A more sustainable downtown San José that battles climate change by decreasing vehicle miles traveled and vehicle emissions, and reducing automobile-caused cyclist and pedestrian deaths, while expanding access to transit and employment.
Those are the goals guiding a new Downtown Transportation Plan developed by city of San Jose transportation planners, in collaboration with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. After extensive community outreach and collaboration with community-based organizations, the city has opened an online open house that will run through mid-February.
The plan calls for::
- Re-envisioning Santa Clara Street from Diridon Station to 11th Street as San Jose’s “grand boulevard,” a street with a rebuilt pedestrian realm, bus-only lanes, and transit signal priority.
- Making transit faster and more reliable with bus-only lanes on transit corridors, transit signal priority, and exploring ways to make light rail travel through Downtown faster including a tunnel or moving all tracks onto First Street.
- Establishing a cohesive network of bicycle priority corridors crisscrossing Downtown, providing safer travel and better access for those on bicycles and scooters.
- Closing sections of some streets to vehicle traffic to create pedestrian plazas.
- Closing freeway onramps/offramps that encourage driving and are currently barriers to safe walking and cycling.
The Downtown Transportation Plan is structured around street types, which are official designations of the primary (though not the only) purpose of a street.
For example, a Primary Bikeway designation signals that the safe, expedient movement of bicycles and scooters takes priority over other ways of traveling but does not prohibit them. On such a street, a vehicle travel lane or on-street parking lane could be converted into a protected bicycle lane.
The Downtown Transportation Plan says its aim is to create a downtown “for people first.”
It proposes to allocate more street space to transit, bicycling/scooting and walking and less space to cars. These changes are intended to encourage travel by safer, more space-efficient, and more environmentally friendly ways of travel.
The planners state that “continuing automobile-favoring design would lead to the same undesirable results we have today and be incompatible with a densifying downtown where space-efficient travel will become increasingly important.”
Members of the public can submit comments at the Online Open House website.
Where is my bus?
In other transit news, VTA has added new features to its website, now offering interactive real-time transit information, which allows riders to check if their bus/train is delayed, or even canceled. There are two ways to view this information.
First, there is the route schedule view. This option displays real-time departure times and any cancellations that have occurred that same day.
A blue symbol next to the time means that the bus stop or light rail station’s departure time has been updated to reflect the vehicle’s last known location along its route. Alternatively, if the normal departure time instead reads “Canceled,” that means the bus or train unfortunately will not arrive at that originally scheduled time.
The second option would be to use our Real-Time Trip Planner. Under the “Go”, click on the “Real Time” tab, select the route, direction, and the stop/station you’re waiting at for updated departure information, which will look something like this:
For questions or concerns regarding the Real-Time feature, please contact Customer Service at (408) 321-2300, or [email protected]
In addition to this new web-based tool, riders are also encouraged to download the Transit App for the same real-time transit information.