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Editorial: Timing's right to exercise political might

Original post made on Aug 21, 2015

Momentum is growing among cities in the northern part of Santa Clara County to seize an opportunity arising from the potential transportation tax measure on the November 2016 ballot. With recently compiled data showing that nearly 80 percent of the revenue generated since 2000 by the two voter-approved transportation taxes is funding the extension of BART to San Jose through the East Bay, Mountain View and 10 other cities are joining forces to ensure that a bigger piece of the tax-revenue pie is divvied up to support North County projects.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 21, 2015, 12:00 AM

Comments (44)

Posted by VOTE NO
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 21, 2015 at 8:19 am

Top of the list:

Absolutely NO to ANY VTA tax increase. Please do not even consider it unless or until the El Camino Real dedicated lane BRT lane grab through Mountain View is OFF THE TABLE!

Posted by I'll Vote NO
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 21, 2015 at 8:40 am

Absolutely no more money for VTA. It is a suck-hole of waste and is working its hardest to ruin MV's quality of life with the El Camino/BTR center lane take-over and tree removals.

Please vote NO for Mountain View!

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 21, 2015 at 10:14 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

In my personal opinion, I completely agree with "VOTE NO". The timing is right to exercise political might, but not to approve yet another wasteful tax increase where there is no accountability. Hopefully voters have learned from the fiasco with the so-called "High Speed Rail" project that these ballot initiatives are nothing more than ways to set up slush funds to be used any way that the sponsors want as was demonstrated when the State Supreme Court allowed the HSR project to proceed despite the fact that it failed to meet the standards for funding and accountability that were promised ( Web Link ). That court decision basically means that any promises made in ballot tax initiatives are essentially meaningless.

There is also that fact that one of our representatives has stated that Mountain View had to agree to support the BRT lanes or we "woiuld not have a seat at the table" when the decision on BRT lanes was made. If that is true, then it indicates to me that the VTA is willing to use hardball tactics to get its way. Why should we as taxpayers trust an organization that uses such tactics. Especially when we know that the money will be used to force projects down our throats that we don't want, don't need, and that will make life harder for most of us.

I hope that by now, taxpayers are tired of being used as ATM machines by organizations that are poorly run and have to be subsidized because they cannot provide a market priced product or service on their own. Exercise your political might and say "Heck No!" to any VTA sponsored tax increases.

Jim Neal
Resident Old Mountain View

Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2015 at 9:46 am

I strongly oppose another sales tax increase. The proponents are hoping to sucker those of modest means into raising their taxes once again, despite the fact that voters have already done so multiple times. 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. Each increase by itself does not amount to much, say a half-cent, but the cumulative effect is to add to the unaffordability of the region.

Before increasing taxes YET AGAIN, waste needs to be removed from transportation projects. For example, VTA needs to eliminate waste and “gold plating” of the BART extension’s cost 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.

Why don’t the wealthy high-rollers in Carl Guardino's “Leadership Group” suggest taxing their rich companies that create the congestion, and leave the little guy alone for a change?

Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 23, 2015 at 8:40 am

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

What a thinly veiled attempt to get more $. If mis-allocation is truly the issue it can and should be resolved without needing more $.

Not only a very big NO but where can I sign up to promote and ensure this does NOT pass?

Posted by Agreed
a resident of Jackson Park
on Aug 23, 2015 at 6:46 pm

I completely agree with the above posters that not enough money is spent on transit in the north county. However, I do think that improvements to commuting into the South Bay general area will benefit north county too. More people on BART will mean fewer on the roads coming into the area which will help.

Let's fully fund transit and if that means it is necessary to raise the sales tax, then let's do it.

Posted by Scott
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 23, 2015 at 11:36 pm

Except the BART stations are going where the jobs aren't. Commuters are going from the East Bay to Menlo Park and Mountain View.

Instead, BART loops into mostly San Jose/Santa Clara sprawl and down to the airport. There's ZERO reason for BART to be connected to 3 separate Airports. Certainly not while transit gaps remain everywhere else.

Pretend BART does what it should've in the first place and extends to Mountain View+. There's no way you can go from the East Bay to your job in the South in a timeframe that beats/matches the time spent in your car.

I'm all for jobs programs and revitalizing San Jose, but it's coming at a serious impact to everyone else. This is a WISH extensions: build it and hope enough companies relocate to San Jose to boost the economy.

Posted by @Scott
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2015 at 12:01 am

What you do not seem to understand is that there are quite a few east bay commuters that commute into Santa Clara County that would be helped by the BART extension. They use the same roads as the east bayers use to get into Mountain View. I know it's hard to understand since you don't live in the East Bay.

Building a comprehensive transportation network overnight is simply not possible. Especially with all the nickel-diming NIMBY's.

Posted by NO on transit tax
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 24, 2015 at 9:08 am

We have given enough time and time again. VTA needs to scale back administrative costs and it can fund things under their current budget.
We have voted for past taxes,...nickle and dimed to death by VTA and all we have to show for it is a proposal to rip MV's trees on ECR and remove a lane.
Now they want more money from us? Laughably insulting.

Posted by Scott
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 24, 2015 at 11:13 am

I get that. I am pro-transit, pro-building, etc. My point is: there are ZERO jobs where BART is going. Yet the areas where the jobs ARE (right now) are getting no attention. They're a massive traffic jam. Indeed, you are even right--Easy Bay people need to get to the South Bay. The thing is, South Bay jobs are literally ALL along the 101. Why isn't the BART extension going to the 237/101? Because San Jose VTA reps see this as a means to boosting the economy in their districts.

The reason to oppose the tax is not NIMBY-ism, it's lack of credibility. I am surrounded by transit problems that need to be addressed and I have no reason to believe that my tax revenue will find its way to solving even one of them.

Posted by wolfie
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Aug 24, 2015 at 11:54 am

On a related subject, the Bus Rapid Transit project in east San Jose shows what we can look forward to if BRT comes to Mountain View. Article from Metro newspaper: Web Link

Posted by VOTE NO
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 24, 2015 at 3:54 pm

VTA has not used our money wisely in the past. They need to show us that they can be responsible with what we currently give them in taxes. They need to fix our roads and put BART on the back burner for awhile.

Posted by MVWoman
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 24, 2015 at 4:55 pm

The VTA Board is looking to increase the economy in their specific areas - and that DOESN'T include Mountain View. I will vote against this tax increase - and I will WORK to inform others to vote against this increase. The VTA has absolutely no regard for the desires of the public. For instance, they continue to push their hare-brained idea to remove all the trees and TWO lanes on El Camino, to grovel for more federal dollars for their other projects. They know this lane-grab will cause hideous traffic jams and massive transfer of traffic to streets from Central Expressway to Foothill Expressway, and they don't care. They are hoping they can bully the public into sitting at bus stops and riding their infrequent busses - though there is no transportation from their bus stops to where people really need to go. Who is going to carry groceries, packages, etc. and struggle to take the bus? The world has changed - and they would be wise to see the freeways are what need help in our area. If they do not REMOVE (in writing) any plan to grab auto lanes from El Camino - this is a huge NO GO.

Posted by The Point
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2015 at 5:43 pm

I agree that BART might help us a tad, but not the subway to San Jose and Santa Clara! That is what the vote us about, An Additional FOUR BILLION ( more likely it will cost 6 to 8 billion). No one from Fremont or north in the East Bay will take BART looping down to San Jose to reach Mountain View! There wad a plan for a railway link to Menlo Park. No where near 4 billion, but scrapped.

Posted by BART and Mountain View
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Hey, keep in mind that as Palo Alto has observed, more of the jobs in the county are located in the North than in the south. Helping fix North County traffic and transit bottlenecks will help San Jose residents too! A heck of a lot of them work up here. Stupid approaches like BRT on El Camino aren't the answer. They just waste more money. Better service on Caltrain could really help people coming from San Jose, including improved connections and service from VTA *at both ends* of the Caltrain route. Trying to supplant CalTrain with more expensive to construct and operate and SLOWER alternative service just makes no sense, even if that service is faster than the current bus service. Faster isn't the goalpost. It has to be as fast at least as the current Caltrain options, and those can be sped up as well! Caltrian is about twice as fast already as the current FASTEST estimate of BRT service with a dedicated lane.

And car traffic is a problem for buses as well as car, especially on the freeway. VTA already offers express bus service which is also as fast as BRT, but that will get slowed down if they don't fix freeway issues. The shouldn't be talking adding toll lanes before they talk adding good bus service on the freeway, especially 85.

Posted by VTA Info
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2015 at 6:54 pm

VTA has messed up the BRT first phase originally planned to open earlier this year, big time. See this expose: Web Link

They really don't know what they are doing. Can you imagine the utility relocation issues along El Camino Real in Mountain View? One lane has fiber optic cables from 5 different vendors running through it. This is the fast lane southbound, just where they want to put in a dedicated lane. Ouch!

Posted by Source?
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Aug 24, 2015 at 8:32 pm

I have read several comments that all of the jobs in Santa Clara county are In the North County.

#1: what is the definition of "north county"?
#2: How many jobs are there in North County compared to the rest of the county?
#3: what is the housing/jobs ratio of the North County vs the rest?

Let's have the numbers AND sources please.

Posted by @Source?
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2015 at 10:05 pm

Why would you doubt it? What is YOUR source? I do count Cupertino in the North County, though some call it West County.

Posted by Scott
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 24, 2015 at 11:11 pm

Jobs/hiring are along the 101 / Caltrain / and el casino real (with Apple in North Cupertino). This is the artery to/from the city.

Not sure what your point is, mr. internet skeptic, but google for yourself a map of who's hiring / where they're located. Obviously you should focus on tech jobs; no doubt your contrarian nature would otherwise bring you back here holding up job postings for gas station attendants in San Jose or some garbage.

Posted by Source?
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Aug 24, 2015 at 11:45 pm

"Why would you doubt it? What is YOUR source?"

Source for what? I'm not the one making claims that all of the employment is in the so-called "North County".

"I do count Cupertino in the North County, though some call it West County."

Oh, I see. So "North County" is everywhere but San Jose. Thanks for clarifying.


"Not sure what your point is, mr. internet skeptic, but google for yourself a map of who's hiring / where they're located." myself a hiring map? Why don't you post a google query that does exactly that. Oh, your neighborhood is Monta Loma... Nevermind!

"Obviously you should focus on tech jobs;"

Oh, obviously! Because commuters only work in tech companies. Sigh... Monta Loma... :(

It seems that this line of criticism is merely anti-transit rhetoric without any factual basis.

Posted by Census Data
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2015 at 12:02 am

The Census ACS data for 2006-2010 provides some input on this. For 6 North County places (Stanford, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Sunnyvale and Cupertino), the total population is 40% of San Jose's. Similar for their number of employed people in residence. But the total number of workers working in the places was 74% of who works in San Jose. San Jose has 5 permanent seats on the VTA board, out of 12. These 6 north county places right now have only 2 seats, 1 of which is actually from Los Altos Hills

So, it's all how view fairness. If the North County places have 40% of the population of San Jose, then having 2 votes might be right. But if you look at the number of jobs, then the 6 north county places should have 75% as many votes, or 4 votes.

There are other cities in the county. Sunnyvale is grouped with Milpitas and Santa Clara in rotation of voting memberships. The other rotations seem to change, but other cities to factor into the county total include Campbell, Saratoga, Morgan Hill and Gilroy.

San Jose is always claiming to have all the population that matters to fully dominate the VTA operations. But it's not really true when you look at jobs. San Jose in 2010 had 384,000 jobs. The 6 North County places had a total of 285,000 jobs. The point is that the commute to work in the 6 North County places is every bit as important as the commute to work in San Jose. San Jose wields too much power in VTA and focuses on BART for its own jobs. BART is not going to bring many workers at all to work in the 6 North County places described above.

Posted by And more..
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2015 at 1:27 am

The North County cities are creating the problem by allowing large office expansions without a corresponding expansion in housing. I can see from the point of view of the board that since the problem is being created by the North County, then they should solve that problem for themselves. Otherwise, what incentive will there be for the "Northies" to regulate their own growth? Contrast that to San Jose who is actually providing much more housing.

It goes beyond this though. Given the expense of property in North County and the unwillingness of it's residents to scale housing to the demand, office development is going to get harder and harder. So, San Jose has been mobilizing to encourage office expansion in it's relatively housing-rich area. (Perhaps that is what is partly driving the investment in the BART extension? )

We should increase investment in all areas of our transit and transportation systems. CalTrain electrification, BART continuing extensions, BRT, Toll lanes, etc... Let's not nickel and dime these projects, but fully support them and increase this investment as much as possible.

Posted by NO on transit tax
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 25, 2015 at 7:11 am

I think it's hilarious that VTA has come begging from the the communities they gave a very aggressive middle finger to.
Now they have their east coast/late night shill trying to whitewash everything and say how nice and great and helpful VTA is...almost as if the massive failures of their past projects does not even count.
$ for VTA is money to be spent on MV tree removal.

Giving money to VTA is like paying someone to take over 1/3 of your house and remove all your trees.

Posted by Census Data
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2015 at 8:18 pm

I think the point is that San Jose has no monopoly on jobs and yet San Jose is also already full of jobs that depend on commuters. See my post above for hard data from the ACS of the Census regarding jobs. Here's some more facts:

For 6 North County places (Stanford, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Sunnyvale and Cupertino), the total of workers resident is 180,000 yet their job base provides 285,000 jobs. So they have a SHORTFALL of 105,000 workers definitely needing housing elsewhere. Sounds terrible, eh? But look at San Jose. 434,000 workers resident and 384,000 jobs in their job base. So, they smell great, right? Yet San Jose has only 230,000 workers who live AND work in the city. San Jose depends on other cities for housing of 154,000 workers, i.e. needing housing elsewhere.

So the hard data says BEFORE JOB GROWTH, as of 2010, BOTH San Jose and the North/West end of the county depending heavily on commuting to operate their job base. The data doesn't tell us how many people live in Palo Alto and work in Mountain View. But, as a group, these 6 North/West county cities have 105,000/285,000 or 37% definitely needing housing elsewhere. For San Jose, we have data that says 154,000/384,000 (40%) definitely do reside in other cities.

Arguably the situation is about the same.

So why the heck are all the commute improvement efforts focused on San Jose?

This is real data that can't be argued with. BART as a subway is a poor allocation of resources, when it means the VTA spends almost none of the sales tax revenue on north county commute improvement.

Posted by Truth uncovered
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2015 at 9:40 pm

You just explained why San Jose is being prioritized for BART.

"But, as a group, these 6 North/West county cities have 105,000/285,000 or 37% definitely needing housing elsewhere. For San Jose, we have data that says 154,000/384,000 (40%) definitely do reside in other cities."

By your own analysis, there are 100.000 MORE commuters coming into San Jose than North County. It just makes sense to build up transit to and from this large city that has a lot of housing, jobs and an international airport.

North County is getting a lot of transit dollars spent. CalTrain cost a LOT of money to improve service for he hi-tech workers going between SF and MV. The roads are massively expensive and have a "farebox recovery" of ZERO PERCENT, far below buses and trains.

Thanks for combing through the census data to help uncover the truth.

Posted by Scott
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 25, 2015 at 10:11 pm

LOLOLOLOL what's this "sigh Monta Loma"? It's one of the cheapest neighborhoods in mountain view. I'm so fancy.

If you are not a tech company, you cannot afford commercial rent down here. Rest assured, the 84 is not clogged with accountants.

People are not coming to the South Bay so they can cram into San Jose. They're commuting to the all-consuming tech giants or they're going to startups. None of which are in San Jose in any meaningful way.

I'm pro-transit. I also support building in San Jose. But I expect my problems to be addressed too. There's a mile of bumper to bumper traffic on Rengstorff during both rush hours. It's there because traffic lights are screwed up with Caltrain. All the money that could fix that is tied up in the bart extension.

None of the money in the tax increase would address it, either.

Posted by Fake Truth
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2015 at 11:08 pm

Yeah, in this case "prioritized" is just a term for "discriminated in favor of". There's no need to serve one part of the county to the exclusion of any other part. Services should be pro-rated. Caltrain serves San Jose too, and Santa Clara County only provides a fraction of the overall service. Most of the spending on Caltrain has been promised by state High Speed Rail proposals, which heavily depend on access to the Caltrain-owned right of way. Caltrain electrification is a ways away, but it is funded.

What is not funded is tunnels for Caltrain through North County cities. That is about as important as undergrounding BART through downtown San Jose. But Caltrain is in service serving many many riders today, with expectations of increasing use.

Interestingly, Caltrain costs about as much per passenger mile to operate as does VTA's average service. However, Caltrain gets 55% farebox recovery from passengers. VTA gets 11%. The sales tax dollars subsidize VTA 5 times as much as Caltrain, so don't rag on Caltrain. Caltrain isn't getting much from VTA, not compared to bus riders. And in this case, we are talking about capital improvement dollars, as in, to build a "big dig" subway project through downtown San Jose soaking up billions and billions of dollars for service which is not even needed.

Posted by Oops.
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2015 at 11:31 pm

The words from "Fake Truth" demonstrate significant ignorance in how government works.

At the county-level, monies are collected for projects and services. They go where they are needed most. If that temporarily excludes the most wealthy of cities in the county, so be it. At the city level, monirs are collected and are spent for the benefit of that particular city.

Posted by Oopsie
a resident of another community
on Aug 26, 2015 at 12:54 am

That kind of attitude is why the VTA-requested ADDITIONAL SALES TAX measure is DOOMED to failure. There were false statements about the spending for the last sales tax measure but at least they took the subway extension beneath downtown San Jose out of the plan. It was EXCLUDED from that sales tax. Meanwhile the potential cost for BART subway work has ballooned, but VTA has returned to the trough for more feeding, even before the Berryessa/Flea Market station has opened for service.

NO MORE MONEY VTA. Enough is enough.

Posted by That's odd
a resident of another community
on Aug 26, 2015 at 8:59 am

Strange... You mean that major transit projects often go over initial budget estimates? How shocking!

In private industry, this NEVER happens, oh no.

It's funny to read the specious arguments against building up a robust transit network. Fortunately, most elected leaders, their appointees and the voting population can see through these lies.

Posted by I'm voting NO for transit tax
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 26, 2015 at 10:55 am

I agree that the VTA should get no more additional tax monies or bonds. I plan on voting no for any such measure.
Too many failed projects and manipulation of MV's city council sealed their fate.
VTA had a plan
to sneak their puppets into the City Council, but like every plan VTA comes up with, it will not work out the way they want...just like every single big project they ask money for.
Not this time VTA. You need to refocus, retool and come back with real ideas if you want any votes from the North County towns you seem to either ignore or take advantage of, depending on what VTA needs.

Posted by Support transit
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 26, 2015 at 11:47 am

I was undecided on this issue, but after reading the data presented above, I do think that we need to complete the San Jose BART extension. If more funding is needed, then so be it. We have a relatively narrow opportunity to invest in big programs like this while the economy is good. Strike while the iron is hot!

Vote yes!

Posted by Jules
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Aug 26, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Unfortunately, the need for good transit is being addressed by a failed bureaucracy. Light Rail was the last big VTA push where "We need to do this, strike while the iron is hot. Don't think about all the other times, we'll be better this time"

VTA has become its own worsts enemy for arguments in favor of giving yet even MORE money to VTA.
Nope. Not for me. Not this time.

Posted by Mark
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 27, 2015 at 3:40 pm

VTA is a bottomless hole into which tax money is endlessly poured ... IMO, the "High Speed Rail" project is a boondoggle that is similar in scope and effect to the theft of the Owens River by the City of Los Angeles ... the now deserted and environmental wasteland that is the San Joaquin Valley has already TWICE BEEN RUINED AND TURNED TOXIC by greedy mega-agricultural interests who ILLEGALLY AND IMMORALLY poured MASSIVE amounts of chemicals and pesticides and herbicides into the soil and basically ERADICATED all living things - ONLY the chemicals remain in that ENVIRONMENTALLY TOXIC WASTELAND ... use Google and check out "TULE LAKE", an environmental DISASTER that was KNOWINGLY created not once but TWICE by greedy, corrupt and environmentally destructive mega-agricultural interests in the San Joaquin Valley ... with CHEAP water stolen from the Delta and CHEAP transportation funded by OUR tax money, there will be a HUGE LAND GRAB on either side of both the HIGH SPEED RAILWAY and the supply lines for the STOLEN WATER FROM THE DELTA that will mimic what was done by the corrupt and wealthy in Los Angeles when they stole the Owens River, bought up land on either side of the pipeline at 2 CENTS/acre and soon sold it for many DOLLARS per acre to the City of Los Angeles ... the Guv wants BOTH a high speed rail system to provide fast, cheap transportation of the crops grown by mega-agricultural businesses that will ALSO benefit from the Guv's theft of Delta water via the 2 massive tunnels that he wants to build ... Governor Jerry is trying to finish up what his father started with the creation of the theft of Delta water to be sent CHEAPLY to the agricultural interests down the west side of the San Joaquin Valley that is STILL a boondoggle for EVERYBODY except those mega-agricultural interests and at a DEADLY COST to the health of the Delta ... OH! - AND, I DON'T WANT people in southern California to be able to get here any faster than they already DO get here!!! ... NO on more $$$ for "high speed rail" - PERIOD ... NO on any of our tax money $$$ funding $$$ for the environmentally destructive water tunnels in the already sick Delta - PERIOD ... NO on any more $$$ funding $$$ for VTA to use to turn the El Camino Real through Mountain View into a sh*thole of a traffic, noise and filth - PERIOD!!!

Posted by Yeah!
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2015 at 6:06 pm

I hate bus people!
No taxes for buses!
Keep building office buildings and roads!
Why change from a proven and time-tested strategy?

Posted by news
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Web Link Layout=1&Entry=587&Preview=Yes

Now we're talking!

Posted by news
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Web Link

Posted by Jim L.
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm

I'm all for more public transit. I don't support widening any roadways. Repair what we have only, and make them structurally safe. I am also willing to pay for them, although am not sure a sales tax is the way to go. Maybe a property tax? Either way, I believe in "trust funds". Government accounts that can only be used for one purpose. So make a list of transportation projects, your estimates of the cost of each one, and then put those monies aside in separate accounts. If you want to move money from one to another, go back to the voters. This way there is no change of heart, and communities can see the monies for their projects grow. It's called envelope or bucket accounting, and it seems to make sense to me for public projects, especially when those that control the funds may change down the line. Oh, and yes, I am against the dedicated bus lanes down El Camino. It's about time we started protecting the trees!

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2015 at 3:56 pm

Either BART comes from Millbrae or Santa Clara, you just can't lay track down fromCastro Street or University Ave.

Page Mill Road at 280 needed a traffic light just look how well that played out.

Palo Alto Bike-Ped Bridge over 101. Page Mill-Oregon Expressway and El Camino Real need major rehaul.

Foothill Expressway needs work especially near Gunn.

Maybe it is time to build a freeway from 280 to Dumbarton Bridge.

You know BART is coming soon so start making plans like now.

Posted by OldMV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 28, 2015 at 4:21 pm

San Jose has become a sinkhole for funding and a liability to the rest of SC County. SC has gotten far too big and San Jose far too powerful to benefit all of its residents. We relatively wealthy cities in Northern and Western SC County are being financially and politically exploited by San Jose and other poorer Southern cities. We should consider voting to leave Santa Clara County and to form our own county. I would (most humbly, Ha!) suggest that the new county consist of Palo Alto, Los Altos & Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Saratoga, and Los Gatos --- the cream of Santa Clara County. San Jose can be stuck with the rest.

Posted by MVWoman
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 28, 2015 at 9:50 pm

There are some very well thought out comments here, BUT there are also a few comments that are quite obviously from VTA shills. Please, VTA, you have no respect for neighborhoods, you waste money outrageously, are sickeningly inefficient, and you think you can fail and go over budget and the voters will be dumb enough to keep pouring money down the rat-hole. Read the above series of comments again (dismissing those from the quite evident VTA employees) and you'll see that your spending party is OVER.
I will vote NO on any VTA funding until we are guaranteed (in writing) the $$ is equitably spent AND the city in which you plan to spend it actually WANTS the project. Again: taking away two auto lanes from El Camino in MV (and stripping away all the trees along this route) to put in BUS LANES is ridiculous, counterproductive and unwelcome. Put this to a vote of the residents in MV, and you'd be blown away with defeat. I especially like the idea from OldMV, above, suggesting we secede and form our own county with the eight cities he lists. Then San Jose can fund their self-serving projects, WITHOUT exploiting the rest of us. We've picked up their tab for much too long.

Posted by Wow
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 28, 2015 at 11:38 pm

The ignorant statements I'm reading here astound me.

BART connects San Francisco, East Bay and SFO. Soon, it will add San Jose, Amtrak, SJC and light rail. Projects of this magnitude require a lot of money. It is rare for large projects like this to be fully funded from the start.

It's time for us to put on our "big boy pants" and complete this transit network.

Posted by @Wow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 29, 2015 at 1:34 am

Don't worry Wow. Ignore the ravings of the right-wing malcontents whose last remaining platform is an anonymous forum like this one. City Council already voted to support VTA's BRT project and most folks I speak to think we spend too little on non-automobile transportation alternatives as it is.

Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Sep 1, 2015 at 4:26 pm

To me all the side issues are not the thing to discuss or be upset about. To me the point is that my transportation tax dollars are NOT BEING SPENT in MV where they belong but instead have been detoured to fund "the extension of BART to San Jose through the East Bay"!!! I want those monies reverted back to MV projects. Let the prosperous East Bay communities pay for their own infrastructure improvements and let us pay for ours.

We can argue later about what the MV projects should be. Let's get our money back first.

One of the skills lost in electorate politics nowadays is analytical thinking and analytical prioritizing and then choosing solutions in an orderly fashion. Fragmented thinking plagues American politics today with splintered allies flying off in multiple mindless directions. e.g. the GOP presidential process. We're in a terrible mess because of it at the national level and it seems to be trickling down to community level now. The old "count 10" and then start a solution is still good advice.

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