02 November 2006

Coliseum, BART, and other news

Oakland's City Council unanimously approved the A's lease extension at the Coliseum. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors is next.

The Federal Transit Administration approved the Warm Springs BART extension's environmental impact statement. According to the article, the project is $145 million short of its funding target. Rising costs may push that figure above $200 million. WSX is still not considered viable unless the San Jose extension is also approved. The approval will allow for right-of-way acquisition and power line rerouting.

Hennepin County (MN) is proceeding with eminent domain proceedings against existing landowners at the projected downtown Minneapolis ballpark site.

St. Louis and the Cards unveiled its vision of the Ballpark Village to be built next to the new Busch Stadium.


Anonymous said...

For BART to Warm Springs, note that the "$195 million in Alameda County Measure B sales tax receipts" mentioned in the news article depends on fully funding the extension into Santa Clara County. As the article mentions, that project is billions short.


According to the Expenditure Plan approved by the voters, "the first
segment of the BART rail extension in Southern Fremont may not be used
until full funding for the rail connection to Santa Clara County is

James said...

One of the newscasts yesterday (I believe it was Chanel 5) said that this paves the way for the extension to be complete by 2011.

Anonymous said...

"One of the newscasts yesterday (I believe it was Chanel 5) said that this paves the way for the extension to be complete by 2011."

Given the current funding shortfalls, that's amazingly optimistic. But it's consistent with the standard line that has Warm Springs done five years from today, no matter what day "today" is. Last year, the estimate was 2010. Next year, the estimate will be 2012.

Anonymous said...

Is there any reason why the BART extension can't go through the Pacific Commons instead of Warm Springs? Has the land already been bought?

Kevin said...

That's a good question (Anon 12:43). I've often wondered myself if that would be possible. I'm not familiar with Fremont, but given the growth which is planned for the PC area, you'd think that was something they might want to look at.

I'm assuming though that moving the WS station to PC would probably require another EIR, thus adding another year or two to the project - not to mention more money.

Anonymous said...

"Is there any reason why the BART extension can't go through the Pacific Commons instead of Warm Springs?"

The main reason is that they're planning to use the former Western Pacific railroad right-of-way. There's no comparable right-of-way between Fremont BART and Pacific Commons. "You can't get there from here" as the saying goes.

Marine Layer said...

This April post explains why BART to Pacific Commons isn't feasible. It includes a photo of the planned BART route.

James said...

Okay, hear me out on my idea, which may (probably is) totally unworkable, but it's a starting point.

First, scrap the whole Dumbarton/Union City intermodal thing (which will most likely be seldom-used). Move those funds to building an intermodal facility at Pacific Commons.

Instead of the current Warm Springs planned station, align BART along the center median of Auto Mall Parkway (owned by the City of Fremont), either on elevated tracks or at-grade tracks (of course, having to somehow bury or relocate the unsightly power lines). If it is at-grade along the median, the tracks will have to become elevated over I-880 and continue to be elevated on the west-side of 880, with the line terminating at the proposed ACE train stop.

At the same time, VTA could develop a light rail line from its current I-880 station in Milpitas, with possible stops at Serra Way, Dixon Landing Rd., Mission Blvd., S. Fremont Blvd (near the NUMMI plant, across from the Fremont Marriott), at or near Bunche Dr. in Pacific Commons, Automall Parkway, and terminating at the ACE/BART stations.

Amtrak could implement a stop at the proposed ACE station. Therefore, there would me an intermodal connection for BART, VTA light rail, ACE, and Amtrak.

The need for BART into SC County would be alleviated because there would be a direct rail connection from BART, at a much lower cost than than extending BART. Vehicle traffic through the streets of Fremont (expecially on the congested east side of I-880) would be reduced because people could take VTA to BART, or, if driving, would be using wider, less-congested roadways. The VTA extension could even be an express service with no stops between the current I-880 station and Pacific Commons reducing journey time.

And finally, public transportation would be available to the stadium from (1) Santa Clara County (via VTA light rail), (2) the Oakland/Hayward/Fremont corrodor and Concord/Walnut Creek (via BART), (3) the Tri-Valley corrodor and San Juaquin Valley (via ACE). In addition, it creates a single, far-reaching light rail system into the north-eastern arm of the Silicon Valley.

If BART never makes it to San Jose, this option makes things much more livable.

Marine Layer said...

The alternative that you suggest, James, doesn't work because ridership would be poor. LRT works largely because of its proximity to riders, either commuters or residents nearby. While LRT could help for commuters in that stretch of Fremont west of 880, there are no residents currently in the area, and adding some 5000-7500 residents through the PC development alone won't help.

Such a line would act mainly as a shuttle between the 880/Tasman station and PC. I can't see that many riders making the mode switch from BART to VTA LRT due to LRT's slow speed, or BART to ACE/Capitol Corridor due to schedule infrequency.

VTA is buying up the old WP right-of-way east of 880. It's slated for BART use, but LRT is a possibility there instead of BART. Even then, that last mile scenario going over the freeway is problematic.