The first idea is to turn a sleepy regional bus route into truly rapid transit. Santa Clara County's VTA (Valley Transit Authority) envisions moving passengers fast along a revamped El Camino Real. This Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line would use dedicated lanes to move rush-hour passengers at speeds that could outpace cars.
VTA's draft environmental impact report projects only a 2% impact on automobile traffic. It's a trade-off. With Silicon Valley booming, freeways and Caltrain are at capacity...and we are running out of options. The region has run out of space. And without housing and transit, Silicon Valley will run out of luck.
We need to support, and extend, VTA's basic idea with amenities that enhance El Camino for pedestrians, bicyclists and local retailers.
One idea is to narrow the median in areas with dedicated bus lanes and make more room for bicycles, pedestrians and on-street parking. With buffered bike lanes, El Camino would be a much safer, more comfortable place to ride. In many areas, sidewalks could be extended in "bulb outs" that would reduce pedestrian crossing distances. VTA's plan calls for eliminating much on-street parking, but critics dispute the need for this.
Whatever your thoughts, now is the time to share them with VTA.