VTA's BART Phase II Transit Oriented Communities Strategy Study

A Once in a Century Opportunity

VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Phase II extension through Downtown San José and Santa Clara provides an extraordinary opportunity to sustainably organize Santa Clara Valley's future growth around BART. High demand for housing of all types, a strong job market, and new transit options provide the essential ingredients for developing transit oriented communities (TOCs) that are equitable, walkable places to live, work, shop, and play.

By design, TOCs make access and transit use both easy and convenient, resulting in less driving, more walking and fewer impacts on...

A Once in a Century Opportunity

VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Phase II extension through Downtown San José and Santa Clara provides an extraordinary opportunity to sustainably organize Santa Clara Valley's future growth around BART. High demand for housing of all types, a strong job market, and new transit options provide the essential ingredients for developing transit oriented communities (TOCs) that are equitable, walkable places to live, work, shop, and play.

By design, TOCs make access and transit use both easy and convenient, resulting in less driving, more walking and fewer impacts on existing communities. TOCs also support active street-level uses, creating opportunities for engaging storefronts and enjoyable places to eat, shop, and socialize. These spaces can improve the quality of life in our cities and communities and fulfill community, city, and regional goals.

TOCs would make way for 43,000 new jobs and housing for 76,000 new residents - roughly a new downtown San Jose around Phase II station areas - all within walking distance to BART.

Photo rendering of a transit oriented community near the future Santa Clara BART station. View is on Brokaw (near Coleman Avenue), looking west towards El Camino Real.

 

By prioritizing TOCs at the new BART stations, the cities of San José and Santa Clara will be creating vibrant neighborhoods that support a diversity of jobs, housing types, and economic opportunity while reducing displacement, providing affordable housing choices, and furthering the Bay Area’s goals of increased transit use and higher-density development. Currently, efforts are ongoing to identify strategies and policies that will achieve TOCs at Alum Rock/28th Street, Downtown San José, and Santa Clara BART station areas via the TOCs Strategy Study. See Making Transit Oriented Communities a Reality below for more information on these efforts.

Because TOCs are comprised of many elements, their creation will occur gradually over time. Over the next 5-15 years, VTA will work with city staff to complete the appropriate planning documents; developers will propose projects; and workers will construct those projects—ultimately creating thriving transit oriented communities around the new BART stations.

Laying the Groundwork to Make Transit Oriented Communities a Reality

Ensuring that the future BART station areas support thriving transit oriented communities requires thoughtful planning, as well as exploring examples of successful TOCs from around the U.S. and beyond. 

Since February 2018, VTA has collaborated closely with the cities of San José and Santa Clara, as well as BART, to proactively plan for TOCs at the Alum Rock/28th Street, Downtown San José, and Santa Clara BART station areas. VTA’s BART Phase II Transit Oriented Communities Strategy Study (Study) also complements the Diridon Station Area Plan update and the Diridon Integrated Station Concept Plan process being done in a parallel coordinated effort. 

The Study includes three major tasks: Background Conditions, Corridor Opportunities and Constraints, and Implementation Strategies and Tools. The Study builds upon existing city and community plans and policies related to land use and transportation and identifies strategies and financing tools to proactively plan for TOCs in Santa Clara Valley in advance of VTA’s BART Phase II operations.

The Study’s Station Profiles (found in the 'Study Reports' section below) provide specific recommendations for planning and implementing transportation access improvements in the BART station areas. These improvements will enhance access and mobility to and from the stations by walking, biking, transit, ride share, etc. 

Access to and from BART station entrances are also being studied. While in the early planning and engineering stages, the future station entrances are envisioned to be fully integrated into the station’s transit oriented communities. When complete, this integration will provide easy station access for BART riders, no matter how they arrive to the station.

The resulting information and proposed recommendations will be compiled into three station-specific TOCs Playbooks. The Playbooks are the road map for guiding change at the station areas. They also lay the groundwork for VTA and the cities of San José and Santa Clara to coordinate on TOCs implementation by enabling strategies and policies to protect existing residents and businesses and to provide funding and implementation for TOCs.

What the TOCs Playbooks Do

The TOCs Playbooks include guidance for cities and communities to create transit oriented communities around each future BART station. This guidance includes:

  • Land use and zoning recommendations to support balanced, 24-hour places
  • Development guidelines for ensuring walkable and pedestrian-friendly environments
  • Policies that facilitate good transit-oriented development (TOD), which is critical for successful TOCs
  • Priorities for infrastructure and access improvements (water and sewer, sidewalks, bike lanes, etc.) needed to support thriving transit oriented communities
  • Financing tools for funding the infrastructure and access improvements, streetscapes, and affordable housing.   

How to Get Involved

Continued engagement from the public and city leadership are critical for making TOCs in Santa Clara Valley a reality. This Study sets the stage for an ongoing and collaborative planning process with the cities as well as local, regional, state, and federal governments to realize TOCs around the future BART stations.

This fall, VTA will present the Study’s Playbooks and recommendations at city councils, the VTA Board of Directors, and other community events. We need your participation and support to create TOCs in Santa Clara Valley!

You can support the creation of TOCs in the following ways: 

  • Stay up to date on the TOCs Strategy Study’s progress by regularly checking this project website
  • Attend TOCs-related public events, such as city council and VTA Board presentations and express your support for creating vibrant transit oriented communities in Santa Clara Valley

Upcoming Outreach Events for the Transit Oriented Communities Strategy Study

Date Event Location Time
09/05/19 VTA Board Meeting County Government Center,
70 W Hedding Street, San Jose
5:30 PM
09/06/19 Downtown San Jose Farmers Market San Pedro Square,
W St. John Street, San Jose
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
09/10/19
09/11/19
09/12/19
VTA's BART Phase II Community Working Groups (CWGs) See Public Involvement  4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
09/22/19 Viva Calle Arena Green,
345 W Santa Clara Street, San Jose
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Study Reports

 

Background Conditions Report

Opportunities and Constraints Report

VTA Transit-Oriented Development Case Studies

Draft Alum Rock/28th Street Station Profile

Draft Downtown Station Profile

Draft Santa Clara Station Profile


Presentations

What is a Good Transit-Oriented Development?

City of Santa Clara City Council Study Session

VTA Board Briefing

City of Santa Clara Planning Commission Study Session

Transit Oriented Communities Workshops
 

April 2019

Alum Rock/28th Street

Downtown San Jose

Santa Clara

Workshop Summaries

Next Steps
  • The TOC Strategy Study will deliver a playbook on implementing transit oriented communities for the City of San Jose, City of Santa Clara and VTA. 
  • VTA will work to advance these strategies wherever possible.
  • As construction begins on tunnel and station areas along the corridor, development partners and community needs will be identified. 
  • After or near when heavy civil construction is complete along the alignment, transit oriented community construction will commence. 

Timeline

Title
Environmental Clearance
Phase Date Range
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Title
Study Development
Phase Date Range
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Title
Implementation Preparation
Phase Date Range
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