Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘planning’ Category

Further delays on BART-San Jose project

I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise:

BART service to downtown San Jose — including the crucial stops at the Diridon train station and First Street — could slip to as late as 2030 under some new estimates being floated by the Valley Transportation Authority. At one point, political and business leaders had anticipated BART service beginning in 2026 in downtown San Jose.

The reasons for the new estimates for BART service, as of now? VTA cites multiple factors. For one thing, environmental clearance had been anticipated in 2017 but was pushed back to 2018. Then, to help minimize disruption to merchants along Santa Clara Street, beneath which BART trains would run, VTA spent additional time to craft a single-bore tunnel option for BART’s approval. 

The EIR had nothing to do with it. The single-bore option is what caused the delay. BART had originally planned on conventional cut-cover construction, but chucked those plans to start over from scratch on a more complex design. A 4-year delay usually results in higher costs, so don’t be surprised when there is a follow-up announcement on ‘unexpected’ cost increases.

deepbore

Read Full Post »

The Mercury News has published an article on the plague of HOV cheaters. Speaking on behalf of the MTC, the article describes the problem as unsolvable — and that the region should just accept a 39% cheating rate.

The Merc describes various “Buck Rogers” gizmos the MTC has tried, everything from phone apps to “laser-guided” cameras, to attack the problem. Of course these technologies are expensive vapor-ware — which completely misses the point. There exists a very simple and very inexpensive solution to the problem that requires no new technology:

The core concept that would permit automated, electronic enforcement of occupancy relies on changing the definition of an eligible carpool. Instead of allowing any vehicle with three or more occupants, a revised policy would limit eligibility to pre-registered carpools. Such carpools would be required to have a transponder. Thus, the only enforcement required on the HOT lane itself would be ordinary electronic toll enforcement: communications equipment to interface with the vehicle-mounted transponder and video cameras to make an image of the license plate of any vehicle without a valid transponder/account combination. The only other enforcement required would be periodic verification that the carpool is still in operation, as originally registered. Thus, enforcement would be off-road, not on-road.

Shifting from casual to registered carpools would return to the original trip-reduction purpose on which the creation of HOV lanes was based: providing an incentive for fellow employees to share rides to work, leaving one or more vehicles at home and thereby reducing congestion on the roads during peak periods. Over the last several decades, a number of studies have found that large fractions of those traveling to work as carpools were in fact “fam-pools”—members of the same family who would be traveling together in any case (and whose carpooling therefore does not reduce peak-period vehicle use). For example, one analysis of data from the National Personal Travel Survey and the National Household Travel Survey found that fam-pools constituted 75.5% of all journey-to-work carpools in 1990 and 83% in 2001.

Metro-area ride-sharing agencies are the most likely entity to register eligible carpools and to work with employers to audit their continuing existence (and hence eligibility for free or reduced-rate access to HOT lanes). Such agencies already have experience working with employers on carpooling and vanpooling programs. The ongoing existence and operation of vanpools is monitored and audited, since the vehicles are often provided by a public agency and must be retrieved if the vanpool ceases to operate or drops below a threshold number of participants. Many of these agencies are supported, in whole or in part, by the state DOT or other public agency, so this new role could become part of their ongoing contractual obligations.

This is such an obvious solution, one has to wonder why it is never discussed within the MTC. It re-enforces the notion that the only purpose behind carpool lanes is to greenwash highway widenings.

And by the way, if you are wondering where this radical idea comes from, the above quote is from the Car-bitarians at Reason. You know things have really gone off the rails when Reason makes more sense than the ‘progressive’ planners at the MTC.

EBT-L-CHEATERS-06XX-03

MTC staffers testing out an ‘occupancy-detection’ camera.

 

Read Full Post »

On April 5th, the Santiago Metro ridership was an impressive 2,932,210 trips — a new record. The coming years will greater ridership as three new lines are added, bringing network length to 300km. Some excerpts from an interview with Louis de Grange, who manages the system:

Its been a good year. We beat the record of passengers transported, with 2.9 million users in one day. In addition, the failure rate of the rolling stock was among the lowest since there are records and we have a very good valuation of the service among the users. The company is in a very good condition. I think that the announcements of lines 8 and 9 were an accolade and great news for seven million people. Thus, I believe that the new transport system will be based on Metro, which is a significant turning point for the city and for the vision that exists in this area.

Metro covers, with the revenues coming from the technical tariff, its operational costs and, in addition, finances 30% of the new projects. The remaining 70% of the works is financed with state resources. The company also requires a flow of resources for current projects and therefore must go out to borrow with bonds to the market, both in Chile and abroad. That’s clear. This company has an extraordinary risk rating. It must be clearly stated that the cost per kilometer of each route amounts to around US $ 100 million.

Could a service be concessioned?

Metro projects are cheaper if we do them, because of the experience we have for decades. We are more efficient than any other private building. The expertise we have allows us to build and operate at a lower cost. Therefore, we do not think of a concession for this type of initiatives.

santiago_metro2

 

Read Full Post »

The idea of extending BART from Diridon to the Santa Clara Caltrain station never made any sense, as it merely duplicates the existing Caltrain service. But it makes even less sense if San Jose has no plans to upzone the surrounding neighborhood:

Santa Clara University — along with Bellarmine College Preparatory and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School — wants to build a 290-unit apartment complex to house faculty and staff along with a tech business incubator.

While the university owns the land on Campbell Avenue where the proposed development would be built, it’s zoned for industrial use. And even as it wants to add more affordable housing, San Jose is grappling with a notorious jobs-housing imbalance and trying to preserve shrinking industrial land.

This week, the city’s planning department shocked the trio of schools by suggesting the City Council deny their request to have the space — close to a Caltrain station and a BART station slated to open in the future — rezoned for transit-oriented residential use.

The Planning Commission did vote to override staff objections. City Council will take up the matter next month.

Read Full Post »

Step 1. Spend tens of millions of dollars on parking facilities at college campuses.

Step 2. Allow students sleep there overnight in their cars:

The bill, AB 302, would require community colleges to grant overnight access to campus parking facilities.

Before the vote, members of the Assembly committee heard from homeless students and their allies who voiced their support, but both legislators and community college representatives also raised concerns over costs and logistics.

Community college students make up nearly two-thirds of California’s undergraduates, and a recent survey found almost 1 in 5 have been homeless in the last year.

Read Full Post »

Oh Canada

Good to know that the US is not the only country in North America building train stations as giant park-and-ride lots:

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 8.02.12 AM

This will be the Place d’Orleans LRT station in Ottawa, as part of an ambitious $4.6 billion CAD expansion project. The westward and eastward extensions will be largely in a freeway median with park-and-ride lots. Further west is Moodie station, which will have connecting BRT:

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 8.09.27 AM

Looks pleasant, doesn’t it?

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 8.18.39 AM

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »