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VTA to Launch Light Rail Safety and Speed Pilot in Downtown San Jose


VTA plans to launch a six-month pilot by the end of 2018 designed to increase safety near light rail in downtown San Jose.
Known as the Light Rail Safety and Speed Pilot Project in Downtown (p. 326), the goal of this effort is aimed at enhancing safety near light rail in downtown as a first step to eventually increasing operating speeds in the area.
Downtown San Jose is the slowest part of VTA’s light rail system. The regulated operating speed for light rail in downtown is 10 mph, although trains average about 7.5 mph between stations.
The current design of the transit mall lacks definition between the pedestrian and transit environments. This can sometimes cause unpredictable pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle intrusions into VTA’s trackway.
The pilot will be installed on Second Street between San Fernando and San Carlos. VTA and community stakeholders underwent an iterative process to define appropriate enhancements and ensure design elements address the needs of the community, businesses, and residents.
Designs are scheduled to be finalized by the end of summer and will include railings that will run the length of the pilot block with breaks for driveways and the Paseo de San Antonio crossing. The railing will help delineate the sidewalk from the trackway. Wayfinding signage will also be added to help guide people to designated crossing areas.
The results of the pilot will inform VTA’s decisions about future improvements along the transit mall.  
Check back for more updates in the coming months!

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