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BART to Isabel

Parking is the best TOD (Transit Oriented Development) at a BART Isabel/580 station.  BART bought 53 acres there in 1986 when I was BART Director, much of it going for the new interchange. 

About 180,000 vehicles use 580 each day, and Isabel will be the only Tri-Valley station close to a freeway interchange.   There must be oodles of parking, assuring enough for Livermore residents.   

Robert S. Allen February 20, 2014 at 08:54 PM
The funding, I understand, is just for BART to Isabel. There is no funding now proposed for anything further. Next Thursday, February 27, the BART Board is slated to review environmental aspects at a regular Board meeting in Oakland (300 Lakeside Drive near 19th Street station) starting at 5 pm. This is part of an Alameda County Transportation Commission measure to come before the voters in November.
Jow February 21, 2014 at 02:08 PM
But if we vote NO, it is not like we will NEVER get BART. That is just not true. I don't know why you are saying that. It is misinformation.
Smitty February 21, 2014 at 05:34 PM
Jow: A lot has transpired in the last 2 years or so since the petition was adopted by the city council. It took a great deal of convincing and public pressure at transportation meetings in Oakland to get the $400 million for a BART extension to Livermore included in the previous Measure B proposal. That is seed money by the way, meant to encourage the feds to add money to the project. Without it, there is no sign that BART is going to be extended east. There are strong factions within the county, outside of Livermore, who do not want to see any Livermore BART station anywhere east of Dublin. They have their own projects and ideas about how to spend dollars in Measure B. Measure B is the only proposal on the table that gets BART to Livermore, and to Isabel at that. So, the net effect of a failed Measure B is no BART to Livermore and no extension in sight.
Jow February 21, 2014 at 06:34 PM
I will still be voting NO. I think it may not bring BART here right away, but making the correct decision even if prolonging BART to Livermore is a better plan. Sorry it doesn't work with the poor location a rushed decision making you agree with.
Desert Rat February 21, 2014 at 09:53 PM
Let me translate; "right away" = ten years from now. "Prolonging BART" = never going to happen at all. Why aren't we looking to the south bay as a perfect example of being short sighted. The south bay voted down BART some time back as well. Now they are all crying that they need BART built down to their neck of the woods.
Robert S. Allen February 21, 2014 at 10:13 PM
DR: San Mateo County Supervisors took BART off their County 1962 ballot. The County got no chance to vote on the 1962 measure funding BART.----Santa Clara County was not included in the ballot measure and did not get to vote on it. Your claim that the south bay voted down BART is just not true.----If you can find a copy, I recommend highly the SFBARTC 1957 "Report to the Legislature", five years before the 1962 vote. You'll find it really fascinating.
Desert Rat February 23, 2014 at 04:47 PM
I've heard it commented repeatedly in the south bay that they blew the chance for BART several times. Where is this rumor coming from then?
Desert Rat February 23, 2014 at 04:49 PM
Here is what Wikipedia says: "Santa Clara County Supervisors opted out in 1957, preferring instead to build expressways, and in 1961 San Mateo County supervisors voted to leave BART, saying their voters would be paying taxes to carry mainly Santa Clara County residents.[10]"
Desert Rat February 23, 2014 at 04:50 PM
Here is the Mercury News article that states: "The Early years 1953-55: All nine Bay Area counties are involved in the planning, but an early sign of trouble comes in Santa Clara County, where elected officials and community leaders are upset that the first stage of construction would bring trains only to Palo Alto. 1957: Santa Clara County supervisors say no thanks to BART, preferring to build expressways. 1961: San Mateo County supervisors vote to leave BART, saying their voters would be paying taxes to carry mainly Santa Clara County residents. Real estate agent David Bohannon influenced the supervisors to drop out, fearing it would affect planned development along I-280. http://www.mercurynews.com/bart/ci_5162648
Robert S. Allen February 23, 2014 at 07:41 PM
The comprehensive 1957 BARTC "Report to the Legislature" urged ringing the Bay in the first phase of BART, with Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties playing their part. Together with the three BART counties, the five counties have over six million residents. The five counties could well support a unified rapid transit network. Let's get going on a plan and bring it to the voters.
Desert Rat February 23, 2014 at 11:08 PM
Still, looks like if all of them would have gotten on board back in the late 50's, we might be a bit better off. But, better late than never.
Robert S. Allen February 24, 2014 at 12:32 AM
We would be a whole lot better off! Does the public want a region with disjointed rail systems, grade crossing perils, traffic congestion, exhaust gases, and a vast network of toll lanes? I think they might prefer a unified rail transit network serving these five counties. Get the MTC types off our backs, do some real planning, and let the voters decide.
Robert S. Allen February 24, 2014 at 12:48 AM
While I strongly favor 5-County BART, we in Livermore will have a great opportunity to get BART to Isabel/580 by supporting the Alameda County Transportation measure this November. A lot depends on their planning for adequate station parking. This may be the last chance in our lifetime. (I'm 87.)
Trader Lu February 24, 2014 at 12:54 AM
Bob, I hope you get to see it.
Jow February 24, 2014 at 11:04 AM
Trader, I hope he gets to see it at Vasco and NOT Isabel. This is NOT an ALL or NOTHING deal.
Robert S. Allen February 24, 2014 at 12:02 PM
I'd like it eventually to Vasco/580, but Isabel/580 is a good start, and that will be on our November ballot.
Desert Rat February 24, 2014 at 10:56 PM
Jow, can you provide any facts to make the argument that if we turn down the opportunity for an Isabel station that we will then be in a stronger position later to get a Vasco station? While I would prefer a Vasco station instead, I see nothing but speculation so far that this could happen if we vote down the current plan.
Desert Rat February 24, 2014 at 10:58 PM
It seems to me that we don't hold a particularly strong hand in this deal. If the voters turn down an Isabel station, why would we think that BART would then feel the need to push BART out even further? In fact, it would seem to me that the BART folks would just shrug their shoulders and figure that Livermore really isn't interested in BART after all.
Desert Rat February 24, 2014 at 11:00 PM
I would also assume that somewhere somebody has done some revenue estimations on projected ridership. With an Isabel, then maybe Vasco station later, would there be more money than just a Vasco station? Robert?
Robert S. Allen February 25, 2014 at 10:04 PM
Both "Project-level" (To Isabel) and "Program-level" (eventual, beyond Isabel) environmental review are Item 5B on Thursday's BART Board Meeting (starts at 5 pm at 300 Lakeside Drive - near BART 19th Street station - in Oakland Feb. 27). I doubt that there are reliable patronage/revenue estimates yet. There should be some for Isabel/580 before our vote in November. Much will depend on parking and the availability of transit vehicles. ----- With about 180,000 vehicles per day on 580, Isabel being an end-of-line station at a freeway interchange, and its easy access from Livermore, I suspect that there will be heavy use of an Isabel station.
Robert S. Allen February 25, 2014 at 10:10 PM
Something just happened with my computer. Hope the message comes OK on your end. Bob Allen 925-449-1387.
Jow February 26, 2014 at 12:39 PM
Desert, Livermore has been paying taxes for BART since the 60's. BART knows Livermore is interested in getting BART out here. They know that if we say NO to this Isabel location that we are not saying NO to BART in Livermore. That is silly. Lets pick the right location the first time. There is no reason to have two stations in Livermore. Just like there is no reason to have two stations in Dublin. They picked the wrong location first and then went and spent more money to build a better location. Lets not make the same mistake. The money used to build Dublin's west station could have been used to extend BART out to Vasco area. This is all mis-managed money due to politics and poor decision making. I will be voting NO on this and I will be telling everyone else to do the same. Robert, you may want to take your phone number down. The internet is full of people who will use it for prank calls or other stuff.
Robert S. Allen February 26, 2014 at 02:24 PM
My number is in the phone book. No problem. Better a dozen prank or sales calls I don't want to missing one from someone who wants a sincere discussion. Thanks for the warning, though. ----- Two Dublin/Pleasanton stations made a lot of sense. As for Livermore, I'd be happy now with just Isabel - the one we have a chance of getting by our vote in November. Our initiative (now in the Livermore General Plan) sought a first-stage extension to Isabel/580. The BART Board Agenda Item 5B tomorrow (2/27) night in Oakland includes both "Project-level" (Isabel) and "Program-level (beyond Isabel) environmental issues. The meeting starts at 5 pm, but this is the last item on a heavy agenda; it could come much later in the meeting.
Robert S. Allen February 26, 2014 at 02:35 PM
My main goals: be sure it is regular BART, not the other alternatives (Bus, DMU, etc.) under consideration, and that there is ample parking for people from Livermore.
Becky February 26, 2014 at 02:46 PM
Good point, we really don't want diesel BART. That would defeat the purpose of clean transportation. And I agree they need ample parking, despite their wishing for the utopia of everybody living next to the station.
Robert S. Allen February 26, 2014 at 02:57 PM
I understand that CARB (California Air Resources Board) does not want people living close to freeways and diesel rail operations. And of course we have the airport nearby.
Desert Rat February 26, 2014 at 07:06 PM
Did Stoneridge Mall push for a station closer to their parking lots? What was the impetus for the second Dublin station? And, do we have numbers from the park and ride currently at Isabel? Isn't there a lot and bus service to BART from that location that could provide numbers of potential riders for a BART station there? I don't think looking at the amount of cars over the Altamont is a valid reflection of potential BART ridership from a Greenville or Vasco station. Clearly much of that traffic is also coming from Hwy 5 and/or commercial shipping and others. A percentage of folks would park and ride from that point though if they live in Tracy, Manteca, or Modesto. Those would be the relevant stats.
Robert S. Allen February 26, 2014 at 10:08 PM
Office space, far more than the mall, was the "attraction" pusher, I think for the West Dublin/Pleasanton station. From Danville, San Ramon, and most of Pleasanton, it was the in-direction commute. Driving east to end up going west was a dis-incentive to using BART. ----- BART's Airway Park/Ride lot gets little use. The bus run is infrequent and circuitous. For years I have been asking Wheels to run a direct shuttle connecting with every train in and out of the eastern Dublin/Pleasanton station. A few years ago we almost got it; the motion to accept a BAAQMD grant failed on a 3-3 tie vote, with the key vote being away due to a family illness. I have repeatedly sought to get Wheels to try it at least during commute hours on an experimental basis, and I've urged it again in connection with their impending route changes. ----- Isabel/580 is in the direction of travel for most Livermore commuters and is easily accessible from most of the city. That is the main reason why, as BART Director in 1986, I got BART to buy the 53-acre site when it became available and the Livermore City Council had opted for a freeway orientation for BART. It is also why I co-authored the 2011 initiative petition. ----- Remote parking lots near Vasco/580 and Greenville/580 and even farther east might also do well if served by well-timed bus service, but BART rail won't be there for many years. The Central Valley counties are not in the BART district whereas Livermore has paid its dues for 2/3 of a century.
Mark Tarte February 27, 2014 at 01:35 AM
Robert, I appreciate your knowledge and your dedication to getting BART to Livermore. However, having lived here my entire life I am not as confident as you that the board will do anything but another study or table the motion. Frankly, if there is any legal way for Livermore to opt out of the BART taxes and even sue to recoup their tax monies we've wasted for over 50 years and have almost nothing to show for it, I am on board. I hope I am wrong, but I suspect we will not see any real action for at least another 50 years.
Robert S. Allen February 27, 2014 at 02:25 AM
Thursday night's BART Board Meeting is heavy with agenda items, and BART to Livermore environmental items come near the end of the meeting. They include both Project-level (to Isabel) and Program-level (beyond Isabel) choices, including alternatives such as bus, express bus, DMU, EMU, and full BART. ----- I anticipate the choice of full BART to Isabel at the project level, with major funding to come through voter passage of the Alameda County Transportation Commission measure in November. Much depends on assurance of adequate parking for Livermore residents.

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