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El Camino bus-only lanes get boost from new study

Original post made on Sep 23, 2015

With a final decision just a few months away, a controversial proposal to bring dedicated bus lanes to El Camino Real inched forward on Tuesday, following the release of an independent study on the plan's impacts.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 5:22 PM

Comments (280)

85 people like this
Posted by B Minkin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 23, 2015 at 7:36 pm

I think this means that when frustrated drivers give up on using El Camino because it is so slow due to the missing lane, they will just use local streets. That's not good, either.


85 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 23, 2015 at 7:47 pm

"VTA planners estimated that by 2018 more than 1,160 drivers would "divert" from solo driving on El Camino during peak traffic times. In other words, those drivers would find an alternative routes or means of transportation." Laughable!

How do they come up with these fantasy numbers? What happened to carpools that "planners" said would occur when carpool lanes were built.

Some silly study to justify a silly plan, with unfortunate results. Thank you city council for backstabbing the residents of Mountain View.


56 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 24, 2015 at 8:14 am

The independent study group obviously doesn't' commute on El Camino every night, and of course VTA officials recommend the project. They are the ones profiting from this plan.
Who cares about traffic congestion and car emissions from people sitting in their idle cars during heavy commute hours.


99 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 9:16 am

How about, if the committee which submitted the report also have some skin in the game and REALLY stand behind the report.

If the report turns outs to be accurate, then the committee receives $50MM. If the report is inaccurate then the committee agrees to pay $50MM towards turning ECR back into three lanes. And, if the committee members (their employers?) are unable to cover this, then seek bond/insurance to cover it. If they are unable to get outside bond/insurance to cover it, then we KNOW the (lack of) veracity of the report.


Remember what I have said in previous postings about the VTA trying to leverage every tool at it's disposal in order to foist this dedicated lane BRT scheme down the El Camino Real corridor cities throats, regardless of those cities wishes -- well, this report is just the beginning.


PUT THE BRT DEDICATED LANE PLAN UP TO A STAND ALONE VOTE OF THE SANTA CLARA COUNTY TAX PAYERS, AND LET THE TAXPAYERS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.



58 people like this
Posted by I need my workers in the office
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 24, 2015 at 9:19 am

Rip up all the trees and pack the residential neighborhoods with overflow traffic that can no longer use ECR. The trip down ECR may not be affected, but the commute time just increased greatly due to the new routes everyone will be forced to take. That affects the bottom line of the businesses in the Valley as well.
What a terrible idea.


83 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 9:40 am

@B Minkin:

The VTA does not care what motorists who divert off El Camino Real are doing, so long as they were able to claim only moderate increase of signal wait times at selected intersections along the corridor in their draft environmental impact report. The impacts to Central and Foothill expressways were certainly not fully explored or addressed, nor were the impacts to the residential streets along either side of El Camino Real, which are sure to become thruways for hundreds of autos "diverting" off of El Camino Real, daily.

If this dedicated lane BRT plan is implemented along El Camino Real, it is going to make daily life for the residents of the corridor cities exceptionally difficult. Expect significantly increased amounts of auto traffic on what are now relatively quiet residential streets as people seek to avoid the snails pace of El Camino Real. For residents who may live close to El Camino Real, parking will become even more difficult as the plan is to remove ALL on street parking along El Camino Real. What happens to retail along El Camino Real...does it simply die?

Don't forget about the removal of EVERY SINGLE TREE IN THE MEDIAN FROM GRANT ROAD TO SHOWERS DRIVE - ALMOST 300 TREES. The result will leave El Camino Real looking like a literal concrete canyon. Wonder how the "echo effect" of the noise might be once all those trees are removed? Among other things, tress tend to buffer some of the sounds of the street as well as filter create positive effects for the air quality. But, really...who cares about 300 trees, I'm sure the VTA will say something to the effect of, for every tree they remove, they will replant 2 tress somewhere else in the city...really? Are you going to plant 25 year old mature trees along El Camino Real...because unless that's the plan, then take a hike.

No Way to the VTA.


17 people like this
Posted by Doug
a resident of North Bayshore
on Sep 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm

I can't wait to use this w my bike to get to work! Please hurry.


29 people like this
Posted by Uh, yah
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm

@Doug: You'll get a ticket, or killed when the bus come behind you and you're surrounded by traffic on both sides.
Msg board bravado comment noted though, good one, I ride a bike too. Try not to embarrass the rest of us.


12 people like this
Posted by Chris Lepe
a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2015 at 2:14 pm

The independent review speaks volumes about VTA's new leadership and their effort to ensure all the critical questions are addressed as part of this project.
It's important to note that the claims of opponents stating that traffic will "slow to a near standstill" and that the project will not offer significant benefits to transit users are completely false.
VTA should adopt all of the recommendations in the report and move forward with Alternative 4C - transit-only lanes, bike lanes, and pedestrian upgrades from Santa Clara to Palo Alto. VTA should also run more frequency than every ten minutes in the dedicated lanes, including allowing private and public high capacity vehicles like Google buses to access the lanes for a fee that can then go back into additional service along the corridor or connecting routes.
Now is the time for action. With the climate crisis upon us and half a million more people expected to live in the South Bay within the next twenty five years, we have no time to waste.


34 people like this
Posted by PH
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 2:34 pm

This is just a bad idea! It will turn California Street into a much more dangerous drag strip than it currently is. The neighborhoods are already clogged by people who are coming and going to and from home or work or taking kids to school. It is easier to make a longer commute than to drive in the local gridlocked traffic. VTA is clueless as to the every day world of short distance commuting. People won't and can't abandon the use of their cars no matter what they do to try and make it happen. If they had built BART years ago it would have solved a lot of the problems that they are attempting to fix with this poor idea. They should have to put this to a vote and then see what the people say.


49 people like this
Posted by Cuesta Neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 2:44 pm

This committee sounds like it was picked to validate the VTA conclusions. If they are confused by the traffic model and projections being used, they are in no position to judge them. A committee selected and empanelled by the VTA is not independent. We know our residential streets are already being impacted in unsafe ways by frustrated commuters -- this will make things worse for limmuted value.


48 people like this
Posted by I used to do this
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 24, 2015 at 2:56 pm

When I did environmental consulting, we used to be VERY keenly aware of who was paying us and what their end game was that they were trying to accomplish. Our owners would always say things like "They're paying us a lot of money and they don't want us to shut them down" of "Do you think if we shut this down that we'll be hired by ANYONE else in the future?"
If the party writing the check has a desired outcome, the consultant better try damned hard to have things come out well for the customer.
Independent study with bought and paid for outcomes.


28 people like this
Posted by Independent study
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 24, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Independent study, Yeah right, and Abe Lincoln is still president.

What fools do these VTA personals think we are? Oh wait, it's for the Environment, everything nowadays is either for the poor children or the environment. Crazzy libs. pushing there agenda to create more income for to line there pockets.


56 people like this
Posted by Mountain Views Voice
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Please, read the "report" then write Santa Clara County Supervisor, Joe Simitian, and let him know your thoughts about this project.

Keep speaking up, your voices matter.


17 people like this
Posted by PEG
a resident of North Whisman
on Sep 24, 2015 at 3:10 pm

When are the police, fire and ambulance going to put their 2 cents in? They will be impacted by heavy traffic which will make El Camino especially difficult to navigate. I cannot imagine that this will make any difference in how we commute except that the adjoining neighborhoods will will no longer be safe and quiet for residents. Also, the buses are never full now so do you really think the this will entice commuters to get out of their cars and ride the bus. I think NOT!!


53 people like this
Posted by Help me understand...
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Please help me understand how this works.

So let's say I want to travel from San Antonio and El Camino to Shoreline and El Camino to get a double scoop ice cream at Baskin-Robbins. To take advantage of the Bus Rapid Transit, it will cost me $4.00 for the trip. To return, it will cost me an addition $4.00 for the trip, so a total of $8.00. And for a family of four, this is $32.00, right? Ice cream is $15.96, so a simple ice cream run to BR by BRT is almost $50.00?

I confess a visit to BR is usually on impulse as we drive by without any thought to cost of gas, but I would never go if I knew it cost me $32.00 just in travel cost.


23 people like this
Posted by Independent?
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Sep 24, 2015 at 3:20 pm

As others point out, nothing about how this group was pulled together or commissioned is independent. On top of that, did they even go out and get new data? It sounds like they just "reviewed" VTA's data. What a crock!

And shame on the Voice for continually using the term "independent". Did this study meet that standard in your eyes? Or is this blindly accepting VTA messaging?


7 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2015 at 3:53 pm

El Camino is not so Real.


22 people like this
Posted by prs
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 24, 2015 at 4:23 pm

More baloney added to the baloney we have already been served by the VTA.

The only "independent" thing about this study is the the thought used to develop it, as in the study is independent of ANY thought whatsoever.

As I have suggested before, why don't they close the lanes and streets they plan to close for this foolish social experiment on a temporary basis for one month, then put it to a vote on a county-wide ballot? Why are we allowing these VTA clowns to run their experiment on us without our having a voice in the process?

Speak up and let everyone within the sound of your voice know what you think. I have already written the city council and will be writing Joe Simitian and anybody else I can think of as well. We need to stop this before we all end up sitting in traffic watching more empty buses whizzing by us in their own special lanes, which we all paid for with our tax dollars.


19 people like this
Posted by yeah right
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 4:26 pm

@Help Me Understand, the good news is you and your family will burn off some of those ice cream calories as you walk a half-mile or so each direction from the bus stop on Castro to the ice cream store on Miramonte/Shoreline.

Showers and Castro are the ONLY stops planned, correct? So if you live near or want to travel to Grant Road, Shoreline, Escuela, or Rengstorff, you'll have some walking to do.

Plus it makes so much more sense economically to pay $32 bus fare to travel about 5 miles roundtrip, instead of 40-60 cents in gasoline (assuming 25-30 mpg car with gas at $3/gallon).

Ideally you and the family could ride your bikes to Baskin Robbins in safe, clearly-marked bike lanes without fear of being run over by texting drivers.

I'm happy to finally see a rendering of this plan. Yes, that's EXACTLY what El Camino looks like, probably right now at 4pm, with just THREE cars! The BRT plan is so efficient that POOF all the cars have magically disappeared!


16 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 24, 2015 at 4:27 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@Help me understand: Most people would have a monthly bus pass which is $70 for adults, $45 for kids. It's not fair to compare to your drive when you don't consider the total cost of your car, which AAA says is about $750 per month on average.

I have a monthly Caltrain pass which lets me travel between Menlo Park and San Jose, plus ride VTA and SamTrans for free. Weekend trips anywhere on Caltrain are free too. That's about the cost of the gas alone for my monthly car mileage when I used to drive everywhere. And that doesn't include the cost of my vehicle nor the maintenance costs.

No one is forcing you to sell a family vehicle and take transit instead. But there are people and families out there that would love the opportunity to not have a car for every adult in the household. Having efficient, effective transit is important to making that happen.


13 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 24, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@PEG: Firefighters and other emergency vehicles will be able to use the bus-only lanes, which means they won't get stuck behind traffic at all. This would be a big win for them in terms of response times.


9 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 24, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@Help me understand: I forgot to add that my Caltrain monthly pass is $126. A single ride to San Jose is $5.25 so the monthly pass is a great deal. Also note that Caltrain costs over twice what the VTA bus/light rail costs per ride.


23 people like this
Posted by Help Me Understand...
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 4:44 pm

@yeah right, I saw that rendering with so few cars, and it might be accurate with all the stores out of business.

Remember Pedestrian Malls? They were once the latest fad with city officials in their plan to reduce traffic. Forty years later, Sacramento is one the last city to return their pedestrian mall to street traffic.


24 people like this
Posted by Help Me Understand...
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 5:05 pm

@Janet, don't have to sell me on CalTrain. I loved commuting to the city on it for years. Fortunately it was convenient for my job at that time...not now. My grandfather was a master blacksmith back when it was Southern Pacific.

And I understand my Clipper Card transit fee converts to a day pass once I have exceeded the day pass limit...maybe not in all cases.

My point was not to convert to bus commuter only mode, but to understand what BRT was offering. Most stores on El Camino cater to customers with cars to transport all their purchases, so I am probably keeping the car.


23 people like this
Posted by OldMV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 24, 2015 at 5:29 pm

I don't trust any study that the [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
bureaucrats at the VTA offers. I also don't trust the [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
of the MV Planning Commission or City Council. Most are blinded by their political ambitions and seek to gain favor with Santa Clara County officials and unions. They are corrupt bureaucrats seeking to gain even more money and power, and they really don't give a damn about ordinary citizens.

Thursday AM this week, I was on westbound El Camino returning from an early doctors' appt at El Camino and Mathilda in Sunnyvale at at 8:30 AM. Westbound El Camino was backed up all of the way from HWY 85 to Bernardo, almost a mile. The right lane was stopped and the middle lane was stop and go due to cars being backed up by the timing lights on the 85 northbound entry ramp from El Camino. Only the center lane, the lane that the VTA wants to steal from us for its incredibly stupid bus debacle, was running very slow too. It took me 15 minutes to get from Bernardo to Grant Road in the center lane!!! So, if the VTA gets to put buses into this center lane in Sunnyvale and cars are confined to lanes 1 and 2 at HWY 85, westbound El Camino will grind to a halt at 85 during morning rush hour. The same already happens to eastbound El Camino Real in MV during afternoon rush hour.

My opinion is very simple. The VTA paid a lot of money to get a cooked-up false report that supports their plan. The reality of traffic on El Camino belies the opinions state in their report. I most humbly sugguest that anyone who wants to see how the VTA's attempt to ruin El Camino just get on westbound El Camino at Bernardo at about 8:30 AM and then get on eastbound El Camino at Shoreline at about 5:00 PM any weekday and experience the gridlock for themselves.


22 people like this
Posted by _no_
a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2015 at 5:35 pm

The people who use El Camino are not starting and stopping on El Camino which means no one will be using it. I have to drive my car and then what? Park and then ride the bus to something on El Camino? No thanks. Sheer idiocy.


7 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 24, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@Help me understand: First, El Camino isn't just for shopping. There are restaurants, housing and offices, and soon to be more. And there are plenty of stores where a typical purchase fits in one or two bags and can easily be taken aboard a bus.

Even groceries. Take a look at how many people are in the 15 items or less lines. Express line shoppers are probably half the total number of customers. It's just not obvious because they get through the line quicker. If you can fit it in a handbasket in the grocery store you can bring it aboard a bus.


35 people like this
Posted by Jack Cormode
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 5:49 pm

The Mercury News article was much like the Voice's except it had a few more comments. Toward the end, it noted that with fewer lanes, "most drivers will take other routes or make trips at less-congested times of day." In other words, we will all be expected to drive through local neighborhoods at times that are not convenient to ourselves.
Here we are in Silicon Valley in the 21st century, having 19th century technology forced down our throats by a government agency that is totally dedicated to building its own empire. Why not get Google X and other high tech researchers involved and solve this problem using new technology.
BTW, public transit is heavily subsidized by we the taxpayers. Any growth in usage will place a heavier burden on us all.


43 people like this
Posted by Bad bad bad
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 6:09 pm

This whole idea is just plain bad.

For those of you thinking of using the side streets, that may work for a while, but guess what. Soon they will install speed bumps and if that doesn't help, they will make streets into dead ends. Enjoy your liberty while you still have it.

One must understand that the cities main agenda is to get people out of their cars. By force if necessary. This is no longer the land of the free, but the land of the controlled. Your masters in office will tell you exactly what you can do. Big brother is here. You will be a cog in the wheel of the progressives.


29 people like this
Posted by All the reason not to support BRT
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 6:31 pm

If you are for using the bus inter-Mountain View for your errands, then you must be against this particular BRT since it reduces the number of stops the local bus makes, making it more difficult to take the bus for your one hand-basket errands in town, which I agree, are great. I'm not a fan of removing every single noise and pollution filtering tree along ECR either. Also not a fan of increasing the car traffic on my bike routes, as the inevitable overflow traffic now zips ad speeds through surface streets to try and gain some time lost because of BRT on ECR. Angry impatient drivers treating my usually mellow ride home into a hell race of raging egos.
BRT is the worst idea I have ever heard regarding best road use for all.


53 people like this
Posted by Better than average
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 24, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Janet Lafleur: "It's not fair to compare to your drive when you don't consider the total cost of your car, which AAA says is about $750 per month on average."

Averages can be deceiving...

I drive a compact 100% electric car, and when including all taxes, title, fees, maintenance, charging fees/electricity, insurance... I am paying significantly under $750.00 per month.... barely $200.00 per month.

Just sayin'



4 people like this
Posted by Backwards
a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2015 at 8:33 pm

This whole plan would work much more like the diehard supporter argue if the usage was reverse. Put the 22 service in the dedicated lanes. Their riders are more than twice as many as on the 522. They are the ones that need quick stops because there are so many of them.

Discontinue 522 ALTOGETHER and move those riders to Caltrain.

Would work 1000 times better than VTA's plan.


17 people like this
Posted by to Janet Lafleur
a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2015 at 8:39 pm

VTA is much more expensive per passenger mile than is Caltrain. Your numbers are way off. Here's reality:

Compare Caltrain to VTA (Transit Portion). Interesting situation

Agency Caltrain VTA Transit
Passenger Miles 360M 234M
Annual Budget $106M $317M


14 people like this
Posted by V. Reed
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 24, 2015 at 8:39 pm

I think the consensus is that this lane closure business would be a colossally bad idea. It appears very likely to make a bad situation worse. Is there any way to stop it?


24 people like this
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 24, 2015 at 9:07 pm

This report is an insane pipe dream supported by people who want the project, not objective. There is NO WAY ONE FOURTH OF THE CURRENT DRIVERS WILL SUDDENLY SWITCH TO MASS TRANSIT.

So if this does not work as planned are they setting aside funds to undo it all when the traffic is worse? Didn't think so.


37 people like this
Posted by To Stop It
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2015 at 12:05 am

Start by voting down ANY new taxes that support VTA in ANY way. They will just use them to fund this waste. Don't be misled by promises that you can get 2% of the taxes to do other nice things. Consider the big picture.

NO MONEY FOR VTA.


8 people like this
Posted by Game Over
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 25, 2015 at 12:47 am

What a bunch of garbage you guys keep posting. The facts are against you. The impact is minimal and the benefits great. It has been confirmed by an independent panel.

Most people in MV support the dedicated lane. Think otherwise? Go get 10,000 physical signatures and prove me wrong. Otherwise, time to "get along little doggie!"


49 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 25, 2015 at 7:03 am

Snipped from an San Jose Mercury News article published 9/25/15:
Web Link

"At a Palo Alto City Council meeting on Monday, Simitian told city leaders he has urged VTA to finish the county's first BRT project from Santa Clara to Alum Rock before embarking on the El Camino Real project.

This way, the agency can study the effectiveness of BRT before proceeding, Simitian said.

"Right now I don't think the public is prepared to accept the modeling and the data as significant assurance that this thing won't simply be a tremendous boondoggle that once it happens is hard to reverse.""

~~~~~~~~~~



PLEASE SEND YOUR QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, CONCERNS ABOUT VTA's BRT PLAN IN TO SANTA CLARA COUNTY SUPERVISOR JOE SIMITIAN.

EMAIL ADDRESS FOUND HERE: Web Link

ATTENTION: KRIS ZANARDI, POLICY AIDE - ENVIRONMENT & TRANSPORTATION
MR. SIMITIAN AND HIS STAFF WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU, AND ARE VERY RESPONSIVE TO YOUR COMMENTS.


5 people like this
Posted by Walter Palmer
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 25, 2015 at 7:11 am

Having an independent study group say that removing a lane from each side is a good idea, is like trophy hunters claiming that it's good for the animals because it protects the endangered.

Ok, not really, but it is Friday! Have a good weekend my furry friends!!!


13 people like this
Posted by @NO to the VTA
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2015 at 7:36 am

re: "At a Palo Alto City Council meeting on Monday, Simitian told city leaders he has urged VTA to finish the county's first BRT project from Santa Clara to Alum Rock before embarking on the El Camino Real project.

Waiting seems reasonable but this could be for a while....

The Alumn Rock BRT segment (7 mile - $124M) was planned to be completed now.
Apparently, VTA halted construction in July and just fired its contractor. The segment is now scheduled to be done in early 2017 (1.5 years late) at yet unknown additional costs.


43 people like this
Posted by Stop BRT By Voting NO to VTA tax increases
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 25, 2015 at 9:06 am

They are an out of control bureaucracy that has one intent: keep feeding the machine. They have truly lost their way by their continued push for BRT and will not be stopped until they have no money that they can use to ruin MV.


5 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 25, 2015 at 10:58 am

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@to Janet Lafleur: First, please don't use my name in your anonymous name. It makes it look like *I* wrote the comment. As for your comment. I never wrote about the cost per mile to run the transit services, I cited the cost of monthly passes. Two different things. And VTA costs more per passenger mile for many reasons, including it needs more drivers per passenger served, it operates a complex network with many routes and stops not a single line, and its buses travel slower. Apples to oranges.

@Better than average: The average car is driven about 15,000 miles a year or 1250/month. Assuming 20mpg and $4/gal gas, that's $250/month in gas, leaving $500 of other car expenses. You're not including something that AAA did, or you are below average in your expenses in some other way.

@Jack Do you really think that transit doesn't benefit people who don't use it? Can you imagine how bad the traffic would be if everyone on our buses and trains were in their own vehicles?


29 people like this
Posted by BRT is the wrong idea
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 25, 2015 at 11:11 am

Janet, are you supporting BRT? With the removal of all trees on ECR which act as filters for noise and pollution + keeping the area cooler, as well as the fact that traffic will be forced onto my now relaxing bike routes was the deal breaker for me.

Traffic won't go away, it will be relocated to where I like to ride my bike, and the "short-cutters" are always the ones speeding and driving unsafely.
It also reduces the usability of the local buses for local errands. It's terrible if you are supportive of cycling, inter MV bus use and the environment.


13 people like this
Posted by @NO to the VTA
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2015 at 11:38 am

Problem seems to be that VTA is not pushing for a dedicated "lane" but rather for a dedicated "line" (Express BRT service über alles).

There would be much greater support for a dedicated HOV lane (even if restricted to transit at rush hour). It also would benefit many more transit users (local buses, private and public shuttles...) than the dedicated BRT "line" VTA is promoting.

An HOV-type lane could probably be implemented for far cheaper by starting with the right lane of traffic and without removing trees, left turns... leaving more public money to improve transit in other parts of Mountain View.




9 people like this
Posted by Sunnyvale resident
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2015 at 11:57 am

Will the new system have "normal" buses ($1 for senior citizens) or only have "Rapid Transit" buses at a higher rate, with fewer stops?

I also currently travel from Wolfe Road to Castro 8-12 times a month in my car, for about 40 cents in gas, obviously neglecting insurance and maintenance and registration fee's.

Currently it takes me about 20 minutes to make the drive at 5:30 P.M. with the current traffic congestion. Removing one lane will make it a nightmare.

I also need a cane to walk and if the bus stop is at Castro and El Camino,
I would have to walk about 6 blocks down Castro to get to my destination and then walk 6 blocks back to the bus stop.

Have they factored in this type of problem?


12 people like this
Posted by @Sunnyvale Resident
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 25, 2015 at 12:29 pm

Current plans in MV are to reduce the number of local stops for the non BRT buses. It will negatively affect those who use the bus for in-town trips in MV. I don't know for sure but I would imagine this would be the same plan for Sunnyvale. It's simply a bad idea every way you look at it, unless you're a VTA executive.


7 people like this
Posted by Ironic
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm

"Move" "Get a bike" "Not everyone can live in a modern booming metropolis" "Price to pay when the economy is booming" "If you don't like the realities then relocate" "walking/biking is better for the environment" "You're not entitled to drive in this city wherever you want" ect.ect.ect

Goose and gander and all that. Just saying.


19 people like this
Posted by Bad Service
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm

VTA's propoganda misleads about the current service they offer and the improvements created by BRT. The biggest flaw is the fact that they space the stops at 2 mile intervals. Other BRT systems use 1 mile intervals. If EVER there was a case for the closer spacing, this situation is that. FLAW #1

VTA fails to address the fact that the speed up is not the 93 minute time taken by the 22 to traverse the 17 miles (which hardly anyone travels, mostly smaller segments are taken as rides). Instead, they are proposing to speed up the current 522 service, which travels the 17 miles in as little as 42 minutes. They cite 43 minutes as their run time. The slowest taken at present by the 522 from Palo Alto to The Arena is 74 minutes, but at many hours of the day run time is in between. There is already an option to shave 20 minutes off the trip by riding 522. They leave that out of all their talks. The fact is that 2 to 1 the riders choose the slower 22 route, because it stops where they want it to. This does not change by speeding up the 522. FLAW #2

What they should do is to offer many more stops on the 522 route, and that would then get riders for it. It wouldn't slow the runtime much but it would make it much more serviceable for many more people, who would mostly use it to run segments much less than 17 miles, faster than the current 22. This is without any sort of lane dedication.

With more stops available (but the same frequency), the 522 could become the workhorse. Then they could run the 22 less frequently. Instead they could operate shuttles to reach a mile or two on either side of El Camino Real, and give a realistic service option to people who find difficulty walking 6 blocks up Castro away from the stop there. It would draw many more riders to VTA. But they don't FLAW #3


5 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 25, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@wrong idea: I support dedicated bus lanes for El Camino, but I do have some reservations about the plan, namely I think the stops are too far apart. In Mtn View, they're nearly 2 miles apart when they should between 1/2mi and 1mi apart, like VTA light rail is in North San Jose. I'd like to see a stop added at Escuela/El Monte and one at Grant Road.

I am not concerned about reducing private vehicle lanes on El Camino from six lanes to four. In two San Jose road projects with lane reductions, the data shows it was not as bad as feared. Congestion dissipated over time and the low volume neighborhood streets were not significantly affected. More importantly, vehicle speeds were reduced to safer levels at all hours.

Having so many lanes on El Camino encourages speeding and increases noise that makes it an unpleasant and unsafe place for everyone, whether walking, biking or in a vehicle. High speed traffic belongs on our expressways and freeways, not on what should be a 35mph road that's the spine of our city, lined with retail, housing and offices.

We can't keep prioritizing cars and living in fear of aggressive, speeding drivers. There simply isn't room for so many cars, and too many people are getting seriously injured and killed by them. We need faster, more frequent transit, roads that people feel safe biking and walking on. That's not El Camino now, but it could be. BRT has the potential to get us there.


7 people like this
Posted by Jack Cormode
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 25, 2015 at 3:47 pm

How are the riders for the express buses supposed to get to the express bus lanes?
Will they drive their cars to the express bus stops and park their vehicles for the rest of the day? Will VTA magically create parking spaces to accommodate this change in driving habits?
@Janet: I accept that some people need a transit system and I am willing to pay to subsidize that. I am not willing to pay additional subsidies because of a half-baked idea from VTA, especially when it will make my life more onerous.


3 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 25, 2015 at 3:47 pm

Thanks Janet, Well done as always!


3 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 25, 2015 at 4:17 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@Jack: The will walk, bike, take another bus, or get a drop off just like people who use the county's #1 bus line do today. Some may even be board at transit centers with parking, like SJ Diridon, Santa Clara, etc. El Camino has significant amount of housing along its corridor and we're focusing building much of the new housing there today.

As for who's subsidizing whom, we all pay into a system that subsidizes not just transit, but private vehicles. Roads aren't free and gas taxes don't even begin to pay for it all. VTA spend $72 million of sales tax money which we all pay on a 3 mile lane on highway 101. If we didn't have so many people driving cars with only 1 or 2 people inside, we wouldn't need it.


46 people like this
Posted by 100% Cyclist 365
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 25, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Jane, BRT is absolutely the wrong idea. It's _an_ idea, yes, but it's a bad one.It is doomed to failure and will hurt the chances of a SANE and GOOD transit plan in the future after people have soured on the problems BRT will create. Problems we cannot go back from, including the removal of EVERY tree in the median

Janet, you're on the wrong side of history with this one. It's a terrible idea and counter to what you have worked for in the past: Concern for the environment and the safety of cyclists. We need a plan based on re Basically we need a not BRT plan.

I know nobody has asked for a dance in a long long time, but just because an ax murderer steps up hand extended, it doesn't mean you have to dance with him.


45 people like this
Posted by There are other options
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 25, 2015 at 5:31 pm

@Janet Lafleur:

"I am not concerned about reducing private vehicle lanes on El Camino from six lanes to four. In two San Jose road projects with lane reductions, the data shows it was not as bad as feared. Congestion dissipated over time and the low volume neighborhood streets were not significantly affected. More importantly, vehicle speeds were reduced to safer levels at all hours."


-- Are you speaking as a resident of one of the affected neighborhood streets? If not, I would be interested to know what the residents of the affected neighborhoods think about the impact those road projects have had on their neighborhood streets, today. I have read all kinds of impact reports with findings of "no significant impact" via numbers massaging in print, when the daily life reality - actual impact - is VERY different. Anyone who is in this business knows this to be true.

~~~~~~~~~~


"Having so many lanes on El Camino encourages speeding and increases noise that makes it an unpleasant and unsafe place for everyone, whether walking, biking or in a vehicle. High speed traffic belongs on our expressways and freeways, not on what should be a 35mph road that's the spine of our city, lined with retail, housing and offices."

We can't keep prioritizing cars and living in fear of aggressive, speeding drivers. There simply isn't room for so many cars, and too many people are getting seriously injured and killed by them. We need faster, more frequent transit, roads that people feel safe biking and walking on. That's not El Camino now, but it could be. BRT has the potential to get us there. "


-- El Camino Real is officially State Highway 82, which is owned by Caltrans, and has been designed as a highway to the extent possible. High speed limits, long distances between stoplights and six general use lanes, by design, maximize vehicle-through put.

El Camino Real currently has the 22 and the 522 that not only serve the El Camino Real corridor well, the busses have very low ridership...go figure. VTA's BRT plan is designed to discourage driving on El Camino Real. The draft EIR touched on some of the impacts this "diverted" auto traffic would have, specifically on both Central & Foothill Expressways. Also, when you speak so eloquently of wanting roads that people feel safe walking and biking on...well, I agree. However, personally, I would prefer to feel safe walking & biking down residential streets, with children walking & biking to school, parks etc. -- and leave the state highways & expressways as intended, high speed limit, long distances between stop lights and to maximize vehicle-through put -- and do not divert that state highway auto traffic onto to the safe and quiet residential streets.

Someone up thread mentioned BRT uber alles...and evidently that's not what ff the mark.


3 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 25, 2015 at 5:32 pm

@100%

Want to try getting names right and including some facts with your screed? Median trees all die someday anyway since they are not redwoods. We can require replacements of the VTA. Fewer lanes and lower speeds certainly promote bicycle safety in every study I have seen in 35 years of professional engineering practice. I do agree with you that we cannot go back. It is also true that if the stops are too close it does no good. Janet's number about the VTA freeway project is correct, and we all pay local sales taxes. If we run the cleaner buses faster we are doing what we can about climate change (at least for those who don't cycle everywhere).


3 people like this
Posted by "BRT" is not BRT
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2015 at 5:42 pm

BRT is a very nebulous concept. The idea is you permit various types of BRT, such as Bronze, Gold and Platinum. You can pretty much call anything you want "BRT." I say let's designate the 522 service BRT and be done with it. The problem with the dedicated lane idea is that it requires a massive expense and effort to construct the stations. That's why they bank on having them 2 miles apart. So many of the ideas they contemplate with the new dedicated stations could be done today at much less expense. One problem with the stations on the median is that transfer from any other bus will involve quite a bit of walking around the intersection. Nothing is convenient. Leave the stations at the curb and you avoid that, plus you can indeed have additional stops.

In Palo Alto these extra stops are largely not needed. For one thing the Stanford U Parking and Transportation Services operates the Marguerite shuttles which get anyone from that vast campus to the Palo Alto Transit Center, where they can connect with Caltrain (the big draw) and VTA, plus Sam Trans. Palo Alto also has stops at California and Arastradero which are good concentration points for that city. But Mountain View should have maybe 4 more stops on the 522. There should be one north of San Antonio in MV near Del Medio and the Shopping Centers, plus the existing one at Showers, a new one at Rengstorff, and one at Escuela/El Monte for sure. One should go at Shoreline too, keep the one at Castro and add one at Phyllis/Calderon. Yep one somewhere around Grant. These stops so far north on the route will vastly increase riders without interfering too much with the speed of travel if you keep the stop spacing similar to now further South. There is that feature that the far ends of the the route can offer more stops than the middle...

All of these stops should be fed by local shuttles operating in loops for 2 miles on either side of El Camino, and connecting also to Caltrain.

That would be a good transport system. Will we see something like this?


4 people like this
Posted by Mark Thomas
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 25, 2015 at 6:04 pm

The price works out to $12.7 million per mile! I suggest that they consider SkyTran (Web Link).

• Its capital cost is estimated to be $10 million/mile for both directions.
• It would not use traffic lanes, or interfere with current traffic.
• It can run 24/7.
• Its riders don’t have to wait for scheduled buses.
• Its riders don’t stop at intermediate stops.
• Its travel time would be short.
• Its total cost per passenger mile is estimated to be less than $0.03.
• Its ticket price would thus be small, encouraging its use.
• It’s immune to trash and litter on rails, and resistant to inclement weather.
• It can be built quickly, because it's relatively small and inexpensive.
• It can be expanded with extensions to other areas or cities.
• It has no exhaust fumes.
• It is based right here at Moffett Field.
• It has no exhaust fumes.
• It would show that Silicon Valley is looking to the future for solutions, rather than to the past.



39 people like this
Posted by 100% Cyclist 365
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 25, 2015 at 6:10 pm

Steve, Wanna try being a bit more polite? No, actually don't go changing,
I'll just adjust my tone back to you.

You think they are ripping up the trees just to replant again? Really? REALLY!?! They will be gone because they are in the way. Otherwise they would have no need to remove them. Right? Duh? Of course "Duh", Steve.
We'll have a hot noisy concrete corridor devoid of trees that will not be coming back. Trees that die now can be replanted in the same place, as long as VTA doesn't put in BRT.

Increased speed on surface street frequented by bikes = unsafe situations.
VTA and the report expect traffic to increase on surface streets. Simple, true. I got'yer screed.

Be my guest and be a chump to the VTA's crackpot ideas. There were a handful of link minded "Hopers" when we talked about light rail. Not sure you all were around then though. At least failed light rail doesn't have the bad impacts as failed BRT would have. That's why it should not go forward.


7 people like this
Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 25, 2015 at 8:01 pm

Talk about a red herring! Worried about some trees planted in a median of a STATE HIGHWAY?!?! You actually think that those tress absorb/reduce more CO2 than getting people out of their cars?!?! Absolutely ridiculous!

This project is happening folks! The Earth is not flat. We will not fall off the edge! Giving women the right to vote will not destroy our country! And yes... Having fast and efficient public transit on El Camino will not cause the sky to fall.

The studies have been done. There are no viable alternatives. It's going to happen.


3 people like this
Posted by @Mark
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 25, 2015 at 10:32 pm

Sounds viable if it were possible. Problem with anything here is it is never on budget, always more to operate, and anything seen as a money generator only goes up in cost. Hell the bridges were supposed to be paid off by bridge tolls and eventually made free. I think the Coronado bridge in San Diego is the only one that ever came to fruition. Mind you, this was a promise in order to fund these projects. Now we have $7/$5 tolls that will be going up to fund $100K+ plus painters who sit around and chill!

Also, being associated with NASA should scare anyone away. They don't understand the word budget. They are the type of operation who just let you know how much something is when it's done. We can't even build a bridge correctly and on budget for crying out loud. Every project turns into a boondoggle.

Nothing can get done anymore. The best thing to do is give up hope and wait for the whole thing to implode. Let them ban cars and make Mtn. View one big Google park. That's where its heading anyway. Everything is too expensive with all the corruption, back room deals, shady contractors, labor racket, and all the rest of the ongoing trough feeders who are looking to gouge the public once anything ever dose get done/built.


5 people like this
Posted by @Mark
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 25, 2015 at 10:40 pm

Check this read out and you'll see why creating another agency is a nightmare scenario! This explains why our bridges are a gift that keeps on taking (from bond to eternity!)

www.uctc.net/research/diss111.pdf


36 people like this
Posted by Vote NO VTA Tax/Bonds
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 26, 2015 at 5:43 am

Don't cherry pick and reform the issue to suit your needs. It is not just one thing like trees and their pollution reducing qualities. I see you you failed to mention the loss of aesthetics, noise pollution and cooling aspect of the trees as well as the quality of life for those in MV with this issue as traffic does not go away as the "Hopers" are hoping.

Far far more people will be negatively affected by this irreversible and foolish plan. I'm glad everyone is watching though. No where for VTA to hide. The voters will chop off VTA's legs if they ever come asking for money again.


6 people like this
Posted by I hate bus people
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 26, 2015 at 9:08 am

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 Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 26, 2015 at 11:54 am

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@There are other options: El Camino is designated as a state highway, but it ceased functioning as a highway decades ago. It's what they call a stroad, a bad blend of street and road (highway) functions:

* Highways are for traveling longer distances. The average trip on El Camino is about 4 miles.
* Highways have few stop lights. In the one mile from San Antonio to Escuela, El Camino has 8 stop lights.
* Highways have high speed limits. El Camino is designated at 35mph, the same as Cuesta Drive and California St.
* Unlike streets, highways are for travel, not destinations. The entire length of El Camino is packed tightly with retail businesses, offices and housing, with driveway entrances every 100 feet.

As for bus service today, the 22/522 lines are not "very low ridership" as you stated. Comparing its ridership to Caltrain for the same corridor, the 22/522 carry roughly 2/3 the number of passengers that Caltrain does. It's the #1 VTA line in terms of ridership. And VTA's plan is not to reduce drivership on El Camino, it's to increase bus ridership by offering more rapid, frequent and otherwise efficient service.


6 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 26, 2015 at 11:57 am

There is the "sell off the roads" comment again. Government agencies may well sell roads to private investors - perhaps including foreign regimes such as Russia and China - if necessary to raise money for retirement accounts. And all roads will require a toll. That is the direction the VTA is going. For now, the VTA wants more operating funds, more money for mass transit projects and to get the public used to the idea that no private person has any "right" to use any road whatsoever.


16 people like this
Posted by _no_
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Most people do not want a 10 minute trip by car to turn into and 1-2 hours bus trip, which may include transferring with kids. No thanks. I would have to walk an a mile to the bus stop, get on a bus and then transfer and then get off at one of the limited stops on El Camino, and then find another bus to take me off into another direction that I need to go and then walk however far away my destination is.

The city is assuming that people live near El Camino and will be using the bus to get to places on or near El Camino. This is simply not the case.

This is isn't smart public transportation. Remember when the city promised us all that Mountain View was going to be significantly impacted by the Levi Stadium? Another bunch of bunk.

Mountain View doesn't know how to plan or run their city, and this stupid decision will effect your neighbors in Sunnyvale, Los Altos and Palo Alto.

We need comprehensive public transportation that will effect the amount of cars on the road. Like putting a train from the east bay to silicon valley, which hooks in with another train that takes people to job centers, like the area at Shoreline. Rip up the median on El Camino put light rail in and link it to all other trains, and put it down the center of Shoreline as well. You will have to take out the trees, but in the long run, that will take people out of their cars.

The people who are living and will live on El Camino are already walking places. They don't need buses, the slowest form of public transport there is.


26 people like this
Posted by Low Ridership
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2015 at 1:09 pm

The 22 route makes 176 runs each weekday. The 522 route makes 124 runs. For the BRT study, the ridership counts at present were listed as 9234 for the 22 route and 3287 for the 522 route, along this 17 mile length corridor. For the whole (~30 mile) length of the route on out to Eastridge, adding another 12 or so miles with a loop at the end, the numbers are larger, but consistent per mile with the smaller counts.

Per run, the figures work out between The Arena and Palo Alto Transit Center to be 52 average riders spread over 17 miles for 22 and 26 average riders over 17 miles for 522.

So yes, the buses are going to frequently be quite sparsely occupied. The whole problem with BRT is that VTA doesn't recognize how few riders are interested in using EITHER service to run the whole 17 mile trip. They're optimizing it for a demand which just doesn't exist.

If you look at passenger miles, you'll see that Caltrain has many times more usage over this corridor than does VTA, even with all the extra times service is available from VTA at odd little-used hours.

Note that BRT from Eastridge to The Arena is already under construction but is 2 years behind schedule at this point. It was supposed to start service earlier this year, but didn't. Now the estimate is sometime in 2017.

This is quite low ridership by standards of any transit service. The fact that this is VTA's "best" route has no bearing. It's a very long route which falsely pumps up the totals. We see nearly empty buses because people don't ride the whole 30 miles!


27 people like this
Posted by Low Ridership
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2015 at 1:15 pm

To be clear, this sentence refers to the average ridership for ANY PORTION of a run. To get the average riders onboard, you'd need to divide the figure by 5 or more to account for people's average trip length.

"Per run, the figures work out between The Arena and Palo Alto Transit Center to be 52 average riders spread over 17 miles for 22 and 26 average riders over 17 miles for 522."

So on an average run, there are 26 people using the 522 service. Say the average trip length is 4 miles. Then there are on average 6 people on board the 522 buses as they pass any given point. On 22, for any run 52 people use the run for some portion. Say the average trip length is 2 miles. Then there are on average 6 people on board the 22 buses as they pass any given point. Sometimes the numbers are higher and sometimes lower. So sometimes 2 people on board and sometimes 20.

Caltrain is not running ANY runs that have so few people on board, not even on board each car.


29 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2015 at 1:46 pm

The best users of public transportation are commuters. People who regularly get into the habit of using it and understand the nuances will be the people who should be aimed at when designing or improving any transportation.

The second best users would be those who are aiming to get to very busy destination, in other words, those going to a Sharks game, a Giants game, a 49ers game or those aiming to get to SFO or SJC.

Outside of these two groups, public transportation is not an attractive option. To succeed, public transit has to be efficient, affordable, reliable, clean, and do something that a private vehicle cannot do.

The other point that needs to be made is that El Camino is not going to take people from Caltrain. It would be a much better idea for VTA to improve local transit for first mile, last mile, commuters.

The big problem is that VTA along with all the other Bay Area transportation authorities are basically competing with each other rather than supporting each other. Why should someone use VTA to get to Caltrain to get to another authority vehicle and pay 3 separate fares. True there are clipper cards, but the cost of 3 rides plus the uncoordinated nature of the 3 authorities, a nightmare to envisage.

We need one overall Bay Area transit authority that makes all the different modes, trains, light rail, buses, BART, ferries, etc. complement each other rather than compete. The cost of each commute should be based on total mileage or time, rather than each individual mode or zone.

If a complete overhaul of the Bay Area's transportation was made looking at the region as a whole rather than individual piecemeal areas and authorities, progress might be made. Without that, I can't see anything positive happening.


17 people like this
Posted by Caltrain vs VTA
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Class warfare exists.

Last year CalTrain gave this many rides: 18,567,173

How many did VTA give? 43,944,096.

That's right! VTA did about TWO AND A HALF TIMES the rides that CalTrain did. And finally... Guess whose riders are more wealthy... CalTrain or VTA? That's right! CalTrain! By almost a factor of TWO!

So, yes... Class warfare exists. The handful of anti-poor lobbyists on this site keep posting misinformation, which is why any fact-based study would contradict their fictions.


57 people like this
Posted by Oh Please
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 26, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Anti-poor? There you go again...


11 people like this
Posted by Jake
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Sep 26, 2015 at 5:13 pm

44 million rides on VTA vs only 18 million on Caltrain?? That's amazing. I guess that explains why VTA has such a harder job than other transit options.

Given that, I now fully support the BRT project and will encourage all my friends and neighbors to do the same.


10 people like this
Posted by Oh, I see
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 26, 2015 at 5:42 pm

The "Oh Please" post was published 40 minutes ago and already has 33 likes?! Looking through the other postings, I see some awfully high "like counts". It is clear that the handful of people opposed to VTA have resorted to falsifying data by running a script that just keeps hitting "Like".

Given this fraud, the failure of the petition and the independent study that validated VTA's data, I am now fully convinced that BRT should go forward.


6 people like this
Posted by Caltrain v. VTA
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Caltrain only competes with VTA on this one route: 22/522.

Are you saying that VTA only serves poor people? Or just on this one route?

In any event, the expenditure per passenger mile on Caltrain is much lower. It's VTA which choose to subsidize only its own services so that Caltrain costs more. If VTA gave up on 522 and subsidized Caltrain, then the rides on Caltrain in Santa Clara county could receive a 90% subsidy too. In the end the cost to VTA for use of Caltrain would be less than the cost of operating its own 522 bus line, let alone the cost of BRT.

So how exactly is it that VTA's failure to subsidize Caltrain rides for poor people is allowed to persist?


23 people like this
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 26, 2015 at 6:52 pm

I live in Mountain View near El Camino, the plan to reduce the auto lanes is a nightmare. Few people will take the buses that now drive and we will see nearly empty buses going back and forth while many drivers will drive through the neighborhoods creating danger, noise, and pollution.

This issue should be decided by the people who will pay to have this nightmare constructed not a few people. Put the issue to vote.


7 people like this
Posted by Shirley
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 26, 2015 at 7:23 pm

I don't know about you but I am avoiding El Camino Real at all cost.


3 people like this
Posted by Free bus passes??
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 26, 2015 at 10:40 pm

When comparing ridership, are they taking into consideration the free and discount bus passes given to the homeless people who qualified for them?

There used to be a program called UPLIFT where they gave free bus passes to the homeless. Another program allowed VTA to charge only $25 a month instead of $70. (Google "UPLIFT" and "Free bus passes for Homeless".) A few years ago, many of the homeless at the Sunnyvale Armory were very protective of their badge they carried around their neck containing their county card to use the shelter, their bus pass and other id needed to get things they needed.


5 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 26, 2015 at 11:24 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@Free bus passes: Riders are riders. Surveys count people boarding without asking how much they paid for their pass. Homeless people have places to go and things to do just like everyone else. Are you implying that their ability to get around doesn't have the same importance as others?

There are homeless people walking amongst us that you would never know are homeless, and with the rising cost of housing there are even more. I see them living in RVs and cars on Latham, Crisanto and not far from my home on Wentworth. I see them in San Jose emerging from the bushes on the Guadalupe River Trail where I presume they sleep in tents. The look like anyone else you'd see at Safeway or Target. In fact, they may be working at Safeway or Target.

I care more that these people can get around easily and economically than I care about saving a few minutes driving time from people in expensive cars.


11 people like this
Posted by The Cold Hard Truth
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2015 at 11:55 pm

There has been a concern that the battle between funding bus routes vs train routes is actually a battle in class warfare and/or racial discrimination. When this issue is raised, the common response is one of denial along the lines of:
"Playing the race card!? How dare you!!!!"

When it has been pointed out that the class and ethnicity differences between VTA's bus routes and CalTrain's commuter train service explains the desire from white, middle to wealthy class to fund improvements only in the train, the response is again one of outrage and disbelief.

A common response is that there is no evidence to support that the demographics is different between the two transit services, so therefore there could not be class and racial discrimination.

I couldn't believe it! My own experiences on both the train and bus informed me differently and I was disappointed that the data wasn't available to prove or disprove the allegation. Then, I thought... If there WAS class warfare occurring, then there might be a coverup from people who know the truth. I decided to investigate.

It didn't take long. I found ridership surveys covering both CalTrain and VTA's bus service! Yes, that's right! The online postings insisting on the lack of data were erroneous!

Here are links to each of the survey reports:

CalTrain 2013 survey:
Web Link

VTA 2014 survey:
Web Link

Let's look at some key data points:

Class differences: (Annual family income)
VTA Bus: $42,802
CalTrain: $117,000
Conclusion: Caltrain primarily services riders making six figure incomes, while VTA primarily services those who have a great difficulty affording the cost of housing.

Racial differences:
VTA Bus: White: 26 pct
CalTrain: White: 56 pct
Conclusion: CalTrain primarily serves white transit users, while only 1 in 4 VTA bus riders are white.

So, it seems that the data does show a substantial difference in race and class between train and bus ridership. The surveys were easy to find with Google, so either the folks that deny the race and class differences in transit either never bothered to look this up or they did look it up, didn't like what they saw and chose to quietly cover it up. Either way, it is quite concerning.

I think as a community that we need to acknowledge that both racial and class discrimination color the way we think, listen, interpret and even feel. We need to be vigilant that this bias does not affect the large actions we decide to take (fund services for white/wealthy vs non-white/poor).

With this data in hand, I feel even more confident in the justness of the dedicated lane option of BRT El Camino.


28 people like this
Posted by VTA is now calling you Racist
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 27, 2015 at 5:46 am

Just because there is a difference in income of users does not mean th motivation against BRT is racial or "class" motivated.

A bad idea transcends all racial and class divides. A bad idea like BRT has united people of all race creeds and colors to fight against it.
A bad idea like BRT cannot be argued on it's merits and final results, so VTA decided to call everyone opposed to it racists. Unmitigated gall.


3 people like this
Posted by 22 vs 522
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 27, 2015 at 8:13 am

Is BRT for all buses (22 And 522) or just the rapid transit 522. I was under the impression from the VTA website that BRT was just 522 in the El Camino corridor.




3 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2015 at 9:22 am

I would suggest that the difference between users has more to do with the type of jobs people do rather than income or ethnicity.

People doing professional jobs are more likely to live further from their jobs and are willing to pay a hefty commute fee in both time and travel costs. People working in lower paying jobs tend to look for work closer to home so that they don't have to spend too much time or money traveling to get there.

The exception to this is of course that many service workers are commuting in from the Central Valley or the Gilroy area, but VTA doesn't meet their needs and Caltrain does.

As an aside, I have one friend who is blind. She lives near VTA bus and depends on VTA to get her to where she is going all the time. Some people do use public transit because basically there are no other options for them. Until Google cars are advanced enough that they can be operated by a blind occupier, my friend will be at the mercy of public transit.


5 people like this
Posted by The not so cold hard truth
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 27, 2015 at 1:04 pm

The argument by cold hard truth is silly. Facts by themselves do not an inference make. The only comparison is that both are public transportation utilities. The train route is exclusive and didn't take away a car lane. It serves its riders better and attracts a higher income crowd. VTA serves the poor with its huge rider subsidies and local routes. The proposed BRT takes away a car lane . I might support BRT if it didn't take away a lane and make things worse for car drivers.

The comparison by race is just silly. Race does not determine who rides a train or a bus. It's more to so with income.


5 people like this
Posted by Maintain Segregation
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Keep the current system. Keep El Camino Real for the poor people. Reserve Caltrain for the more well to do. Clearly we need to fund BRT because it's not fair to poor people to give them the subsidy to ride Caltrain which they currently receive on buses. Keep them off Caltrain.

It's the idea that you need a SEPARATE system that is racist, not the idea that equal access should be granted to all. Also, note that the inefficiency means that 50% of what's spent on providing the duplicate service doesn't benefit the poor people. Dropping 522 and giving subsidies to those riding Caltrain within Santa Clara County would save money from the transit budget while giving SUPERIOR service.


24 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 27, 2015 at 2:11 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

I can't believe this is still being discussed, County Supervisor Simitian recommended it be on hold until the SJ project is finished and can be evaluated. Then again, perhaps the Grand Boulevard Initiative has already been bought and paid for in the pockets of council members and supervisors? Google it, it'll answer a lot of the "how could they" everyone's asking.

Janet, you seem to have a strong paranoia about "speeding cars", you've referenced it several times. When exactly was the last time you were on ECR anyway, I can guarantee you there's rarely an opportunity for drag racing. I say this tongue in cheek but honestly, as another poster stated, ECR really IS intended for faster traffic....lets keep that traffic there rather than dispersing it onto our residential side streets.


5 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 27, 2015 at 3:26 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@mvresident2003 My concern about high-speed vehicles is based on fact, not paranoia. Only 15% of the people who are hit by a 40 mph vehicle survive. At 30 mph, 60% survive. At 20 mph, 95% do. Furthermore, faster vehicles have much longer stopping distances. People driving slower can see and react to situations and stop in time. Chart is here: Web Link

El Camino's speed limit is 35mph. During rush periods the average moving speed is often lower, but for the majority of the day it's freeflowing and easily allows people to exceed the speed limit. That's what makes it a magnet for deadly collisions. High speeds + cars enter/exiting frequently + people don't mix.

In contrast, expressways and freeways allow high speeds because they don't have driveways every 100 feet with people walking on sidewalks, crossing parking lots to reach building, and waiting at bus stops.

I personally visit businesses on El Camino every weekend and on some weekdays. Mostly by bike but sometimes by car too. I know what it's like. It's so unpleasant to cross on foot that most people will drive to visit a store on the other side of the street. When was the last time you walked across it?

Having four lanes on El Camino will mean more drivers will stay at or under the 35mph speed limit and make it safer and more pleasant for everyone. When people are making short trips, the difference between 35 and 40 mph saves almost no time, but it can save a life.



19 people like this
Posted by Mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 27, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Reading more on the Grand Boulevard Initiative, truly scary. Led by a partnership of VTA, San Mateo County Economic Development Association, San Mateo Transit District, City/County Association of Governments. Wonder how much of our tax $ are funding this? Even more interesting is their "Message Platform" complete with a Jargon Toolkit full of "words to avoid". Classic

I'm sure most of the comments supporting this ridiculous lane removal proposal are from members of this group and I'm equally certain they're reading these message boards and attempting to assert influence thru comments here.

They are a well oiled minority ready to tell us poor ignorant MAJORITY what's best for us. Scary.


19 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 27, 2015 at 3:43 pm

I don't walk it Janet, I drive my car. If I wanted a walking community I would live in SF or similar.


10 people like this
Posted by Mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 27, 2015 at 4:27 pm

I'm sorry Janet, I'm just re-reading and just can't get over this. Statistics on survival rates when hit by cars. Is this something that happens often on ECR? I aware of a recent cyclist who got hit but the car wasn't speeding and the cyclist was not in a crosswalk. And there was a pedestrian recently but again, it was jaywalking and not a speeding car. I'm sure there have been some isolated instances ver the past 50 years but you make it sound as if it's a pervasive problem, which it absolutely isn't.


6 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2015 at 5:13 pm

As someone who likes to park my car and do errands at several places before returning to my car, I find it difficult since all the parking lots say for the nearby businesses only. I cross frequently cross Showers Drive, San Antonio, California Ave (or used to) and ECR to get to businesses on the other side. I am actually afraid of being caught for parking in the wrong lot when I do this.

In Europe people park at a central location and walk to do all their errands and then return to their cars. In America, the businesses all have their own lots and you are expected to drive to each of them to run your errands.

It is the culture here that makes people drive instead of walk from one errand to the next.

But to get back to transportation, unless we get a huge increase in bus volume, dedicated bus lanes are a waste. When I say huge increase, I mean Google type shuttles, airport type shuttles, Greyhound type buses, park and drive type shuttles, tourist tours, etc. etc. We are not that type of area where all these various buses would make sense.

Next point, if the buses are in the center how do passengers get on and off. Do they do the school bus thing and put on red flashing lights so that all traffic stops? Or do they import buses from the UK where the doors are on the left? Passengers need to be able to get on and off safely and if traffic is passing even at 35 mph, they will not be able to do so if the bus lanes are in the center of ECR.


4 people like this
Posted by @PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2015 at 5:33 pm

To add to your list, what happens if a bus breaks down in the median lane between stops who are 2 miles apart?


5 people like this
Posted by Facts ARE important
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Riders: (Annual family income)
VTA Bus: $42,802
CalTrain: $117,000


Racial differences:
VTA Bus: White: 26 pct
CalTrain: White: 56 pct

Wow. This is incredible! The more I look at this the more I realize how selfish and greedy PA, SV and LA are. Only MV had the courage to support the initiative--well done MV!!!


3 people like this
Posted by Facts ARE important
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2015 at 5:44 pm

It's also shocking how many more riders VTA supports over CalTrain:
CalTrain vs VTA:

VTA: 43,944,096
vs
Caltrain: 18,567,173

It's clear that CalTrain cherry-pics the "profitable" routes (even though it is not profitable AT ALL! ) That is because it only helps a narrow segment of people--primarily tech commuters between Silicon Valley and SF. There are lots of other people that use it for other reasons besides commuting. Shopping, medical appointments, library runs, college and the list goes on and on.

That is why VTA is less profitable than CalTrain...but guess what? The roads are completely unprofitable. They are 100% subsidized by the taxpayers. 0% "farebox recovery".


15 people like this
Posted by Facts and Reason are Both Important
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2015 at 6:29 pm

Putting claptrap forth 3 times doesn't make it any more relevant. It just makes it obvious that there is a lack of rationality on the part of the one beating the bogus validity to death.

It is true that past support for VTA's outrageous inefficiency has been justified by compassion for those less fortunate. However, in reality, the poor as well as the better off would all benefit from a more functional VTA.

In Mountain View, many of the least fortunate still own cars and rely on them for their daily life. This luxury of living a carless life is a long way away from being something that is not an affectation of the well off. One of the biggest flaws with BRT is that it only serves El Camino Real at the same time when most of the new development along that route is aimed at the very well off. How many poor people can afford to live right by El Camino Real? How many poor people will even be left living or working in Mountain View after this real estate price ascent reaches its eventual peak?


3 people like this
Posted by BRT is 522 only
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2015 at 6:39 pm

To the one who asked above, VTA operates 2 routes on ECR. The 22 makes roughly 88 trips in each direction per day. The 522 makes about 55 trips in each direction per day. The 522 stops at what will become BRT station locations, but skips by all the other bus stops served by the 22. Both bus routes leave El Camino Real (which is no longer a state highway) as they head into downtown San Jose and on to Eastridge.

Only the 522 route will run in the proposed dedicated lane. The 522 currently handles less than 1/3 of the riders on the segment in question between Palo Alto and the Diridon Transit Center of San Jose. But that's the one route for which the lane will be idled.


6 people like this
Posted by The not so cold hard truth
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 27, 2015 at 6:59 pm

More silly arguments. They get a big so what. The VTA and Caltrain comparisons are apples to oranges. They offer different services . To suggest racial issues is just plain silly.


3 people like this
Posted by @BRT is 522 only
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2015 at 7:15 pm

VTA has many other routes using parts of ECR (in Mountain View alone, the 40, 50,51,52,53). All of these routes will be negatively impacted. Ditto for public shuttles like the Marguerite.


3 people like this
Posted by Interesting
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 27, 2015 at 9:13 pm

So far in this debate, the pro-transit crowd is winning the argument. The newly released study that validates VTA's findings completely obliterated the opposition.

So far, the argument against BRT is that" most people drive cars so taking lanes away from cars makes no sense. ". But then you realize that these dedicated lanes are only two of the six! That means that most of the lanes would still be reserved for all the automobiles.

The arguments against seem devoid of any sense. Conspiracy theories, red herring, straw man attacks, apples&orsnges.

Also, I am very alarmed about the perception that we are focusing most of our investment on transit options for the wealthy while fighting any enhancement to transit in the non-wealthy areas in Santa Clara county. From the statistics cited above, there certainly seems to be some favoritism.


9 people like this
Posted by 522 only?
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 27, 2015 at 9:45 pm

So drivers are giving up a lane of El Camino for the 522 only bus line that:

Runs less than 40% of the total bus runs

Stops at fewer stations, making riders walk further to and from these stops

And we get to pay twice as much for the privilege

Not to mention the hazard of driving around the dedicated lane for left hand turns and losing all of the trees in the central median.


3 people like this
Posted by 522
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 27, 2015 at 10:19 pm

Waaaaiiittt a minute! Tell me it's not true!!!!

Are you saying that an express transit vehicle doesn't stop at every stop!!!??? That is SO UNUSUAL!!! CalTrain's "baby bullet" makes every single stop, right? Oh wait, it doesn't. Hmmm.. I just can't think why...

And, oh no!!! The express has fewer runs than the local bus?!!!?? How SHOCKING! The "baby bullet" has more runs than the local train... Oh wait.... It doesn't does it.

Hmmm.. I know I'm against VTA and BRT no matter what!z


8 people like this
Posted by Jack Cormode
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 27, 2015 at 10:27 pm

The BRT will cause businesses along ECR to lose business. I live over half a mile from Grant Road and its bus line. Am I to walk there, wait for a bus, then transfer onto the BRT at ECR, and go on to my destination? Then I have to reverse the trip. Too long and too expensive. I will go to Cupertino, Los Altos, or Sunnyvale (South) and spend my money there. BRT is just plain impractical.
As I posted earlier, instead of using 19th century transportation systems, why can't Silicon Valley use 21st century technology to come up with a better way?


16 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 27, 2015 at 10:35 pm

mvresident2003 - You are right that this plan is tied to the Grand Boulevard Initiative (Web Link) although no one wants to say so explicitly. The Grand Boulevard Initiative envisions dense redevelopment along ECR. This would lead to a traffic nightmare, unless large numbers of drivers can be "persuaded" to switch to public transit. Closing lanes would help accomplish this not just by speeding up bus service, but also by making it a more miserable experience to get around by car. You can use jargon like "prioritizing" bus service, or you can less kindly call it "social engineering."

As many have pointed out, the problem here is that the benefit to the public would be miniscule, and the effect on congestion would be large. The BRT route is not where large numbers of drivers will want to go. Very few of us use ECR for extended linear North-South travel; most of us use it for shorter distance trips, which will not be served by BRT. It won't be useful to sufficient numbers of people to make this heavy-handed idea work.

And as was pointed out above, the vast majority of new development along ECR is, and will be, aimed at the well-off. That's just the way it is, these days: current prices at Prometheus' Madera apartments, for example, are $3800/month for a 1-BR apt., $5000+/month for a 2-BR. BRT, and the Grand Boulevard Initiative, are aimed at serving these new occupants. If VTA wanted to better serve the poor, it would improve service on the local routes rather than waste money on this misguided idea. A Mercury News columnist recently called it a "pipe dream," and I think he was right on target.



3 people like this
Posted by 522 Misconceptions
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2015 at 11:05 pm

The 522 is NOT an express bus. VTA should address that, because it's got to be one reason why the ridership on 522 is so low. They think they need to make flashy BRT stations and vehicles to draw attention to basically the same service.

The VTA EIR clearly showed, supported by the independent committee, that this BRT 522 service is a local transit option, not an express service.

The fare on 522 is exactly the same as on 22. Potential customers are not aware of this. Yes, there are express services operated by VTA where the fare is $4 each way, but the 522 is not one of them. The semantic distinction they use is the designation "Rapid". 522 is only "rapid" not express.

My big dig at VTA is that it could be nearly as rapid with a heck of a lot more stops, just still not quite as many as the 22. Then that would also increase the ridership. But they don't care, they get paid either way, and then they just ask for more tax subsidy. 89% is so low. We must get it up to 92% subsidy...... so sayeth the CFO wizard at VTA. If there's no bread, let them eat cake, er bus tokens.


4 people like this
Posted by A Better Idea
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2015 at 11:22 pm

VTA should revamp the 522 service to have 3 to 5 more stops in Mountain View and make it clear that the fare is the same. They should try to get the ridership up.

Based on the results, this would be a good case for the mixed lane use in Palo Alto and Mountain View and then they can consider the dedicated lanes just for the parts of the route closer to San Jose. They might want to trade off added stops with shared lane and not have dedicated lanes in every city, but it should be a local decision. Even VTA says the average ride on BRT will be just 5 or so miles. In the end, just how "Rapid" do they have to be a for a 5 mile ride?????? Wouldn't being able to serve more riders at more stops outweigh a few minutes of extra speed? Say skip no more than 1 or 2 stops of the 22 service between stops served by 522. It would still be faster than 22.


13 people like this
Posted by Busser
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 28, 2015 at 3:10 am

Me and my fellow bus riders think a bus lane would be great. I sympathize with the auto drivers that hate rush hour traffic today and don't want to have anything to make that worse. However, I wish car drivers would see it from our perspective. We are doing our part to utilize public transit in order to reduce congestion and lower greenhouse gas emissions. But our busses are blocked by all the cars on the road. We miss connections, are late to work and it just gets worse and worse. It just doesn't seem fair...

Thank you VTA and Mountain View for their vision. I know I will get called a VTA employee and receive insults now. Oh well.


3 people like this
Posted by Rapid is not Express
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 28, 2015 at 8:28 am

Web Link

Thanks for the clarification. The flashy Rapid 522 only signifies limited stops. The list above from VTA spells out that three digit route numbers starting with "1" are express. None of them around here.


29 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 28, 2015 at 9:29 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.

It seems we've come full circle - yet again - with proponents of VTA's BRT plan accusing those who don't march in lockstep with the 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.


And in response I will say this, 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 & LEVERAGE EVERY TOOL AT IT'S DISPOSAL - LOCAL, STATE & FEDERAL (IF POSSIBLE) - IN ORDER TO FOIST THIS DEDICATED LANE SCHEME DOWN THE EL CAMINO REAL CORRIDOR CITIES THROATS -- REGARDLESS OF THOSE CITIES WISHES.



YOU CAN SEND YOUR COMMENTS & CONCERNS INTO JOE SIMITIAN'S OFFICE DIRECTLY AT:

Web Link


Attention: Kris Zanardi, Policy Aide - Environment & Transportation


Mr. Simitian WANTS to hear from you. Both he & his staff are VERY responsive. Our voices matter. Be heard!


5 people like this
Posted by Express
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 28, 2015 at 9:52 am

Why all this quibbling over the name? Limited stop vs express vs local. The fewer stops a bus makes, the faster it will get to its destination. The idea to turn a limited stop route into a local one is silly. Even worse, having them share the roads with the parking lot of cars???

People against the bus lane clearly do not ride the bus. Or they are one of those vote-all-taxes-down "citizens" we are still blessed with.

And the insistence that race and income does NOT play a role in this? Oh, please. The data shows that to be more probable than a conspiracy from VTA.


3 people like this
Posted by Rapid is not Express
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 28, 2015 at 10:15 am

To: Express

Maybe it doesn't matter if you pay $4.00 rather than $2.00 for a short bus ride, but others do. It was unclear why they call "rapid" when it is merely a limited $2.00 fare route. Biggest concern with that being sure your stop is on their limited route, or plan to walk a lot. Sort of like what BRT is offering.


15 people like this
Posted by BRT bad for local bus users
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 28, 2015 at 11:51 am

Since they need to limit the use of the in-town buses to keep the lane free for BRT, the local 52 will be reduced in service by the plan, negatively affecting MV residents of lower economic standing who currently use the bus in town.
VTA apparently thinks everyone who uses the bus in MV is coming from San Jose.

The removal of all ECR median trees in and the horrific traffic snarls on ECR as well as the increased spill-over traffic volume plus increased speed on our currently "safer for bikes" surface streets will negatively affect the rest of us, including our kids who need safe passage to school.

MV citizens loose in all areas with BRT.


3 people like this
Posted by BikeWalkDriveBus
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2015 at 9:43 pm

I'm in favor of this proposal. Not sure what people are railing about, when they don't have any viable alternate proposals.

The people who run VTA are plenty greedy and political and misguided. They're wrong about plenty of things. Light rail, they were wrong about. They're not wrong about this.

Mountain View residents should maybe get out more...this summer I had the privilege of visiting Paris. Paris has....bus lanes! And far worse traffic. And lots of shopping. And the bus lanes are shared by taxis and cyclists and emergency vehicles too. They work well. They're well-used, and a good application of precious, expensive space.

The French love cars A LOT. They also view anyone who voluntarily drives in Paris as a fool. There just isn't room for everyone to drive. They ride scooters, the metro, bikes, or buses,. Or they take a taxi. Most of the time - they walk. Imagine what an interesting city we could have if a few people got out (of their cars) a little more often.

Yes, do the El Camino bus lane thing! We can handle it. El Camino can't handle any more cars...


22 people like this
Posted by Mountain View, Paris of Calfifornia
a resident of another community
on Sep 29, 2015 at 2:37 am

Paris -- 2.25 Million People

Mountain View -- 80,000 People

Yeah, right, the solution is to look at Paris. Because the problems are so similar.

There are MANY MANY better proposals than what VTA had in its Draft EIR. The skipped over many and falsely deprecated the ones they identified.


16 people like this
Posted by But no
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 6:17 am

If there are no other ideas, it means a bad idea is a good one?
No. That's non-thinking. Besides, I've seen MANY alternative plans put forth here that make far more sense than BRT. Just because you chose to not read or dismiss the alternatives does not mean they have not been presented.
Go back and read them, they are there.


10 people like this
Posted by SWC
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 29, 2015 at 9:07 am

Can someone please tell me where to write and who to contact regarding this project?
Though, from what I've read it doesn't look like anyone is going to listen to the public anyway.

'VTA officials emphasize that local input from regional leaders is vital, but they also point out that the final decision will be made solely by the agency's board of directors' = We don't care. Historically, we have one of the worst performance records, are generally incompetent and paid someone to make our numbers look better than reality. (Despite our claims against we paid, money changed hands for the survey.) We are just desperate to get money to protect our jobs.

Please let me know where / who I can write. At least I can let them know who I won't vote for once this atrocity is forced down our throats.


33 people like this
Posted by email Joe Simitian about BRT
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 9:23 am

I've spoken personally and face to face with Joe Simitian, our Santa Clara County Supervisor. He told me specifically that he knows there is not enough support to force this issue and would welcome all comments to let him know how you feel. He needs your comments to validate this if he's going to fight it.

VTA is committed only to their narrow vision that only benefits their bottom line, not the general public. Tell Joe you are vehemently opposed to the lane takeover and your vote will follow.
Here's his contact info:
Web Link


29 people like this
Posted by Mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 29, 2015 at 9:55 am

Agreed. It takes very little time and they are definitely listening. Easy to post on this msg board but this doesn't help; we MUST email them and make it very clear how opposed we are.

And I just had a novel idea. What if MV Voice did a truly investigative piece of reporting and made public the relationship between the VTA and this Grand Boulevard Initiative? how about it MV Voice?


10 people like this
Posted by Emailed
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Thank you for the contact information! I have emailed Joe my support for the BRT on El Camino. Forwarded it to my friends who also like the project.

Thank!


31 people like this
Posted by Email Joe!
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 2:45 pm

All inputs are welcome, and it's great that we're getting involved.

According to Joe himself, out of his own mouth, he confirmed to me that from what he has seen and heard, there is very little support for BRT. He was also quoted in the press satying the same thing. its a terrible idea but he needs to keep hearing it and if you have a minority opinion, he needs to hear that as well. Now the people are involved; something the VTA did not want to happen. Too late.


3 people like this
Posted by Study?
a resident of another community
on Sep 29, 2015 at 3:52 pm

From what I read in the EIR, the impacts to traffic are minimal, but the bus from SJ -> PA will go from 80 minutes down to 40 minutes!!!

That's really amazing. 80 down to 40. I think that if we can get that amazing increase in transit speed, then a modest impact to traffic is acceptable.

I would be willing to support the dedicated lane if there is an independent review of the traffic model. Until that is done, I think we're just guessing...


10 people like this
Posted by Wisdom
a resident of another community
on Sep 29, 2015 at 3:59 pm

If by 80 you mean 65, and if by 40 you mean 45, then the huge increase in buses running each day (1 every 9 minutes or so instead of 1 every 12 minutes or so) caused VTA to claim they can speed up from 65 to 45 minutes the average bus ride time to travel clear from Palo Alto to the train station in San Jose.

But the problem is they don't have many people who want that long a ride. Their average rider goes just a few miles, maybe as many as 6 miles, not the 17 mile trip from Palo Alto to San Jose.

Do you want to know why? Well, if they want that trip they can get on Caltrain and get there in 20 minutes. Maybe that has something to do with it... if they travel a long distance, then they'll take the train.


8 people like this
Posted by Do A Test Run
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 29, 2015 at 4:01 pm

I don't have the patience to read the entire thread of comments, so maybe someone already has proposed this. The VTA and the hired guns it desperately employed both claim, much to many people's anger and disbelief, that this project will not be a disaster to auto traffic flow on El Camino and nearby neighborhoods. I suggest that before the VTA make expensive and difficult to undo (both physically and politically) damage to El Camino, it run a simple test. For one typical work week, narrow El Camino Real from 3 to 2 lanes each way from San Jose all of the way to Palo Alto. Block the inner lanes of El Camino real in both directions with temporary physical barriers to prevent vehicular traffic, and see in real time just how traffic on El Camino and adjacent streets is affected. If things go exactly as the VTA claims they will, then let the cities along El Camino Real. If it is a traffic disaster, then the VTA must drop the project and go instead for much less drastic and invasive changes, like Palo Alto's mixed flow plan.


6 people like this
Posted by Sorry About the Typos
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 29, 2015 at 4:09 pm

What I meant to say in the "Test Run" e-mail is that if and only if the proposed test run doesn't create a huge mess, then the VTA must let the cities along El Camino if they are willing to accept the VTA's draconian plan, which Palo Alto already has rejected.


8 people like this
Posted by Test run idea
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 4:41 pm

The test run idea is great. Has not been suggested in this discussion, but it was mentioned before in another discussion a few months ago. Others suggested keeping it up for a couple of weeks to see just what roads would be turn into alternate routes to avoid ECR.

Remember the traffic problems on ECR when the Steven's Creek Trail caused closure of lanes on El Camino as they constructed the underground tunnel near 85?


12 people like this
Posted by Test It In Real Life First
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 29, 2015 at 6:24 pm

@ Test Run Idea:

Thank you for the kind response. I type too fast and very badly when I'm angry, and I wanted to say that after the test, the ultimate decision should be made by the cities affected, and not just a bunch of unelected fat cat bureaucrats at the VTA. They're just sucking up 6-digit paychecks and grossly overpaid pension funds.

After more thought, I've decided that the test should be expanded to include the reality of the incredible debacle that the VTA wants to force upon us. The test should include:

1. Temporary barricades preventing non-bus traffic on the inner lanes of El Camino Real in both directions from San Jose through Palo Alto for at least one week, if not more, to see how much carnage it creates.

2. Temporary barricades to prevent on-street parking along all of El Camino Real to make room for the incredibly stupid mandatory bicycle lanes proposed by the VTA. The local merchants who depend upon on-street parking will truly hate this.

3. All of the city governments along the VTA's proposed destruction of El Camino Real must approve its changes before they can be enacted --- including Palo Alto, which already has rejected those changes.

It's time to play hardball and to stuff it to the ideologically stupid bureaucrats at the VTA.


4 people like this
Posted by Test
a resident of another community
on Sep 29, 2015 at 7:09 pm

Actually the test has already been completed. Lanes have been closed on every type of roadway there is and traffic data collected. It is very easy to predict traffic impacts from lane closure.

This has been done showing minimal impact and then a lot of money was flushed down the toilet validating what every competent traffic engineer knows:


10 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 8:35 pm

It is fine to argue with the VTA operatives online but virtually everyone realizes the bus-only lanes are designed to (1) secure the VTA's future, (2) get some drivers out of their cars and (3) advance the Grand Boulevard Initiative (GBI). The VTA would argue that closing all lanes on El Camino to cars would have no significant adverse impacts. Indeed, excluding cars from El Camino is just what the GBI contemplates, although rich Tesla drivers paying a high toll might be accommodated.


4 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Sep 29, 2015 at 9:11 pm

Yes, do a proper test on ECR. Let the Marguerites, the shuttles, the VTA buses, emergency vehicles, school buses, Google type buses use the test lane in the middle.

Let's see how passengers manage to get on and off the buses in the middle of the street into the traffic lanes and then manage to cross ECR to whichever side they need to go.

Let's see how many accidents occur as passengers alight into crowded ECR.

Let's see how many jaywalkers we then have on ECR.

Who wants to be the guinea pig passengers? I don't feel like volunteering myself of course.


7 people like this
Posted by Pants on Fire
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:42 pm

One of the anti-bussers claim that the dedicated bus lane would "only" save 20 minutes.

First, if that were true, then the savings would be 20 minutes per trip times two for round trip, so FORTY MINUTES SAVINGS EACH AND EVERY DAY!!!!

But it is a common anti-bus tactic to simply LIE to support their case.

Doing NOTHING brings the commute to 87 minutes each way or almost A THREE HOUR commute daily.

Some of the anti-bussers want to do the mixed flow option, which is a nice way to say that do the project, but still allow automobiles to congest the roads. That brings a savings of only SIX minutes or TWELVE minutes a day.

So that brings us to the obviously superior option of a dedicated lane. The anti-bussers claim that it is "only" a twenty minutes savings, but the actual number is 39 minutes EACH WAY or 78 MINUTES per day saved from the commute.

That is HUGE! Why do the anti-bussers lie? Because they don't have the facts behind them. Calling supporters VTA shills is also a common tactic. Name calling instead of valid facts and reason.


37 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:13 pm

Santa Clara County Supervisor, Joe Simitian WANTS to hear from you.

You can send your comments & concerns about VTA's BRT plan into Joe Simitin's office directly at:

Web Link

Attention: Kris Zanardi, Policy Aide - Environment & Transportation


Mr. Simitian WANTS to hear from you. And please, pass this information along to your friends & neighbors and let them know what is going on with the the VTA's BRT plan for El Camino Real, and share Mr. Simitian's contact information with them, too.

Your voices matter. Be heard!

~~~~~~~~~~

Some of the highlights of VTA's BRT plan:

* Will make only TWO stops in Mountain View 1@ Castro Street and 1@ Showers Drive

* Removes the left lane of traffic for ALL automobiles each direction of El Camino Real 24/7.

* Removes ALL on street parking on El Camino Real both sides 24/7.

* Removes ALL trees in the median strip of El Camino Real between Grant Rd. & Showers Dr. (at least) ~ 300 trees.

* Removes ability to make left turns across El Camino Real at several intersections (TBD) between Grant Rd. & Showers Dr. (Result will be cars need to drive further up El Camino Real, make u-turn and come back then make a right turn or divert onto residential side streets to get where they need to go.)

* Adds multiple signal (STOP) lights to El Camino Real between Grant Road & Showers Dr.

* Diverts traffic off of El Camino Real and onto Central & Foothill Expressways as well as onto nearby quiet RESIDENTIAL STREETS as cars seek to avoid the traffic jams of El Camino Real. Well over a thousand cars daily are expected to flood nearby quiet residential streets as they seek alternative routes off of El Camino Real.


33 people like this
Posted by No way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:21 pm

"Diverts traffic off of El Camino Real and onto Central & Foothill Expressways as well as onto nearby quiet RESIDENTIAL STREETS as cars seek to avoid the traffic jams of El Camino Real. Well over a thousand cars daily are expected to flood nearby quiet residential streets as they seek alternative routes off of El Camino Real."

Correction...

The plan itself does NOT actually DIVERT traffic, but rather, the implementation of the BRT lane is expected to RESULT in well over thousand cars daily diverting off of El Camino Real and ONTO Central & Foothill Expressways as well as onto nearby quiet RESIDENTIAL STREETS as cars seek to avoid the traffic jams of El Camino Real. Well over a thousand cars daily are expected to flood nearby quiet residential streets as they seek alternative routes off of El Camino Real.


14 people like this
Posted by Independent?
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Sep 30, 2015 at 12:01 am

The test must also include the following attributes that are part of the plan:

* Removes ability to make left turns across El Camino Real at several intersections (TBD) between Grant Rd. & Showers Dr. (Result will be cars need to drive further up El Camino Real, make u-turn and come back then make a right turn or divert onto residential side streets to get where they need to go.)

* Adds multiple signal (STOP) lights to El Camino Real between Grant Road & Showers Dr


Just imagine the impact when these items are added to the lane reduction.


3 people like this
Posted by Pants Still On Fire
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 30, 2015 at 1:21 am

One of the anti-bussers claim that the dedicated bus lane would "only" save 20 minutes.

First, if that were true, then the savings would be 20 minutes per trip times two for round trip, so FORTY MINUTES SAVINGS EACH AND EVERY DAY!!!!

But it is a common anti-bus tactic to simply LIE to support their case.

Doing NOTHING brings the commute to 87 minutes each way or almost A THREE HOUR commute daily.

Some of the anti-bussers want to do the mixed flow option, which is a nice way to say that do the project, but still allow automobiles to congest the roads. That brings a savings of only SIX minutes or TWELVE minutes a day.

So that brings us to the obviously superior option of a dedicated lane. The anti-bussers claim that it is "only" a twenty minutes savings, but the actual number is 39 minutes EACH WAY or 78 MINUTES per day saved from the commute.

That is HUGE! Why do the anti-bussers lie? Because they don't have the facts behind them. Calling supporters VTA shills is also a common tactic. Name calling instead of valid facts and reason.


7 people like this
Posted by Pants Doused
a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2015 at 2:38 am

I believe the statement referred to the AVERAGE trip time. Not all trips take the same amount of time. Check the bus schedule. There's almost a different time for every scheduled run.

And yes, the average improvement is only 20 minutes.

That is, for the 1% of riders who travel the entire 17 miles.


30 people like this
Posted by Vote NO on VTA tax increases/bonds
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 30, 2015 at 7:07 am

VTA will never admit the realities of what will happen if BRT goes through.

The only reason for BRT is to feed the bureaucratic machine that is VTA. Their internal mission has morphed into a money sucking waste hole serving ONLY the needs of VTA in their efforts to stay relevant in an evolving transit world. BRT makes no sense to anyone but VTA's high paid executives and bloated middle management. The thinking that is pushing VTA should no onger be funded. No further/additional money for VTA.


8 people like this
Posted by What are other alternatives?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2015 at 9:20 am

What are other ways we can better utilize traffic without such drastic changes to ECR?

Could they designate the right lane as bus only during certain hours, such as Lawrence Expressway does for carpooling. This would continue to allow bus riders to safely board buses from the sidewalks without changing left turns for traffic. From this they could determine is ECR can live with fewer lanes during these hours as well as monitor heavier traffic on side streets. Businesses can also monitor if and how much their business change during these hours as shoppers may choose to avoid travel along ECR when the bus only lanes are in use.


29 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 30, 2015 at 10:32 am

Below is the link to the comments made to the Draft Environmental Impact Report, as well as the VTA's response to those comments. If you have not read the letters of concern over the project - PLEASE READ - then read the VTA's responses. The responses are not surprising, but telling nonetheless.

BRT über alles!


Letters from the following agencies can be found in appendix of the document:

Link here:
Web Link

Letter from California Department of Transportation
Letter from Santa Clara County Department of Health
Letter from Santa Clara County Department of Roads and Airports Letter from City of Los Altos
Letter from City of Mountain View
Letter from City of Palo Alto
Letter from City of San José
Letter from City of Santa Clara
Letter from City of Sunnyvale



Learn was much as you can about VTA's BRT project, then share your thoughts with Joe Simitian at:

Web Link



28 people like this
Posted by No funds for VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 30, 2015 at 1:36 pm

The only way to stop them is to financially cut their legs off. They are out of control, but we hold their food supply. Starve them until they are skinny again.


30 people like this
Posted by Share on FB
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 30, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Thank you @No Way to the VTA, hope you don't mind but I'm copying your post to my Facebook, hopefully others will to theirs as well. This is a perfect chance to use social media and stop something before it gets pushed thru behind our backs. If you don't say anything or act now, you cant complain later!


7 people like this
Posted by @Test
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 30, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Posted by Test:

"Actually the test has already been completed. Lanes have been closed on every type of roadway there is and traffic data collected. It is very easy to predict traffic impacts from lane closure.
This has been done showing minimal impact and then a lot of money was flushed down the toilet validating what every competent traffic engineer knows:"

Thank you for pointing that out. I now see that the arguments against the project are very weak, while the arguments for it are very strong. I guess people can keep complaining that there is a conspiracy. Some people don't visit cornfields, because that is where UFO's land. Can't get agreement with everybody I guess!

Wow. Reducing a daily commute by 79 minutes each day! I'd like to see a proposal that doubles the throughput of automobiles on El Camino! If that is not possible, it just makes sense to do that for our transit system.


25 people like this
Posted by @Thank you guy
a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2015 at 5:50 pm

So, do you live in Monta Loma, Old Mountain View, Cuesta Park, or do you hide out in San Jose and fake your affiliation with Mountain View?


7 people like this
Posted by Busser
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 30, 2015 at 6:22 pm

Me and my fellow bus riders think a bus lane would be great. I sympathize with the auto drivers that hate rush hour traffic today and don't want to have anything to make that worse. However, I wish car drivers would see it from our perspective. We are doing our part to utilize public transit in order to reduce congestion and lower greenhouse gas emissions. But our busses are blocked by all the cars on the road. We miss connections, are late to work and it just gets worse and worse. It just doesn't seem fair...

Thank you VTA and Mountain View for their vision. I know I will get called a VTA employee and receive insults now. Oh well.


3 people like this
Posted by Just like they did in Portland, OR
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2015 at 7:03 pm

My brother is a transportation planner in Portland, OR. He recently saw firsthand the mess we have here in Mtn. View. He also said this is exactly what they did in Portland, make it so hard and frustrating to drive in Portland that you are forced to take public transportation...or don't go into Portland.


33 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2015 at 11:20 pm

"Controversial El Camino Bus Plan Runs into Roadblock"

A glimmer of sanity from VTA - Be sure to read this article from today's Mercury: Web Link

Public pressure just might be doing some good. If you haven't yet, email Joe Simitian's office with your comments. His Transportation Policy Aide is Kris Zenardi, email Kristine.zanardi@bos.sccgov.org.


7 people like this
Posted by Intelligent Realist
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:04 am

Not sure that asking the VTA to study the impact of keeping all lanes open to cars is a "major roadblock" as characterized by the "Mr Roadshow" author of the article.

The benefits of a dedicated lane compared to allowing cars the continued ability to block public transit are obvious. It's already been studied and reported on, but they probably want the conclusions in an easier-to-read format.

Most people in the county are for this project, so approval is inevitable.


18 people like this
Posted by Vote No tax/bond for VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 9:38 am

Actually, Joe Simitian told me he has heard far far more opposition than support for BRT and does not think there is support enough for it to move fwd.
We need to keep sending this message.
Joe has also stated this in the press, directly quoted saying so. The majority opinion he's hearing is strongly against BRT and he's listening.

A reminder though, that we need to not approve ANY taxes or bonds for VTA to ensure this monster does not rise from the dead.


21 people like this
Posted by non intelligent realist
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 9:54 am

@intelligent realist; you can continue to misrepresent all you want but the rest of us know. Not one person I have talked to thinks this is a good idea. Not one.

Traffic IS getting worse and for lack of better planning our cities are being overdeveloped. If we are going to continue this unfettered development, both business and residential, we absolutely need to develop long term plans for traffic. We need subways or monorails, we need BIG changes that actually accomplish something, not this crazy bus lane that just disperses traffic onto residential streets. It's comical that this is even being discussed as any kind of solution to a very big problem.


21 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 11:58 am

MV Councilmember Lenny Siegel is on the VTA El Camino Advisory Board that (according to an article in today's Mercury News) is refusing to support bus-only lanes. Meanwhile, on today's agenda of the VTA Board of Directors (at 5:30 pm) is a staff recommendation to solicit new bids to build bus-only lanes (and median bus stops) on a 7-mile porion of Capital and Alum Rock in San Jose because the VTA did not understand that the existing roadway had utility connections underground that would need to be relocated! The VTA appears to be a boondoggle in progress.


5 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm

@Gary:

Agencies have to "fire" contractors regularly. Should we leave Alum Rock all torn up? VTA invested significantly in Utility Research. Perhaps their contractor did not balance its bid well, I have no idea. Using a Construction Administration decision to impugn VTA's planning and programming abilities is completely dishonest. We can agree to disagree as to whether BRT is good for Mtn Vw. Please don't skew the discussion by selective use of "your own facts".


4 people like this
Posted by @Old Steve
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Gary is all about mis-information since the facts don't back up his position.

Most people in the county support having rapid and efficient bus service along El Camino.

Most cities along El Camino are not opposed to the project. The only city that has come out in opposition is Palo Alto. Let's tally the votes:

Mountain View: Support
Santa Clara: Support
Palo Alto: Oppose
Los Altos: Abstain

That makes the proposal a 2-1 favorite in the North County cities along El Camino. San Jose is greatly impacted by it too, yet they have approved it. That brings the vote to 3-1.

That's just how it is. Gary and a few others are working hard to give the impression that most of the county opposes it. Very transparent attempt.


3 people like this
Posted by PH
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:46 pm

I'm just sitting here reading all these posts and the one thing that is clear is the passionate discussion certainly gets people going. We should be this passionate as this will be a major project if it goes forward. I don't see this as a good idea as my personal belief is it will not ever be cost effective. I have to believe that one reason they want to do this is to help meet environmental targets of the future. The government agencies probably won't get there without tying to take cars off the road. It is a fact that many of us can't afford newer, less polluting vehicles, much less hybrid or electric vehicles. We needed to have BART when it was built and those who opposed it have helped to get us into this mess. We should insist that BRT be scrapped and BART should be built instead. The grade separations alone would help tremendously with pollution and traffic. If they really want to undertake a massive public transportation project BART is the way to go.


5 people like this
Posted by PH
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:55 pm

I'm just curious Janet Lafleur. You have spent a lot of time in this discussion and seem to believe very strongly that this project should move forward. I am not one of those who will accuse you of being a VTA employee or someone that has a monetary stake in this project. I just am curious as to your high level of motivation to get this project rolling. Why are you so passionate about BRT? I definitely see your point of view, but I don't understand why this is so important to you. It might help people if ypu let us know what makes you feel so strongly about BRT.


4 people like this
Posted by False facts
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Santa Clara hasn't endorsed a dedicated lane. Neither has Mountain View really. The council members voting yes just wanted to start a dialog. Well, they did.

It's all how you state the project.

Personally, I'd like to see better transit connecting to Caltrain. Caltrain is a lot faster than BRT will ever be, and it runs darn close to El Camino Real. There are plenty of private-paid shuttles that connect to Caltrain. No private shuttles connect to VTA. That says it all. Caltrain is offering a valued service and VTA is still struggling to think of one. This particular implementation of BRT was royally bad. Two mile separations between stations is a rare configuration that is totally inapplicable to the El Camino Real situation.


4 people like this
Posted by You like facts?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:33 pm

You like facts about CalTrain?

CalTrain rides/week: 270,000
VTA bus service provides over 100,000 rides EACH DAY!

CalTrain Stops: ONLY 29 STOPS!!!!

Here is what VTA bus service provides:

3783 bus stops
15 transit centers
30 Park and Rides
Paratransit for the handicapped (65000 rides/month) (Does CalTrain pick the handicapped up at their homes to bring them to the train? Nope!)

Relatively few live and work near a train station, while many, many more live near bus routes. People complain that buses are a lot slower than trains, and that is true, but airplanes are much faster than trains and nobody is suggesting to divest our funding from CalTrain and build up commuter planes between SJC and SFO. Why? Because even though once that mode of transportation has started, sure, it is faster. The problem is the amount of time it takes to get to the facility.

The primary reason buses are slow is that they share the same roads as automobiles. Dedicated bus lanes on strategic roads like El Camino will bring speed and increase ridership. That is what CalTrain experienced when they added the baby bullet. Every reason to believe it will succeed here too.


15 people like this
Posted by BRT s next Light Rail
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Brought to you by the VTA: We have no history of any major project projections coming true and are awash in failure. The light rail system that was touted even more highly than BRT is a complete national disgrace.
People were going to get out of their cars and all ride light rail when it was being sold to the citizens. Traffic will improve, it'll be great!
Won't you please trust us when we say the closing of ECR lanes and removal of every media tree is a good idea and that everyone will start riding the bus and traffic will be great! Please?!?!

That's what they are asking us to do. That is why the VAST majority of voters are opposed to VTA. Joe Simitian stated this in the press.


5 people like this
Posted by Supporting BRT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 1, 2015 at 5:01 pm

This forum is such a fictional piece of writing. Most people support BRT and it's just a vocal minority who oppose it. It's great to have some opposing views as the extra scrutiny will make the project even better.

Can you imagine walking onto a bus after work in SJ and being home in half an hour? Right now it takes HOURS to do that. The idea floated earlier about taking caltrain is ludicrous. It takes FOREVER to get to caltrain with all the crowded roads and then you have to wait for a train which lets you out in NOWHERESVILLE and then you have to figure out a way to get all the way BACK to El Camino to get home!! That's much more expensive and can take EVEN LONGER than it does today by 522!


22 people like this
Posted by De-fund VTA
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Is Joe Simitian lying when he stated he does not think there is enough support for BRT? What do you know that Joe does not?

Joe also stated this in multiple media sources, directly saying he does not think there is enough public support for BRT.
He also told me this directly when he had his sidewalk talk. Have you talked to Joe? Do you think he's lying or do you think he is wildly out of touch?
When the County Supervisor states there isn't support, why don't you believe him?


5 people like this
Posted by Most support BRT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 1, 2015 at 6:02 pm

"Is Joe Simitian lying when he stated he does not think there is enough support for BRT?"

Who cares what Joe said? Did he categorically state that most residents of Santa Clara County are opposed to the project? Nope! The use of "does not think" is not definite at all.

"When the County Supervisor states there isn't support, why don't you believe him?"

"The County Supervisor"??? And herein lies the problem with talking with the anti-bus brigade. This person needs to understand that Joe is only ONE supervisor out of FIVE in the county. If they don't understand that basic fact, then how can they be trusted to understand the benefits of the BRT project??


18 people like this
Posted by 4.5% Support Dedicated Lanes
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Lots of people would like to see improved service on El Camino Real, but withe existing resources. Stop running duplicate bus routes down the same road. Stop with the 5-passenger buses. Get organized. Adjust service to meet the demands of the riders. None of these things require a dedicated lane.


34 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 6:56 pm

When it becomes clear that your constituents are overwhelmingly against a project that
a) is going to irreversibly HARM the communities impacted by the project, and b) comes with a pre-shovel price tag of $234MM, then it's time to reconsider your position...or, not.

The voters will speak VERY clearly if the VTA comes asking for another penny from the taxpayers at the ballot box, and the answer will be a resounding -- No Way to the VTA!


Snipped from the Mercury News article today...

Web Link

"I haven't seen enough data that proves there is enough of a benefit to make this investment" in the broader plan, said Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews, a member of the El Camino advisory board.

This is the first time in Santa Clara County that a plan has been hatched to take a lane away from cars and assign it to transit service. Motorists have responded with a firestorm of criticism -- more than 1,000 comments, the most ever for a VTA proposal."

~~~~~~~~~~

Incidentally, I have been in contact with members of the Advisory Board as well as Supervisor Joe Simitian, and they are not only listening, they are HEARING their constituents.

Keep turning up the rhetoric all you want, VTA gang, the pushback from the residents of the El Camino Real corridor cities is just getting started.

Game on.


Don't forget to send your comments into Joe Simitian here:
Web Link

Attn: Kris Zanardi, Policy Aide (email addy at bottom of page)



No Way to the VTA.


33 people like this
Posted by No new taxes for VTA
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2015 at 7:00 pm

People just don't realize that despite that laundry list of expensive "service" up above, VTA is one of the worst-performing public transit agencies in the country. $400 Million in operating expense and delivering of just 230 Million passenger miles. That's a cost of nearly $2 per passenger mile. They use 23 Million vehicle miles to deliver the service, which means $17 in cost per vehicle mile. Those inefficient cases where the vehicle operates with just 2 to 7 passengers on board are the problem there. But all those other things contribute to the cost, such as these outlandish staff proposals for ridiculous options to soak the taxpayers for yet more money and built even less-utilized service commitments going forward. What a complete waste.


36 people like this
Posted by Oh Please
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 1, 2015 at 7:05 pm

Let's get this straight. There is no "anti-bus brigade." That term conveys an untruth. I don't think a single poster here is "anti-bus."

In addition, there is no organized group opposing lane closure - if there is, please let us know how to join.

And in spite of the frequent shorthand of "BRT" to stand for lane closure, I don't think anyone here is actually opposed to the concept of Bus Rapid Transit. We are, however, deeply committed to stopping lane closure - a stupid, destructive proposal that VTA seems ready to force on the populace.


5 people like this
Posted by Best solution
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2015 at 10:31 pm

What is an alternative to a dedicated bus lane that will bring travel time down in half at peak commute hours?

The dedicated lane solution accomplishes this at a minimal capital cost. Plus it LOWERS annual operating costs by many millions of dollars. By increasing ridership and lowering costs, it actually reduces the tax burden on all of us.

So, now give a solution. Subway? Overhead tram? Can that be done at a similar cost to BRT both in capital cost and annual operating expenses? I think not. 10x-100x the cost of BRT!

Still waiting for that alternative....


5 people like this
Posted by Oh.
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2015 at 10:33 pm

It looks like Mr. Monta Loma is running his script to artificially bump up likes on his postings. How deceitful that is... Tsk tsk...


4 people like this
Posted by BRT
a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:27 am

This is the 2nd BRT project. What happened to the first one?

Web Link

How fast is the travel time on BRT #1? Can we afford to have El Camino torn up for 3 years with only 2 lanes available and no BRT service yet begun?


22 people like this
Posted by Vote NO taxes to VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 6:02 am

DO NOT get sucked into another light rail. Defund VTA before they do harm to the entire community. Put the 5 people commuting from SJ by bus onto Cal Train and then one of the free shuttles.
That's how you help move ALL people efficiently w/out creating a mess everywhere else.

VTA doesn't like that idea, but VTA is full of failure on big projects. We can see why now, when you compare the two options. The problem is when BRT fails(not if, when) the damage to the infrastructure will cost more millions to reverse. Any transit agency worth a dime does not create a bigger transit mess for the masses in an effort to improve things for so few. I would support vouchers for all people who ride the bus now try CalTrain w/ shuttle to final leg for free and see if that get's them off the roads. If we can get them out of the buses and happily onto CalTrain, problem solved. The bus commuters will still be happy w/out the horrific ripping apart of Mtn View that BRT plans for.


23 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 8:23 am

I attended the VTA Board of Directors meeting last evening (Oct. 1). Some speakers objected to staff's continued pursuit of lanes for VTA buses only on El Camino but there were other protesters as well. Small business owners in East San Jose have nearly gone broke as the VTA prolonged and botched the construction of bus-only lanes (and stations) on streets leading to The Alameda and El Camino (called the Alum Rock BRT project). That project is now at a standstill. The business owners are demanding compensation at public expense. Imagine the claims by thousands of business along and near El Camino. I suggested the Board reconsider the Alum Rock project in light the foolishness of extending bus-only lanes onto El Camino and thereby ensuring the defeat of any VTA sales tax increase measure. I suspect VTA staff will next delay asking for the Board to vote on El Camino BRT or the Board will act as if support is lacking at present and proceed with the ballot measure. But unless the measure outlaws bus-only lanes, voters will be asked to vote NO.


28 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 8:54 am

Thank you for an update of the VTA's Board Meeting from last night. However, unless or until the VTA pulls the disastrous BRT dedicated lane option COMPLETELY off the table, we will actively lobby AGAINST any ballot measure seeking a tax increase to fund ANYTHING for the VTA.

They want to bully the residents & taxpayers with a ridiculously expensive - and disastrous for communities - pet project project. You want to see another taxpayer revolt? Fasten your seat belt. Your move VTA.


No Way to the VTA.


16 people like this
Posted by BRT ONLY benefits VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:06 am

I'm glad people are now paying attention.


3 people like this
Posted by Google Shuttles
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Anyone use these Mountain View Community Shuttles?

The Mountain View Community Shuttle provides free enhanced transportation connections between many residential neighborhoods, senior residences and services, city offices, library, park and recreational facilities, medical offices, shopping centers, and entertainment venues throughout Mountain View.


6 people like this
Posted by BRT punishes all in MV
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Yes, the free shuttles are cool. To bad Google had to do VTA's job of providing a SANE transit potion for real life that isn't clogging up everyone else.
Google just did it; it's up and running. VTA is not willing or not capable to bring us these sort of refreshing ideas that Google brought us. Google actually brought us transit SOLUTIONS not headaches. VTA is being schooled and embarrassed on their own playing field.


5 people like this
Posted by Google's Trojan Horse
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Wow. Love this quote from above:

"Google actually brought us transit SOLUTIONS not headaches."

Google's expansion has created massive gridlock in this area. THAT is a headache. The community shuttle only runs from 10am-6pm! Why don't they run during peak commute hours? Because the roads are jammed up with automobiles and it would be a miserable experience.

"VTA is not willing or not capable to bring us these sort of refreshing ideas that Google brought us."

VTA has responsibility to improve transportation across Santa Clara County. They are not chartered to only improve it for the wealthy, white elite, but rather for people of all walks of life.

Why do you think Google "gave" Mountain View this great gift? Because they want to greatly worsen traffic in MV by expanding the operation by tens of thousands of people. Even MV's Council saw through this charade and gave LinkedIn development rights instead. Google has a history of making small contributions to MV in exchange for more cooperation in expanding their operation.


11 people like this
Posted by Alternative Solution?
a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:08 pm

What is an alternative to a dedicated bus lane that will bring travel time down in half at peak commute hours along El Camino?

The dedicated lane solution accomplishes this at a minimal capital cost. Plus it LOWERS annual operating costs by many millions of dollars. By increasing ridership and lowering costs, it actually reduces the tax burden on all of us.

So, now give a solution. Subway? Overhead tram? Can that be done at a similar cost to BRT both in capital cost and annual operating expenses? I think not. 10x-100x the cost of BRT!

Still waiting for that alternative....


23 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:13 pm

More bad publicity for the VTA from columnist Diana Diamond in today's Mercury News. Headline:

"Sure seems like the VTA wants to shove those bus-only lanes down our throat" (Web Link)

The VTA has a truly important job to do for our community, if only they could get their heads straight. Why are they destroying their credibility with this ill-advised, widely disliked plan?

Unless this idea is dead and buried, there's no way I'll vote for any more tax money for VTA.


27 people like this
Posted by Eyes wide open
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:48 pm

I'm glad VTA is getting blasted all over the press and in conversations. I'm glad people both here and people I speak about BRT with voluntarily come out with "Well, they're not getting any more votes from me"
It took the traitorous flip-flopping of Showalter and Rosenberg to wake the people up, but boy are they awake now!! Great article above, Love it!


6 people like this
Posted by Intelligent Realist
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 6:28 pm

I also want to hear a viable alternative to the growing congestion problem on El Camino. It's bad now, but will approach Los Angeles all-day gridlock.

We can't widen the streets and going under or over is very, very expensive. People need to move to get from place to place reasonably quickly. I don’t see any other alternative.

Do you?


17 people like this
Posted by Vote NO on VTA tax increases/bonds
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 3, 2015 at 4:59 am

Don't worry about it. ECR is NOT a main commute corridor like LA freeways. It's just the "last leg" commuters of intra-city erranders. That's why it's so stupid to think BRT will benefit anyone aside from VTA. I would LOVE it if VTA addressed our real commute issues instead of these over hyped projects that ruin communities and only benefit VTA.

It's ideas like BRT that have turned people away from supporting VTA entirely.


3 people like this
Posted by Intelligent Realist
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 3, 2015 at 9:14 am

Great solution! "Don't worry about it."

That is why people like you are not in charge of transportation solutions for the Bay Area. We NEED smart people that WORRY ABOUT IT.

Your do-nothing solution has been explored and is the WORST of all options. I'm glad to hear your admission that people only stay on the road for a mile or two and don't do long distances. The study shows that the speed of El Camino would only drop a few minutes for automobiles. Therefore, people that only stay on it for a mile or two will be impacted hardly at all!

You can't have it both ways. If you claim that the benefit won't be large because everybody stays on it for a short distance, then the converse is true too. The "cost" (in travel time) would be small for automobiles.

Now that you have been shown the error of your thinking, I'm absolutely certain your position will change and you will continue to blast out unwarranted accusations of a vast VTA conspiracy for world domination. Keep talking! That insanity is convincing more and more people to support the rapid and efficient BRT project.


21 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 3, 2015 at 10:48 am

A reminder of some of the highlights of VTA's BRT plan:


* Will make only TWO stops in Mountain View 1@ Castro Street and 1@ Showers Drive

* Removes the left lane of traffic for ALL automobiles each direction of El Camino Real 24/7.

* Removes ALL on street parking on El Camino Real both sides 24/7.

* Removes ALL trees in the median strip of El Camino Real between Grant Rd. & Showers Dr. - over 330 trees.

* Removes ability to make left turns across El Camino Real at several (6+) intersections (final number TBD) between Grant Rd. & Showers Dr. The result will be that cars will need to drive further up El Camino Real THEN make u-turn & come back down El Camino Real (going the other direction) THEN make a right turn, or divert onto residential side streets to get where they need to go.

* Adds multiple signal 7+ (STOP) lights to El Camino Real between Grant Road & Showers Dr.

* The implementation of the BRT lane is expected to RESULT in well over thousand cars daily diverting off of El Camino Real and ONTO Central & Foothill Expressways as well as onto nearby quiet RESIDENTIAL STREETS as cars seek to avoid the traffic jams of El Camino Real. Again, and according to the VTA's own "report", well over a thousand cars daily are expected to flood nearby quiet residential streets as they seek alternate routes off of El Camino Real.


~~~~~

If you are concerned about the impact the VTA's dedicated lane BRT plan is going to have on the residents of Mountain View, please email Santa Clara County Supervisor, Joe Simitian...he WANTS to hear from you.

Web Link

Attention: Kris Zanardi, Policy Aide - Environment & Transportation


And please, pass this information along to your friends & neighbors and let them know what is going on with the the VTA's BRT plan for El Camino Real, and share Mr. Simitian's contact information with them, too.


Your voices matter. Speak up. Be heard.


26 people like this
Posted by Not intelligent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 3, 2015 at 10:57 am

@intelligent, sorry, Vote No is right on. you continue to push this agenda that a clear majority is opposed to. I'm embarrassed for you.

Bad plan. Bad idea. No appreciable benefit.

No way to the VTA


19 people like this
Posted by Vote NO on VTA tax increases/bonds
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 3, 2015 at 11:48 am

Ha! I think he only read the first line of my post. Haha, The voice of one continues his broken agenda.

VTA has ZERO history of success on big projects. Not a single one. This one is yet another futile attempt, but the idea is SO whacked out and ridiculous that it is literally killing support for them as a publicly funded organization.

Should we talk about light rail and how VTA pushed it as such a great thing that would improve traffic and have a bunch of new riders? VTA is literally a national disgrace owning the failure of one of the worst transit systems in the nation.

BRT 1 in San Jose has so far been another abject failure as it has stalled out and done nothing but ruin streets and businesses. Law suits are pending from some of those businesses. VTA is either unable to complete what they set out to do, or they do not want to complete it because it would expose how BRT really won't do much of anything. Ask yourselves, why is VTA incapable of managing just this initial phase of BRT. Monkey on a football, that's VTA


8 people like this
Posted by Where are the letters?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm

I ran into Supervisor Joe Simitian at today's MV Firefighters Pancake Breakfast and I asked him specifically if he has been receiving many letters/emails encouraging him to continue to fight for no dedicated lanes for the BRT. "Not particularly" was his response. I admit, I was a little surprised. But it does lend a bit of credibility to the idea that this board is really a very small amount of people talking to each other.

Regardless, he said he's still encouraging VTA to "test" the dedicated lane idea in San Jose before bringing it up north to our area. Take it for what it's worth.


9 people like this
Posted by Not a coincidence
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:29 pm

The zealousness of this handful of anti-bus, anti-poor is very disturbing. These same people love Caltrain but hate busses. Let's let the data do the talking:

Riders: (Annual family income)
VTA Bus: $42,802
CalTrain: $117,000

Racial differences:
VTA Bus: White: 26 pct
CalTrain: White: 56 pct

It is clear that most of the main opponents of this plan are middle to upper class Caucasians. They can cry all they want, but the numbers are crystal clear and indisputable. That is why they argue with the traffic study numbers. To accept them is also to accept the fact that prejudice is driving their reasoning.

It's also shocking how many more riders VTA supports over CalTrain:
CalTrain vs VTA:

VTA: 43,944,096
vs
Caltrain: 18,567,173

It's clear that CalTrain cherry-pics the "profitable" routes (even though it is not profitable AT ALL! ) That is because it only helps a narrow segment of people--primarily tech commuters between Silicon Valley and SF. There are lots of other people that use it for other reasons besides commuting. Shopping, medical appointments, library runs, college and the list goes on and on.

That is why VTA is less profitable than CalTrain...but guess what? The roads are completely unprofitable. They are 100% subsidized by the taxpayers. 0% "farebox recovery".

Time for the bus system to catch up with Caltrain, BART, Muni, etc...


6 people like this
Posted by BRT IS THE WAY
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm

[Portion removed; stick to the facts, not speculation]

Bus service will speed up by over 40 minutes each way! It now becomes a viable mode of transportation along the important El Camino. Thank you VTA for your persistence!

And Joe. Thank you very much for humoring this vocal minority of NIMBY's. [Portion removed; stick to facts.]


22 people like this
Posted by Who is the criminal here
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 3, 2015 at 2:15 pm

@BRT IS THE WAY. It's breathtaking that you would make a statement saying that other posters here would "take violent action", for any reason.

This is way beyond accusations of racism, greed, etc. You are prognosticating violent, criminal behavior, from posters on this forum.

Way wrong.


6 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2015 at 3:20 pm

It's well known that politicians will convey agreement to a voter and the pursue a different course. I wouldn't say it was strictly for personal safety reasons, but that certainly comes into play.

If people are ranting to a county supervisor in the same way they are ranting on Town Square, then it's easy to see why they might have concerns...


21 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 3, 2015 at 3:44 pm

@Where are the letters?

"I ran into Supervisor Joe Simitian at today's MV Firefighters Pancake Breakfast and I asked him specifically if he has been receiving many letters/emails encouraging him to continue to fight for no dedicated lanes for the BRT. "Not particularly" was his response."

snipped from the San Jose Mercury News article dated 9/30/15
Web Link

"I haven't seen enough data that proves there is enough of a benefit to make this investment" in the broader plan, said Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews, a member of the El Camino advisory board.

This is the first time in Santa Clara County that a plan has been hatched to take a lane away from cars and assign it to transit service. Motorists have responded with a firestorm of criticism -- more than 1,000 comments, the most ever for a VTA proposal."

~~~~~~~~~~

@David, are you saying you support comments like the one made by "BRT IS THE WAY" stating, "If they don't feel they are be listened to, I have no doubt that they would take violent action. Anyone in politics knows it's better to not argue with people like that. Very unsafe."

Is this how the BRT folks play the game...trying to elicit fear among citizens who do not march in lockstep with the BRT dedicated lane zealots?

Showing your true colours, I suppose.


5 people like this
Posted by BRT Unopposed
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 3, 2015 at 7:48 pm

Supervisor Joe Simitian represents the 5th district of Santa Clara County, which encompasses many cities and areas within.

Out of all 10 of his cities, only TWO are opposed.
OPPOSED:
Palo Alto
Sunnyvale (barely)

NOT OPPOSED:
Mountain View
Cupertino
Los Altos
Los Altos Hills
Monte Sereno
Saratoga
Stanford
West San Jose

So, I think it's fine that Joe expresses concern, but this so-called “opposition” is really a minority opinion within his district.

Even within the two cities that opposed it, Sunnyvale’s council narrowly voted against it by 4-3. This really shows that even Sunnyvale is split on whether to support the project.


6 people like this
Posted by Bike guy
a resident of Gemello
on Oct 3, 2015 at 7:52 pm

I hope this bus lane gets built. 90 minute bus ride down to 40 minutes! That is a huge improvement!!! What takes me 45 minutes would now only take about 20. Everthing speeds up! Cars only slow down by a few minutes.

Yay!!!


27 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 3, 2015 at 9:46 pm

@BRT IS THE WAY, "Wow! I count only THREE people posting anti-transit propaganda. XxXXX Xxxxx and one other yet to be identified."

Why are you trying to publicly (or otherwise) identify the commenters here? That's not only creepy, it's a little scary. Once you identify the commenters here whom disagree with, are you planning to stalk them at their residence and harass them or otherwise try to intimidate them?

I take stalking and harassing is VERY seriously, as I hope those in charge of the Mountain View Voice do as well.

Screen shots are helpful, and The voice has ip's logged of every post, so there's that.

Back off.




6 people like this
Posted by @No way insanity
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2015 at 10:36 pm

Uhhhhhh.... Gary W and David R have come out publicly against BRT with volumes of arguments. The same words are being used above, as you know. It's not a difficult inference to make, is it?

And what is this whole stalking, police and IP address tracking thing you are ranting about? No wonder most people that support BRT are refusing to engage in discourse with you. All you do is claim fraud, name call and now threaten arrest of those that disagree with you.

After the dedicated bus lane is put in and the world doesn't end, will you apologize to your neighbors for your error? Probably not.. Very sad.


13 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 3, 2015 at 10:52 pm

About bus rider demographics: the “VTA On-Board Survey 2013” report, referenced above by a lane-closure supporter, does list the average household income of all VTA riders as $42,802 (Web Link).

However, the report also shows a more specific “Breakdown by Route Type” for bus riders. Here are the figures for average household income:

Limited routes - $75,250
Express routes - $82,357
Community routes - $39,663
Local routes - $44,881
Core routes (includes the 22) - $33,167

There is also a note that “Although they are limited stop routes, Route 522 and Route 323 are classified as ‘core’ routes.”

These figures suggest that lower-income bus riders would not be particularly served by the proposed dedicated-lane route. As I understand it, this would essentially be a “limited” route, an enhanced 522, with only 2 stops in Mountain View. Consider also that virtually all new apartment construction along El Camino is, and will be, aimed at a higher-income demographic (who else could afford a 1-BR apartment for $3500/mo., or a 2-BR for $5000+/mo.?).

If VTA wanted to better serve the poor, it could spend the money to improve service on local and core routes.

But all this is really secondary. The central problem is that this proposal attempts to push people out of auto use by intentionally making auto use miserable. In fact, the success of this plan depends on it.

Even if you believe that this “social engineering” plan is what society needs, the fact remains that this BRT route would not be useful to the vast majority of drivers that would be forced out of a reduced-capacity ECR. Even according to VTA’s own estimates, approximately 1000 cars a day would be displaced into alternate routes, through neighborhoods and through already-congested intersections like Rengstorff/Central, San Antonio/Central, and Castro/Central.

A better idea? How about, don’t make things worse by forcing an ill-conceived plan on all of us who live near and use ECR?


6 people like this
Posted by Do nothing?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 3, 2015 at 11:31 pm

"The central problem is that this proposal attempts to push people out of auto use by intentionally making auto use miserable."

Then please take your evidence of fraudulent, malicious intent by VTA to Santa Clara's grand jury and get indictments. Oh, you don't have any evidence? That's called libel.

"Even if you believe that this "social engineering" plan is what society needs, the fact remains that this BRT route would not be useful to the vast majority of drivers that would be forced out of a reduced-capacity ECR. "

Your "do-nothing" approach does nothing for all the cars that will be stuck in gridlock on El Camino for more and more hours of the day.

"Even according to VTA's own estimates, approximately 1000 cars a day would be displaced into alternate routes, through neighborhoods and through already-congested intersections like Rengstorff/Central, San Antonio/Central, and Castro/Central."

1,000 cars in a day over a 15 mile stretch? That's about 2 1/2 cars/hour per mile. Very low impact. Increasing density will move up the number of cars on side streets faster than creating a dedicated bus lane.

"A better idea? How about, don't make things worse by forcing an ill-conceived plan on all of us who live near and use ECR?"

Ah, the "do nothing" approach.

"If VTA wanted to better serve the poor, it could spend the money to improve service on local and core routes"

Oh, wait... you do have an idea! "Spend the money". Wow. This is why we don't directly vote on most projects. You have failed to understand that this project will actually reduce operating costs by over 8 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR! Your idea of "improving service" to other routes is going to RAISE OPERATING COSTS.

That's what so great about BRT. The county will receive a lot of outside funding for the capital expenditure and the operating expenses will actually be reduced from what it is today!

Why don't you admit the real reason for your opposition? You just don't want busses running through your neighborhood. You don't like the type of people that ride them. BE HONEST!


16 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 4, 2015 at 12:18 am

The debate on the merits is over. The VTA Board will not dare take lanes on El Camino for its "rapid transit" buses only - not because it would waste lanes and cause backups on and near El Camino (which it would) but because the VTA wants more money and must ask voters for it. The only question is now whether the VTA Board will delay a decision or vote against the long bus-lane plan just temporarily in an attempt to fool voters into approving its sales tax increase measure.


4 people like this
Posted by Another David
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 12:32 am

The best way to relieve congestion that might arise on El Camino Real is to anticipate the cause of the congestion. First of all, by VTA's own arguments, this can't happen, because car traffic will simply divert to other routes if there is congestion. But secondly, if the travel is for longer commutes, certainly the planned expansion of Caltrain's capacity would serve an awful lot of that demand with a higher quality of service. VTA's whole planning of BRT is to emphasize the alleged need for that longer commute type ride, which just doesn't appear to be valid, but would be served by Caltrain. So that problem is solved.

THe need for more service on ECR is most logically travel of short length perhaps just using ECR for a portion of the route. This is tough to serve by bus, because VTA has such poor feeder service aside from the mediocre service on ECR. So, the best way to address that is more shuttles and so forth set up to cover ECR as part of the route. The shuttles should "skip" ECR service in their routes. This is something completely left out of VTA's planning for adding ECR service.

They claim BRT service will allow them to cut the 22 route service in half, saving funds, but this makes no sense at all. BRT would stop only every 2 miles like the current 522 service does. Yet the current riders prefer the 22 over 2 to 1 over the 522 service. This is due to the long distance between stops. The basic problem is that VTA needs more stops on the 522 service but with the all door boarding and electronic ticketing (Clipper Card) they rely on the justify their service time estimates for BRT. In that case the 22 service could be replaced by local shuttle services serving various areas around the increased number of 522 stops. It can be done. It just isn't as sexy as this BRT expense because it omits an alleged need for over $200 Million in capital investment. It saves real operating costs and adds usable service for countless people. Why should VTA oppose this?


4 people like this
Posted by Another David
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 12:34 am

The last comment should say that shuttle services should NOT skip ECR service in their routes. That's a key need for the shuttle services. They need to serve stops on ECR as well on the other parts of a shuttle route serving the overall community.


13 people like this
Posted by Contact VTA People Too
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 2:14 am

There are a boatload of elected politicians on various advisory groups defined by VTA. I have not contacted Joe Simitian but he's only one member of the BRT Advisory Committee called a Policy Advisory Board. Illogically, there are 2 such committees for the 22/522 route. One is for the portion already funded but really stalled due to a surprise Gas line encounter by a contractor digging. (Apparently VTA did not anticipate utilities underground. How special.) That BRT PAB only contains San Jose people.

Then there are people on a 2nd BRT PAB with different membership affecting the remainder of the 22/522 route which has not yet been funded but may cost over $200 Million. That group has people from numerous cities on it. Apparently this group has recently been more active. Back in 2013 they seem to have cancelled all their meetings back when the issue was the Alum Rock line that is currently ensnarled in various messes.

Anyway, you can see who these people are at this web site: Web Link

It would be nice to see minutes of meetings from 2014, but they don't seem to be around.


18 people like this
Posted by Contacts Plus
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 2:21 am

Oh, just for completeness, the VTA PAB for the first BRT project which is already funded is here: Web Link


Oddly, they don't seem to be meeting and haven't since mid 2014. You'd sort of think they would have a LOT to discuss.

To both of the supporters of BRT posting here and trying to look like different people: What do you say about the mess on the FIRST project where VTA already has gotten the money and let the contracts? See here for the spin VTA puts on this. Web Link

How can anyone support plowing ahead with more of messes like this? What's the hurry? Why not way and let it sort out, like Joe Simitian has urged. Where's the fire?


5 people like this
Posted by @Contacts Plus
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 2:41 am

What? You mean a large, complicated public works project ran into a snag???? How is this possible?

What a strawman argument. Every single large public project runs into problems. In fact, even privately ran projects of that size do not get built flawlessly. It doesn't mean there is gross incompetence--just that it is impossible to account for every possible contingency.

Ever use a software program that has bugs in it? More importantly, ever use a software program that DOESN'T have bugs in it? Does that mean every single software company in the world is incompetent? Hardly.

What's the hurry? Are you kidding me? It's been planned for years. It's been studied and then recently validated. Economy is good now, but may not be good five years from now, so delaying could only hurt us. Also, I believe there are a lot of transportation dollars that are coming from outside Santa Clara, but that money won't be available forever.


5 people like this
Posted by Caring Citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 4, 2015 at 2:44 am

The problem is that your solution of DO NOTHING will result in a far worsening of congestion for everybody. As more and more high density developments (commercial, residential and retail) are built along El Camino and on areas where this HIGHWAY feeds into, the automobile traffic will continue to escalate. By dedicating a lane to public transit, it provides a fast way to move people. Think of it like the wondrous CalTrain program (where more than 50% of the cost is taxpayer subsidized!). Perhaps instead of running the train, we should pave it over and put another highway? Or where it parallels closely Central, expand those lanes?

The reason why we do not, is there is value in building up a network of transit options. Even CalTrain make the decision to put a "BRT" system (called "Baby Bullet")in place, because the regular "local" and even "express" train were considered too slow by the riders.


There does seem to be a correlation between demographic data and the love of CalTrain vs the hate of bus service. It appears that based on a comparison of three transit systems, there does seem to be a correlation between race and the amount of taxpayer paid subsidies.

Transit Subsidy %Caucasian
AC Transit: $2.78 20.6%
BART: $6.14 43.3%
CalTrain: $13.79 60%

So, AC Transit (bus) provides a very modest $2.78/rider subsidy with 20.6% Caucasian.
BART subsidizes to a level of $6.14 per rider with 43.3% Caucasian
and CalTrain has an enormous $13.79 per rider subsidy, with, you guessed it a whopping 60% Caucasian ridership.

So, when we see posters on this forum proudly supporting CalTrain and fighting bus service at every term, how can race NOT be a factor???

Data Source:
Web Link

That is why we have a county-wide transit district. They are responsible for getting PEOPLE from place-to-place efficiently. It is not in their mandate that this be exclusively for automobiles. Bundling people together in a single large vehicle (bus, train) is far more efficient than having a 50 single drivers in their giant SUV swaying back and forth in their lane while texting.

The idea that we should pour a lot of money into shuttles between El Camino and CalTrain is ludicrous. Two small shuttles cost more to operate than one large bus. And since the streets would be busy, these shuttles would be fighting traffic to and from the train station.

Sure, CalTrain is “faster” than buses. A jet airplane is even faster than a train, but nobody in their right mind would commute between SJ and SF by plane. Even though it is faster, the time taken to commute to the airport, go through boarding procedures, etc… makes it a lot slower than any other form of transit. The train is not as bad as a plane, but it is still much more complicated and time consuming than simply stepping off the curb at a bus stop onto a bus. So speed of the actual transit method (bus, plane, train,etc..) is only one factor in determining travel time and efficiency.

Now that we have once again successfully demonstrated the folly in the anti-bussers arguments, it should be no surprise when this gets approved and built.


21 people like this
Posted by No New VTA Tax
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 4, 2015 at 6:58 am

Oh, he ran out of arguments and ways to white wash VTAs part failures, so he's back to calling us racists.
Next they'll compare you to slave owners because you're smart enough to know their plan for BRT will fail just as light rail has failed and just as their attempt at BRT 1 is now failing. Ask the ruined businesses along BRT 1 how they like BRT. The promises of BRT 1 have once again proven VTA cannot and should not be in change of such projects and has no clue about hat will or won't happen if and when they ever complete it.
This is a decision similar to light rail, only with more major impacts to everyone.

Failed light rail
Failing BRT 1 to go along with VTA's inability to complete it.
Ruined businesses along BRT 1 now looking for legal action against VTA because of failing incomplete BRT 1.
BRT has no benefit to the community. Only more empty promises by VTA, the historically inept agency that has never met the protection on the outcomes of such projects.

VTAs projections on ridership increases and project outcomes have historically be very WRONG! This is another light rail but with more negative impacts.




3 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 4, 2015 at 9:06 am

Even though the debate over the merits of bus-only lanes is over as they have no place on El Camino and most voters on the VTA's planned tax measure would see the arrogance and folly of bus-only lanes (and many other VTA projects) and vote NO, maybe some poster will attempt to explain how bicyclists could safety use El Camino without eliminating cars and trucks completely.
Cars and trucks must TURN left and right (into bicyclists) to leave El Camino.


16 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 4, 2015 at 9:36 am

My post from earlier...

Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
11 hours ago


@BRT IS THE WAY, "Wow! I count only THREE people posting anti-transit propaganda. XxXXX Xxxxx and one other yet to be identified."

Why are you trying to publicly (or otherwise) identify the commenters here? That's not only creepy, it's a little scary. Once you identify the commenters here whom disagree with, are you planning to stalk them at their residence and harass them or otherwise try to intimidate them?

I take stalking and harassing is VERY seriously, as I hope those in charge of the Mountain View Voice do as well.

Screen shots are helpful, and The voice has ip's logged of every post, so there's that.

Back off.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by @No way insanity
a resident of another community
10 hours ago

Uhhhhhh.... Gary W and David R have come out publicly against BRT with volumes of arguments. The same words are being used above, as you know. It's not a difficult inference to make, is it?

And what is this whole stalking, police and IP address tracking thing you are ranting about? No wonder most people that support BRT are refusing to engage in discourse with you. All you do is claim fraud, name call and now threaten arrest of those that disagree with you.

After the dedicated bus lane is put in and the world doesn't end, will you apologize to your neighbors for your error? Probably not.. Very sad.

~~~~~~~~~~~


My reply to the above exchange...

A) I have no idea whom you are referring to in your comments above, nor do I care. I make no inferences about commenters "real" identity, and it is expressly against The Mountain View Voice TOU to publicly make those sorts of inferences on this forum:

Web Link

"You agree not to disclose personal information about another person, nor post anything that misleads others as to the source of the posting."


B) I never said a word about the police, nor ip tracking. Read my comment, I said ip's were logged, not a word about ip tracking...maybe your forte?


C) I never claimed fraud nor threatened anyone with arrest. Stop making up LIES about what I have posted. Either quote my comments in full and respond to them directly, or stop replying to me and/or referring to me in any of your comments. The lies you post about me on this forum will stop, now.


4 people like this
Posted by Not Healthy
a resident of Jackson Park
on Oct 4, 2015 at 10:16 am

I looked at this argument and see that the posts from this "No Way" character are showing clear signs of obsessive behavior and a concerning level of psychosis. Now I understand why so many people are supportive of the BRT project.

If the most unreasonable and irrational people are on one side of the issue, it makes the other side look better.

I don't like the BRT personally because they are going to chop some trees down, but I do think it is the best solution for El Camino.


4 people like this
Posted by BikeWalkDriveBus
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 4, 2015 at 10:20 am

@resident of another community

Take another look at your reasoning re: Paris (preferably in a calm moment). Paris as a city has much less space than MV. Space is much more expensive, and there is no place in central Paris to expand. Parking is impossible, and they gave up not only a traffic lane but the parking spaces along the side! The stakes are so much higher there.

Therefore, the argument that Paris is denser, Paris has more people... well, it backfires. Parisians have actually sacrificed far more in creating their bus lanes than Mountain View or Sunnyvale or Santa Clara ever will. They have bitten the bullet, showing both foresight and courage. It's truly incredible. My jaw dropped when I saw the bus lanes there, then I was amazed again at how well they work in practice. Unlikely and beautiful.

If you're still reading calmly, consider this fact: few Parisians actually get around on the bus! It by far the least popular mode of public transport there. But the bus lanes take whoever rides the bus (or takes a taxi, or rides a bike or motorized scooter) out of their way. The bus lanes simplify the traffic flow, which benefits everyone.

As we face the enviable problems of too much success (see @What are the alternatives), a knee-jerk response avoids the issue. And a brief survey of this thread shows no new ideas on how to solve it! It is natural and healthy to look at how other communities have addressed the same issue: too many people trying to move around in unscalable ways. Absent our own original thinking, it is better to try something that works elsewhere than to keep doing more of the same and expecting different results.

Here's a challenge to my fellow MV residents: don't put Joe Simitian or other leaders in a corner by demanding more (or the same number) of lanes for car travel. His charter and that of other leaders is to look forward, not to dig in. Before writing to him or others in wrath, ask yourself - will that model scale? For how long?


18 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 4, 2015 at 10:58 am

Below is the link to various agency & city comments made to the VTA Draft Environmental Impact Report, as well as the VTA's response to those comments. If you have not read the letters of concern over the project - PLEASE READ - then read the VTA's responses. The responses are not surprising, but telling nonetheless.

BRT über alles!


Letters from the following agencies can be found in appendix of the document:

Link here:

Web Link

1) Letter from California Department of Transportation
2) Letter from Santa Clara County Department of Health
3) Letter from Santa Clara County Department of Roads and Airports
4) Letter from City of Los Altos
5) Letter from City of Mountain View
6) Letter from City of Palo Alto
7) Letter from City of San José
8) Letter from City of Santa Clara
9) Letter from City of Sunnyvale


5 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 4, 2015 at 11:04 am

Note there is no response from the VTA posters to the problem
with riding bikes on El Camino near cars and trucks that must TURN on and off El Camino. Why? Because bikes only fit when cars and trucks are banned from El Camino completely. And the VTAers do not want to talk about that second phase of their "vision" for the Grand Boulevard.



21 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 4, 2015 at 11:13 am

A reminder of some of the highlights of VTA's BRT plan:


* Will make only TWO stops in Mountain View 1@ Castro Street and 1@ Showers Drive

* Removes the left lane of traffic for ALL automobiles each direction of El Camino Real 24/7.

* Removes ALL on street parking on El Camino Real both sides 24/7.

* Removes ALL trees in the median strip of El Camino Real between Grant Rd. & Showers Dr. - over 330 trees.

* Removes ability to make left turns across El Camino Real at several (6+) intersections (final number TBD) between Grant Rd. & Showers Dr. The result will be that cars will need to drive further up El Camino Real THEN make u-turn & come back down El Camino Real (going the other direction) THEN make a right turn, or divert onto residential side streets to get where they need to go.

* Adds multiple signal 7+ (STOP) lights to El Camino Real between Grant Road & Showers Dr.

* The implementation of the BRT lane is expected to RESULT in well over thousand cars daily diverting off of El Camino Real and ONTO Central & Foothill Expressways as well as onto nearby quiet RESIDENTIAL STREETS as cars seek to avoid the traffic jams of El Camino Real. Again, and according to the VTA's own "report", well over a thousand cars daily are expected to flood nearby quiet residential streets as they seek alternate routes off of El Camino Real.


~~~~~

If you are concerned about the impact the VTA's dedicated lane BRT plan is going to have on the residents of Mountain View, please email Santa Clara County Supervisor, Joe Simitian...he WANTS to hear from you.

Web Link

Attention: Kris Zanardi, Policy Aide - Environment & Transportation (her email address is found at the bottom of the page)


Please, pass this information along to your friends & neighbors and let them know what is going on with the the VTA's BRT plan for El Camino Real, and share Mr. Simitian's contact information with them, too.


Your voices matter. Speak up. Be heard.

As to the ongoing intimidation & bullying tactics occurring this forum, a primer...
Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by BRT is great!
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 11:27 am


Benefits regarding dedicated lanes next to the medians:
1. Medians be widened significantly for the BRT stations to meet the needs of people using wheelchairs, strollers and shopping carts;
2. May, but not necessarily, require the removal of greenery and trees while not desirable is better than doing nothing for people using wheelchairs, the elderly or otherwise infirm.
3. Would probably require there be less parking on this state highway. This would only impact businesses that chose not to have any parking for their customers.
4. The median would provide protection from Traffic going by on both sides thereby protecting transit users, especially for those traveling with several children;
5. New bus designs are available to provide safe and efficient entry and exits to and from the median.
6. The plan calls for making left turns for private automobiles easy and efficient.
7. Some self-centered cities will attempt to block the dedicated lanes proposal, but since it is a STATE highway they will not have the final say.

More issues to consider:
The current gridlock caused by single driver automobiles on El Camino Real, especially at Rengstorff Ave., Castro St. and the Grant Rd./237 intersections, and at the entrances/exits of the 85 freeway will no longer negatively affect the selfless public transit users.

The lack of streets parallel to El Camino Real, particularly on the west side of Mountain View is not an issue as it is not a Constitutional right to have bypass roads everywhere.

The location of the north and south entries and exits for the 85 freeway have been there for decades and will continue to be so.

The new law mandating a 3 foot distance between cars and bicycles is an example of the interest in defending our populace from the dangerous single-driver automobiles congesting our roadways and threatening our pedestrians and cyclists.

The number of housing and business projects planned along El Camino Real is a big reason to provide this efficient public transit option.

The location of El Camino Hospital will work nicely with a fast and efficient bus system and the Fire Station on Grant Rd will appreciate having a non-congested lane their emergency vehicles can utilize to save lives.

If the aim is to improve traffic flow by increasing bus use and reducing car use, it's important to recognize that this project is very workable because,
people need to get to multiple locations at specific times or within a given amount of time and the dedicated lane will guarantee this.

People need to get to or live at locations that are not near the bus line and making the bus line fast and efficient would increase ridership and therefore the number of routes available.

People need their cars for use at work will still be able to drive as MOST of the lanes will STILL be there for single-user automobiles, despite what the naysayers want us to believe.

The bus will now be able to run on a schedule that is compatible with people's schedules.

Conclusion:
Based on all of the above, there should ABSOLUTELY BE a reduction in the number of lanes, narrowing of lanes, bulb-outs for bus stops, and any other change that would increase the speed and efficiency of public transit and further increase the flow of people traffic (automobile drivers, passengers PLUS (+) bus riders), including emergency vehicles, on Mountain View's approximately four miles of El Camino Real.

El Camino is a main traffic artery that should not continue to be completely blocked by single-user automobiles to the detriment of all.

Since whatever is decided will affect many people, this should be voted on by our elected and appointed officials at the transportation board in Santa Clara County. BRT, if implemented, should operate along the whole of El Camino Real.


7 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 4, 2015 at 11:48 am

Still no response about bicyles on El Camino. It is no coincidence that VTA staff has proposed to also install bicycle lanes on El Camino for cities that want them. Of course, VTA operatives hope bike riders might become supporters. But the larger strategy is that bicycle lanes would lead to the complete banning of cars and trucks on El Camino - phase two of their "grand" plan.


17 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 4, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Just one of the gems of VTA's dedicated lane BRT option:

** The implementation of the BRT lane is expected to RESULT in well over thousand cars daily diverting off of El Camino Real and ONTO Central & Foothill Expressways as well as onto nearby quiet RESIDENTIAL STREETS as cars seek to avoid the traffic jams of El Camino Real. Again, and according to the VTA's own "report", well over a thousand cars daily are expected to flood nearby quiet residential streets as they seek alternate routes off of El Camino Real.

Many of the autos diverting off of ECR are expected to be autos cutting thru quiet residential streets - streets that are presently safe for pedestrians & bicyclists alike, and are common routes used by children on their way to/from school. This expected diversion of auto traffic off of ECR and onto those residential streets will RESULT IN MAKING THOSE STREETS MORE DANGEROUS FOR EVERYONE. Keep the bulk of the auto traffic where it is intended to be, on State Route 82 El Camino Real and do NOT support a plan that will result in over ONE THOUSAND AUTOS DAILY diverting onto the quiet residential streets of Mountain View.

This is just one of many SIGNIFICANT & UNAVOIDABLE - NEGATIVE IMPACTS that will befall the residents of Mountain View if VTA's dedicated lane BRT plan is implemented.


3 people like this
Posted by Data
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 12:51 pm

1,000 cars in a day over a 15 mile stretch? That's about 2 1/2 cars/hour per mile. Very low impact. Increasing density will move up the number of cars on side streets faster than creating a dedicated bus lane.




Looks like BRT s high value and low impact. It's a go!


13 people like this
Posted by Paid commenters
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 12:51 pm

Another thing to consider is that some of the public comments at various meetings and even letters to the editor and online comments on the Mercury News, Voice and other journalistic web sites come from employees drawing a salary to tout public transit expenditures.

Unfortunately, like everything else, you cannot safely just throw money at a problem and always win benefits. Money can make a problem worse, and it came fail to make any useful change while diverting resources that could be used better.

In this case, VTA has duties to the entire county. Their only past somewhat success has been the ECR bus route so they vow to spend more and more on that. This is on the face of it a bad decision. Eventually they will pass the point of diminishing returns and just make things worse. That's the case with their BRT proposals, all 3 of them. We should at least yet the 3 years now forecast for implementation along Alum Rock Avenue and through downtown play out. THen we can see how that service works. Secretly these advocates realize that it is not going to work as planned. THere's going to be a drop in ridership compared to their forecasts and there will be lots of complains. This is on top of taking THREE TIMES longer to build and costing an untold number of extra dollars. They plan to eliminate several stops on the 522 route in the downtown area, and they have been unable to get permits from the City of San Jose for construction of some of their multi-million dollar stations, The problems aren't over yet.

This is not the typical case of a public agency screwing up. This is MASSIVE and the result on the bigger segment that effects us up here is likely to be much worse.

It's not enough not to fund VTA further. Vote No, sure, but speak out. Let the elected officials know you know about the mess on Alum Rock Avenue. Why even tho supporters should be doing that, because it's going to give a bad reputation to these organizations which have endorsed it. They need to vet better the plans they endorse. In particular, with the same exact corridor served by Caltrain, they should have recommended changes at least to VTA's plans for ECR.

I have seen numerous letters published in the press, and I hope all these people will ALSO contact Joe Simitian and other elected officials. In the case of the city of Palo Alto, I know that they are going to have their own study of alternatives and ill effects. Other cities could do the same. VTA can't' be left unchallenged. They are dominated by San Jose and San Jose has not right to mess up the transit (not just traffic, but TRANSIT) in other cities. San Jose is beset by political inefficiencies and waste. Let's not have this same mentality contaminate smaller cities which have the processes to avoid such government waste!


19 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm

No Way to the VTA:
a resident of Bailey Park
55 minutes ago

Just one of the gems of VTA's dedicated lane BRT option:

** The implementation of the BRT lane is expected to RESULT in well over thousand cars daily diverting off of El Camino Real and ONTO Central & Foothill Expressways as well as onto nearby quiet RESIDENTIAL STREETS as cars seek to avoid the traffic jams of El Camino Real. Again, and according to the VTA's own "report", well over a thousand cars daily are expected to flood nearby quiet residential streets as they seek alternate routes off of El Camino Real.

Many of the autos diverting off of ECR are expected to be autos cutting thru quiet residential streets - streets that are presently safe for pedestrians & bicyclists alike, and are common routes used by children on their way to/from school. This expected diversion of auto traffic off of ECR and onto those residential streets will RESULT IN MAKING THOSE STREETS MORE DANGEROUS FOR EVERYONE. Keep the bulk of the auto traffic where it is intended to be, on State Route 82 El Camino Real and do NOT support a plan that will result in over ONE THOUSAND AUTOS DAILY diverting onto the quiet residential streets of Mountain View.

This is just one of many SIGNIFICANT & UNAVOIDABLE - NEGATIVE IMPACTS that will befall the residents of Mountain View if VTA's dedicated lane BRT plan is implemented.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Data
a resident of another community
6 minutes ago


1,000 cars in a day over a 15 mile stretch? That's about 2 1/2 cars/hour per mile. Very low impact. Increasing density will move up the number of cars on side streets faster than creating a dedicated bus lane.




Looks like BRT s high value and low impact. It's a go!


~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~



I am referencing the portion of the DEIR specifically referring to Mountain View's portion of the BRT dedicated lane from Grant Road to Showers Drive = 3.3 mile stretch of ECR. And for that 3.3 mile stretch of ECR the expected diversion of auto traffic will be OVER ONE THOUSAND AUTOS DAILY ONTO QUIET RESIDENTIAL STREETS IN MOUNTAIN VIEW -- but you already knew that.


**This is just one of many SIGNIFICANT & UNAVOIDABLE - NEGATIVE IMPACTS that will befall the residents of Mountain View if VTA's dedicated lane BRT plan is implemented.


6 people like this
Posted by Diversion
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 2:54 pm

Well if car traffic could divert, then El Camino will never become congestion and the current situation with the 22 adn 522 routes can continue with no problem. You can't have it both ways.

But the flaw in the last overly simplistic post is that nothing says the car diversions are for less than 1 mile of travel or that they happen evenly throughout the day.

Did you know that VTA service handles more riders between 9am and 3pm than it does in their so called prime commute hours of 5am to 9am and 3pm to 7pm? VTA riders aren't concentrated at commute times, but the car diversions probably would be. To attempt to slightly reduce travel time for a minority of the VTA riders, many m any cars would be diverted from 4pm to 6pm, for example. Makes no sense.


There's no way to defend this proposal. It's a solution in search of a problem. Everyone knows the companies hiring are Google, Apple, LinkedIn, Facebook and they provide bus service for their employees which mostly operates on the Freeways. They aren't adding employees would would use bus serve on ECR. This is a new fact of life and isn't taken into account in VTA's alleged justification for BRT. VTA is an anachronism that should be eliminated it it cannot adjust to changes.


4 people like this
Posted by Diversion
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 3:38 pm

There certainly is diversion happening. The anti-bus zealots keep posting mis-information, lies and false accusations.

The studies show that the best solution for El Camino is a dedicated bus lane. Everything thrown at this proposal is simply wrong, insignificant or misleading.

Most everybody is not against the dedicated lane. It's just a vocal few that have made it their life goal to suppress inexpensive public transit. Most cities in this district are not opposed to it. Only Palo Alto is very opposed. Sunnyvale is barely opposed and of course Mountain View supports it.

It's also clear that at least one person that is fighting the proposal is receiving funds for certain businesses on El Camino for the free parking on my highway that is in jeopardy.


3 people like this
Posted by Wait and See
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Hmm. Joe Simitian said we should wait and see how the Alum Rock BRT with the dedicated lane and the very expensive stations performs. He didn't come out against a dedicated lane. He just said wait.

Seems like the right way to proceed. No matter what happens, it won't be a big problem over the next 3 years while VTA gets its act together and data comes in on their design on the initial segment, plus how BRT vehicles perform on the unchanged ECR in Mountain View.

This is a voice of sanity. Others want BRT on the moon.


4 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 4:24 pm

I believe the group that wants to wait and see how Alum Rock works out will continue to complain about BRT up here regardless of the result down south. None of their arguments are rational, so expecting rationality later is a fools errand.

Most cities Joe represents are unopposed to El Camino BRT, so he will likely express concern, but not seriously block the project.

It's a great project that will bring world class transit to El Camino.


14 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 4, 2015 at 5:23 pm

The figure of “over 1000” cars diverted into alternate routes by the dedicated lanes proposal is not for an entire day, but just for PM peak period. It’s VTA’s own figure for expected PM peak diversion in 2018, with 2 bus-only lanes on ECR (their “Alternative 4c”).

Here’s a link to VTA’s "Traffic Operations Analysis Report" - Web Link. Take a look at page 39, figure 21.

The accompanying text notes, “…the major diversion routes in Mountain View for the PM peak period are Middlefield Road, Central Expressway, I-280, Foothill Expressway, and California Street. There is a similar but opposite pattern during the AM peak period.”

So, just to set the facts straight: VTA estimates 1163 cars diverted into other intersections in PM peak period, with a similar figure during AM peak period. These are VTA’s figures, and may prove to be too low if their predictions of BRT ridership do not materialize. This would be a significant negative impact on many intersections used by commuters, that are already at a poor level of service.


6 people like this
Posted by That's ok
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 4, 2015 at 5:45 pm

As a long term resident and homeowner living near El Camino, I welcome the addition of a fast bus line. I'm so happy that our council voted their support for the project.

Thank you!


14 people like this
Posted by Comical
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 4, 2015 at 6:14 pm

LOL. This discussion has become comical. My joke of the day. The random obscure "realist" continuing to insist EVERYONE wants this insane plan that doesn't reduce traffic but only increases speed for a very few minority. W....T....H. COMICAL I tell you.

I'm off this, it's beyond discussion, waste of time. Facts have been presented, now time will tell. Hopefully everyone continues to bring this to light with the general public, let them know what's being pushed behind their backs. I think enough people are becoming aware but don't stop talking it up.

For now, for this board, ciao


5 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 4, 2015 at 7:13 pm

Love the debate. I was uncertain whether this would be a good idea, but after reading the EIR and the comments here and other places, I see that it is a well thought out program.

I'm sure that once it has built, everybody is going to be super happy.


8 people like this
Posted by ROFL
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 9:05 pm

Ha ha, very funny. For info on the outrage about VTA's careless attitude, see: Web Link

Lots of opposition to this wasteful plan.


7 people like this
Posted by BRT not always bad
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2015 at 9:09 pm

Just in this case, due to the poor design, lack of planning, and overall bad record of VTA and their handling of the matter. Really could not be worse. Lucky there's Caltrain already serving the same corridor.


8 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 4, 2015 at 11:04 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

I'm just curious Janet Lafleur. You have spent a lot of time in this discussion and seem to believe very strongly that this project should move forward. I am not one of those who will accuse you of being a VTA employee or someone that has a monetary stake in this project. I just am curious as to your high level of motivation to get this project rolling. Why are you so passionate about BRT? I definitely see your point of view, but I don't understand why this is so important to you. It might help people if ypu let us know what makes you feel so strongly about BRT.

@CH I entered this discussion because I'm a transit rider who couldn't stand the misinformation people were spewing. I certainly don't love everything the VTA does, which includes spending $72 million for 3 miles on Highway 101 that closed down a key bike and walking underpass for over a year.

What's important to me:

(1) Making transit in our area more convenient and efficient so we don't encourage people to drive. The same people who worry about their driving trips taking an extra 5 minutes are the ones who say they'd never take transit because it takes too long. Why? Because the "empty" buses are stuck behind cars which usually have only one person inside. It's mindbending.

(2) Making El Camino a more pleasant place for people to walk, bike and live on. It's the retail spine of our city with shops, offices, restaurants, apartments and hotels shoulder-to-shoulder. But people treat it like it should be a highway, not a boulevard, and demand six lanes for all vehicle traffic, which is more than our expressways have. Because it's so unpleasant and dangerous to walk along, the majority of people will drive to reach a second business that's within walking distance--even across the street. That's broken.

I know my opinion is unpopular in this forum. I'm one of the few people here who are willing to use my real name when I state my beliefs. What you interpret as "passion" is simply someone with the guts to stand up against the "drivers come first" status quo and look for more efficient 21st century solutions, not cling to ideas from the 1950s.


8 people like this
Posted by Efficient Transit
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2015 at 3:25 am

The more things change, the more things remain the same.

I'd say the attitude of VTA in planning these expenditures is very symptomatic of being stuck in the past, transit-wise. It may be called BRT but they are treating it as if it were a subway. Subways have been around since the late 1800's.

The difference is that they imbue this BRT with a feature of having only 1 stop every 2 miles or so. That's a very bad design in this case, precisely because this BRT is nothing like a subway. If we need heavy rail, then we do have Caltrain. The VTA has the fatality in their plan that they will never attract very many riders to this service. At the same time ridership on alternatives like Caltrain keeps increasing. I don't think you can really claim that this conversion of 2 lanes near the median makes it easier to cross El Camino Real on foot. The real issue with walkability is the design of the sidewalks along the roadway and this plan doesn't touch that a bit. The median is only so wide and the BRT stations they plan will be very shallow and awkward. Someone claims they will be easier for wheelchairs. Ha. I doubt that 100%.

One could make a good case that VTA is not mature enough to design a proper setup for the road at this point. It would be smarter to wait 5 more years for this plan of the "grand boulevard" to move forward. To design it now may very well cause costly changes which are not in the best interest long term. What is the rush? My feeling is that the first change in the interim would best be adding somewhat more stops to the 522 route in its present form, so that it is on average 1 mile or less between stop. The result of that change may inform a better design of any future change. You could honestly ask why the heck VTA has not done this already. There is a very odd rider preference for the 22 route over the 522 route. Address that first, and study the effect.


23 people like this
Posted by If I were childless...
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 5, 2015 at 8:31 am

I guess I can see why some people feel everyone should get out of their cars. It's human nature to think "Hey, I can do it, so everyone can". To be sure, if I were childless and did not have to commute 30 miles west to east and back I would probably ditch the car. I still do all my local errands on my bike though.
BRT is a terrible idea once you start looking past ideology and looking at real world applications for the majority. This particular plan is bad for far too many. It works against MV.


6 people like this
Posted by Inventory of Ignorance
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 5, 2015 at 8:58 am

Let’s review the latest batch of ignorant statements:

"I'd say the attitude of VTA in planning these expenditures is very symptomatic of being stuck in the past, transit-wise. It may be called BRT but they are treating it as if it were a subway. Subways have been around since the late 1800’s.”

Oh, so having a fast and efficient bus service along El Camino is stuck in the past. For some reason, this ABOVE GROUND service that uses the roadway that is already there is being likened to a SUBWAY which have “been around since the late 1800s”. I guess old ideas are bad ones? In that case, here’s an interesting citation from Wikipedia: "In urban areas it began to be worthwhile to build stone-paved streets and, in fact, the first paved streets appear to have been built in Ur in 4000 BC.” So, if you think all old ideas are therefore bad ones and to continue using old ideas is being “stuck in the past”, then you should applaud for VTA for de-emphasizing the invention of roads which has been around for 6,000 years!!!!

"That's a very bad design in this case, precisely because this BRT is nothing like a subway.”

Oh, so now you say that BRT is “nothing like a subway”. Oh. So, automobiles do not share the tracks with subways. BRT would not share the lane with automobiles. So, they have that in common. Therefore, you are wrong. Patently wrong. What an ignorant statement!

"The difference is that they imbue this BRT with a feature of having only 1 stop every 2 miles or so.”

What an ignorant thing to write! You mean that a high speed service should make a lot of stops?! How about every fifty feet!!! Sorry, but transit services are designed to stop at intervals that are most efficient for the system at large. Remember, the idea is to move lots of people at the most efficient rate possible.

"The VTA has the fatality in their plan that they will never attract very many riders to this service. "

There is absolutely not evidence of that. In fact, quite the contrary. Just because YOU won’t lower yourself to take the bus and prefer to clog the roads with your one person-one car philosophy, doesn’t mean that thousands of others aren’t more reasonable.

"My feeling is that the first change in the interim would best be adding somewhat more stops to the 522 route in its present form, so that it is on average 1 mile or less between stop. […] There is a very odd rider preference for the 22 route over the 522 route. Address that first, and study the effect.”

That is why you are not in charge of transit. This so-called “odd rider preference for the 22 route” is because the 522 is to slow. Right now, the 522 service is being blocked by automobiles in gridlocked traffic. Adding more stops would slow it down even further. The project will bring an 87 minute commute down to 48 minutes. And that is a conservative estimate. There is every reason to be that the improvements will be significantly greater. For the many thousands of people that are commuting during peak times, that will enable them to use the bus.

CalTrain doesn’t work for transit along El Camino. Traveling back and forth to the train station adds too much time to the total commute. Unless you are a wealthy tech worker who receives taxpayer subsidized fares, riders will be spending a lot in unnecessary train tickets.

Once again, we have shown that the anti-bus brigade is just full of hot air. They are “all-hat”. Incessant, aggressive and obnoxious spewing of their ignorance is not having much of an effect, since most cities are supportive of the bus lane. Heck, even within Palo Alto, whose cancel voted 9-0 against the dedicated lane is split on the subject. This will get approved and built. If the anti-bus people don’t like it, they should feel free to move to a red state where they don’t like “bus people” either.


8 people like this
Posted by Avoiding ECR
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Oct 5, 2015 at 9:11 am

My concern is not only the traffic problems that will occur with BRT, but the more immediate disaster as VTA attempts to install this.

My family and I discussed how we could manage not using ECR. We concluded that there is not much left on ECR we really need as places like Marie Callendar's, our favorite car wash and the MV adult book store (kidding) are gone. So for October we are avoiding ECR. ECR is just a bad habit with too many traffic lights that can easily be changed and we might even find some new places at which to shop.


24 people like this
Posted by BRT1 now failing
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 5, 2015 at 9:16 am

BRT 1 is causing many problems already w/ businesses. VTA for some reason has decided not to complete it,. or is incapable of completing it.
I would sue their butts off if i owned a business on the train wreck that is BRT 1


21 people like this
Posted by BRT1 now failing
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 5, 2015 at 9:38 am

Here's is the recent web link. These fools are NOT to be trusted!!

Web Link


30 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 5, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Snipped from today's San Jose Mercury News article...

"The highly-contentious proposal to dedicate two lanes on jammed El Camino Real to high-speed buses could come with a higher cost than its $234 million price tag and fears of unbearable traffic jams.

If the Valley Transportation Authority forges ahead with the ambitious bus plan, many local officials say, it could anger voters and doom the 30-year, half-cent sales tax measure on the November 2016 ballot to raise $6 billion for a host of transportation needs, including bringing BART through downtown San Jose, paving potholes and widening highway chokepoints throughout Santa Clara County.

"We're talking about a transportation tax in 2016, yet we may have a significant chunk of the county up in arms" because of the bus plan, said County Supervisor Joe Simitian of Palo Alto. "It's one thing to stick to your guns, but it's another thing to be stubborn at a cost of $6 billion in transportation improvements."

The bus lane plan is under siege as county transportation planners consider new approaches to solving traffic concerns along the county's main north-south artery. So far, VTA officials have received more than 1,000 often angry comments, the most ever on one of its projects."

...more...

Web Link

I'll add that not only will the vote be NO, but unless or until there is language in any tax measure that specifically states that none of the money collected will be used for ANY part of ANY project that would include removing lanes on El Camino Real for auto use - then the vote will continue to be NO.

NO WAY to the VTA.

You want your $6 Billion dollars for a "host of transportation needs? Well, WE want our SIX lanes of El Camino Real for auto use.

Quid pro quo.


13 people like this
Posted by VTA's BRT 1
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Hey, you missed an even more recent analysis of that mess on Alum Rock Avenue: Web Link


17 people like this
Posted by Inquiring minds want to know
a resident of Gemello
on Oct 5, 2015 at 1:15 pm

@VTA's BRT 1,

So, are the VTA board members going to pay to compensate the business owners for their losses out of their own pay checks, or will the taxpayers be on the hook for bailing out the VTA's gross mismanagement of this portion of the BRT project?

Adding it up.


21 people like this
Posted by WE pay for VTA's Failures
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 5, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Of course the money VTA is pledging to the businesses because of the mess they created with BRT1 will come from OUR POCKETS!!!

With VTA's pledge, WE ARE NOW SEEING HOW WE WILL HAVE TOP PAY FOR FAILURE OF BRT 1. This is just the start.

End this madness NOW!


3 people like this
Posted by VTA's BRT 1
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Free bus passes and VTA hats.


18 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 5, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Can this VTA boondoggle situation be turned into a proposal for which tax paying homeowners and renters can vote yay or nay?


8 people like this
Posted by domo
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 5, 2015 at 2:27 pm

VTA shills still posting comments here I see --- get a life!


18 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 5, 2015 at 2:28 pm

Well, it's another fine mess VTA is getting us into again. Ridership will never warrant such a plan. Argh. City Counsel should be embarrassed.


13 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 5, 2015 at 9:04 pm

@Janet thank you for your thoughtful, heartfelt response. While I appreciate your viewpoint I personally and respectfully disagree with some of your core thoughts. ECR is NOT a walking street nor was it ever meant to be. It is a sprawling, long, wide corridor thru which we hopefully are moving cars quickly at long distances. The walking communities you're alluding to would be more like Castro, downtown LA, California in PA. I"m curious, specifically what shops, businesses, places are you hoping to reach on ECR?

The removal of lanes is NOT going to help encourage people out of cars. I understand your desire to reduce the number of cars but in order to do this you must have viable mass transit options. I lived in singapore for several years and did not have a car while there. However there was a phenomenal subway system, a huge fleet of taxis and decent bus service. That said, even with all three of these being very successfully promoted, probably the key reason it worked is that Singapore is a very small area so walking/alternative transit is easier, quicker, less of a hassle. Again, we are not this small, contained community, we are SPRAWLING, distant, spread out. We don't live, work, recreate in just one community but we do these things spread across several, in many cases miles and miles apart.

I don't think the majority who reject this plan are stuck in the 1950's...most of us just want a real, workable solution, not a temporary, incredibly expensive bandaid.


10 people like this
Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 5, 2015 at 9:23 pm

Another VTA cost waste? No one has shown the profits of the elite bus system. Will we continue to pay to operate this bus line once built? Or are we to build this bus lane with no attempt to cover the cost in the future.

VTA cannot turn a profit when full VTA trains run to Levis Stadium. They want to charge $20

SANTA CLARA >> Transit tab soars for 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium
The tab to cover all that extra light rail and bus service to events at Levi’s Stadium is in, and it’s too hefty for the Valley Transportation Authority’s tastes. VTA officials this week said it will cost them more than $3 million a year for 30 events, money they hadn’t banked on spending and an expense the transit agency says is “not sustainable.”


5 people like this
Posted by Vocal minority
a resident of Jackson Park
on Oct 5, 2015 at 10:09 pm

It is clearly just a vocal minority of Santa Clara residents that have s problem with improving bus service on El Camino.

From everything I read, only a couple towns have come out against it.




That is the truth of the matter.


The people that hate busses are the same ones that are generally intolerant and self-centered. Fortunately, most people here are not that way which is why BRT has majority support.


17 people like this
Posted by Uh, yah
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 7:01 am

Anyone(one, as in single poster) who reads these comments and speaks to people in MV, then claims the opposition to BRT is "Just a vocal minority" is delusional at best. The masses KNOW BRT is a loser idea. Look at BRT1. Nobody is winning, everyone is losing. Now VTA has come out to say they need to pay the owners of the businesses because VTA botched up BRT1 so badly. It's still not fixed with no sign or completion.


6 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 6, 2015 at 11:32 am

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@mvresident2003 What businesses do I visit on El Camino? You're kidding right? Unlike Central Expressway or Foothill, the whole roadway is lined with businesses. There's not a single stretch of vacant space along the corridor, unless you count the businesses that are boarded up or the ginormous freeway interchange at Hwy 85.

Stores I've visited recently include: Cost Plus, Diddams, Vacuum supply, Performance Bicycles, Off Ramp, Bev Mo, Whole Foods, Walgreens, Petco, Kinkos, CVS, True Value, Surplus Store, Dittmers, Adobe Animal Clinic, Baskin Robbins. Then there are restaurants, but I'm tired of typing.

To say that El Camino's main function should be a long-distance highway when it's the retail spine of our city is absurd. You may not want to walk it, but other do walk it, and others would like to. Part of the reason the traffic is so bad is that people are driving instead of walking between destinations on the corridor.


10 people like this
Posted by No support for BAD ideas
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 11:52 am

Unfortunately, BRT works against the citizens of MV who want to utilize ECR in any way other than riding from SJ to PA on a VTA(only) bus.

That's why so many are opposed. The backers only seem to care that it will mess up traffic so much that it MAY force some out of their cars...may is the key word. I would interject "but probably not"" is most likely.

What VTA admits is the likely scenario is that traffic will now push onto our residential streets making THEM the commute route. This is worsening the situation for bike riders and pedestrians while at the same time worsening things for those in cars.
It's a looser proposition for all except VTA. Sad to see some have been duped by this bureaucratic nightmare.


15 people like this
Posted by Reality check
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 6, 2015 at 12:02 pm

And how would taking a lane away for auto use and replacing it with a bus only lane that is only going to stop at Grant Road and Showers Drive, going to help Mountain View residents who live say, in the Rex Manor area, be able to walk from their residence to, say Adobe Animal Hospital, with their pet?

Keep the auto traffic where it is meant to be, on El Camino Real. Do not sacrifice the safety of the residential streets of Mountain View by supporting a plan that will result in well over a thousand cars daily flooding the neighborhood streets of Mountain View creating hazardous conditions for pedestrians and cyclists alike.


5 people like this
Posted by BRT has support
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2015 at 12:53 pm

An online petition was launched to measure how interested the community was in recalling the council members that voted with BOTH their brains AND conscience to bring rapid and efficient bus service to El Camino. By numbers, over 99 percent of Mountain View DID NOT SIGN this petition! That is proof that the council’s vote truly represented the will of the people.

(Source: Here is the petition: Web Link
Only 689 online "signatures" were collected in over FIVE MONTHS! )

Of course, you will now read an explanation that very few residents read the Town Square posting, so it not at all representative of the community. I couldn’t agree more, BUT these same posters also claim that since most of the messages appear to be against the BRT project, there must be broad community opposition against the project? Huh? Which is it? Town Square representative or not?

Truly, if most of the city was against this project, there would have been many more online signatures. It got passed around on social media and through the e-mail friends/family/co-workers network. In fact, I’m sure that quite a few of the “689” are from people who do not live in the area and are simply voting to help their anti-bus friend.

Based on this and the fact that ONLY Palo Alto and Sunnyvale has opposed the bus lane, it would be a big stretch of the imagination to say that most of the county is against the project.


8 people like this
Posted by MV voted for NO BRT Cantidates
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 12:58 pm

The voice of the people are still shouting: No support for BRT!


10 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 6, 2015 at 1:23 pm

@Reality Check - The figure for numbers of cars diverted by lane closure (into other routes, intersections, neighborhoods) would not be "well over 1000 cars daily," but actually "well over 2000 daily," And that's just for AM and PM peak periods.

As I posted above, VTA estimates 1163 cars diverted into other intersections in PM peak period, with a "similar" figure during AM peak period. These are VTA's figures, and may prove to be too low if their predictions of BRT ridership do not materialize.

If BRT ridership falls even a little bit short of VTA's predictions, we could more correctly estimate "About 2500 cars daily would be diverted into other routes, intersections, and neighborhoods, mostly during rush hours."

Here's a link to the VTA's "Traffic Operations Analysis Report": Web Link. See page 39.


3 people like this
Posted by Free Shuttles
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 1:38 pm

I see the Mountain View free shuttles often around town. When I do, they are empty (I did see ONE person inside recently). I wish the program would simply be dropped since it's expensive and nobody uses it.

Who's with me?


13 people like this
Posted by Vote NO on VTA tax increases/bonds
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 1:56 pm

The REAL solution to traffic on ECR is to eliminate traffic on freeways like 237 and 101.

If you can give people an alternative to the real problem roads, there will be less cars finishing their last leg of commute on ECR.

VTA should be looking at where the problems are. Give people an alternative to 101 and 237. Who is complaining about long "Commutes" on ECR besides VTA?
Nobody I've heard. It's ALL about the freeways. VTA is idea-less except, "Lets mess things up so badly people MIGHT get out of their cars."
Well, since everyone is coming in from the freeways, BRT will do nothing but privatize some lanes.

BRT is the hatch-ling of idiot chickens...no offense to the idiot chickens out there, but you are not known for brilliant ideas.


3 people like this
Posted by Free Shuttle User
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 2:54 pm

These free shuttles are great. More convenient that the VTA buses. Closer to home. And they are FREE. So who cares if they are not always full?

Guess I am not with you. What is your point?


12 people like this
Posted by Mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 6, 2015 at 3:52 pm

@janet, I wasn't implying there's no retail on ECR, I was simply trying to better understand which ones you keep saying you walk to. The businesses you've listed run the extent of ECR in MV, a roughly 2.5 mile stretch. While you may have the luxury of time to walk that distance and do your shopping I'm guessing many, likely the majority, do not. Frankly most would not identify 2.5 miles as a "walkable shopping district". Again, this distance of roadway is meant to convey cars greater distances.

Even so, there are already in existence sidewalks, bike lanes, AND bus routes along this route, you should be able to walk as much as you want.

So again, what exactly is this lane removal doing other than putting 1,000+ cars onto residential streets that will be even more negatively impacted? This whole thing makes absolutely NO SENSE.


16 people like this
Posted by Commuter Free residential streets please
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 5:34 pm

If you're intention is to scatter shot any crack pot idea into the air in the pipe dream hopes that it will make things so miserable that people will leave their cars(which they won't btw, because they pour onto ECR from freeways as stated), if that is your intention, then BRT makes as much sense as anything else. It's a "Who cares if it probably won't work, it won't affect me at all so lets try it" attitude. That's the only logical reason to support BRT, and IMO that's the camp Janet is in. Unfortunately we don't all have the single, child-free lifestyle of the local worker that Janet does. But her posts have suggested "If I can do it, anyone can". You can't think that way, its selfish. If you're really thinking for the greater good of the majority of your neighbors, friends and all residents of MV, it is impossible to make a logical argument for BRT.
That is, unless you're willing to try any and all options to upturn the road and get cars off it(Revolution!). If that's you're gig, then at least I can understand that.


24 people like this
Posted by No Way to the VTA
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 5:46 pm

A report released by UC Berkeley today ranks VTA as the WORST preforming rail transit system in the state, while Muni & BART were both ranked numbers 1 & 2 respectively.

A summary news article can be found here...

Web Link


You can read the report here...

Web Link

The report concludes what is obvious to most, VTA's light rail, for the most part, is a huge failure and an epic waste of taxpayer $$$, and now the VTA wants you to reach into your wallet and give them MORE money - 6 BILLION dollars more - so they can, among other things, remove a lane each direction on El Camino Real for auto use and instead let those autos flood the quiet neighborhood streets. That's upwards of *2,200 additional autos diverting daily thru presently safe and quiet residential streets as they seek to find alternative routes off of the snails pace that will become El Camino Real.

*Noted Realist's correction to the auto diversion number. Thank you! I was looking at the diversion number for just the PM peak commute, not both AM & PM, which will double the amount of cars, and that number will grow if VTA's ridership projections are off. (Uh, like that would EVER happen.) So, I suppose we should be estimating an additional 3,000 autos diverting daily thru the presently quiet residential streets of Mountain View...this is just the stretch from Grant Road to showers Drive we're talking about = thousands of additional cars daily.

No Way to the VTA


4 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 6, 2015 at 6:14 pm

True is a registered user.

Another in a long list of reasons why VTA should not be trusted with running the kiddie choo-choo at Vasona park, let alone a major transit system.

The organization can't find it's backside with both hands and no projection they supply should be trusted.


4 people like this
Posted by Duh
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 8:03 pm

The Berkeley report on that rates VTA the lowest behind BART and SF Muni is proof positive that BRT is the right way to go.

BART and SF Muni have fast, effIcient dedicated lane transit options to that are in areas containing offices. housing and retail businesses. That is why they are rated higher. The BRT project will do the same along El Camino.

This study validates BRT and justifies continued expansion.

Thank you for once again validating the project!


3 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 8:17 pm

I have done several "El Camino" test drives recently both to PA and to SC from Mtn View. Here is what I have noticed. On off rush hour times with little traffic the traffic does not flow. Too many lights are not timed properly. On larger streets /intersections the back up can be for several lights, This is off commute times !!! If they were timed or fixed for bus flow, traffic flow will increase. This is with out dedicated lane.

How about a BRT study with synced lights first before spending the millions


5 people like this
Posted by MV Driver
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 6, 2015 at 10:53 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!! I hate having to drive.


3 people like this
Posted by @MV Driver
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2015 at 3:23 am

What, the current 522 bus is not 'fast' enough for you? It only takes 17 minutes to get to Kiely from Castro at 8:10am. You don't sound very seriously in need of a faster bus, you sound like a VTA plant.


3 people like this
Posted by @MV Driver
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2015 at 3:28 am

Seriously, how long does it take you to drive to Santa Clara. The 522 has to be fairly close in the travel time, and so it should work for you or anyone else.


4 people like this
Posted by Ignorance Reigns
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 7:48 am

" It only takes 17 minutes to get to Kiely from Castro at 8:10am."

Guess you never take this bus at rush hour. I bet you think it is possible for busses to keep their scheduled time when the roads are gridlocked with automobiles carrying just one person. Why don't you try it for a couple weeks and then maybe your opinion wouldn't be so patently worthless.


10 people like this
Posted by Look at the history
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 10:06 am

VTA has had to take more of our money to pay businesses for the failures of BRT 1 before it is even complete.

REMEMBER: Any big project VTA has put together has been an abject failure. The ridership numbers and all other projections have not come close to their projections for a single big project.

Do you think this one will be any different? It's such a patently bad idea its almost laughable.It doesn't even address the fact that all these ECR drivers have to come in on 101 85 and and 237. Expectation that these drivers will somehow get onto a bus in SV after sitting on 237 for 45 mins is a spit-take/LOL ready to happen. This is a do nothing but bad things idea that is nothing but bad for MV.


3 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 7, 2015 at 10:17 am

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@Mvresident2003 I don't walk to El Camino. Since it's 1.5 miles, I ride a bike. But 46% of Mountain View residents live within a half mile of El Camino which is 10 minute walk. I used to live on California St near San Antonio. I found myself driving for short trips because walking was unpleasant and unsafe. I had to be on high alert in crosswalks because there were so many lanes of traffic and drivers couldn't be counted on to stop even when I had the right of way. The more lanes, the worse it is.

@Commuter free: It's not being selfish to suggest changes that make it more convenient, pleasant and safe for people to walk, bike transit over driving. You don't have to be single and childfree to want to walk, bike and take transit. There are people ready to do it now, even if it's not you. Even with lane reduction, El Camino would have as many lanes for people to drive as our expressways. Who's being selfish here? Not me.

You're both making all kinds of assumptions about me and attacking my motives, so this will be my last post here. Just know that not everyone agrees with you. There are many who aren't speaking up because they don't want to be attacked.


10 people like this
Posted by @Janet
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 10:56 am

"There are many who aren't speaking up because they don't want to be attacked."
Oh, come on, now who's making assumptions. We do know that the anti-BRT candidates were elected using that platform. That's not an assumption.

It's great to WANT the things you think are going to happen, but when they don't,(and they will not) you won't be around to say "Oh, yah, I guess that made things worse for all. My bad"

No, BRT is a bad idea right down to it's core. There will be ZERO benefit to MV with BRT. ZERO. All the things you want for ECR will be lost on the currently safe routes for cyclists and pedestrians. Why is it more important for my son to bike safely on ECR than on his current route to school?

Janet, Everything you say you want with BRT we currently have on our side streets, but these current safe passage routes will be lost with BRT. VTA admits the spillover is inevitable. If you say you want safe passage for peds and cyclists, you're very confused or misguided if you think BRT is the way to go. There is no rational argument for BRT, only pie in the sky hopes by those too silo-sighted to see the big picture that lies past their pie in the sky hopes. BRT is a terrible idea for all. I can see how it's getting harder and harder for you to rationally defend it.


6 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 11:04 am

The VTA's "rapid transit" bus-only lanes came up again at last night's City Council meeting and, after midnight, Councilmember Pat Showalter announced that she had never really supported a lane on El Camino just for those to-be-purchased VTA buses. It would be a waste of lane space. One bus every 10 minutes (at most) would leave miles of unused lanes between buses along side of other traffic (including regular VTA buses with stops on the right) slowed to a near standstill (at least during the many hours of primary commute). Read about the San Jose Alum Rock BRT debacle and re-think whether you support VTA rapid transit bus-only lanes on El Camino.


13 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 7, 2015 at 11:31 am

@Janet this too shall be my last post as I believe everything that can be discussed has been rehashed many times. However I want to state emphatically that in no way have I attacked your motives, I have simply and honestly tried to understand your stance. Just because I don't agree with you does not mean I'm attacking you.

Final statement; the damage this would do by dispersing traffic onto quiet residential streets far surpasses any "potential" benefit (as yet to be seen) from lane closures.


4 people like this
Posted by More to Understand
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2015 at 12:51 pm

It's a complicated process, so people can easily be mislead. Take the guy who said he had no fast bus to get to Santa Clara but the project would give him one. For now, he has to drive, he claimed. He probably isn't real. Such a distance might see a 5-10 minute speed up in bus travel time by taking away a car lane for the 522 bus. But that's all, and only then at rush hour. If he drives now, he sees longer travel times at rush hour too! It's exactly the same situation now if he takes the bus as it will be then. Same stops. It's already slower to drive at rush hour so the fact that the bus slows down some then too is irrelevant. If he travels at 8:10 am, he gets there in 17 minutes stop to stop. The speed up in the future will be less than 5 minutes at that time.


3 people like this
Posted by Upcpming Final Vote?
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 1:56 pm

In some articles I thought I read where this would be coming up for a final vote with the City Council sometime later this year. Considering we're on the downhill part of this year, does anyone know when, or if, this vote will take place?


6 people like this
Posted by PH
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 6:19 pm

My hat is off to you Janet Lafleur. You have given your opinion and taken the abuse that so many seem to think is necessary on the internet these days. While we are on different sides of the issue, I have read your posts with interest and thank you for explaining your overwhelming support for BRT. We should all be polite and respectful even when we are adamantly opposed to the opinion of someone else. I will be able to move far away in the near future if my plans go well, but will keep my eye on the BRT issue to see where it ends up. We should all be asking why we can't just build BART and leave the El Camino alone. It would solve many transit problems as well as road traffic issues.


5 people like this
Posted by @Janet
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 8:32 pm

I also applaud you, Janet. It takes guts to put your name out there! There are so many postings against the bus lane that represent deep psychological problem.

Fortunately, the sane, rational citizenry outnumber those people and agree with your reasoning that we need other transportation options along El Camino in addition to the automobile.


14 people like this
Posted by MV Woman
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 8, 2015 at 1:25 am

One Pro-VTA poster has repeatedly stated that those opposed to this VTA lane grab have "deep psychological problems". Please stick to the issue and give facts... not inflammatory name-calling to try to bolster your false hope that this boondoggle has even minimal support.

The VTA is already backing away, as the opposition has surprised them with it's strength. One only needs look at the 200+ posts above, to see that the Pro VTA posts are vastly outnumbered. Yes - there are a few pro posts, but I strongly suspect they are repetitive posts from paid VTA consultants or VTA employees - and they have minimal (if any) actual citizen support.

The VTA has alienated the voting public with their attempt to shove this failed idea on the people, and they are now painfully aware they have seriously damaged any chance of any future tax override. In the computer age, it is very difficult to hoodwink the public - and this has been a hard lesson to the VTA.

Unfortunately, busses are a 20th century technology in a 21st century world. I cannot use the bus for my everyday life. Today, alone, I made several stops: bank, grocery store, pet store, haircut and pharmacy. These stops took me to two different towns and three different areas. Even going to the pet store, alone, would have been impossible with the bus, as I had a large bag of cat food and one of cat litter to carry. Taking two separate busses to get from my home to the store would have taken a tremendous amount of time and meant additional walking and waiting that I could not afford. I cannot imagine the complicated bus schedule I would have to use up and down and off of El Camino to reach all my destinations today - even if I were Atlas and could carry all my packages. I work, have children, and have a lot of responsibility at home. The bus is impractical to the point of impossible for me - and for every one of my friends as well. If you have the time to make several separate bus trips to complete your errands - good for you - but you are the minority.

I will not support one dime of funding for VTA going forward. Their arrogance is counter-productive to their cause. A VTA employee was exposed at the Mountain View Council when speaking for this plan, without disclosing her employment. Too bad the VTA employees cannot be exposed as clearly on a forum such as this - but they are just as obvious. This VTA lane-grab has massive opposition. You can continue to claim the sky is red.... but the world knows it's blue. You fool no one.


5 people like this
Posted by VTA Saved from Itself
a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2015 at 2:39 am

Although the irate reaction was spurred by the imminent threat of a lane closure, the VTA plan has so many holes that the roadblock has served to improve their chance at better service. I think that is overlooked in much of the discussion. It truly was a bad plan, even if you support better transit options.

So many cross variables come into play. One can order everything on Amazon, and I mean everything. No car needed for that, so it cuts road trips. Who'd have envisioned that 10 years ago? God help us if they start sending it out via drones though. Commutes have turned into an employer-provided service for a lot of the new jobs currently being created. Who needs a bus when your boss sends a driver to pick you up and bring you back? For that matter, who needs a car? Your company does your dry cleaning, and provides more than one meal in your day. Kiss the lunch restaurants good bye.

VTA needs to be more nimble. Take the mess in BRT #1 and its delay to 2017 as a sign. Go slow on permanent commitments for BRT #2 and BRT #3. Times they are changing in more ways than VTA appreciates.


4 people like this
Posted by Three people
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 8, 2015 at 7:26 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or personal attack]


13 people like this
Posted by No Significant Impact
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 8, 2015 at 8:43 am

In case anyone isn't up to speed on the most recent press about the VTA's BRT happenings, have a read:

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link


And when you are done reading those articles remember this:


Some of the highlights of VTA's BRT plan:


* Will make only TWO stops in Mountain View 1@ Castro Street and 1@ Showers Drive

* Removes the left lane of traffic for ALL automobiles each direction of El Camino Real 24/7.

* Removes ALL on street parking on El Camino Real both sides 24/7.

* Removes ALL trees in the median strip of El Camino Real between Grant Rd. & Showers Dr. - over 330 trees.

* Removes ability to make left turns across El Camino Real at several (6+) intersections (final number TBD) between Grant Rd. & Showers Dr. The result will be that cars will need to drive further up El Camino Real THEN make u-turn & come back down El Camino Real (going the other direction) THEN make a right turn, or divert onto residential side streets to get where they need to go.

* Adds multiple signal 7+ (STOP) lights to El Camino Real between Grant Road & Showers Dr.

* The implementation of the BRT lane is expected to result in WELL OVER 2,300 AUTOS DIVERTING DAILY off of El Camino Real and ONTO Central & Foothill Expressways - in Mountain View alone - as well as onto nearby quiet RESIDENTIAL STREETS as cars seek to avoid the traffic jams of El Camino Real. Again, and according to the VTA's own "report", WELL OVER 2,300 AUTOS DAILY are expected to flood nearby quiet residential streets as they seek alternate routes off of El Camino Real.


~~~~~

If you are concerned about the impact the VTA's dedicated lane BRT plan is going to have on the residents of Mountain View, please email Santa Clara County Supervisor, Joe Simitian...he WANTS to hear from you.

Web Link

Attention: Kris Zanardi, Policy Aide - Environment & Transportation (her email address is found at the bottom of the page)


Please, pass this information along to your friends & neighbors and let them know what is going on with the VTA's BRT plan for El Camino Real, and share Mr. Simitian's contact information with them, too.


Your voices matter. Speak up. Be heard.

And remember, the VTA is planning to ask for your money in November of 2016, so they may push back any public decision on the BRT plan until AFTER asking you to fund a 6 BILLION DOLLAR transportation tax - which would also help fund this BRT implementation - DO NOT FALL FOR IT!

Hey, VTA...

You want 6 BILLION of OUR money? Well, we want all SIX lanes of El Camino Real to REMAIN open for auto use. Do NOT implement a BRT plan that will cause "SIGNIFICANT & UNAVOIDABLE IMPACT" to our community by turning our safe & quiet residential streets into hazardous thoroughfares.


No Way to the VTA


23 people like this
Posted by Bus Rider
a resident of Gemello
on Oct 8, 2015 at 9:44 am

I ride the bus at least 3 times a week for local errands and I DO NOT want BRT at all. I also have to live in MV and the destruction to our community will be absolutely terrible. On top of that, the plan calls for actually reducing service from the bus that I currently use, making taking the bus MORE inconvenient to me.
BRT is bad, and it's showing just how bad with the botching and floundering of BRT 1.


8 people like this
Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2015 at 12:12 pm

I know that the El Camino BRT issue is getting beaten to death, but I want to point out than this "center lane" proposal does not make sense from a transit rider's point of view. Many bus riders are taking medium-length trips on El Camino (or the Alameda/Santa Clara in SJ) and can use either the 22 or 522. They just take whatever one shows up first since waiting for the faster 522 does not make sense if you factor in the increased wait time. If you separate these routes by moving the 522 to the middle lane, you negate this convenience and open up a possible unsafe situation as people jaywalk between curbside and center-lane bus stops depending on which bus comes along first. If there's going to be a dedicated bus lane, it should be the curb lane so that all buses stop at the "express" stops and riders have the option of boarding the first bus that comes along.


9 people like this
Posted by @Bus Rider
a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2015 at 4:31 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or personal attack]


8 people like this
Posted by 522
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 8, 2015 at 6:21 pm

I'm headed down south on el Camino and the 522 bus next to me is almost full!

I thought that these buses run empty which is a big objection to a BRT? Of course El Camino is quite slow with all the traffic. The 522 bus has to fight traffic AND has to make stops. Absolute hell at rush hour obviously.

From this observation, I see why a dedicated lane is a good idea.


12 people like this
Posted by Bus Rider
a resident of Gemello
on Oct 8, 2015 at 6:22 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or personal attack]


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

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