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

WHERE ARE WE NOW? 

- Notes from April 9, 2001 Public Meeting -

What people liked:

·        Public greens

·        Local-serving retail uses

·        Overall sense of place

·        Parking garages wrapped in nicer uses

·        Main Street environment

·        Better bus access

·        Better pedestrian access

·        How views of the platform and within the project were respected

·        How it reaches out to the Iron Horse Trail

·        (Some liked) the balance achieved between those who wanted more parking and those who wanted less

·        Like uses across from like uses (i.e. - office across from office, residential across from residential)

·        How height steps down from high buildings next to freeway, to lower buildings by the trail

·        Creation of entrance/gateway to the Iron Horse Trail

·        Creation of a real place

·        Eliminated the need for parking on Swim Club site

Concerns/Issues Outstanding:

·        Ultimate uses of the Las Juntas Swim Club site

·        Bike/pedestrian overcrossings

·        Parking:  Some want more for access to BART and BART-to-airport parking

·        Parking:  Some want less because more parking = more traffic

·        Parking:  Construction staging and how it will affect parking

·        Parking management

·        Building use and building mass: people prefer more residential and lower towers... but office is what funds all the other positive things about the plan

·        Traffic

·        How bus, taxi, kiss & ride will work

·        Paid parking in BART structure --- consider change in BART policy?

·        Traffic flow, circulation to and from parking structures

·        What public benefits come from the investment in this project?

·        The needs of the 600 people who drive in and use BART everyday and don’t have other options

·        Coding changes to the Specific Plan

·        Drawings/sketches are not to scale or true-to-life and are misleading

·        The trees shown in the green space on the Iron Horse Trail cannot be put there because of underground utilities

·        Use of adjacent streets for parking

·        Difficult to access station

·        Signal timing: difficult to cross the street

·        Mix of uses

·        Different figures from those presented at Feb. 27th meeting and now

·        Lodging seems to have snuck in the plan.  We don’t want more hotels.

·        “Underground parking has no limits” --- what does this mean?

·        Decision about block size - considered things “out of the box?”

·        No one asked for a 12-story office building

·        We asked for market-rate housing

·        Remember the original intent:  form needs to follow function and people need to be able to get to work

·        We have parkland all around and we have a downtown - in Walnut Creek

·        Will the economic analysis look at the “no project” alternative?

·        Only 10% of the people who work here ride BART

·        How does the project affect/benefit people who live within 1/2 to 3 miles of the station?

·        Parking garage frontage along Oak Road - concern about safety for people who walk past there

·        Drawings  don’t show parking on-street

·        Include a view with the surrounding buildings within a block or two on each side

·        In architectural standards: “human habitation” and “not less than 450 square feet” are not compatible.  Others say this may be okay.

·        Range of sizes is best, with percentage of each type

·        12-story building with horizontal lines: would that be typical of the 12-story tower?

·        Circulation plan: may not need all the parking on-site if you have amenities for people who bike or walk

·        Efficiency of bus bays for buses coming from all 4 directions

·        Do not show parking on Oak Road - not possible

·        People crossing Jones Road from the Iron Horse Trail to access the site --- show a gap in the parked cars at the intersection

·        Show where the bridges might come down in the site plans

·        Take the same amount of care in planning the Oak Road side

·        “Parking Placement” just shows parking for autos and not for bikes

·        Specify bike parking: the number of spaces and where they’re located

·        Address management issues

·        Hercules’ Charrette --- what’s  happening and why?

·        As write changes to the Specific Plan, plan so that if back-sliding occurs, the community can live with the result

Written Comments:

·        The code is far too complex to cover in this forum.  There is a real fear that someone will think it is okay when it isn’t understood.

·        “Parking - some want more; some want less” --- this is a misleading statement.  The DVCA and commuters just want to maintain current parking levels which include the 581 “temporary” spots being displaced by the Iron Horse Trail.

·        The DVCA will contact Steve Coyle to thoroughly review work being conducted with the planning consultant.

·        The County and BART should be very concerned about the safety  of pedestrians crossing Jones Road at the entrance to the site.  Doubling the number of cars along Jones going into the parking garage will make crossing the street very difficult in the am and pm commute hours.

·        Why have retail along Treat Blvd. - as you are driving west along Treat, there is no time to be looking at retail stores or window displays.  This could cause problems is the retail windows had interesting displays.

·        Are you conscious of earthquake movement here? This ground can go in waves... so no brick frontage, etc.

·        The bike station is for commuters mainly.  It needs to be close the fare gates (what about on the southwest corner of Block C, or moving it to the west end of the residential green next to the plaza?).  Reward the access modes you want to encourage! Access from the bike station (where it is currently located) will require crossing two roadways and be further than for people walking from most ground-floor parking spaces.

·        Where will expanded BART on-demand bicycle racks be located?

·        We want the same number of parking spaces as in the present configuration (including the 581 spaces in the Iron Horse Trail alignment).

·        I do not patronize retail establishments where I have to pay for parking.

·        RE:  Iron Horse Trail bridge: John Muir Building people are concerned about users seeing into their windows.  They say they replaced their windows that had a sun-ray coating because it was peeling.  Why not replace the old coating (that disallows people seeing in) with a coating that is more durable?  Have the cost be born by the bridge project cost.

·        Free replacement parking for all current spaces (including the “temporary” 581 spaces) is essential!

·        BART costs $7/day (expensive).  Parking costs on top (of that) tilt the balance toward driving to San Francisco and the resulting flexibility.

·        Current suggested parking alternatives are impractical.  They’re only easy for those who don’t have to use them.  Ten spots here off-site and 20 more somewhere else off-site won’t work as alternatives.  Bus needs massive improvement before it’ll work.  Until you’ve provided workable, low-stress alternatives to driving alone, we need parking!  To punish people who take public transit (by taking away BART parking access) is unconscionable. The current planned “transit village” benefits the Walden area residents with higher property values at the expense of all other Contra Costa residents!  Please don’t sideline this critical need (for parking) for a luxury such as greenspace!

·        I request a circulation plan to not less than 5 miles around the BART station, including the costs of user-free, zero-emission buses and user-free refreshment buildings (of bathrooms and eateries) maybe not less than 200 feet apart, and unbundling of commercial and residential units from minimum tenant and user-free parking spaces so far as government is concerned.  The number of user-free parking spaces BART-commercial-residential per acre should be limited and BART government should not be permitted to give away land use at tax expense or BART ticket-payers expense to selected few against good planning.  It is a prostitution of civic planning and capitulate suppression of exploration of ideas with constraint of current BART “policy.”

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