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

Responses to Issues/Ideas from 2/8/01Traffic Focus Group Meeting for the Pleasant Hill BART Charrette  

Fehr & Peers Associates, Inc.

The issues are divided into 8 categories: 1) Traffic Impacts, 2) Design Plan, 3) Parking, 4) Bike / Pedestrian, 5) Regional Traffic, 6) Vehicle Access, 7) TDM / Modal Split, and 8) Transit / Bus. The numbering is based on the original summary list developed from the notes from the Focus Group Meeting.

1) Traffic Impacts

1. The daily and peak traffic volumes were just counted this year (2001). Both the existing and existing plus Charrette project traffic volumes fit with the counts and projections from the 1997 Traffic Study. The 1997 Traffic Study forecasted traffic by adding to existing traffic the new trips from unbuilt but approved development, future development of the BART property, plus a certain amount of regional growth based on growth forecasts for areas outside the Specific Plan boundaries. The 2001 traffic counts reaffirm the data and assumptions of the 1997 Traffic Study, which found that future development in the Specific Plan area will not cause traffic conditions on Treat Boulevard to violate the standards for congestion that were established by central county jurisdictions and adopted by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority for the Measure C Growth Management Program. An update to the traffic service objective (TSO) monitoring for Treat Boulevard (considered a Route of Regional Significance) was completed by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority in 1999. The measured speeds and delay index values ranged from 21 miles per hour (mph) to 28 mph and 1.35 to 1.75, respectively. These values are well above the average speed TSO requirement of 15 mph and well below the Delay Index TSO requirement of 2.0.

12. Comment noted and was considered.

34. Comment noted and was considered.

38. Traffic calming may be appropriate and is provided for in the Specific Plan (Automobile Circulation Policy #5, page 34.

39. Previously considered as part of the 1997 Traffic Study. Widening to four lanes was not needed to mitigate traffic impacts from the Specific Plan. With redevelopment of the Contra Costa Shopping Center (Wards, Century Theater), the City of Pleasant Hill is expected to re-examine.

46. Studies indicate the traffic will increase, even without any additional development on the BART property. Property owners of vacant parcels in the Specific Plan area have already funded and built significant upgrades to roads in the Specific Plan area to accommodate traffic generated from development on these parcels. The Charrette "final" plan seems to balance traffic generation and vitality.

48. Fehr & Peers is focusing on transportation and traffic, with Nelson-Nygaard focusing on transit and buses.

56. This Charrette process began with few "absolutes." The BART tracks, the columns, the actual station location and trees may be considered "givens." On-site roadways can be changed. It would be difficult to make major changes to Treat Boulevard, Oak Road and Jones Road. Internal roadway changes and other minor changes are considered.

57. See 56.

58. One-way streets are possible, particularly for internal roadways. Major streets such as Treat would not be included.

2) Design Plan

2. Traffic Service Objective (TSOs) apply for regional and local routes. As noted in the Specific Plan, "In the Pleasant Hill BART Station Area, Treat Boulevard is designated as a Route of Regional Significance. The remaining streets in the area are Basic Routes and are subject to traffic service objectives defined in local general plans. The Contra Costa County General Plan (1991) designates the land use in the Pleasant Hill BART Station Area as 'central business district.' The traffic level of service (LOS) for this type of land use is defined as low E (volume-to-capacity ratio of 0.90 to 0.94)."

5. The minimum is based on legally vested development rights, set forth in the Development Agreement.

35. Comment noted and considered as part of process.

36. Technically possible, but economically difficult. Considered as part of process.

44. The Charrette process was planned to answer this question, and hopefully has done so.

47. Yes, important consideration for the process.

52. This is important consideration for the Charrette.

53. This is also an important consideration for the Charrette. This was the philosophy of the Specific Plan when it was adopted in 1984. Property owners were assessed over $40 million for road and other infrastructure upgrades to serve their development. These infrastructure upgrades were completed in the late 1980's.

55. This was also an important part of the process.

3) Parking

3. Comment noted.

4. Yes, parking studies would be required for less than the maximum. Lending institutions tend to prefer as much parking as can be achieved, particularly in suburban areas.

6. Comment noted.

23. Outlying Park and Ride lots examined by the PH BART Steering Committee and can be considered in the process.

26. Similar to 23, part of process.

29. Want "transit-oriented" development. The BART Board policy is currently set for the number of parking spaces at each station. The BART Access Plan for PH BART suggests greater use of alternate modes, not more parking.

30. Part of Specific Plan. Permanent BART parking has been set by the BART Board and was incorporated in the Specific Plan at 2806 spaces. The additional spaces identified in the comment include the temporary parking spaces. Providing additional permanent BART patron parking beyond the 2,806 spaces was considered in the Charrette.

31. Part of process and previous studies.

32. The Steering Committee is acting on a variety of measures, and the Charrette "final" plan includes some replacement parking.

33. No plans to reduce BART parking below the established 2806 permanent spaces. Additional BART patron parking was considered in the Charrette (see 32 above).

43. "Density bonus" was removed from the Specific Plan. Can be considered as part of process.

59. BART is developing policies for airport parking separate from this Charrette process.

60. These BART policies are not specifically a part of the process, but these issues have been considered and have been brought to the attention of BART by the Pleasant Hill BART Station Area Steering Committee.

61. Comment noted.

62. Comment noted.

4) Pedestrians / Bikes

7. The Specific Plan requires that a Bike Station will be included in any development plan.

16. Issues for bicyclists and pedestrians have been and continue to be an important part of the process.

17. Improvements are part of the process.

18. Improvements are part of the process for the Iron Horse Trail.

19. Comment noted and part of the process.

20. Comment noted and part of the process.

24. These are details that will be considered in the design of any overcrossing.

25. This is a part of site planning, and is a policy of the Specific Plan.

28. See 7 above, Bike Station, part of the process.

37. Considered as part of process, but may be difficult to change due to traffic volumes.

40. See 38 above under Traffic Impacts. Traffic calming may be appropriate.

50. Comment noted.

51. Yes, pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle access issues are important considerations for this process. This access includes access to and from the BART Station and to and from the trails.

63. Access is an important part of the process, for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorized vehicles.

5) Regional Traffic

8. This work has been done, particularly in the 1997 Traffic Study for the Specific Plan Environmental Impact Report. Roadway and other improvements were required and were built through an Assessment District in the Specific Plan area.

9. Comment noted.

10. See 8 above. Also note there is the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (a congestion and growth management agency) which fosters cooperative transportation planning through the local planning groups in each area of the County, including TRANSPAC in central county, TRANSPLAN in east county, WCCTAC in west county, SWAT in the Lamorinda area and TVTC in south county. The 1997 Traffic Study was managed by staff from the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the Specific Plan. The Specific Plan was reviewed by the central county cities through TRANSPAC and the Plan was changed based on their review.

11. See 8 and 10 above.

14. Part of the process and included in the "final" plan from the Charrette.

6) Vehicle Access

13. Part of the process.

21. Part of the process.

22. Part of the process.

7) TDM / Mode Split

15. Part of the process.

27. Transportation Demand Management (TDM) issue was considered in the 1997 Traffic Study. The County is pursuing the Study's recommendations to promote the use of alternate modes of access to the Specific Plan area and these activities are part of the process.

41. Part of the process and with TDM, see 27 above.

42. Previously considered in the 1997 Traffic Study.

49. Higher alternate mode splits were identified as potentially achievable in the 1997 Traffic Study. However, the Traffic Study work assumed current levels of alternate mode splits, which are relatively high for a suburban location. This process emphasizes actual mode splits.

8) Transit / Bus

45. The process considers designs/land uses that are expected to emphasize transit use. TDM will be a consideration in evaluating the alternatives. It is Important to match the design with the available transit.

54. It is important to consider transit operations and usage as part of the Charrette. These considerations should not be done in isolation, but considered with other issues.

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