Monday, February 7
Again, Why BART to San Jose?
Maybe I'm just asking for Carl Guardino to write something exceptionally persuasive, but why should BART run so many miles, past housing subdivisions and industrial parks with excessive car parking, down from Fremont into Downtown SJ and Santa Clara? Is it not a heavy rail system, i.e., one with such high capacity and such high costs that it is only meant for a dense city core with lots of people to pay for it and lots of people to use it?
Sorry, but that does not describe San Jose, much less Milpitas or Santa Clara. It doesn't really matter that San Jose proper has so many people--approaching one million--because San Jose proper has so much land occupied by so few people, living near convenient automotive connections like the extensive freeway system and the virtually one-of-a-kind expressway system.
While light rail might eventually work out well with good land use planning, effective marketing, and greater frequency, and relatively low-cost commuter rail would make long-distance connections to and from San Jose as well or better than BART (and would also benefit from good land use planning, effective marketing, and greater frequency), BART is the kind of thing that's meant to give people relief from the congestion of mid- and high-rise-lined streets--places where masses of people are available and more than willing to catch a ride rather than drive themselves. That's the scene in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley, cities well within proximity to each other, but 50 miles southward San Jose has very little of that and must not spend years or decades hoping BART will create that vision.