12 September 2009

Liveblog from Visioning Workshop

Large group at San Jose's Parkside Hall B to discuss the Diridon Station & Ballpark plan. It's a workshop, which means that lots of reps from City, transit, and consultants are all over the place to answer questions. Updates will be posted here as they come.

1:20 pm - No real ballpark news. This was a community event to get area residents to provide feedback on how the surrounding area should be developed.

2:10 pm - The next workshop, which will be focused and land use and transit, is scheduled for sometime in late January. That will be important simply because it will introduce something that hasn't really been discussed (even during this workshop), phasing. Consider the timeline for all of the construction work being projected to this point:
  • 2011-13 - Realignment of Montgomery/Autumn Streets to Autumn Parkway.
  • 2011-14 - Ballpark is constructed, plus Caltrain electrification.
  • 2015-20 - High speed rail, including expanded Diridon Station.
  • 2020-25 - Downtown segment of BART extension.
That's a really lengthy development time, plenty to get different objectives accomplished but also difficult to understand the timing of various pieces. How long will much of the immediate area be gigantic holes in the ground? Does the city work on the greenscape first or parking infrastructure? Can they be done simultaneously? Of course, there's the lingering question of how much parking should go there, which didn't get addressed at the workshop. There will be plenty of battles about how much housing if any should be there, alternatives to a ballpark, public art, and ways to better connect the station area to downtown. Everyone's playing nice now, but several garden-variety development battles are promised - and that's even after the long-awaited ballpark EIR is certified.