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Tabulating the Feedback From SR-85 Corridor Study


An estimated $350 million is included in the 2016 Measure B for improvements to the State Route (SR) 85 corridor.  Eligible uses are noise reduction, a new transit lane and a study that will give some definition to what the “new transit lane” could be.  The measure requires that the study evaluate designs including light rail and bus rapid transit as well as any future transportation technologies that may be applicable.
VTA kicked off the study in the fall, holding meetings with the SR-85 Policy Advisory Board (PAB) which consists of elected officials from each city along SR-85, to analyze the transit travel market and what type of engineering constraints exist along the corridor.  VTA also held public meetings in San Jose, Cupertino and Mountain View that attracted about 180 attendees altogether and ran an online survey for more than three months that received nearly 2,500 responses.
Armed with technical analysis and guided by public input, the SR-85 PAB will develop project design alternatives in the spring of 2018.  They will consider different types of travel modes, in addition to light rail and bus rapid transit, including public suggestions such as a monorail, subway, and gondola.  The Advisory Board will imagine where stations might be and what types of operating plans should be considered.  Does the service make several stops?  Few stops?  Does it run all day?  Everyday?  Does it only run during the peak commute period, (6 AM-9 AM and 4 PM-7 PM)?  Does it serve the Mountain View Transit Center or continue north of US-101?  Will it be for VTA transit only or will other vehicles like private buses be allowed to use the lane?  Will there be park-n-ride lots?  The Board will also keep in mind the costs to build and operate, as well as potential impacts to those who live and work along the SR-85 corridor.
Once the alternatives are selected, VTA will undertake a detailed analysis for designing and building the projects as well as annual operating cost projections.  VTA will evaluate each alternative for engineering feasibility and impacts to the surrounding community and will develop trip timetables so travelers can compare travel times to their current option.  VTA will also use computer models to project changes in travel volumes and travel by mode (car, bus, train, other, etc.) along the SR-85 corridor.  VTA will produce a report that compares each alternative.
When the analysis is completed, VTA will conduct another round of community outreach focused on preferred alternatives.  After receiving community input, the SR-85 PAB will make a recommendation to VTA Board of Directors about how to proceed with the project. 
Stay tuned for blog posts about the online survey results and origin-destination analysis in the coming days.

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