lanes from service on El Camino Real.


6 people like this
Posted by BRT bad idea everywhere
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2015 at 12:38 am

See this article too: Web Link

BRT not popular anywhere it's being pushed in the Bay Area regarding taking traffic lanes. "Bus rapid transit uses long buses with low floors and extra doors. They stop at evenly spaced stations that are bigger and fancier than bus stops. The buses sneak through stoplights using onboard technology that gives them priority. The most efficient BRT systems use exclusive lanes - at least on congested stretches."

Seems like the only ones likely to move along are the ones without the dedicated lanes. There's good reason for this. These thoroughfares are currently serving a vast amount of traffic in their local areas, not a lot of traffic likely to benefit from so called "rapid" movement between 2-mile apart "fancier" bus stations. Without addressing the need for traveling between points not among the designated "fancier" bus stations, the idea stinks.


6 people like this
Posted by Defund VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 6, 2015 at 6:56 am

We need to cut the legs off VTA now. Any tax increase or bond that will go to them gets a No vote.


7 people like this
Posted by Incorrect
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 6, 2015 at 9:33 am

The links provided above that claim to show massive opposition and failure of BRT in Santa Clara and other areas of the country actually show the opposite.

The Santa Clara piece is merely the same level of griping and complaining that we have here in MV. Where is the official statement from SC's council removing support? Doesn't exist. The petition against it in MV still has less than 1% of MV's population as signatures. (Of course that assumed that these unconfirmed/invalidated signatures are legit, which most are likely not.)

The other links talk about the slowness of approval in SF and some local neighborhood opposition.... Again, no broad sweeping fight against it, as one would expect of a significant part of the city objected.

One article shows how quickly BRT is being built in Chicago and LA! But, one has to actually READ the article beyond the first few paragraphs

Nice try anti-busser! All you did was show the reality that most people around the country are either supportive or at least neutral on BRT. Don't worry. This will all be over soon when the dedicated lane gets approved. Then you can go back to your favorite pastime of getting taxpayers to fund private charter schools for their wealthy children.




3 people like this
Posted by The fundamental flaw exposed
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 6, 2015 at 2:24 pm

So I guess BRT will not work in SJ, Sunnyvale or Palo Alto. No designated lanes there, and OBVIOUSLY we MUST have designated lanes in order for it tow work. Or must we?
Hmmm. That question keeps getting dodged.


3 people like this
Posted by Santa Clara
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Santa Clara never OK'd taking a traffic lane for BRT. They don't need to change their minds.


7 people like this
Posted by Bus Advocate
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 6, 2015 at 5:41 pm

Let's review the latest fallacy from the small, yet annoying anti-bus coalition:

@Santa Clara wrote, "Santa Clara never OK'd taking a traffic lane for BRT. They don't need to change their minds."

This is an absolutely perfect example of why the anti-bussers should not be taken seriously. It is documented fact that, I quote, "Santa Clara's City Council voted unanimously to support the dedicated lane configuration—not exactly a surprise as the Santa Clara General Plan calls for dedicated transit lanes on El Camino Real."
This happened back on 2012!

With San Jose, Santa Clara and Mountain View supporting the dedicated lane, it's just a matter of time to get it approved. Even Sunnyvale barely rejected the proposal on a tight 4-3 vote.

Great project that has broad city support! Can't wait to see get it going!


3 people like this
Posted by Santa Clara
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Hey you alleged Cuesta Park resident, your knowledge of Santa Clara politics is not very impressive. El Camino does already support mass transit up and down the county. That's nothing new. But back in 2012, the BRT project was a dim illusion. Santa Clara took no vote to support dedicating lanes in 2018. The lane dedication is very much an issue in the current Santa Clara elections. We'll see who gets elected. The chamber of commerce there doesn't seem to think it's been yet decided.


16 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 6, 2015 at 8:26 pm

No one commeting online is "anti-bus" - just anti-waste and anti-con job. It would be a grave waste of space to reserve an entire lane on El Camino for (at most) one bus every 10 minutes (about 3 miles). Moreover, boarding some ("rapid transit") buses in center islands adds to cross- traffic delays and is an affront (not a plus) to bus riders. But we all understand that some persons are "pro-bus" in that they get paid to promote VTA projects, inclding its bus lanes, 24-7. The VTA Board may not be so foolish as to rubber-stamp the bus-only lanes. We shall see. Stay tuned.


3 people like this
Posted by No lane Needed
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 8, 2015 at 10:19 am

Well BRT will not work unless there is a dedicated lane...except where there won't be a dedicated lane, then it'll work fine. With that knowledge MV should opt of of the designated lane and look forward to a successful BRT.


5 people like this
Posted by Conehead
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 8, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Good news!! The cone-off-a-lane test is a go! There is construction on El Camino south of Castro that has closed the lane, which is the perfect opportunity!

I drove by it this morning during rush hour and now. Unfortunately, it appears NOT to have impeded traffic, even though the lane was closed!!! Where is the gridlock?

I don't understand it! I was told that closing a lane to automobiles would result in the most dire consequences!! Since that has not happened, I need to re-think my whole position on the dedicated lane. Preliminary results of the cone test plus the forecasting model VTA is using appear to invalidate the "gut instinct" and "common sense" based theories we have been relying on in the opposition camp.

Definitely food for thought...


25 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 8, 2015 at 1:06 pm

Nah, if we really want to get a whiff of what's to come...let's cone off the far left lanes each directions of ECR from 85 to Showers Drive 24/7 for 30 consecutive days. Left turns will only be allowed onto/off of Grant Road, Castro Street, Shoreline Blvd, Rengstorff & Showers. Anywhere else and you must figure another way to get to your destination.

Let's do wit.

Of course we aren't able to simulate the loss of the 286 trees along the median strip of ECR, but just pretend.


10 people like this
Posted by Recall Rosenberg/Showalter
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 8, 2015 at 2:07 pm

A designated lane is CLEARLY not needed for BRT to succeed. If BRT will work in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale Santa Clara and San Jose without a designated lane, MV dose not need it either.

BRT does not need dedicated lanes to work. If it does, then it is domed to fail since so many cities along the route have said NO to VTA's stupid proposal of a designated lane


10 people like this
Posted by Recall Rosenberg/Showalter
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 8, 2015 at 2:15 pm

The trees that line MV's section of ECR make it much nicer that the stagnant treeless areas of ECR. It add to the likability/livability for the residents...a reason why many love this town.

Don't let VTA turn our "Tree Proud" town into another barren section of gridlocked asphalt.
really, is there ANYTHING that is right about this project? It's like VTA has lost it's communal mind. I guess the tech companies must have hired all the thinkers in the area.


7 people like this
Posted by action now
a resident of Slater
on Jun 26, 2015 at 2:16 pm

one word: recall


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Sylvan Park

on Sep 26, 2017 at 9:50 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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