Community Development Department
Pleasant Hill BART
Shortcut Path and Wayfinding Project
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is this project needed? Who asked for it?
A: The shortcut path is needed to improve access to the station via alternative modes (walking, biking) to and from the area northeast of the station and the BART station.
The need for this path is established by the issues summarized below. These range from specific to the project (Traffic Study for the 1998 Pleasant Hill BART Specific Plan amendment) to more general, best practices for planning:
The signage/wayfinding project is needed to help guide pedestrians and cyclists efficiently around the station area. At the time the planned development is complete there will be numerous uses and points of interest, a well-designed comprehensive signage program will make the station area easily navigable.
Q: Another study should be done to determine how many people would use this path.
A: Given the above stated reasons, doing a study or survey to determine if this project is necessary would fall into the category of "over studying" a project.
Q: Where did options A, B, and C come from? Can we add other options?
A summary of how Options A, B and C came to be:
Q: The path will result in a loss of privacy, property crime, vandalism, and a general decline in quality of life.
A: There have been substantial numbers of studies done that look at these concerns. Specific references to those studies are below. Some studies do acknowledge that there will be some loss of privacy given the additional foot traffic that is likely to be present.
However, the conclusions of these studies are that there is little evidence to support the fear that paths will produce significant disturbance to private landowners. In fact, the evidence is to the contrary:
Q: I wasn't involved in the 1998 Pleasant Hill BART Specific Plan amendment process, therefore I wasn't involved in recommending this pedestrian connection. Besides, that document is over 5 years old! I wasn't even here when that document was developed! Given these issues the recommendation in this plan is irrelevant.
A: Planning documents such as the Specific Plan are long-term in nature. The document is still very much valid despite being over 5 years old. The plan was developed as a part of a very public process and received substantial public input (Input was received from the general public and a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) which included members from the Walden District Improvement Association, BART, the City of Pleasant Hill, the City of Walnut Creek, and the City of Concord).
If you weren't here at the time the plan was developed it was still available for public review. It is a good idea to review the long term plans of an area prior to purchasing property.
Q: Is BART even aware of this project? Are they involved.
A: Yes. BART is aware of the project and has been involved in the development of this path from the beginning.
Q: What is a "wayfinding" system?
A: Briefly put, wayfinding is an approach to designing and organizing a logical system of signs, maps, graphics, icons, surface types to assist people in understanding where they are in unfamiliar environments and how to move about in that environment.
Q: If the project is put in who will clean and maintain it?
A: If a path project does move ahead, there is a potential for it to be annexed into the existing lighting and landscaping district at the time the BART property develops. See memo here. The subject of maintenance has been identified as an issue that needs to be resolved before construction would be considered.
Q:Can't people just walk around on Bancroft to either Mayhew or Treat? Its not that much farther.
A: Yes they could do that. But the idea is to make walking as attractive as possible. To attract the most amount of people the distance needs to be as short as possible.
Q: Who is paying for this?
A: This planning process is paid for by MTC's Transportation for Livable Communities Grant Program and the Contra Costa County Redevelopment Agency. No funds have yet to be identified for construction as this is not yet an "approved" project.
Q: How much difference will this make? Isn't there better ways to spend this money?
A: The benefits of this project need to be looked at in the context of the setting and who/what it will serve. This project makes use of an existing, multi-billion dollar public transportation system, BART. Government agencies have a responsibility to make the most of these investments. This path does just that, it improves access for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The path will be used, that has been established by public comment. It cannot be determined exactly how much it will be used however, that would be impossible to determine.
Q: Why didn't I hear about this project? When is this path project going to be built?
A: The general plan for the path has been in the public domain since 1998. There is no "project" yet. This is the very beginning of a planning process to determine if and where the path will be built.
Q: Does the path go across any private property?
A: One of the path options, "A" (along Briarwood) makes use of an exiting easement that extends across two private residential lots. The homeowners were aware of the existence of the easement at the time they purchased their homes and signed a disclosure notice stating their awareness.
The other option (along Clemson) uses BART and Contra Costa Flood Control District property exclusively as well as public sidewalks and streets. One homeowner at the end of Clemson has an easement to use BART property for use in accessing his driveway.
 Americans Attitudes Toward Walking and Creating Better Walking Communities, April 2003, Belden Russonello & Stewart, Research and Communications for the Surface Transportation Policy Project.
 Impact of Rail-Trails, National Park Service, 1992
 Rail-Trails and Safe Communities, RTC, 1998
 A Feasibility Study for Proposed Linear Park, Oregon Department of Transportation, Parks and Recreation Division, May 1988
 Consumer's Survey on Smart Choices for Home Buyers, National Association of Realtors and National Association of Home Builders, April 2002.
For more information on this project please contact:
Contra Costa County