UPDATE Nov. 4, 2012 : Analbel Pelham, city council candidate, requested to post a response to Pam Marriot’s letter to the editor.
Anabel Pelham adds her Response Nov. 3, 2012:
“It is really too early to tell how the VTA will proceed on the express bus plan. They are only beginning an environmental analysis. Regarding public transportation in general, I am very supportive of a mini fixed-stop shuttle and perhaps one that is a joint venture with Los Altos Hills. In addition, all the current best practice transport literature says that pedestrians, bikes and public transport are important options in the mix. So, yes, I do favor public transportation…within reason and context. This means that we have to see what VTA decides; plan and perhaps implement according to what is best for Los Altos. That is, what makes financial, environmental and community impact sense. The transportation facts remind us that 50% of Americans don’t have access to public transportation and it remains the number one need for seniors and persons with disabilities; even in Los Altos. So it will be important to find balance in our decision-making. I am open-minded and welcome all opinions and viewpoints.”
Pam Marriot writes Nov. 2, 2012:
I just picked up today’s Daily Post (Nov 3). Front page article: Express bus lane plan returns from the dead
The VTA voted unanimously to begin preparing an environmental analysis that will study the impacts of converting the middle two lanes of El Camino to bus-only lanes… In June, the VTA put the $240M project on hold, as many cities were against installing bus-only lanes and stations in the middle of El Camino. … The report will study whether it’s feasible to eliminate two car lanes to install bus-only lanes from Lafayette Street in Santa Clara to Showers Drive in Mt. View. … It will also study the impacts of installing mixed-flow lanes, open to buses and cars, in San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mt. View, Los Altos and Palo Alto.
I bring this up with respect to the council race because Anabel Pelham Los Altos priorities make it clear that she would be in favor of this plan: “You’ve got to make it pedestrians first, bicycles second, public transportation third and automobiles fourth.”
When this issue came up before the Los Altos City Council on January 24, 2012, the VTA planning manager said that losing one lane on El Camino would reduce auto capacity by 950 cars/hour. The VTA assumes those cars would divert to Foothill or Central Expressway to avoid congestion on El Camino. In other words, traffic would be diverted through residential neighborhoods to other already overcrowded streets.
The Los Altos Council, along with Mt. View and other cities, vetoed the plan. Based on Pelham’s campaign statements, I think she would vote FOR it, which I think would be a traffic disaster.
MORE RESOURCES: City Council heard the VTA present it’s plan for the Los Altos portion of El Camino last January and criticized it. Read the post, see more fotos here. Here is the link to minutes of the VTA meeting on its web site. Here is a .pdf the VTA meeting.
Here’s a quick look at the VTA meeting minutes captured from the VTA website.