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Little enthusiasm for El Camino bus plan

Original post made on Sep 1, 2015

A proposal to create dedicated bus lanes along El Camino Real is facing a new round of skepticism. On Wednesday, representatives from cities along the corridor urged transit officials to give more thought to alternatives to its bus rapid transit plan.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 1, 2015, 1:49 PM

Comments (138)

107 people like this
Posted by Stop the Madness
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2015 at 2:30 pm

This VTA plan for El Camino is insanity. It will create miles of gridlock and push traffic to other streets. When is VTA going to realize that most people don't want this?


28 people like this
Posted by Old Mountain Viewan
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 1, 2015 at 2:50 pm

As usual Mountain View officials only cater to what is best for Google and Apple employees. I have seen those buses all around Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and I kid you not they are never full, they are at least a 1/4 full if that. This is not a well though out plan that makes any sense. El Camino Real is already at capacity, it makes no sense to take one lane away to accommodate those annoying buses. What good is it to have all of those buses driving around all of the cities, if no one rides them. You already have VTA, why doesn't Google just provide riding vouchers for their staff to ride and get rid of those annoying buses. The one thing that I do see a lot of is an increased amount of bicycle traffic which should be promoted more to accommodate.


104 people like this
Posted by B Minkin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 1, 2015 at 3:02 pm

I still have not forgotten how council members Showalter and Rosenberg voted for BRT after they told us during their campaigns they would vote against BRT.

Without their betrayal, Mountain View would not have voted in favor of this bad idea. While nor binding on VTA, it did send a signal.

Voters will not forget Showalter and Rosenberg next election.


100 people like this
Posted by No way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 1, 2015 at 3:19 pm

The push back on this is going to need to be finessed, firm & relentless, because the VTA is going to try to leverage every tool at it's disposal local, state & federal (if possible) in order to foist this dedicated lane BRT scheme down the residents of Mountain View (and other cities') throats regardless of the cities' wishes.

Send your comments in to Joe Simitian office directly with your concerns at. Mr. Simitian and his staff are very responsive.

Web Link

Your voice DOES in fact matter, so don't let anyone try and convince you differently.


80 people like this
Posted by Anil Kumar
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 1, 2015 at 3:24 pm

I come from India and I have seen such dedicated bus lanes in Ahmedabad. While some people like it the reality is that the other lanes are jammed with traffic while the dedicated bus lanes lay empty and there is no place to expand the road. It seems to me it is not optimized use of resources.


23 people like this
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 1, 2015 at 3:26 pm

What happened to the recall for the Council members who voted for this nonsense.


35 people like this
Posted by oldabelincoln
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 1, 2015 at 3:31 pm

How anyone can believe that a BRT plan of any sort can work on El Camino is beyond imagining. Traffic barely moves through MV as it is.

El Camino does not have the right resources for a plan based on gobbling up 2 lanes of traffic. Yes, you could increase bus frequency that way bey speeding up the block time with dedicated bus lanes, but the necessary resource -space- isn't there.

The alternative to gobbling space for BRT is to run more busses more freequently through existing traffic . That probably runs into a lack of a different resource - money.

I spent many years riding public transit in New York, Miami, Boston, and here. The time to complete the trip is important, but the time spent waiting is what drives people away from public transit. Standing around waiting and waiting and waiting, whether it is in perfect weather, freezing cold, or baking heat, is a real deal killer, more so than high fares or long trip times. The next worst killer is having to stand for lack of seats.

To improve acceptance of public transit, run more busses and provide more seats. Anything less will not change things worth a damn.


76 people like this
Posted by Bruce Karney
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 1, 2015 at 3:32 pm

I'm glad to read that our elected officials, including the very thoughtful and influential Supervisor Simitian, are pushing back against the BRT plan.

Those of us living in MV on the north side of ECR haven't had to imagine what a 2-lane ECR would look like, we've been living with it all summer as two different building construction projects have taken away a lane to provide site access. Even though the lane reductions end before the peak afternoon commute hours, they have been a pain to deal with.

Furthermore, I listened to VTA GM Nuria Fernandez testify at the Board of Supervisors meeting last week and was not at all impressed by her. Let's stop BRT on ECR and work on making it a bike-friendlier street with 3 lanes in each direction for motor vehicles. Yes, this will require the elimination of parking spaces, but that's a change I can support.


24 people like this
Posted by LoveMv
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 1, 2015 at 3:36 pm

I love the accusation that the VTA buses are always empty. What a ridiculous thing to say. People are hopping on and off and off-peak time are less busy than peak commute times. It's rarely standing room only.

So what?

Buses don't have to be standing room only to be successful. Contrast this with the fact that MOST CARS are being driven virtually empty. It is still more efficient to run a bus mostly empty than it is several cars.

I understand why a few cities oppose it.

Sunnyvale because their El Camino businesses are lobbying the council hard.
Palo Alto because they don't like "Southies" coming into their precious city.
Los Altos because they despise everyone. (Even themselves)

Mountain View has always been a compassionate and diverse community, so I'm pleased that our council approved the project.


46 people like this
Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

Several comments above in this thread, a link was posted for Joe Simitian's office. I used the link, and sent an email to one of his staffers, Kris Zanardi, who is his aide for transportation. The link is re-posted here: Web Link


23 people like this
Posted by Need Infrastructure
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 1, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Mountain View can't continue to build massive housing projects and ignore the added traffic new homes will bring. Do NOT remove lanes, railroad crossings and access to expressways. Instead, find ways to make the traffic move more efficiently.


49 people like this
Posted by MVWoman
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 1, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Councilmembers Showalter and Rosenberg outright lied during their campaigns - and turned on the vast majority of residents of Mountain View by voting in favor of taking two auto lanes for exclusive use by the VTA through Mountain View. This - quite obviously and unarguably - will have horrific impacts throughout our entire city, with massive traffic and pollution while autos sit on El Camino and spread out to gridlock the side streets from Foothill to Central Expressway.
Since it's obvious that Showalter and Rosenberg are flunkies for the VTA, we MUST appeal to HONEST authority in County Supervisor Joe Simitian (Web Link) who is NOT for sale to the VTA. It is vital that you take a couple minutes and send Supervisor Simitian a message with your opinion.


15 people like this
Posted by Andrew
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Until south bay builds some good transit you're going to be stuck in gridlock. You can't build more roads to get out of your transit problems. That is absolutely, positively never going to work. Ever. Anyone who thinks you can do that is living a fantasy. Adding more buses to the current roads is the minimal approach and won't attract riders because they'll be stuck in the same traffic as cars. Transit has to be faster than driving to work. The right answer is to put BART under El Camino all the way from Palo Alto to San Jose. But south bay is too short sighted and cheap to do that. That leaves BRT or light rail. Either run with one of those and make it good, or let your roads get slower and slower. Those are your only options.


26 people like this
Posted by Common sense
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 1, 2015 at 5:17 pm

"We're not kicking the can down the road. We need to get a sense from this group if we're going to move forward," she urged. "We need to know if this is a go, or a no-go."

In other words, we're going to ram this thing through whether the public wants it or not because if we wait until the public sees our ineptitude on the Capital Expressway and Alum Rock projects, we'll never trick them into supporting this one.

Asking Santa Clara to hold off on another vote is one more shameless attempt to manage public perception of this project and avoid a legitimate public discussion of all the flaws in their "analysis." Reminds me of the time that they planted the "concerned citizen" (e.g., VTA public-relations employee) at the Mountain View meeting.


13 people like this
Posted by OldMV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 1, 2015 at 5:32 pm

"Little enthusiasm?" I'd say that the phrase should be "extreme anger with the VTA and San Jose". The city of San Jose is the driving force behind this project. SJ is desperate to try to get businesses and people to move downtown. The VTA's disastrous investment in Light Rail didn't work, so now SJ wants express bus lanes downtown. That won't work either. Downtown SJ is a sorry excuse for a place to live or to do work. It is an empty pit.


4 people like this
Posted by MS
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 1, 2015 at 6:14 pm

I've bee in mountain view 25 years and the main problem started years ago
With the Feds dressing cal train then pressure to hold funds if man view did not comply and build more housing next to the stations. A bunch of weak kneed chicken council members cowered down and big developers moved in.
The planning dept and council are all in bed together. Look at the new apartments approved on elcamino,hotels and etc. so stupid
Now buss lane...very dumb. And if you believe model the agency is basing
Their argument. You are a fool.


34 people like this
Posted by Council Members
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Sep 1, 2015 at 8:41 pm

This BRT plan might've been dead in the water if not given life support by the MV City Council. It's opposed by all of our neighboring communities (as it was believed to be in Mountain View). But now VTA can point to central and important City of Mountain View as being in favor.

Hopefully MV residents against this plan will continue to voice their opposition and displeasure to the three council members in support, and advise those council members their stance will hurt them in any future election campaigns.

Thank you Joe Simitian. (and neighboring cities)


30 people like this
Posted by Get it going
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 1, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Thanks for the link Waldo, here's what I just sent, everyone needs to step up and send emails.

Kris,

The recent attempt of VTA to take lanes from ECR in Mountain View is reprehensible and unacceptable. There is a huge groundswell of opposition to this. I personally have lined up a large group willing to walk ECR and advise businesses about this plan to take their client parking and I can guarantee they will NOT be pleased with this subversive attempt to grab ‘transit real estate”. Particularly when it’s dedicated to busses with NO PATRONS to service their businesses.

I am but one person. And I can guarantee you I have garnered a tremendous amount of support to fight this and it is growing exponentially. From walking ECR, to petitioning at schools, sporting events, community events. You name it, there is an unimaginable amount of your voting public coming out against and very vocally opposing this outrageous attempt from the VTA.

Please. Listen to your voting public. Look at more reasonable and equitable options.


21 people like this
Posted by Lame Ducks
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 1, 2015 at 10:57 pm

Council members Showalter and Rosenberg are toast. They lied to get in office, and now their pet project is going down in the flames. Now that their gambit has failed, they are now lame ducks, and will be single term council members.

If they want rapid, urban transit they should build a subway line under ECR. Or just elevate all the caltrain grade crossings and run more trains there. You know, real rapid transit.


21 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 1, 2015 at 11:48 pm

Glad to see more pushback for this project.

Also glad to see other commenters are not forgetting the turncoats Rosenberg and Showalter. They outright lied in their campaigns, made bad decisions in office, and are ready to be shown the door. They'll never get another office in this town or anywhere else.


9 people like this
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 2, 2015 at 12:24 am

Is this still being discussed? According to the anti-bus trolls on this site, most of Mountain View is against having a dedicated lane for shared transit along ECR. However, months later and STILL the online petition failed to even garner even ONE PERCENT of residents signatures!!!! Web Link

Only 680 online "signatures" were collected over FIVE MONTHS!

Now we can expect the usual lame excuses why very few signed it. The most simple and believable reason is that most residents are FOR the project.

Now, I'm sure we will have anecdotals about how their neighbors agree with the trolls opinion against the project. But, here is the reality. A cranky, ill-mannered anti-bus zealot stalks up and down the street screaming their hatred for the project and accosting any neighbor that failed to duck and cover. Of course the neighbor will nod their head in agreement! You just don't argue with crazy--not worth it.

Council voted its support for the project and many people I know in town seem to support it. That's the reality, despite what the anti-bus brigade Is claiming.


12 people like this
Posted by Sunnyvale resident
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2015 at 12:28 am

I am handicapped and require a cane when walking.

I live in Sunnyvale by Wolfe Road and have to walk a block and a half to get to the El Camino bus stop at Starbucks (no real problem).

I would then be required to take the "new bus option" to Castro St.

I would then have to walk several blocks to get to my destination (near Central Expressway), which is tiring and could result in my falling.

I currently have to make this trip six to eight times a month.

I currently drive and fight the current traffic congestion, which would increase by a factor of two if lanes were removed.

I then try to park in a handicapped spot if one is available.

Obviously this type of problem has not been taken into consideration by tghe council members.


44 people like this
Posted by MVWoman
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 2, 2015 at 1:12 am

Really, "Realty Check"? You (and your fellow VTA employees) actually think most of Mountain View is FOR this debacle of the VTA lane grab on El Camino? I have a solution: put this to a vote of Mountain View residents. I guarantee that you and your VTA cronies will be blown out of the water by protest. Your overblown anger is obviously because you KNOW you've already lost the vast majority of public opinion, and you're furious that you failed to hoodwink the public.
Let's put this to a vote - or would you rather just keep posting your lies and hope someone, somewhere, will believe them?


11 people like this
Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 2, 2015 at 5:02 am

@OldMV above:
"...SJ is desperate to try to get businesses and people to move downtown. The VTA's disastrous investment in Light Rail didn't work, so now SJ wants express bus lanes downtown. That won't work either. Downtown SJ is a sorry excuse for a place to live or to do work. It is an empty pit."

I love Mountain View. I love living here, and I love dining on Castro Street and browsing at BookBuyers or catching a show at the Performing Arts Center.

What I also love is to periodically experience entertainment or events that a smallish city like Mountain View cannot support. Of course I'll catch some of them in San Francisco, but I often head to San Jose because it's closer and frankly a lot easier to get to.

When I want to experience large, diverse jazz festival, I find it in downtown San Jose.
When I want to catch an indie movie, I'm more likely to find it in downtown San Jose (Camera 3 or 12 Cinemas) than Palo Alto Square, the Aquarius, or the Guild nearby.
When I want to check out a cool, local arts and technology scene, I head to downtown San Jose to the SoFA district to South First Fridays.
When I want to see a great arena show like U2, Maroon 5, Elton John, or others, I go to downtown San Jose.
When I want to experience a unique holiday tradition, I head to downtown San Jose's Christmas in the Park.

What I'm pointing out is, whether you support bus rapid transit on El Camino Real or not, there's no need to gratuitously trash downtown San Jose. It's got a lot more going on than our downtown does, and it's growing by the day (four 20+ story residential towers under construction right now, more coming). Head down for a visit and you might be surprised.


58 people like this
Posted by @Reality Check
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 2, 2015 at 7:23 am


"I think you've got a clear message here that there's not support for a change of this significance," Simitian said in an interview following the meeting.

Word. The voice of the people was heard when they elected the officials who stated they were against BRT. Their voice did not change just because the VTA schemed a ay to buy off a couple pols.
I usually don't care much about transit taxes, but this one is going to be FUN to vote down.

BRT will not go through, there is so much community opposition and now, awareness that it would be pure folly to try and push it through.
Simitian knew that when he stated that he has heard the clear message that there is not support for this project. Another VTA failure for their long list of failures: Failed at trying to buy their way into a takeover of MV.


47 people like this
Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2015 at 8:06 am

County Supervisor Joe Simitian said: "I think you've got a clear message here that there's not support for a change of this significance. Look, I understand we've got models and projections, but I don't feel confident in relying on those to turn the world upside-down on El Camino Real."

That's the biggest thing wrong with the proposal; despite all of the modeling it does not pass the sniff test. Removing existing traffic lanes and replacing them with dedicated bus lanes will increase vehicle emissions by increasing motor vehicle congestion and encouraging drivers to divert onto local side streets. Excessive traffic on local side streets will irritate residents who will pressure cities into erecting traffic barriers which will force the traffic back onto a 2-lane El Camino which will no longer be able to adequately handle the traffic. Thus, if a lane is removed from El Camino, congestion will increase as cities take measures to discourage alternative routes.

VTA believes that people taking longer trips will use large roads, not neighborhood streets, or freeways like US101 or I-280. However, traffic congestion has become very bad in Santa Clara County in recent years and the major roads, expressways and freeways are now all congested. Adding more traffic to these roads will just make this congestion worse and increase emissions.

On its web page, VTA dismissed the sentiment that “the cities along the El Camino Real corridor voted down the project but VTA will not take no for an answer” as a myth while admitting that “some cities opposed a design option that included dedicated lanes, not the project in its entirety, which helped shape the scope of the environmental analysis currently underway.” I would like to remind VTA staff that most members of the general public are not aware of the arcane points of environmental studies. Thus when a city opposes dedicated lanes and yet the concept returns shortly thereafter, it appears to a lay person that VTA is not taking “no” for an answer. Rightly or wrongly, this reinforces the “myth” that VTA will do whatever it wants on El Camino.

Simitian makes another good point about finishing the in-process BRT project in San Jose and seeing if it works. "If you've got a similar project underway in Santa Clara County, why on earth wouldn't you wait to see if it works?" Simitian said. "This isn't something where you can say 'oops' and do an about-face. You make a decision here, and it's irreversible."

There's yet another problem with having the express busses in dedicated lanes while the locals continue to stop at the curb. It's inconvenient to passengers who might be going a relatively short distance and just wants to take the first bus that shows up. They should be able to wait at one stop like you do now with the 22 and 522 at Castro.


25 people like this
Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2015 at 9:02 am

Its been said plenty of times, but it cant be said enough.

The VTA has been emboldened on this by the MV City Council, where two inexperienced and naïve councilmembers reneged on campaign promises to lead a MINORITY of the council in a misguided vote to support this boondoggle.


26 people like this
Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 2, 2015 at 9:15 am

Those who suggest that the VTA study vastly under estimated the amount of traffic that will move to neighborhood streets are spot on. Streets like Barbara and Hans in Cuesta Park already receive far too much cut through traffic as idiots who live further down Miramonte race through these streets to avoid the back up on ECR and Cuesta. The BRT "plan", as it currently exists, would only multiply these problems.


5 people like this
Posted by Mms
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 2, 2015 at 10:10 am

Understand that cal train ,vta all depend on ridership

Thats what happened years ago so Feds told mtn view they would hold up funds if they did not increase density next to train or in this case Evelyn ave. Once ridership is up they can justify upgrading stations and extensions. Vta did the same thing.
Then mountain view with short sided view approved massive new apartments
And result: crowded streets etc.at expense of local residences.

Ex mayors,council members,Building adm are all at fault. Now we are faced with:
Larger busses for vta,large busses from high tech using small neighborhood
Streets and causing many issues.

Enough is enough :a time out is required and vta is a gorilla.

It won't stop unless our voted reps stand up to this "buss only "lane.It will crush the Neighborhoods streets as they are already being impacted.

The vta strategy is:
Too let it jam up so the buss lane looks like s great option so their ridership increases justifying their existence at expense if everyone else.

If anything increase the lanes on el Camino,yes this will be a big issue
For businesses and parking but better for locals:or a moratorium on
Any project that adds traffic to our area.Cities can have a "full"

No on vta


3 people like this
Posted by Walker
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 2, 2015 at 11:37 am

I don't understand, but what bus plan is being discussed? Is there a link I can read?


11 people like this
Posted by @Common Sence
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm

There are many of us who live around the area you speak of who purposely drive very very conservatively in order to reduce the over all speed on Barbara and Hans. Also, walking, always be sure to use one of the crosswalks
when someone is stopped at the stop sign. Walk casually.
There has been an increase in rude drivers over the years, maybe because of an additional grocery store opening up in the area, or maybe just traffic avoidance, but the rude unsafe drivers are there.

Remember, there is no law against going 5 mph under the speed limit or crossing the street in the crosswalks. Be careful though, as we know, drivers are idiots.
Join us as we take our streets back


12 people like this
Posted by rainbow38
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Sep 2, 2015 at 2:36 pm

I just sent Simitian's transportation person a copy of the several detailed memos about BRT and the many reasons why this plan should not be implemented. The memos were previously posted on the Voice and Palo Alto On-line and sent to the VTA and many others.


6 people like this
Posted by Council Members
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Sep 2, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Showalter and Rosenberg flipped on their stated campaign positions.

Wasn't Kazperzak also an unexpected "yes" - switching his position from prior votes?


8 people like this
Posted by Those 2 are dead to MV
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 2, 2015 at 2:58 pm

With BRT beign shuttered, Showalter and Rosenberg burned their support in MV for nothing. "Integrity be damned, let's make poor choices!" Haha. I'm glad they exposed themselves for the type of flip-flopping politicians they are though.


12 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 2, 2015 at 7:55 pm

What actually happened at the Santa Clara City Council meeting on August 25 is that the Santa Clara Chamber of Commence objected to a vote on such short notice and the matter was continued to an undisclosed date (probably September 22). Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews has hung out on the VTA Board of Directors (currently as alternate) and on VTA advisory committees for many years. He has been a supporter of bus-only lanes. Locals suspect he lacked the votes that night. There are 7 members of the City Council in Santa Clara. Of course, knowing one does not have the votes before a meeting begins would suggest a violation of a state law called the Brown Act which prohibits local legislators from communicating their positions or even discussing an agenda item before a meeting with (collectively) a majority of the body (here: 4). Supervisor Joe Simitian may have real concerns about bus-only lanes but he may just be signaling that the VTA should delay a decision until after next year's sale tax increase measures. Some of us will oppose any such measures if they fail to affirmatively outlaw bus-only lanes. I say "measures" (plural) because the VTA has used (and can be expected to again employ) a trick involving two measures (one requiring only majority approval and a second special tax requiring a two-thirds). Enough for one post.


6 people like this
Posted by to the Voice
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2015 at 1:11 am

You have characterized the committee that met on August 26th incompletely. This is the PAB for the Phase 2 of the 22/522 corridor BRT development. Yes, as you say it members from various cities and the county, but you it has more members than that. Admittedly, the designation is complicated but it has reps from SIX cities plus the county, of which at least 2 are supposed to also be VTA board members. In the case of this particular board, there are 4 VTA Board members on the PAB-- Ken Yeager, Joe Simitian, Jeannie Bruins and Dave Whittum. So this is no small group. Besides the 4 actual VTA Board members (voting, not alternates) the group includes reps from the County, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose.

What is confusing is that the single VTA route 22/522 is broken into two halves. BRT vehicles will traverse the entire route as soon as the messed up construction for Phase 1 of BRT completes. This reaches from Eastridge to The Arena in San Jose and is mostly done by shared use of existing lanes. THe one exception is where a dedicated NEW lane is being added into the route, which has snarled in an unbelievably bungled bureaucratic construction design and management snafu. This lengthy is a small fraction of the length they propose potentially for "Phase 2" namely from The Arena to Palo Alto. It's a small fraction even if they just construct from The Arena JUST TROUGH Santa Clara--i.e. the bungled small section of the Phase 1 length is much less than the shortest proposed for Phase 2. Obviously the scope of potential F-ups increases greatly should the Phase 2 dedicated lane extend clear through Mountain View, let alone Palo Alto.


What's really odd is that there is no overall "Policy Advisory Board" for BRT *in general*, not even just along the 22/522 route. The committee you refer to just worries about Phase 2, which is poised to be MUCH MORE OF A MESS than Phase 1, and as Simitian says, no one yet knows how Phase 1 will work out. Phase 2 is termed "El Camino Real" BRT but it encompasses "The Alameda" both where "The Alameda" is State Route 82 and "The Alameda" where it runs through San Jose to Diridon Station, but not East of that. A very un-natural breakdown of the 22/522 BRT route into separate 'PAB" groups.

For the committee info, see Web Link


13 people like this
Posted by to the Readers
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2015 at 1:19 am

There has been quite the mess relating to the construction for dedicated BRT lanes as a subset of the full length of the 22/522 Phase 1 BRT project. Originally, BRT vehicles were slated to start running early in 2015. Indeed, the new VERY EXPENSIVE Eastridge Transit Center has been completed for months now. The idea was that the BRT stations would be done through to The Arena and the BRT vehicles would use the new style stations from Eastridge to there, and then run along the existing 522 stops on through Palo Alto.

This has all been approved and decided, and funded. Now we are seeing a TWO YEAR delay in completion. This robs us of the ability to see just how well BRT works with a dedicated lane versus with a shared lane and new stations at the curb. That's what Simitian is referring too when he says we will have a working system to judge before making decisions on Phase 2. Even the proposed Phase 2 segments will operate BRT vehicles ("fast boarding" design) with no new stations West of The Arena, so we should see some differences there too.

For more info on the mess in construction, see: Web Link


30 people like this
Posted by BRT Dedicated Lane Foibles
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2015 at 1:39 am

Besides taking away a traffic lane, the use of a dedicated lane and fancy stations on the median have serious drawbacks for 22/522 riders in Palo Alto and Mountain View. For speed of transit, most stops of 22 are skipped (no 522 boarding) for the rapid route. Conversion to dedicated lanes will cast that in stone. Because the stops are 2 miles apart, this poses a serious barrier to access for many potential riders. The current boarding is slower than needed because cash fares are accepted and the bus only permits boarding through a single door. SF Muni and other transit agencies have found that simply using all-door boarding and clipper cards vastly speeds up stops. 522 could stop at several more places in Mountain View while not sacrificing in speed of travel for the average rider. Many fewer people would need to first ride 22 before waiting for the 522 at rare permitted pick up point. This could all be done without expensive new median stations and ticketing machines, just using Clipper Card. Ridership should increase and the service would be better for many riders boarding at the now-skipped stops. Yet total travel time would not run up because stops can be faster for boarding. Additionally, boarding at the curb is more convenient for ALL riders, especially wheel chairs and other disabled. If you get off a 22 bus, you are right by the 522 pick up point, not needing to wait for a traffic signal to change, etc.

So, we need to ask ourselves, how much of the "speed up" and "passenger increase" of BRT is achievable simply with a more logical design of the EXISTING system, new BRT vehicles, no-cash all-door boarding, and yet still permit additional stops, at least for the first 6 miles of the route, where a stop would get added riders? A lot of things are better for bus riders without the dedicated lanes.


33 people like this
Posted by Vote NO on VTA tax increases/bonds
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 3, 2015 at 9:05 am

The only way to send a clear message about how you feel on BRT and the lane closure/tree removals along ECR, ONLY in MV, is to vote NO on any VTA funding measures.
This is the only way they will pay any attention to us. If the North County backs any measure that would give more money to VTA, we should all expect a good hosing by them.


5 people like this
Posted by Slow buses?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 3, 2015 at 2:20 pm

The reason buses are slow is the packed roadways from automobiles. (It's not from the people paying cash. )

That's the whole point of the dedicated lane. Without it, the bus system is both slow and unpredictable. If the bus is late, it will miss connections.

Clearly the folks arguing this project do not ride the bus. If they did, they should understand thee most basic of concepts.


7 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2015 at 2:40 pm

@slow buses: well, since the busses are all empty, it stands to figure that few people on this thread take them. Thanks for helping make that point though.


9 people like this
Posted by @Eric
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 3, 2015 at 4:43 pm

"the busses are all empty"? Really? Go out to El Camino and you will see buses stopping letting people on and off. How can that happen if "the busses are all empty"?

VTA asked their ridership what they wanted. Speedy service was at the top of the list. The only way to get that is through a dedicated lane. Alternative ideas of putting that dedicated lane underground or overhead are simply too expensive by a factor of 100. The impacts to existing automobile traffic have been identified as negligible. This is a really easy decision to make. It will be approved.


11 people like this
Posted by No support for BRT
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 3, 2015 at 5:52 pm

"VTA asked their ridership what they wanted. Speedy service was at the top of the list. The only way to get that is through a dedicated lane. "

Well, looks like VTA has been left behind in this modern world if BRT is the only way for it to make its system work.
It also looks like the 5-8 passengers I personally see on the bus each day as they get off in front of my office won't be able to demand everyone else suffer so they can get to work on the bus.
Even Simitian is backing away from this, a most stupid idea.

VTA really blew it. They lost support for BRT as well as any votes for future bonds and tax increases.


4 people like this
Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 3, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Here is my idea---just put light rail all the way up and down El Camino Real, from the San Jose/Santa Clara border, through Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and up the peninsula to the SF city and county line. FOR THE FUTURE!!!


5 people like this
Posted by Bus Speed
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2015 at 7:55 pm

The fact is that a stop delays the arrival of the bus down the line. This is VTA's point, anyway, as the reason in having the 522 stop at only 1/4 of the stops served by the 22 bus. Much of the waste of the dedicated lane comes from the lack of service to points between those few served by the new BRT dedicated lane service. Just 2 stops in all of Mountain View North Bound, and only 1 stop South Bound (with 1 in Los Altos too). 1.7 miles between stops.

The point made above was that by requiring the Clipper Card, the boarding could be sped up so as to enable the 522 service to stop in between the current stops, with no need to buy ticket machines or build fancy $1 Million stations to serve each stop.

The idea that stopping takes time due to slow boarding comes from VTA and it's a cornerstone of their design of the BRT service they propose.


11 people like this
Posted by Time
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 3, 2015 at 10:12 pm

The time savings from requiring every single rider to user a Clipper Card is insignificant from the incredibly long delays caused by the massive amounts of cars on the roads that block buses from proceeding. Many of these vehicles have only a SINGLE PERSON in them--what a waste! At rush hour, many of these people are on their smart phones. Every single intersection is delayed by one or more vehicles who don't realize the light has turned..they are busy browsing the web or texting their friends.

Also, buses serve a function by allowing anyone to ride them. Many riders will not have the ability to have or keep a card with funds on it. A cash option is very reasonable.

I use a Clipper Card on the buses and CalTrain, but I'm sensitive enough to the needs of our diverse community. So much of our world is inaccessible to the economically disadvantaged. Why take away their possibly only transit option?


24 people like this
Posted by NO on VTA Tax/Bond
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 4, 2015 at 5:27 am

Even Simitian knows there is no public support for BRT and that is why he is distancing himself from it.
BRT only has support from VTA and their little msg board lacky.
VTA is burying itself with BRT. No more $ for VTA. NONE!


21 people like this
Posted by Greg perry
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Sep 4, 2015 at 2:28 pm

Before you believe vta projections, take a ride on light rail. While you stretch your legs on the empty seat next to you, remember that it was projected to have so many passengers it would be profitable.

When, eventually, you get to San Jose, take a look for the BART station. VTA projections told us it would begin service in 2010.

On the way back, take Caltrain to get back to Castro street. It will take about 20 minutes, less than half of what even the best express bus can offer.


6 people like this
Posted by Hmmmm
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 4, 2015 at 2:34 pm

"On the way back, take Caltrain to get back to Castro street. It will take about 20 minutes, less than half of what even the best express bus can offer."

Well, only if you catch the express train. And only if you catch it at the right time. Buses come much more often and around the clock.

Also, the Caltrain ride is much more expensive and has a very narrow route, compared to the bus network. VTA bus service is not perfect, but decades of underfunding and NIMBY local politics is to blame.


13 people like this
Posted by No New VTA Tax
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 4, 2015 at 2:48 pm

VTA is a typewriter repair company.


14 people like this
Posted by prs
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 4, 2015 at 11:48 pm

@Hmmmm
You seem to miss the point that the BRT that the VTA want s to subject us to is ALSO only a narrow route and at certain times. It also happens to ALREADY exist, which you seem to be ignoring. Incidentally, the taxpayers are supporting that system too.

We do NOT need another redundant transportation system just to allow the VTA the illusion of doing something. If they want money for this debacle, then they need to SHOW us what will REALLY happen if they get to do it. The can block off all the street crossings and lanes that they want to take and we'll see if their projections are even remotely accurate. Do it for a month and, if the car traffic is NOT disturbed, as they claim, then they will have something to back up their statements.

I am not in favor of another social engineering program disguised as "social justice". That is complete nonsense. Why are the dishwashers that work on Castro Street more important than the gardeners who have to DRIVE their equipment to their jobs along El Camino? EVERYBODY has a right to use the roads that are here. What is NOT fair is forcing one group to pay for multiple options, while they are being robbed of a system they have already paid for.

NO MORE VTA FUNDING UNTIL BRT IS ABANDONED!


5 people like this
Posted by Derp
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 5, 2015 at 1:38 am

I can't believe that VTA would dare completely shut down El Camino to all private automobile use!!! The gall of them!

Oh, wait...you mean it's only one lane in each direction?!??! (1 of 3)

But, but, but that would make El Camino really slow at commute hours!!!

Oh, wait...it is already slow at commute hours...and the bus has no dedicated lane, so what are we trying to save here?

But, uh, yeah I know. Sure, it's really bad during commute hours and it is not the buses fault, but rather the massive numbers of almost completely empty automobiles. BUT!!!! But, if a lane is dedicated to public/shared transit, then the roads will COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN!

Oh, wait...there was a traffic study done to show that while the bus system will become much cheaper to operate after the project, the impacts to traffic are minimal.

Hmm..so, why am I objecting so strongly?

Oh, I know! My GUT is better at forecasting traffic patterns along a heavily trafficked and complex net of roads than an entire department of traffic engineers and expert consultants. If their projections are so accurate, then why not have them reviewed by a third party to validate? I tell you why, because they know they are wrong.

Oh, they ARE having them validated. Well, I guess that's fair..but wait! My gut is still telling me that this project is bad. But clearly that is an irrational response to the overwhelming evidence of the benefits (transit efficiency, cost, ridership improvements, low impact,etc..) So, I wonder what the basis of this irrationality is?

Oh, I KNOW! It's because that people of all economic levels ride the bus! Not just the wealthy tech workers that have taken over CalTrain, but the regular people in the area that cannot drive, but need to get around the area.

But, wait! This is ridiculous. Who cares about them???!!! We should only build services that benefit the most wealthy of our citizens. Otherwise, we are only ENCOURAGING the expansion of the lower class! We need EVOLUTION and we need it now. We fought off rent control, so THEY can't live here anymore, but this bus thing is very dangerous. We don't want THOSE PEOPLE to come into our city and compete with my 16 year old for that minimum wage job. Let's make the bus incredibly slow, so it will act as a barrier.

Whew.. I'm glad that I figured this out. When President Trump moves into office, then we can take our country back! Cut off buses! Toll roads everywhere. Kill the minimum wage. Derp!


8 people like this
Posted by Caltrain times
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2015 at 3:54 am

@Hmmm, you are like a broken record.

The truth is San Jose Diridon to MV is 12 or 15 minutes if you get the Baby Bullet train.

In the other case, the worst time is 27 minutes.

I know, I know, it's not fair because VTA routed the light rail all over kingdom come and so it takes 90 minutes plus and switching of trains if you do that.

When was the last time you went from MV to downtown SJ on light rail anyway?




21 people like this
Posted by @Derp
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2015 at 4:00 am

No self respecting expert would work for an agency like VTA. What we really should do is scrap it and start over. The first thing we should do is change to an elected Board, as recommended by the Silicon Valley Transit Users organization.

And the city of Palo Alto does have experts who have looked at VTA's claims for BRT and found substantial discrepancies. Where guts come to play is the sickness when one things that they actually made such a sham effort on the public dime. You'd think that VTA would at least catch major flaws before coughing the plan out.

Start with adding more stops to the 522 route. That will make me happy. Watch ridership go up. It costs nothiing to try this. Well, I guess that kind of shoots it down for the spend money crowd at VTA. And tell me how observing this is anti-transit?


13 people like this
Posted by VTA Heroics
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2015 at 4:09 am

Here's a nice write up of how VTA doesn't work.


See Web Link


15 people like this
Posted by VTA is wasting our money
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 5, 2015 at 5:41 am

I agree. The VTA cannot be trusted and has no history of correctly predicting ridership numbers.
The whole agency has turned into a bloated bureaucracy, always extending the begging hand for more money with promises that "This time, it'll be different"
The "idea" they came up with is to remove the trees along ECR and take remove public a lane in each direction, making 1/3rd of ECR a private road for VTA. That is their vision for the future. God help us all if we follow what they want or say.

The ONLY way things will get better is if the vote send them a message.
Voe NO for any VTA funding. The money they need is wrapped up in needless over staffing. Cut the internal costs and VTA will have the money it needs.
It's called operating within a budget, not begging for more money because you have too much salary being paid out to mid-level managers.

I will support the VTA project they bring to us showing their proposed headcount reduction. THAT is what is needed from VTA. Thay already have the money, they just chose to spend it on all their administrators.

Oh, they also need money to advertise for the politicians they are trying to buy to get their wishes. They know that cannot count on the voters, so they are trying to rig the game buy buying up our less scrupled council members.


22 people like this
Posted by Watching VTA fail, again
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 5, 2015 at 6:39 am

Whoever is trying to make this a "rich people wanting to oppress poor people" is proof that the VTA has run out of arguments about BRT.
Now they are calling you selfish and hurling insults at you while at the same time they will come asking for more $$$ from everyone.
Talk about a bunch of bungling monkeys; they can't even get their online msg board campaign to work efficiently. It's working against them! Hahaha.


21 people like this
Posted by prs
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 5, 2015 at 10:13 am

@Derp
If you are so certain that this flawed plan will work, then you should no objection to my suggestion that they TRY it for a short period WITHOUT having the funds allocated to do it permanently. Then we will have empirical evidence one way or the other.

The VTA and their "experts" claim that this plan will have no effect on the time it takes for an automobile (you know, those things El Camino was built to carry in the first place) to get where it wants to go versus the time it takes NOW. I say, prove it before you ask for my money. Also, I want the system evaluated by an independent body, chosen by citizens, not by the VTA. Their "experts" are paid by the VTA, so they are not trustworthy.

As a scientist, you have to prove to me that reducing the capacity of El Camino by 1/3 will have NO EFFECT on the people using it. In addition, with the amount of construction along El Camino, that would often REALLY be one lane, not two, for general use. I need to see proof that this hocus pocus the VTA expects us to buy has any basis in fact.

@Whoops
Why do you care about who comments on this subject and where they live? This situation affects people in Los Altos as well as Mountain View. What makes you think only Mountain View residents have a stake in this?

Does it, perhaps, make you unhappy that people in the neighboring cities (who all oppose this plan) are telling you that they don't think you are a good neighbor? Don't they have a right to their opinion too? Don't they still have the freedom to voice that in the public square, as it were?


21 people like this
Posted by Opposition
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Sunnyvale and Palo Alto's city councils have already nixed the plan. Santa Clara's is liable to do so any time now. Meanwhile some technicality alleging a conflict of interest has kept MV city council from letting everyone vote. The nature of the plan is revealed as flawed if some lawyer thinks a vote one way or the other could be a conflict for anyone in the city. It should not be a partisan plan, to provide transit service to the ENTIRE community.
For some unknown reason the Los Altos council declines to vote. Well, that's sort of a rejection by itself.


5 people like this
Posted by Bus
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm

I think the project is great! I come to MV during the week and the traffic is slow very slow. Walking onto a cheap bus would help a lot !!


12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 5, 2015 at 2:13 pm

@Bus

First, the bus is not cheap, and second you can only get or off at two stops in Mountain View.


7 people like this
Posted by Bus
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2015 at 5:41 pm

@Resident

How many stops does Caltrain have in MV? At last count, there were two.

From what I can see the fares on Caltrain are more expensive and doesn't run as often or go to as many places as the bus.


3 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 5, 2015 at 5:44 pm

In response to criticism that the VTA's traffic projections make no sense, VTA (staff) announced in April it would get some "third party" to assess or back up its projections. The latest iteration in the story above refers to a "review team" which "includes a mix of public and private experts in the transportation field." Does anyone outside of the VTA know any of their names? Is it being called THE WARREN COMMISSION? If so, what is Warren's last nane? VTA might wish to schedule an advisory vote of the Santa Clara City Council a day after the so-called "review" is released so there is no time to evaluate its contentions, assumptions, signatories and actual authors.


24 people like this
Posted by Jolly Joker
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2015 at 1:37 am

The fact is that the operating cost per passenger mile is less for Caltrain than for any of the VTA services. Taxpayers subsidize 89% of the cost of a ride on VTA. For Caltrain the subsidy is much less. That's why the uniformed like the one above see Caltrain as being more expensive.

There is a legacy of infrastructure at the Caltrain stations. VTA should replicate this if it is going to hold the number of stops to just 2 in all of Mountain View. I'm not talking about ticket machines. I'm talking about things like bike parking and taxi pick up zones. What does VTA plan? $1 Million stations on the MEDIAN of El Caminp Real where the inconvenience for riders will be MAXIMIZED. A simple improvement is to have MORE STOPS and spread out infrastructure at multiple locations. Shuttle services should interconnect with the stops.

The equivalency of Caltrain to VTA BRT with regard to the need for reduced stops is false. Even Caltrain is looking to increase service to more stops as they become electrified. VTA is a dinosaur trying to emulate history poorly. When you have Caltrain taking 12 minutes sometimes to go from MV to San Jose, then you get some good benefit from having fewer stops. But VTA's Best hope for BRT is to take 40 minutes to get to San Jose from MV. Better to take 42 minutes and stop more along the way.

You may note that there are 4 closely together spaced stops for the 522 route in downtown San Jose. So there is some precedent. The reality is that the trips on 522 are more believable if they are shorter and just run say from MV to Sunnyvale or Palo Alto than if they obsess about mythical need for speedy trips to San Jose. So offer speedier service than 22, but at more than 2 stops in MV. 3 is a no brainer. You really could have trial stops for a year and see what the effect is on 522 ridership if there is a stop west of San Antonio at those shopping centers, serving the Del Medio Avenue apartments as well. There is a big new development under construction right now at El Monte. El Monte is the one stop VTA has talked of maybe adding. Well, they should. But that's not all. A good case can be made for a stop at Rengstorff, and for one at Grant Road/237. So give them a try. See what it means to travelers if there are a few more stops, and steps are taking to speed boarding as discussed above. The speedy boarding is done all day every day up in San Francisco. It could at least be done for the VTA "Rapid" buses.

Consider that riders headed to the mythical San Jose frequent destinations in San Jose will be totally unaffected by more stops up in MV. It can make the trip much easier for any actually going to San Jose if they are coming from Mountain View, since MOST of the potential riders are not now near the 2 existing permitted stops.

Yeah, it's a conspiracy. It's a conspiracy of blind vision and lack of imagination. How can anyone reading this thread accuse ANYONE of saying VTA is engaged in conspiracy. All the comments pertain to incompetence, and you need competence to engage in conspiracy.


25 people like this
Posted by Council watcher
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 6, 2015 at 5:37 pm

Saturday’s Mercury News has an article by Gary Richards (“Mr. Roadshow”) on the BRT proposal. Here’s the link: Web Link.

The accompanying graphic, supplied by VTA, is misleading. It shows the dedicated lanes proposal as eliminating only one auto lane, leaving 2 in one direction and 3 in the other. Everything I have ever heard about this proposal says 2 lanes will be eliminated, one on each side, leaving just 2 auto lanes in each direction. If the graphic is meant to show plans for 2 different areas on ECR combined into one picture, this is not explained in the article. The graphic for the mixed-flow alternative has the same problem.

Once bad information is published, it’s virtually impossible to reverse the effect.

Richards’ article also cites the recent MV City Council vote that endorsed lane closure as putting the city on board with the lane-closure proposal. If you missed the details of that vote, here’s the Voice article on it: Web Link.

This vote proved only that council members Kasperzak, Rosenberg, and Showalter were on board with lane closure. Their vote was contrary to public sentiment. In reality, the MV public’s opposition to the proposal is overwhelming and deeply felt, as reflected in the comments in this forum.

VTA should back away from this proposal as fast as it can.


12 people like this
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 6, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Is this still being discussed? According to the anti-bus trolls on this site, most of Mountain View is against having a dedicated lane for shared transit along ECR. However, MANY MONTHS later and STILL the online petition failed to even garner even ONE PERCENT of residents signatures!!!! Web Link

Only 681 online "signatures" were collected over FIVE MONTHS!

Current MV Population is 74,066, so 681 of signatures is only 0.9%. Even assuming that all of these "signatures" are both legitimate (non-fraudulent) AND that no Los Altos or Palo Alto residents added their "signatures", this is not even close to being statistically significant.

Council voted its support for the project and many people I know in town seem to support it. That's the reality, despite what the anti-bus brigade want to happen.


11 people like this
Posted by @Reality Check
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2015 at 11:26 pm

VTA has really stepping in it with the BRT and Highway 85 added lane plans. Never before was there so much roused concern in the North and West County areas as to how thoroughly VTA's spending IGNORES this part of the county. We have seen Simitian do an admirably job in praising the excesses of the Bart obsession.

The point is not about any city council recall. The point is that city councils in many transit-sleepy north and west county cities are now awake and shouting. What are they shouting? Well, it's not a VTA cheer, to say the least.

This is beyond crazed bus fervor by those few who support spending regardless of useful result. And it only took 30 plus years since VTA was formed.


7 people like this
Posted by Odd
a resident of North Whisman
on Sep 7, 2015 at 11:53 pm

[This and subsequent comments by the same poster are being removed for use of multiple names on the same thread, which violates terms of use.]


19 people like this
Posted by North Whisman
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2015 at 2:53 am

This county funds transit investment to an extraordinary degree. The proposed and existing sales tax levies bring transit taxes on goods sold to well over 1.3%. This is a fully regressive tax which disproportionately affects low income people. Meanwhile, the ridership of the entire VTA system hovers around 1% of the county population. To think that this is coming from the bottom 10% economically is not supported by the evidence.

What is supported by the evidence is that for the funds expended, the benefits to society as a whole are woefully lacking. Pouring on more money won't improve that. I think if you look back above you'll see that this is a more accurate sentiment of those who oppose VTA's wasteful trajectory and merely seek to alter course, not shut the engine down.


18 people like this
Posted by Voting NO on new VTA tax
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 8, 2015 at 9:27 am

I agree North Whisman. It's clear the "few" here are those pushing for any and all VTA funding and spport of all their ideas, no matter how horrible they are, like BRT.
On the other side, the vast majority are opposed to the business as usual failures put forth time and time again by VTA, especially BRT.
They care not about anything except securing political power through trickery and questionable tactics regarding some VERY interesting last minute position reversals by 2 MV Council Members....very questionable indeed.

I have zero interest in pouring more money onto VTA's money fire. I'm especially opposed to any further funding specifically because of their BRT antics.


9 people like this
Posted by prs
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 8, 2015 at 12:19 pm

@Voting yes
You are right in one respect. We DO need to invest in infrastructure. However, we do not need the investment in transit. We need to spend money on improving the water system and adding more schools, fire stations, police, etc. These improvements serve ALL the people IN the community, as opposed to a select few who don' even live here.

Since our city councils are foolishly choosing to pack people in like sardines without any regard to their quality of life, we need to send the message that we choose to invest in our own communities first. They love to have the extra revenue, but don't consider the larger effect of all this building. Such short-sighted behavior is endemic in the city councils in Santa Clara county. If the infrastructure is inadequate, they must STOP approving new building.


6 people like this
Posted by no on BART
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Spending over $4 Billion on BART to reach from Warm Springs to Berryessa was a foolish investment for Santa Clara County. You're right, more should have been spent on better bus planning, but BRT is not that plan. What are needed are good IT systems to schedule service where it is needed on the fly and dynamically. Smaller shuttle services could then provide transit to the areas that VTA has completely ignored. In doing so, it could then increase ridership on the few backbone services that VTA does already offer with sufficiently frequent service and massive reserve capacity that goes unutilized.

So you see, it's simple. Instead of paying for those OUTSIDE the county to travel to San Jose, we should provide more service for those WITHIN the county.

Then there's the matter of the next $6 Billion which San Jose wants to spend to underground Bart from Berryessa to downtown San Jose and on to Santa Clara. Santa Clara is a cover to try to pretend this is something that will benefit at least one city outside of San Jose. Not so. Mainly, the problem is with the $6 Billion pricetag to duplicate the light rail service VTA already provides to connect Berryessa to down San Jose.

We don't need another tax, we just need to take the remaining $2 Billion coming in over the next 10 years from our existing transit taxes and uses them for something more productive than Bart. Better bus service could be that something, if it's planned right and if each increment does prove out in attracting USAGE, not just burning VTA money.


3 people like this
Posted by No on BART
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2015 at 1:39 pm

To be clear, now that it is paid for, certainly we should factor in the BART service to Berryessa. From the existing taxes we have more than $2 Billion more due to be collected. The voters were told this would be spent on various projects and that none would go to a tunnel to downtown San Jose. That had been the original plan but it would not poll acceptably for passage of the tax.

So now, we should honor the commitment to the voters and not pretend that the remaining $2 Billion was a down payment on the tunneling that was specifically excluded. The money is still coming. It's already approved. We don't need to vote to collect it. But $2.5 Billion will go a long way to improving the other services within the county that were listed as options but have yet to be done. The Silicon Valley Leadership Group doesn't like to mention that there is still $2.5 Billion coming on the existing tax. Instead they try to pass approval to rip us off for an additional $6 Billion or more in added taxes.

But it won't work!


12 people like this
Posted by No support for BAD ideas
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 8, 2015 at 3:18 pm

Just because we need transit does not mean we need tos upport any and all transit projects, especial;ly the terrible ones.
BRT will result in the removal of 33% of all lanes onm ECR permanently.
To get there VTA will remove all the teees along the way.
Then they'll hope...HOPE, that people then will start riding the bus, but we all know they will not, not along ECR from SJ to PA.

It's very much like the light rail projects, but at least the damage done my that project is along the railroad tracks.
A failed BRT will happen, one way or another. Evn Joe Simitian is now stating the support for BRT s not there and he's backign away from it. Of course VTA is cheering full steem ahead, well, be ause they are VTA.
We just don't want VTA to take MV down the drain when the realities of BRT go down.


3 people like this
Posted by PH
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 8, 2015 at 3:55 pm

They should add a letter to BRT and Make it BART. This should have been done years ago and it would have probably worked out. It would solve the problems of having so many grade separations and we would all benefit from it. Traffic wouldn't be stopped for trains or impacted by special lanes and extra buses. It is really the best, although the most expensive, option. It takes long term planning that no one wants to fund. We need to do things that we might not benefit from so that those coming after us won't have to keep working to fix the messes we leave for them. We also need for the agencies that plan and run our mass transit system to spend an equal amount of time and money solving our transportation problems(That would be on the west side of the bay.) I can't use mass transit but would pay the extra taxes if they went directly to our side of the bay.


15 people like this
Posted by pro-bus, anti-idiocy
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 8, 2015 at 4:42 pm

I could support the "mixed flow" concept, but closing lanes on ECR would be idiocy.

That does not make me "anti-bus," just anti-idiocy.


12 people like this
Posted by I spoke with Simitian
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 8, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Joe Simitian told me directly that he is not in favor of pushing through BRT. As for the comments above, I see most people opposed to yet another tax/bond saying they don't want more money to go to VTA because VTA has such a bad record of coming through with what it says it will do, and such a huge trail of failure with regards to past large projects. Most opposed seem to simply be tired of throwing money at a bloated, inefficient and ineffective bureaucracy that is clearly broken. Measured and reasonable if you ask me, with historical data to back it up...you know, facts.

Permanent 1/3rd lane takeover on ECR was the last and obvious death rattle of the old VTA. We really do need to retool the agency with and refocus for the future. a future that does not include savaging the main city artery in the HOPES that people will ride the bus. That's what I notice anyway.

I WOULD vote for the one time funding needed to restructure VTA from the top down. That's the transit bond I'll even door knock to rally support for.
Efficiency and progressive thought cannot come from a bloated inefficient bureaucracy. We see the daily evidence of their inefficiency in the empty seats on anything VTA touches.


7 people like this
Posted by HMMM?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 8, 2015 at 11:41 pm

Why do you think that advocates for BRT are so vehemently opposed to an actual physical test of the plan wherein the lanes are coned off so we can see what the actual impact will be?

Why do you think that advocates for BRT are so vehemently opposed to putting the issue to a vote after said test?


10 people like this
Posted by Uhhhh....
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 9, 2015 at 1:37 am

[This and other comments by the same poster are being removed for use of multiple names on the same thread, which violates terms of use.]


17 people like this
Posted by Example: Light Rail
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 9, 2015 at 6:44 am

I only read one person's post who keeps trying to make this some kind of race discrimination. That an individual trying to garner support by accusing the majority of voters that they cannot have an opinion based on VTA's past failed project...it must be racism or classism or greed.
That is the opinion of one person and I commend others for not taking that poster's race/class baiting.

When you can't point to historical successes with regards to big projects, you must distract from the facts and trey to fool people another way.
VTA has played it's last card...insulting everyone because VTA has no record of success. Don't let BRT become Light Rail part 2.


5 people like this
Posted by D.
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2015 at 8:59 am

D. Definitely D.

Mr. Bailey Park believes that race is not a factor? How typical.


26 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 9, 2015 at 9:30 am

It's an interesting tactic - accusing anyone who doesn't march in lockstep with VTA's BRT dedicated lane proposal - of being racist, classist & greedy, while in the same breath asking for MORE of your money. Keep up good work and let's see how that works out for the VTA at the at the polling booth.



Again, it's clear that the push back on this is going to need to be finessed, firm & relentless, because the VTA is going to try to leverage every tool at it's disposal - local, state & federal (if possible) - in order to foist this dedicated lane BRT scheme down the El Camino Real corridor cities throats, regardless of those cities wishes.

You can send your comments & concerns in to Joe Simitian's office directly at Web Link

Attention: Kris Zanardi, Policy Aide - Environment & Transportation


Mr. Simitian and his staff are very responsive.


Your voice DOES in fact matter, so don't let anyone try and convince you differently.


5 people like this
Posted by We don't agree so your a racist
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 9, 2015 at 11:22 am

That's the card that will get played when someone has no other argument to make. You CANNOT, WILL NOT, be allowed to disagree without being called a racist, despite the actual historical evidence that points to the agency being unable to make big projects work. VTA has now sunk to it's lowest level, insulting everyone, basically just calling everyone racist.. Thanks VTA, see you at the polls.


6 people like this
Posted by Agreed
a resident of North Bayshore
on Sep 9, 2015 at 11:28 am

The arguments against BRT don't hold any water, so I agree there must be other reasons. Whether it's racism or greed, I'm not sure. Probably some of each...


4 people like this
Posted by Right on time
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 9, 2015 at 11:29 am

See, that's how they expect to convince everyone, saying they're racist.
People remember this stuff.


14 people like this
Posted by VTA project example = Light Rail
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 9, 2015 at 11:35 am

Remember the promises VTA made about ridership and transit efficiency when it was time to fund light rail? The same exact arguments being made now.
VTA's Light Rail is now a national story as one of the most inefficient systems in thew nation.
Now they want to do the same with BRT, but they want to make sure they insult you and call you a racist first.


20 people like this
Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2015 at 5:12 pm

I haven't noticed the ethnicity or income level of people getting on and off the bus up and down El Camino. I just see near-empty busses.

How do you determine the race of the imaginary riders dreamed up by the VTA shills here?


14 people like this
Posted by B Minkin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 10, 2015 at 11:04 am

The comments about racism are encouraging because it means that all principled arguments in favor of BRT are exhausted. Name-calling is the last resort. After they finish calling us racist, they will begin calling us Nazis.

There is one patient and knowledgeable man who used to attend all of the VTA meetings and proposed the evaluation that arises repeatedly: test removing a lane by using temporary cones. The VTA representatives always replied with, "we'll consider that" or, "that's not a valid test", but no reason of why it is a bad idea other than it is bad.

Even my kindergartners know that blocking of a lane makes traffic congested. They love it because they get to look at all the cars at a stop, and they likes for us to sit still in the middle of the road while waiting.

If you are like them, and like to wait on El Camino, then you, too, will enjoy this test. You might especially like it as we test it at the intersection of Grant and El Camino.

On the other hand, my life is busier than a kindergartener's, so taking away a lane does not seem like such a good idea. I'd the test shows we are wrong and there is no negative impact, I will be first to admit I am wrong.

Let's test it and fund out!


4 people like this
Posted by VTA is only for VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 10, 2015 at 12:37 pm

VTA does not want proof that they have no clue, they want us to simply trust them. That's why they oppose any testing. It will prove they had no clue at all, or prove they knew all along and didn't care.
VTA is working against the average citizen in order to continue to feed its bureaucratic need of bloated growth.

Usually when someone expects trust, they reference past issues where trust was given, but in the case of VTA, they only have past failures, like light rail. Trust is earned through successes. VTA has not earned our trust.
Shut the lane down so we can all see what the results are. ONLY those who fear the truth will not want to see it.


7 people like this
Posted by Keep it civil!
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2015 at 2:24 pm

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

The BRT plan is a good one and has been backed up by a traffic study to show high benefits for low costs, both economically and congestion-wise. [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
Or "they" say that since light rail is not both profitable and can bring everybody to everywhere at a lightning fast speed, then it is "proof" of VTA's incompetence. They want a "test" that will block off a lane of El Camino without making all the changes to traffic flow, light timings and the like to show that automobile traffic will slow down. [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

The last posting is quite sad. Claiming that being called out on their own racist behavior is somehow "proof" that VTA's claims are false?! What a joke. [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
Diversity makes a wonderful community and attempts to quash it should stop!


9 people like this
Posted by pro-bus, anti-idiocy
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 10, 2015 at 3:08 pm

@keep it civil - Baiting with this "racist" nonsense is a transparent attempt to degrade the discussion. You've been far more rude than practically anyone else posting here.

And if I may waste just a few more words on this: Accusing others of the exact behavior that you know quite well you are guilty of is a pattern I see over and over in your posts. I'm sure it's intended to elicit angry responses and, again, degrade the discussion.

Shame on you.

Just so I don't feel like I've completely wasted my time here, let me repost the contact for Joe Simitian's office. If you have concerns about this idiotic lane closure idea, you can email him here: Web Link.


9 people like this
Posted by History Repeats Itself
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 10, 2015 at 3:56 pm

[This and other comments by the same poster are being removed for use of multiple names on the same thread, which violates terms of use.]


5 people like this
Posted by Discrimination
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2015 at 4:37 pm

There are clearly a lot of different people posting here, at least 10.

In any event, if one wants to point out discrimination, consider this.

Caltrain runs from Castro Street in Mountain View to San Jose in as little as 12 minutes. It often takes less than 20 minutes. The biggest factor in speed is the number of stops that are made because it's faster to skip past stops than to offload and onload. The LONGEST Caltrain currently takes from Mountain View to San Jose is 28 minutes for those trains making every stop along the way, and running at the less busy hours of service.


The VTA already offers service (Rapid 522) making Castro to Diridon station in 28 minutes. It's hardly racist or cheating poor people to balk at spending all this money to achieve essentially the same service. VTA is after increased riders, and they are deluding themselves to think that this change will attract more riders. That is also not racist. If "rich" people will ride Caltrain and take 28 minutes, then why the heck would you think this is too slow for "poor" people?


8 people like this
Posted by Networked
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2015 at 5:40 pm

To focus on the embedded illogic in the last post, consider the absurd notion that Caltrain is not networked with ways to reach the station. That's clearly fabricated. It's such bad logic that makes the BRT argument so very bad.

It's also worth noting that although Rapid 522 route stops along El Camino Real, it does so at only two points in Mountain View, the same as Caltrain. Caltrain stops in the heart of the downtown on Castro at a Transit center with all sorts of bus, taxi, shuttle and other connections. It's a much shorter walk to downtown shopping than it is from the 522 stop on ECR. The other stops are located at Showers drive for Rapid 522 and at the Old Mill transit center near San Antonio for Caltrain. Again, for the majority of the shopping, Caltrain is at least closer than is the Rapid 522 stop on ECR.

Interesting that so much is already the same between Rapid 522 and Caltrain. All I argue is that the present plan to morph into BRT for Rapid 522 is wasteful and misses many opportunities to make improvements WITHOUT moving the 2 stops to the dedicate lane and stations along the median of ECR, chopping all those beautiful trees. It's better service for Rapid 522 RIDERS that could be done maintaining existing stops along the curb on both sides of ECR, especially for the low income and disabled people.


17 people like this
Posted by VTA is calling you a racist
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 10, 2015 at 6:33 pm

They have no history of success to bring up, so they call you a racist.

They are responsible for the NATIONAL JOKE called Light Rail and when you question their BRT predictions based on the now factually failed predictions of light rail ridership, they call you a racist

They have no real evidence that ridership will increase, so they call you a racist.

They are addicted to taking more and more of our taxes and when you complain that you aren't getting anything back from it, they call you a racist.

They have no facts to back up ANYTHING they claim about how BRT will turn out, and when you say you need some, they call you a racist.

That's cool. I vote. They'll come begging for our hard earned money again, just as they always do.
It'll feel SOOO good to cut off the money supply from these clowns. In fact, I can't wait.


5 people like this
Posted by Janet
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 11, 2015 at 10:56 am

I agree, VTA seems to be almost confrontational against Mountain View. It's like they want to shove something down our throats and when we voice concern, we're met with dismissive, almost confrontational insults. Now we're racist because we simply don't want to get fooled again by VTA? Pshh.

I'll be joining the rest of you and will not be supportive of VTA for a while at the ballot box. They need some big internal fixes that tax payer money cannot address, but the lack of taxpayer money might get their attention.


7 people like this
Posted by Don't Get Distracted
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 11, 2015 at 11:28 am

Good lord no. One issue is an irreversible quality of life altering project proposed by an agency with massive past failures on big projects and a history of over-estimating ridership on these projects. Testing the process would be a good thing, considering the millions of our dollars they want to use before they ask for more millions, but VTA does not like things that show
the reality of the situation.
The other issue is an anonymous poster on a message board making claims about another anonymous poster. Vastly different.


14 people like this
Posted by Frank
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 11, 2015 at 12:23 pm

It might be puzzling to many readers that the VTA stays on its course to add to its bus-only lanes already being constructed in San Jose. But it is not a matter of wise or unwise. The VTA bureaucracy seeks to advance its own perceived interests. The bureaucrats know they can get a $75 million contribution from a federal fund and corporate "stakeholders" want an all-new El Camino without cars - except maybe toll lane for Tesla drivers. And it is the special interests that are allowed to finance political campaigns. So ambitious local politicians tend to fall into line. All we can do is promise to oppose and defeat every tax increase that could ever hand more money to the VTA and then follow through.


11 people like this
Posted by Council watcher
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 11, 2015 at 12:39 pm

Frank - I agree. Thanks for putting it so clearly:

"The bureaucrats know they can get a $75 million contribution from a federal fund and corporate "stakeholders" want an all-new El Camino without cars - except maybe toll lane for Tesla drivers. And it is the special interests that are allowed to finance political campaigns. So ambitious local politicians tend to fall into line."

Perhaps this is why Rosenberg and Showalter changed their positions and put the MV council on record as supporting lane closure: The developers who are putting in high-rent apartments along El Camino are the same ones who funded their campaigns with "dark money." Part of the PR push for high density is the dream that it won't negatively impact congestion, because large numbers of people can be "encouraged" to give up auto use.

"All we can do is promise to oppose and defeat every tax increase that could ever hand more money to the VTA and then follow through."

Again, I agree.


12 people like this
Posted by Choke out money wasting VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 11, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Yes Frank. We'll cut them off. VTA and their lone supporter here have solidified my resolve to defeat any new tax or bond money that will go to them.
No worries, the light has been turned on and we all know where the roaches are now. Time to get stompin'!


6 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 11, 2015 at 2:58 pm

I want the fast bus service too. Please don't speak for me and my family!


8 people like this
Posted by Fake poster
a resident of another community
on Sep 11, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Interesting. The article's point is that there is little enthusiasm for the taking of lanes for BRT non-improvements. I don't think even most developers want this to happen. I mean come on, it's not going to bring more BUSINESS to Mountain View which might help commercial developers. It's not necessary to look far to find people looking to LIVE in Mountain View, so there's not added "sugar" needed to frost the cake of residential developers.

The one guy saying all these positive things and adopting different personages is not addressing the reporter's characterization.

Shows a lack of reasoning. No one should blame VTA for him. VTA's not that crazy, just close.


7 people like this
Posted by Votes were counted
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm

I'm not speaking for you Jeff, I'm speaking about the factual election results that were won by people stating they wrere against BRT. I'm not speaking for you, but the voice of the people spoke on election night.


6 people like this
Posted by Votes were counted
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 11, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Ah, yes. The votes. A petition was launched to recall the mountain view council members that voted with BOTH their brains AND conscience to bring rapid and efficient bus service to El Camino. Over 99 percent of Mountain View DID NOT SIGN this petition! That is absolute proof that the council did the right thing by the residents.

Here is the petition: Web Link

Only 681 online "signatures" were collected in over FIVE MONTHS!

If most of the city was truly against this project, then why not more sigs? Do explain that.


6 people like this
Posted by Actually and Factually
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 11, 2015 at 5:36 pm


The voice was heard on election night, not becausae some wonk makes an online petition. That said, that is a HUGE amount of signatures compared to most of the "Hey sign my petition" crowd, esp at that limited sample size.
Still, completely not the same way of measuring the public voice as an ACTUAL ELECTION.
You're asking us to believe that the anonymous msg board created online petition, known ONLY to a tiny segment of the population, is a better voice than an actual election?? Really? I think that's what you're trying to have us believe. My goodness, you really are out of ammo aren't you.
(sigh) OK, We're ready to have you call all the election day voters racists now.


4 people like this
Posted by Frank
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 11, 2015 at 8:15 pm

What election is the poster calling himself "factually and actually" yapping about? Two councilmembers, Ken Rosenberg and Pat Showalter, told voters last fall they OPPOSED VTA's plan for bus-only lanes on El Camino. The third fellow who voted on April 21 to support stealing the lanes, Michael Kasperzak, took no position when he ran in 2012. It was not then an issue being discussed with voters. It appears that bus-lane promoters will post anything, however false, to advance their cause (and just maybe their employer: the VTA). No one has ever been elected to the Mountain View City Council based, in any part, on support for bus-only lanes.


3 people like this
Posted by Cars rule
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 11, 2015 at 8:29 pm

[This and other comments by the same poster are being removed for use of multiple names on the same thread, which violates terms of use.]


6 people like this
Posted by Frank
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 12, 2015 at 5:23 am

"Cars rule" comment above appears to be just another VTA con-job. The roadway on El Camino was indeed built for cars and trucks but that is not why bus-only lanes would be a misuse of space. Too few people need to go from one station to another on El Camino (or other place within walking distance). The lane-grab will not get enough people where they need or want to go. That is why even the VTA has not projected more than 1 bus every 10 minutes in the bus-only lanes with miles of empty roadway between buses. The corporations and rich players behind economic policies such as those embedded in regional growth plans - including the so-called "Bay Area Plan" for growth limited mostly to existing transportation corridors - have the rest of us fighting over space. The VTA is first and foremost about itself. Its employees, paid consultants and aligned special interest groups will apparently say anything to con the public and get their way.


4 people like this
Posted by Another Thought
a resident of another community
on Sep 12, 2015 at 1:43 pm

So many people posting here, but one guy seems to think it's only him and one other person. But the thought is this: One of the biggest flaws in VTA's plan for the dedicated lane is that the route that carries 2/3 of the riders along ECR now (22) will be left to use (shared with cars) the remaining traffic lanes. The BRT service will stop only once every 2 miles or so, exactly like the stop frequency of the existing 522 service. The 522 service already runs 25% faster than the 22 owing to skipping 3/4 of the stops, and is available today to everyone using the 22. The 522 stops are the ones where new $1 Million stops will be created along the median for the new BRT lanes.

When you look at just the facts above, you have to scratch your head. New service dedicated lanes for 1/3 of the users? Why neglect the other 2/3?

I defy anyone to say this is an anti-bus comment given that is about one group of bus riders versus another. Maybe I'll even reach the VTA with this point.


5 people like this
Posted by VTA punishes all in MV
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 12, 2015 at 1:49 pm

It does punish the current MV to MV destination riders, which are the VTA patrons who actually live and work in the city, but they don't seem to care at all about them.
It's clearly time to send them a message during the next election.


7 people like this
Posted by Missed the point
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 12, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Even if the number of stops remains the same, it will still be much faster since they won't have to wade through all the congestion caused by automobiles. THAT is the whole point of the project.

And your ridership numbers are bogus. Intelligent planners look forward to bring in new riders and the best way to do that is to address the top concerns of current riders which is speed during commute times.

If anyone can figure out a way to bring mass transit to El Camino that will insulate it from ever increasing automobile traffic congestion AND reduce annual operating costs, please speak up.

So far, the idea that people can simply use CalTrain ignores where most Santa Clara residents live, work and shop.


4 people like this
Posted by Drawbacks to BRT/522
a resident of another community
on Sep 12, 2015 at 4:11 pm

The simple solution is to add MORE stops to the 522/BRT line. Skip the dedicated lanes and the expensive stations on the median. Just add a few more stops in MV. You still won't be able to get on at every stop served by 22, but they can be closer than 2 miles apart. By going from 2 stops to 5 stops on ECR alone the length of the entire city (and Los Altos on one side), you multiple the potential ridership for 522 by 2.5 times. This is a massive improvement in service to the residents of Mountain View.

You have a 4.25 mile stretch in the city. The closest stop in Palo Alto is at Arastradero and in Sunnyvale at Bernardo. The distance between those stops is nearly 5 miles. There should be at least 4 stops in Mountain View, and probably 5. That would reduce the walk to a stop to under 1/2 mile no matter where on ECR you start out. Is that too much to ask? Won't that increase riders?


3 people like this
Posted by BRT schedule proposal
a resident of another community
on Sep 12, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Note also, VTA is proposing a constant interval of 10 minutes or so regardless of time of day for the BRT/522 service. If you add stops in MV, you could also run additional "limited" 522 service that only stops at the existing 2 stops intermingled with the standard 10 minute spacing, but only run the supplemental limited runs at the peak commute times to speed service for those riders at the times of the highest demand, if warranted by ridership.


5 people like this
Posted by Council Members
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Sep 12, 2015 at 4:54 pm

@Missed the point

"Intelligent planners look forward to bring in new riders and the best way to do that is to address the top concerns of current riders which is speed during commute times"

Quite frankly, it's YOU who wildly miss the point. The best way to bring in NEW riders is to address the concerns OF THOSE NEW RIDERS. (not the current riders).

The largest concern of the potential NEW riders is that the system doesn't take them where they need to go. That's been expressed here a multitude of times, but is NEVER addressed by BRT proponents.

Until that larger picture is addressed in a concrete way, ridership numbers will not increase, and VTA funding votes will fail.

Instead of arguing and continuing to ignore the routing concern, why not address it, or acknowledge it and encourage VTA to address it.


8 people like this
Posted by Still missed the point!
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 12, 2015 at 5:00 pm

These days, the immense amount of automobile traffic is tying up El Camino and preventing the far more efficient buses to get through. "Rush hour" congestion is only getting worse. The start and end times of "rush hour" is spreading out and is on track to being an all-day nightmare. (Los Angeles)

The whole point of the project is to allow public transit to move unimpeded by the automobile congestion. The BRT dedicated lane proposal is the only way to accomplish this. Simply tweaking the schedule will not provide a better service--it would be like blowing into a hurricane.


6 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 13, 2015 at 3:47 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

so per your reasoning Still Missed the Point, let's just make ALL of ECR mass transit. make those dang cars take side streets! Then all those empty busses can just FLY down ECR. Problem solved!


6 people like this
Posted by I ride the "Fliyin' 22"
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 14, 2015 at 9:35 am

I can't say I'm pleased at all with the proposed changes to the only bus I ride. It may become too inconvenient if it goes through so I'm hoping the free shuttles come into play more. Seems like anyone who actually lives and works in MV specifically, will be negatively affected by this, whether you use the bus or not.


5 people like this
Posted by Mark near the park
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 15, 2015 at 2:02 pm

"Seems like anyone who actually lives and works in MV specifically, will be negatively affected by this, whether you use the bus or not."

Spot-on and Bingo. That's the problem. That's why so many are so upset with Showalter and Rosenberg for selling out Mtn View, regardless of reasons they had.


4 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Here's the real motivation behind most of the supporters of stealing a car lane. This includes all the people who would never use the service themselves but feel like offering increased public transit is a bang up idea. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. Until you get out of your car by using workable public transit, there's still a problem. It's Guilt Spending on worthless infrastructure plus destruction of roadways that most people don't use for commute (using 101, 280, 880, 237, 87, 85 and Friends instead). Just because El Camino Real is N-0-T a commute route for 90+% of commuters doesn't mean it's not an important road.

See: Web Link and you'll see that satire gets it right. The problem is people don't use reasonable care or reasonable standards of evaluation for transit options they have NO INTEREST IN EVER USING THEMSELVES.


4 people like this
Posted by Voting for Jeb
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 15, 2015 at 4:48 pm

I don't like to pay for anything that doesn't give me an immediate and direct benefit. The problem with the dedicated lane project is that while the few dollars/year of my tax money that *might* go into that project is small, where is the ROI to me?

Look, if you want my $3, then you need to spend that on a shuttle that will come pick me up at my house and drive me over to Whole Foods and then drive me right back again when I'm done. I would also need help carrying my groceries. I'm not asking for a free taxi so in exchange for having the fare be $0.00, I am willing to pre-schedule my ride an hour ahead of time. The hours should be 7x24, since sometimes I need to go out very late to a pharmacy. If we each chip in $3/year in taxes, this should be easily accomplished. I'll bet that since VTA will claim that this cannot work, which shows their incompetence.

My vote is to do what we did to our radio frequencies. Auction off the roads and let private companies bid on that land. They could then offer access to them through a toll system that they build and maintain. Or, even offer free access and sell advertising space on billboards. Since the roads would be in the free market, the innovations will be amazing! Of course, the liberal naysayers will bring up all these objections, but that is just because they are afraid of losing power. We could then eliminate the portion of gasoline taxes that have to do with road maintenance, so everybody saves money!


5 people like this
Posted by Frank
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 16, 2015 at 8:30 am

I don't know if the last poster is serious, but government agencies such as the VTA might well want all roads to be TOLL ROADS that could be sold to private profiteers or foreign regimes to raise money for government employee pensions. If the VTA can take one lane for its own use, why not all of the lanes on El Camono and elsewhere? Selling off America and enslaving the population. It is happening in many ways already.


18 people like this
Posted by So much lost for how many?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2015 at 8:52 am

Instead of altering the entire system of roads and arguing the worth of privatizing them, hows about we keep focused on the actual issue, not the lib/con argument some seem to have as a hobby.
I looked into the 522 today on ECR and 237. I could clearly see in because of the sun angle. 4 riders, that was it. Even if it was 15, BRT would be an astoundingly bad idea at this time. Not even close to being the best way to spend millions and millions of dollars(and tens of millions more). I also like the trees in my town, so I'm opposede to the removal VTA is set on doing with BRT.


7 people like this
Posted by So much gained for very many!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Instead of keeping the entire system of roads the same and arguing emotional issues like “lost trees", hows about we keep focused on the actual issue, not the VTA conspiracy theory argument some seem to have as a hobby.
I looked into the automobiles today on ECR and 237. I could clearly see in because of the sun angle. 99% of the cars had but a single rider/driver, that was it. Even if it was 2, doing nothing would be an astoundingly bad idea at this time. Not even close to being the best way to save millions dollars annually from VTA’s reduced operating costs from the project. I also like elderly, people of lower socio-economic classes and others who cannot drive for one reason or another, so I'm supportive of the commitment VTA is set on doing with BRT.


10 people like this
Posted by Looking for maturity
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 16, 2015 at 2:55 pm

It's statements like that that have you on the losing end of these discussions.
We have elderly and lower economic people currently using the local 22 service who live and work within the city limits that will be negatively affected by BRT.
MV needs to take care of it's elderly and lower class residents. We need to protect the sweet old lady up the street who takes the 22 to the store and we need to protect the folks who take the 22 to work in our shops and restaurants. MV needs to shut down BRT to protect these people as well as the MANY MANY other reasons already stated by so many posters above.


4 people like this
Posted by 22, 522 and BRT
a resident of another community
on Sep 16, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Ask yourself why the buses run empty or nearly empty so often. This is not generally the case at peak commute times, such as 4pm to 6pm. But at the other hours of the day, you have just as frequent service running with few riders.

I think a lot of this is to create full 8 hour day schedules for the drivers.

Wouldn't it make more sense for the some of drivers who drives a busy commute run in the morning to switch to driving a local shuttle to bring more passengers to the fewer number of runs from 9am to 3pm during the day? This is when there are a lot of older people who could use that service to get around. It's not such a simple schedule to describe, but it could be done. The drivers would still be working, but doing a different route than just straight up and down El Camino.


6 people like this
Posted by Intelligent Maturity
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2015 at 3:59 pm

There it is again. The argument switches from:
"THE BUSSES ARE EMPTY so we should do nothing!"
To:
"The BUSSES ARE FULL OF GRANNY'S so we should do nothing!"

Well? Are they empty or not?!?!

Now you can switch to:

"The BUSSES ARE ONLY PARTIALLY FULL, so we should do nothing!"

Well, the goal is to increase ridership and through surveys and forecasting had determined that the biggest boost to ridership would come from decreasing the time it takes from start to finish. Why is this so difficult to understand?

Not surprising, since the anti-bus coalition does not have the facts behind them. What choice do they have but to lie?


3 people like this
Posted by Frank
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 16, 2015 at 4:17 pm

Who will ride the "rapid transit" buses and from where to where? Go ahead VTA. Respond. And while you are at it, tell us when you are going to release the "third party review" you commissioned to support your absurd claims about ridership and traffic impacts?


4 people like this
Posted by Unintelligent Maturity
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 16, 2015 at 4:51 pm

It's amazing how the pro BRT crowd makes such silly comments. Most of the anti BRT crowd bases their beliefs on empirical observations. They see empty busses and lots of traffics jams when ECR is reduced to two lanes due to construction. The pro crowd dismisses these obvious concerns and just blindly claims that BRT will solve all of these problems by increasing ridership. They also appeal to fictitious data about time savings for a hypothetical rider who never exists. At best VTA should set up an experiment for a few months to see the folly of their plan. It may not convince them but rational people will clearly observe the silliness of their proposal.

My prediction is that VTA will never support a temporary experiment because they know they are just pushing for more spending and know their plan will fail.


3 people like this
Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 16, 2015 at 7:52 pm

Under ground BRT or is it spelled BART


11 people like this
Posted by Buses
a resident of another community
on Sep 16, 2015 at 9:56 pm

One of the recent comments illustrated that although he is a BRT supporter (he tries to be), he doesn't realize that there are 2 sorts of buses today running along the BRT route. There is the 22 which makes every stop and mayhap has grannies, which runs on the more frequent schedule. There is also the 522 which currently makes only 1/4 of the stops, a total of 2 in Mountain View. Only one trip possible on the 522 within Mountain View, just from Castro to Whole Foods Market. Can't get to Safeway or Nob Hill Foods. Sorry.

Well, the BRT proposal is to replace the 522 service with BRT service at the same stops. Then they plan to cut back on the frequency of 22 runs and increase the 522 runs. Makes no sense at all to me. If they end up having more riders on 522, only THEN should they add runs, probably at commute time. No need to decrease the 22 service all day long!

It's apparently beyond the comprehension of some "blind faith" BRT supporters. But it's true.


10 people like this
Posted by Lame
a resident of another community
on Sep 16, 2015 at 10:29 pm

The previous post is embarrassing. It clearly shows that this anti-transit person hasn't any leg to stand on.

This "other community" member that claims to speak for OUR community is now arguing that since the BRT project will result in slightly fewer local buses, that it would GREATLY IMPACT all the "grannies" that ride the bus. Also, that the express service would only be helpful for "grannies" that travel between Castro and San Antonio.

This same poster claimed that the buses run virtually empty, but now claims that any reduction of the 22 service would cause a big impact. How could there be a big impact if nobody rides it?!?! How unethical to LIE while trying to sway public opinion.

A reduction in frequency of the 22 bus is very minor. 10 minutes? Plus, many can hop on the express and transfer to a local, so any impact would be less. And...guess what?!?! The schedule won't be fixed in stone. With increasing demand, more busses could be added!

The most embarrassing isn't what this person wrote, but what they didn't . With increasingly high density along El Camino in housing, retail and offices, what other solution is there to increase travel speed along this corridor? Until you post an economically viable alternative to dedicated lane BRT that meets the travel speed requirement, your fact-free postings are pointless.


21 people like this
Posted by MV Resident
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 17, 2015 at 5:42 am

In the past year I have become vehemently anti-VTA. Sound transit ideas are needed but VTA puts up bad ideas. Just because it is proposed, does not make it a sound transit idea. I will no longer vote for any VTA funding.


4 people like this
Posted by MV car driver
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2015 at 12:25 pm

I don't use public transit to get where I need to go, because the caltrain station is both expensive and quite a walk (40 minutes round trip on this end + 50 minutes on the other). If we could get a fast bus to take me down to santa clara on el camino, I would use it every day and my walking time would be cut down to 10 minutes on this end and 20 on the other!) Traffic is just so awful! Too many cars!!


7 people like this
Posted by They haven't convinced me
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 17, 2015 at 12:51 pm

Public transit does not go where I need to go.
I need to go up and down 101, 280 and across 237.The cars you see on the road are people doing their final connection mile, or MV residents doing errands.
VTA has totally missed the mark on this one. It's like they are operating in a complete bubble, devoid of the realities of commuters and their needs.


6 people like this
Posted by Convinced me
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 17, 2015 at 4:03 pm

While many riders may not go the entire length of the express route 2x/day (although I'm sure some will), the "last mile" argument is baseless. For example, the distance from the TBD Castro and Showers is almost TWO miles, not ONE. The stations are selected as transportation points-of-interest. Downtown MV to San Antonio. El Camino is where most of the businesses are in MV and that will be growing. Apartments are shooting up. Having a bus service that crawls around because the streets are littered with automobiles (usually transportation just the driver). It just makes sense to provide a route for a far more efficient public transit to get by.

We all are going to have our pet projects. Some resident lives in MV, but works in Milpitas. So, they want a special form of transit that only helps them. Low or no cost and would match the schedule. Go to Manhattan and try to drive. Good luck! Public transit is pretty good though, right?

"But, but... MV is not Manhattan!"
Very good! You are SO smart. Try telling that the people stuck in the El Camino Parking Lot at rush hour. THAT is identical to Manhattan. And that gridlock is growing and growing if we do nothing.

Not a single realistic solution has been suggested to reduce gridlock(or slow it's growth) on El Camino from the Anti-Bus brigade. Just cries of conspiracy!
Or, ignore the data!!! It won't work!

I don't work for VTA, but the more I read on this page, the more I'm convinced that the dedicated lane is the right solution. When you have (supposedly) intelligent people that cannot come up with a better solution, then it's easy to see which side is right.


6 people like this
Posted by That's why they have elections
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 19, 2015 at 5:36 am

The voters of Mountain View will decide...again.


11 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 19, 2015 at 8:17 am

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

yes but the voters of MV decided (and elected) those who claimed to be against the bus lanes and yet they went behind our backs and supported it. Now more than ever the voters of MV will decide; to NOT re-elect those who went against their voters.


11 people like this
Posted by hat's why they have elections
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 19, 2015 at 8:29 am

Yes, and they'll also decide on whether or not they want to raise their taxes yet again when the begging hand of VTA gets extended our way.
The voters will decide if they want to fund the wasteful and unnecessary assault on MV's quality of life.


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

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