It has been some time, sorry, since I've updated my rantings on mobility in and around Cupertino; well, here goes.
Since my last post I have attended a couple of key meetings. These include the Sierra Club, Apple Computer Campus 2 representative, and the VTA.
Of most importance is the fact of how much we did not know about how these entities work individually and together. The complexity of the issue of mobility within a community is now better understood by our group. For example; the major artery of transportation in the Valley right now is Stevens Creek Boulevard from San Jose to De Anza College.
When the De Anza students were able to get "Eco Passes" the whole paradigm of transportation by bus changed. The demand increased significantly from the east side of the Valley to smack dab to the corner of Stevens Creek and Stelling. This has caused the VTA to add a new line known as the 323 from Downtown San Jose to De Anza College.
This line literally just began Monday this week. The line has fewer stops and is hoped to deliver students faster than the existing 23 line by, for example, not diverting to the Valley Fair Transit Terminal and continuing straight down Stevens Creek. This new line adds to an existing problem.
The De Anza 23 Terminal on Stevens Creek across from the Senior Center is too small to accommodate all the buses servicing De Anza College. There are now stops in addition to this one on Stevens Creek, Stelling, and Saich Way. This is one of the reasons so many students are seen crossing at the intersection of Stelling and Stevens Creek. The VTA hopes to add a new BRT line sometime soon.
The corner of Stevens Creek and Wolfe Road is a whole different story. The VTA's charter appears to limit their ability to plan too far ahead. They seem to be better equipped to respond to changes in ridership like the decline in ridership along El Camino Real and increase in ridership caused by the most recent De Anza student Eco Pass implementation.
Apple is very focused on mobility of their people. They will be adding more buses, a bike solution and pedestrian walkways. I was left with the impression that Apple is working with the Sierra Club and VTA to make this all work reasonably well.
The meetings I attended were very civil and I want to compliment those who attended on their professionalism and concern for mobility around our area. Especially the VTA people.
It is fairly obvious that individual, local and business interests here in Cupertino are generally left on the sidelines when it comes to large interest planning. It is clear that if we want to address our more focused community concerns -- that is up to us and our City government to solve.
The County has a mission to serve the good of the whole and not the individual, specific business or government issues like our library, schools or other specific points of congestion like the schools. Appropriately large business interests like Apple have their own agenda specific to their employees and shareholders. Apple is going to pay Cupertino some major fees to build Apple Campus 2 and they consider those dollars to be quite adiquate for the City to work on solving other citizen concerns like our group.
This circles our group back to things like supporting the BRT and a community bus line, improved bike lanes and pedestrian options. The problem in Cupertino is planned growth and the inability to get people out of their cars.
Our group's next interest is to meet with the City Planning people to better understand their mission as it pertains to updating the General Plan and improving mobility within our community aside from De Anza College, Apple and the VTA's planning.
Comments are welcome.