Contra Costa County Seal

Contra Costa County
Community Development Department
Redevelopment Division
The Pleasant Hill BART
Station Design Charrette

FEBRUARY 22-27, 2001
CHARRETTE PUBLIC INPUT

The Pleasant Hill BART Charrette Program from February 22-27 generated a tremendous amount of commentary.
We have set forth the comments made and provide a response to each. 

Comment

Response

A.  PARKING  

1. There is a shortfall still on Iron Horse Trail replacement parking; 250 paid spots is not the same as 581 free spots.  Add to parking tower.

The Pleasant Hill BART Specific Plan provides for the Iron Horse Corridor to be converted to a Greenspace use.  In order to implement, the Pleasant Hill BART Steering Committee has been evaluating measures to mitigate removal of temporary BART spaces.  Multiple mitigations for temporary parking removal include enhancements to alternative modes (146 spaces), BART operations (230 spaces), relocation of Route 70 stop (40 spaces), and replacement temporary parking (250 spaces).  The 250 net new BART patron spaces on the BART property are over and above mitigations previously identified by Steering Committee.  Cost to develop 250 net new spaces is over $3.5 million.  Additional parking for visitors to shoppers to the new projects will ensure that parking spaces are available throughout the day, including BART patrons.

2. Where are the 581 spaces of parking from the green space going     to be? This plan does not show the promised parking.  Look      elsewhere!

See A-1

3.  250 spaces from trail on-site (no need for parking at swim club).

Two hundred fifty spaces will not be on line for at least two years; temporary parking mitigations are still being pursued.

4.  Having 250 spaces violates the Specific Plan.

If parking is part of joint development program, an amendment to Specific Plan would be needed.

5.  Expand parking structure first; Develop the expanded parking    structure first before development of retail, office space, etc.

Phasing program not yet firmly established; preliminary indications are that BART patron replacement parking would likely occur first.

6.  We need more parking not less.

BART access planning policy and County policy encourage alternative mode enhancement, not the development of more and more parking.  Just as many people argue that there should be less parking, since providing parking results in more congestion.  The recommended 250 spaces represents a compromise between competing interests.  BART’s new parking policy would allow for consideration of new paid parking facilities and public/private partnerships to construct additional parking facilities.

7.  Add another level to the structure-currently 7 floors plus     basement, why only 6 floors in this design?

Expansion structure is same height and has the same number of floors as the existing structure.

8.  The northeast corner of the parking structure has the worst

     view-screen it!

We concur.  Liner buildings and other exterior/interior modifications can be developed to enhance the neighborliness of this corner.

9.  How many stories? Make it low.

The proposed number of stories is needed to fully provide for our replacement parking obligation.  All building heights throughout the project have been designed to be lower on the east side near residential uses, and higher adjacent to office uses on the western perimeter.  Further, the costs of building parking further below ground is significant given the areas high watertable.  In addition, we have made sure to preserve views of Mt. Diablo from the Station platform.

10.  Place parking at North Concord stop.

BART enhancements to N. Concord service among the temporary parking mitigations.  Currently there are over 400 unused spaces at N. Concord.  Hopefully running additional trains to this Station will encourage about 100 BART patrons at Pleasant Hill to use N. Concord.

11.  Where’s the parking garage?

BART replacement parking proposed to be west of existing structure.  Private uses all provide for their parking needs in the back of the buildings.

12.  New Garage parking space widths minimum 8 feet.

BART specifies minimum of 8.5 foot width.

13.  Different size spaces for different size cars, alternate floors       of large and small cars.

Compact and full spaces to be provided.  A parking consultant has been engaged to optimize parking program.  BART has recently estimated that an additional 80 spaces are achievable from restriping the existing garage.

14.  If you charge for parking, you reduce parking demand       (especially from nearby areas) and you will increase demand        for bus, walking, and bike riding.

Pricing has a strong effect on demand, and encourages alternative modes.  BART policy requires that BART-dedicated parking be provided free to BART patron’s only.  We assume that all additional BART and project parking within the project will be priced at market rates.  Revenues received may be able to help cover costs to construct, and to operate the parking facility.

15.  Don’t lose sight that this is a train station, needs more access,       convenience.

We have worked to significantly improve pedestrian, transit and bicycle access to the Station, while still providing for significant auto access. There will be safe, comfortable, interesting pedestrian routes from all sides of the project to the Station.  There will be a strong connection for bikes and pedestrians to the Iron Horse Trail, with a Bike Station placed next to the BART Station.  Access for transit will be greatly improved, with additional bus bays, improved passenger amenities and room for expansion.  Management of taxis will also be improved, eliminating queuing on surrounding residential streets.  Further, the Specific Plan and the Concept Plan acknowledges the importance of this regional facility by providing for a concentration of uses conveniently located within easy walking of the BART platform.

16.  Given current growth increases part. Bart ridership; today’s       parking supply should be a baseline.

See A-6 above.

17.  Is there space for buses?

Bus queuing and loading areas provided for at west end of property.  Also, see A-15.


18.   Main street parallel parking doesn’t seem to work, instead,       one since only 45 degree angle parking.

Parking consultant is examining on and off street parking.  Our experience with parallel parking on main streets all over the country is generally very positive.  In addition, 45-degree angle parking can pose hazards for bicyclists.

19.  Parallel parking will back traffic up onto Treat.

On-street parking will not be allowed during times when it might back up traffic onto Treat.  During off-peak times, it will provide extra parking spaces, will act as a traffic-calming device, and will improve the pedestrian environment on the sidewalks. 

20.  Do we really need cars all the way around the green?

On-street parking helps provide buffer for safety; issue can be further examined.

21.  Drop offs and taxis?

See A-17.

22.  Where is the Kiss and Ride area?

Kiss and Ride opportunities are around the Station Plaza, and on the west side of the property.

   

B.  TRAFFIC

 
   

1Make sure there is enough room to the right of bridge for      executing turns.

The bridges will be designed to accommodate turning motions/site lines at intersections.

2Traffic calming a priority (crossing Iron Horse Trail to Jones      Road). This can be problem for traffic flow – cars in looking      for non-existent parking rather than backing out again will      have a very adverse reaction on H/T (Honey Trial?) residents.

The existing setting on Del Hombre is to be improved as part of Greenspace projects.  Adequate turning areas are to be provided.

3.  No cars around square; instead, Main Street to Park Street      only. This works because of more service outlets at this end of      Main and around Square.

See A-20.  To be examined.


4.  Provide Class 1 trail along BART Row to Bancroft Road, to      connect with potential trails in Concord.

A connector trail to the David/Minert area is suggested in the Specific Plan, and is being examined.  A public process to discuss alternative alignments to be conducted.

5.  Replace Iron Horse Trail Bridge with one at Oak Road.

The two bridges serve entirely different populations.  One bridge for both pedestrians along Oak Road (south) and Iron Horse Trail users not functionally feasible.

6.  Need to incorporate fully funded direct Iron Horse Trail over      crossing bridge at Jones and Treat and continue bridge design      planning.

Iron Horse Trail overcrossing is fully funded.  Final design process/determination to proceed to be undertaken.

   
C.  PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLES  
   

1.   Bad pedestrian crossing near I-680.

Acknowledged.  Future alternative mode enhancements may address, and is suggested in the Specific Plan.

2.  Make sure there is grass somewhere on Treat.

Grass can be provided in appropriate locations.  Water conservation ordinance discourages small areas of grass.

3.  Need to incorporate safe Iron Horse Trail over crossing of      Treat Blvd at Jones Road.

Part of Specific Plan; design alternatives, siting, and localized impacts need to be assessed and considered in final siting decisions.

4.  Much concern about crossing Jones during evening rush hours       to reach the bridge over Bart.  There will be a continuous       stream of people crossing a stream of cars.

Safe pedestrian access alternatives to BART property from Iron Horse Trail are being evaluated.  Potential improvements include a pedestrian refuge/median on Jones; raised crosswalks, in-pavement, pedestrian-activated crosswalk beacons; and/or a pedestrian activated stoplight.

5.  It should be a true pedestrian center because if traffic circulates around it, it will not feel like a park; The Square      (Station Plaza?) should be pedestrian only, otherwise traffic       circle only.

Size of square, and use of parked cars to buffer from traffic lanes is concept being employed.  See also A-20.

6. “Buffer” comforts for peds.

Trees along the curb and parking part of buffering.

7.  Pedestrian Tunnel below Treat.

Viability as an alternative is being evaluated for April 9th meeting.  Potentially constrained by underground utilities, cost, and safety/security concerns of users. Most pedestrians feel unsafe walking in a long tunnel.

8.  Blinking light pedestrian /bike crosswalk from Iron Horse Trail     across Jones Road (in the direction of the Station Plaza).

Need for/type of signalization is to be determined when project level traffic studies are completed.  See also C-4.

9Bike storage for residents who don’t have covered storage.

Can be provided for in residential projects similar to requirements of commercial projects in area.

10.  Better coordination of traffic signals to accommodate       pedestrians.

Signal time now controlled by Walnut Creek for Treat Corridor; pedestrian overcrossings designed to address.

11.  Pedestrian flow from Oak (south of Treat) to platform is too       convoluted.

Shortest route would have pedestrians continuing north along Oak to BART viaduct and into the Station; this movement is provided for.  Pedestrian overcrossing design will need to accommodate a staircase to come back to ground level to facilitate multiple directions for desired pedestrian movements.

12.  Area west of grove of trees at Oak/Treat doesn’t have uses       that would provide observation/security for pedestrians.

Uses can be considered for the area, so long as trees are not impaired.  Observation from street does occur.

   
D.  ENVIRONMENT  
   

1.  Preserve air right for future greater density.

Development over BART facilities is technically possible, but difficult to accomplish in a financially feasible way given need to protect BART operational requirements.

2.  Is there an incorporation of solar energy?

Energy conservation features encouraged by County General Plan policy and implementing ordinances.  Energy costs bode positive for energy considerations in site design and equipping.

3.  Are the trees at the intersection of Oak Rd. and Treat Blvd      sick?

No recent arborist reports exist. May be part of Final Development Plan special studies.

4.  Save the view of Mount Diablo; I’m worried about our Mount       Diablo view from the Station platform… We should see it from      all along the platform, not just one little spot.

Specific Plan policy/diagrams denote Mt. Diablo viewshed; concept plan is consistent with Specific Plan.  Expansive views will be preserved.

   
E.  PROGRAMMING  
   

1.  Either activate linear park (market, etc.) or give up for larger     square.

Denoted uses for the linear park are intended to be exemplary.  Uses might include playground, public art, stage, etc.  The provision of additional space for a larger square is being further examined; preliminary indications are that it would compromise the ability to park adjacent blocks.

2.  Larger community Center on Larger Green.

Siting of a community center within the complex has a number of alternative locations; use connotes operation and maintenance source of funds.

3.  Mix office and residential on the same properties.

Plan doesn’t preclude; mixing can complicate building program, parking.

4.  Plan should allow future air rights; mixed development in future      especially around Square and Green to Iron Trail.

See D-1.

5.  Have a post office annex.

This type of use will be among the many potential uses considered by the BART developer.

6.  Better utilization of site-swap the daycare (with something     else)?

Will consider alternative locations.

7.  Strong landscape feature or fountain.

Will be considered; part of Final Development Plan.

8.  Create an activity center at Treat/Oak west of grove of trees.

Can be considered; See also C-12.

   
F.  STATION GREEN  
   

1.  Green should be a bit larger.

See E-1.

2.  The small plaza east of Station Plaza seems awkward; it seems       better used as part of the central green… Or transformed       into an active public site (playground, etc.) or anchored by       retail (restaurant)?

Programming of uses along link road can accommodate mixed uses.  Restaurant feature better to site at Station Plaza (west) end of link road.  Median green may be considered for playground, but other locations exist – Greenspace or Station Plaza.  See also E-1.

3.  What is this building doing here? (the small public building on      this green). Civic space is good, move it elsewhere.  Maybe a       playground here?  This building is too big.

This building is not contemplated to be a community center.  The concept was to create a sheltered space that would provide benefit to users such as arts and crafts shows, etc.

4.  This space is “not doing anything” - What about a playground?

Play areas can be part of Station Plaza.

5.  Put brass ducks for children to sit on in the public square (like      in Boston Public Garden).

Can be considered.

6.  Picnic tables, fountain, swing sets, larger destination park.

Can be considered; see also E-1.

   
G.  RETAIL  
   

1.  Retail mix should include drugstore/grocery store, Mom & Pop     store.

Definitely a desired use; operator will have to be determined.

2.  Preserve space along green for retail expansion.

Provided for.

3.  Maintain future retail around Station Plaza.

Provided for.

4.  Target immigrant entrepreneurs as retail tenants/building       owners tap into their networks of potential retail tenants.

Operators to be determined.

5.  No fast food!

Specific Plan precludes drive-thru establishments; all restaurants would have to be walk-up.  Restaurants of all types desirable – sit down to convenience.

6.  Steps (or elevator) to retail from bridge to the west.

Would be provided.

   
H. HOUSING  
1.  More housing, more affordable housing-inclusionary, not     segregated. Mixed income housing contemplated; some affordability required by Law.
2.  Market-rate housing: 300 plus units of housing with 45 plus      for-sale units.  Look beyond the site for more long-term       solution (look outside the box). Housing program includes some for-sale units; outside the Specific Plan area is substantially built out, except for two smaller areas.
3.  Mix houses/office on same block. See E-3.
4.  Like housing above retail. Provided for.
   
I.  WALDEN  
   

1.  Walden is the name of the area and the road to the South on     Oak Road.  It is a historic area, with walnut groves, heritage     oaks, and older homes (at least 3 are about 100 years old).     Lets build on this.

BART, County, and Developer are open to evolving this concept to establish an identity.

2.  Walden Center or Walden Square for name. Walden Center name is already used by shopping center at Treat/No. Main.
3.  There is an adobe structure on Oak between Treat and      Walden, and there are cottages and old homes on Cherry Lane      and Walnut Blvd. Acknowledged.
   
J.  POOL  
   

1.  Why not public “community” pool?

Among the alternatives; City of Walnut Creek would have to agree to operate and maintain if a “public” pool.  City declined prior offer to operate Swim Club.

2Agreed that use should be recreational.

See J-1.

3Pool becomes village pool.

See J-1.

4.  Corporate memberships for Swim Club.

Not a design issue, but could be considered by Swim Club.

   
K.  BUILT FORM  
   

1.  West of BART;  No higher than other buildings-maximum 10    stories.

Specific Plan allows up to 12 stories to be considered on Area 11 (west of BART platform).

2.  Put seven-story tower on the West side of BART with the      other tower.

Both office uses would not fit without substantially increasing building mass or height, or both.

3.  Need good codes to get this architecture; Need regulating     codes to be available. Coding document being prepared.
4.  Is the Station Building included in financial analysis? All built forms are reflected in financial analysis.
5. Scale back 7-story building on Treat; Decrease to 4 stories or      increase setback. Specific Plan allows seven; would impact project economics if FAR reduction required, or increase mass of building.
   
L.  BART STATION CHARACTER  
   

1.  Lose the towers next to BART.

See K-1.

2.  How about an old-world-style clock that would be visible from      the station platform instead of a flagpole?

Can be considered; idea reflected in concept plan.

3Destination is key concept.

Creating a sense of place for residents, employees, and BART patrons is desired.

4. Architecture is superior to anything around-relates to history.

Architectural style rendered was a vernacular that reflects local area; other styles are possible and will be evaluated with visual preference survey on April 9th and 10th.

5.  Put drawings on the web.

Accomplished.

 

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