Thursday night I attended a Planning Commission “Study Session” on the BART Transit Village. OK, I know that only wackos who like to hear themselves talk into a microphone go to Public Meetings, but I don’t sing well enough to try karaoke.
I’m fortunate - I can walk to the Walnut Creek BART station. But I feel sorry for all of those BART riders and freeway commuters who drive up and down Ygnacio Valley Road every weekday. Construction of the BART Transit Village will make their lives miserable for years to come. When the new garage is being constructed, the 225 parking spaces on the southwest corner of the BART lot will be unavailable – patrons will have to park somewhere blocks away. And I’ve never seen a construction project yet that doesn’t block sidewalks, and sometimes a lane or two of traffic. Construction companies love to send flagmen out into the roadway to halt everything while large trucks pull on and off the site. And the roads around the BART station are already a mess.
At the Public Hearing, I expressed the opinion that since commuters are going to suffer years of construction-related traffic woes, the project, when it’s finally completed, should be required to provide some additional BART parking. I also asked for details on a line in the Staff Report that seemed rather evasive. In the section about parking for BART patrons, the Staff Report says …
“The replacement parking plan represents one-to-one replacement of existing spaces plus potential to add up to 100 additional parking spaces”
I asked the Planning Commissioners what this statement meant. To me, “up to 100” could be zero. I asked whether the new spaces would be compact or full size. I asked whether the new spaces were in the new garage, or were achieved by re-striping the existing parking structure – something BART could do whether the Transit Village is built or not.
After my comment and questions, acting Commission Chair Darling asked the developer’s representative if he would like to respond to anything I asked. The developer’s representative said no. The Commissioners then went on with their business.
A Public Hearing is the place where the public can be heard. But just because they hear you doesn’t mean that anyone has to respond. The Walnut Creek BART Transit Village Project rolls on…