Interesting highlights at the December 2, 2021 VTA Board of Directors’ meeting took place.
Among which: Charles “Chappie” Jones, San Jose City Council member, was nominated Chair of the VTA Board for 2022. Rich Constantine, Mayor of Morgan Hill, was nominated Vice Chair of the VTA Board for 2022.
More on what else happened at Thursday’s VTA board meeting follows.
VTA, Road Builder
VTA Board approved spending $200 million of your 2016 Measure B sales tax money on “highway interchange improvements.”
We’ll have more on where your money goes on some of these highway interchange projects – and whether or now they will relieve the traffic they claim – in a separate post.
Charcot / I-880 Proposal Dropped
Speaking of road building: one exception to the story item above: the controversial Charcot project in north San Jose. Neighbors protested that the road project was outdated by more than two decades, and whose construction and completion would add more traffic gridlock and pollution. During the VTA Board meeting, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo put out his own memo suggesting the funding be redirected from Charcot to other highway projects in Santa Clara County. San Jose Spotlight has more information on this story.
Kudos to Mayor Liccardo for this memo, that made it happen. Mayor Liccardo previously voted to have this project.
Tunnel Vision, San Jose Style
Also, the VTA Board spent nearly two hours discussing the proposed, deep BART tunnel to be dug underneath downtown San Jose. This after they approved purchasing parcels via eminent domain in San Jose to help make that happen. We worked with others to urge VTA to consider a better design for the tunnel that would lower the cost and allow for better transit connections on the surface. Adina Levin summed up VTA staff’s defense of the deep bore tunnel:
We will continue to follow up on this as needed.
Gonot’s Task Force To Boost VTA Ridership
Early last week, VTA social media put out a thread asking users what transit improvements they would like to see.
The thread, as of this writing, had 99 replies to it. This verified the Task Force VTA CEO and General Manager Carolyn Gonot created to create ways VTA can serve YOU better…
Recall that in 2006, VTA formed the RIDE Task Force whose goal was to develop and implement ways the riding public can be served better. Our group was part of that effort then. This will be something that is also worth watching.
VTA will have another Board meeting later in December to determine how long such meetings are done virtually. We’ll have more when the formal date and time is set up.
Meanwhile, what are your thoughts on this key Board meeting? In particular:
- What should VTA do to help increase public transit ridership?
- How should VTA save precious sales tax tunnels in building the BART tunnel under downtown San Jose?
- What are YOU willing to do and learn to help make this good happen?
Please discuss in comments below. Thank you, and have a nice weekend.
Founder & CEO, Silicon Valley Transit Users