Posts Tagged ‘Livermore’

Billions of dollars are going to be spent extending BART to Livermore. And once again, the plan is to surround this new BART station with acres of parking:

In general, according to BART, the neighborhood is still over-parked and is not entirely consistent with BART’s TOD policy and guidelines that recommend against parking minimums and recommend lower parking maximums. Eliminating parking minimums and reducing parking maximums can help reduce the cost of housing, consume less valuable land near transit and reduce associated environmental costs, such as water pollution from increased impervious surfaces.

In addition, BART expressed concern that the location of the additional parking capacity in such close proximity to the BART station entrance at a key point of pedestrian and bicycle access to the station will diminish the placemaking features of the development and discourage active and shared-ride modes of transit access, as well as diminish the overall quality of the transit­ oriented development.

This is yet another example of local government blocking infill development around transit stations — and why it is so important to pass SB-827 (Wiener) which enacts mandates for transit-oriented development.

You can read all of BART staff comments on the Isabel station plan here.

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With the BART extension to Livermore planned to run in the I580 median, there is one small problem: the median is just a tiny bit too small to accommodate two tracks.

No problem, says Alameda County, we’ll just widen the median. And while we’re at it, may as well expand the highway too:

The Alameda County Congestion Management Agency (ACCMA) in partnership with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Alameda County Transportation Authority (ACTIA) is developing a strategy that will identify and acquire the ultimate right of way along the I-580 corridor from the Hacienda Drive Interchange in Pleasanton to beyond the Vasco Road Interchange in Livermore.

The ultimate right of way will be a maximum of 246 feet wide to include provisions for:

  • A future 46-foot wide median transit corridor.
  • 14-foot inside shoulders in each direction.
  • 12-foot wide high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes with 4 foot outside buffer in each direction.
  • Four 12-foot wide mixed flow lanes in each direction.
  • 12-foot auxiliary lanes and 10-foot outside shoulders in each direction.

Once again, we have a transportation agency working at cross purposes. The new highway capacity will be in direct competition with the billion-dollar BART extension.

Also note that the CA High-Speed Rail Authority rejected the I580 corridor for an Altamont route because….even at 246′ they say the ROW will be too constrained.

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Interesting development in Livermore:

In a surprising about-face, Livermore’s leaders Monday yielded to a group that wants the future BART-to-Livermore extension to stay on the freeway. Mayor Marshall Kamena, Vice Mayor John Marchand and Councilwoman Marj Leider voted 3-2 for an initiative aimed at keeping stations along Interstate 580. Councilmen Jeff Williams and Doug Horner were the dissenters. Kamena made the motion to adopt the initiative, essentially forcing the council to renounce its earlier endorsement of BART’s plan to build stations downtown and at Vasco Road.

A downtown location is better than a freeway median, but not if it means digging a $3 billion subway through ex-urban greenfield. Still, it is disheartening that residents opposed the downtown alignment for all the wrong reasons:

A coalition called Keep BART on 580 formed earlier this year, with members walking door to door to gather signatures for the initiative. The group argued an underground route downtown was a bad idea, citing undesirable high-density housing, the planned destruction of 11 homes and possible increased crime though City Council had pledged to build a police substation at the station.

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BART has released its Draft EIR for a proposed Livermore extension.

  • Projected Cost: $1.1-$3.9 billion BART bucks 1
  • Projected Ridership: 20-30k new BART riders (2035 projection)

For 2008, Caltrans reports traffic volume on I580 is approximately 220k vehicles per day. 25 years from now, the volumes will be considerably greater.

Conclusion: the BART extension would capture negligible 10% mode share.

The majority of I580 traffic is regional, originating from points well beyond Livermore (Tracy and the greater Central Valley). The extension of BART tracks a mere 10 miles Eastward is not going to attract many customers in the corridor.

So once again, we see how plans by CHSRA to route high-speed rail through Pacheco instead of Altamont will utterly screw traffic in the East Bay for the next quarter century.


1Conversion from BART Bucks to US currency varies from project to project, but is typically in the range of +50%.

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