December 1, 2014
By Jaime Fearer
Crossing the street shouldn’t feel like you’re playing a real-life game of Frogger. As it exists today, El Camino Real through Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, and Santa Clara is not a friendly street. For people who walk or bike, it can be downright dangerous.
El Camino Real is wide and auto-centric (planned around cars), with long blocks, few crosswalks, fast car traffic, minimal pedestrian amenities, and little to no protection for cyclists. It is an uninviting, unpleasant, and unsafe place for people on foot and bicycle.
November 24, 2014
Data from VTA’s new Environmental report for its its Bus Rapid Transit project on the El Camino line, the most heavily used transit route in the VTA system, shows that if the project is built with dedicated bus lanes, it will make taking the bus time-competitive with driving, for the first time in Santa Clara County history. Currently, taking even the express 522 bus is nearly twice as slow as driving. Many people choose to drive, since driving is the most practical option. Making transit 25-30 minutes faster would cost 2-3 minutes for drivers.
November 19, 2014
By: Eric Jaffe
The big advantage of driving to work over taking the bus is time. A bus ride just takes longer: walking to the stop, waiting for the bus, picking up passengers, all while toughing out the same traffic as cars. But when transit is done well, the time gap shrinks, and when it’s done really well—with frequent service, all-door boarding, and exclusive lanes—the gap can disappear entirely.
Silicon Valley (of all places) may offer a sparkling example of how buses can compete with cars in the not-too-distant future.
By Chris Lepe
As we’ve noted before, most people agree that El Camino Real has room for improvement, to put it mildly. Speeding cars, unsafe pedestrian crossings, lack of accommodation of cyclists, buses stuck in traffic – you name the transportation problem, El Camino Real has it.
That’s why we’re so excited that the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is planning for a transformative solution: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The Silicon Valley is already leading the region by building BRT on the Alum Rock corridor, and we’re excited to see BRT and its benefits spread to El Camino, too.
November 14, 2014
By: Jarrett Walker
Silicon Valley is easily viewed as a car-oriented place, where tech giants rule from business parks that are so transit-unfriendly that they have had to run their own bus systems to bring employees from afar. But one interesting transit project is moving forward: the El Camino BRT, a proposed rapid transit line connecting Palo Alto and central San Jose.
El Camino Real (“the Royal Road”) is a path defined by Spanish missionaries as they spread north through California. It lies close to the old railroad line now used by Caltrain, and the two facilities combined determined the locations of the pre-war transit-oriented downtowns that still form the most walkable nodes in the area.
By Chris Lepe
For too many years, Silicon Valley has focused on planning for automobiles, forcing most of us to depend on driving with few alternatives to sitting in traffic – and leaving everyone else in the dust. Until now.
The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project planned for El Camino Real would introduce incredibly fast and reliable transit service between Palo Alto and San Jose, and make the corridor safer for everyone who walks, bikes, and drives on it.
By Chris Lepe
Last week, our event “The Future of El Camino Real is in Your Hands” drew a crowd of nearly one hundred people. Hailing from diverse backgrounds, professions, and perspectives, they shared the goal of making El Camino Real a street that serves all of the people who bike, walk, drive, and do business on it. Here’s how it went.