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BART agrees to add Pleasanton in its Livermore expansion planning

Agency to meet with council, hold discussions in both cities

In a welcome turnaround, BART officials this week agreed to include Pleasanton city representatives in planning an extension of the rapid transit system to Livermore, which could take the tracks through the northeast corner of Pleasanton.

The agreement came after Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho complained to Malcolm Quint, BART project manager, about planning meetings held in Livermore in recent weeks to discuss a 2,000-page Environmental Impact Report that Pleasanton officials had never seen. Although some Pleasanton business leaders were invited to the discussion meetings, as well as city representatives from other communities, no one from the Pleasanton council or city staff was advised of the meetings or asked to participate.

That brought a blistering letter from Fialho, who asked Quint if he was "intentionally leaving Pleasanton out of the policy/land use discussion" even though several alignments for an extension of BART to Livermore's downtown called for placing elevated tracks over Staples Ranch, where millions of dollars in development projects are planned. Two developers, one of a 37-acre auto mall that would fall right under the elevated transit system, and another a 600- to 800-unit senior housing and care facility, indicated they were unhappy with the BART plan.

Fialho said Quint agreed to schedule meetings in Pleasanton and Livermore on an alternating basis and scheduled a major presentation about BART's plans before the Pleasanton City Council on Dec. 15. Assistant City Manager Steve Bocian was designated as the city's official representative to the BART planning process.

BART has developed a series of alternate plans for extending the trains to Livermore, a long-sought goal. Up to now, the only discussed route had been extending the tracks from the Pleasanton-Dublin station east to Greenville Road with BART tracks continuing in the center or alongside Interstate 580 as they now do to Pleasanton. That's still an option, in fact it's the shortest and cheapest of all the routes under consideration and would attract the most riders -- 31,700 new daily BART riders by the year 2035,

At a station planning meeting held in Livermore last week, most reviewers panned the route that would take BART into downtown Livermore, saying they preferred the I-580 route.

However, Livermore officials want trains to be routed through its downtown. The city is in the midst of a massive downtown redevelopment that will include a 2,000-seat performing arts center, partly financed by Wente Bros. It needs BART to be downtown, too, to carry riders from other cities BART serves to its new downtown and theater.

Comments

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Posted by james
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Yeah. lets sacrifice the peace and property values of individuals so that livermore can have bart right downtown. i wonder how many hundreds of people will be impacted, the blight on neighborhoods it will create, and how many homes lost to emminent domain to build it. of course, i can guarantee you that not one of the "livermore officials" owns a house any where near the proposed downtown livermore route. they won't be inconvenienced or impacted in any way but they dont mind if others are. i'd like to know who these anonymous livermore officials are so they can be removed.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 30, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Does it make sense to run BART to downtown Livermore (just from a use standpoint)? I would imagine the majority of commuters using BART would originate from Livermore to travel to San Francisco or other work related destinations, not from other destinations into Livermore for shopping. To me it would seem finding a large unused plot of land that can accomodate parking for commuters (Livermore and those furher East) makes a lot more sense than trying to fit it into Downtown Livermore.


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Posted by Chuck Swanepoel
a resident of Mariposa Ranch
on Nov 30, 2009 at 9:30 pm

I'm happy to see that BART is including others who will be impacted by the project. Here's a link to the project webpage: Web Link After digging for a bit, I was able to find out what the stated objectives of the project are, details of the various alternatives, and funding sources. Lots of money involved in this one. I'm not sure how mass transit works in communities like ours. I believe the stats show that most of the ridership from the Pleasanton/Dublin BART comes from commuters originating in the Central Valley. Any option considered that doesn't address a better solution for those riders probably isn't focused on the true users of the system. It will also take away from the large investment in the parking structure at the Pleasanton/Dublin station. I'm also under the impression that mass transit works best with high density housing co-located with the transit stops. I don't think any of our Tri-valley communities want that type of development.


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Posted by JohannM
a resident of another community
on Dec 1, 2009 at 8:35 am

I don't know much about the project, but if it means BART is breaking with the car-centric practice of building stations for people to drive to, great! Transit needs to work in this community, and as long as BART makes car ownership a prerequisite for suburban riders, it never will. If this happens (a downtown Livermore station), twenty years hence people will be praising Livermore and wondering why Pleasanton got left behind.


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Posted by T.H.
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 1, 2009 at 9:02 am

This is a big issue that has many ways to look at it. As a P-town resident I think it would be great to have BART go to Livermore. I honestly expected it to be like P-town's station(s) and on the highway. I thought it's best use would be for Tracy area commuters to get on BART and not have to fight traffic all the way to P-Town to do so. I figured also bus routes would be established from the highway station to go places like downtown. P-towners have been worried about the mall getting 'ghettoized' by the new mall station but Livermore welcomes it to their downtown. Whole diffrent outlook.


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Posted by Me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2009 at 9:51 am

You can thank the anti-stoneridge drive extenstion people for the north pleasanton cut through option. When is the City going to start that anyways? It is about time. Or is some fool holding it up in court. I like the Portola option. Why does Pleasanto seem to bear the burden of all of Livermore's transportation decision. Livermore City council is greedy and wants to build commerce to expand thier political (tax) base at the cost of thier residents


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Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2009 at 11:29 am

A BART station in downtown Livermore would certainly make Livermore more accessible to many and increase their visitors. I can see why it's being supported by Livermore City Council.
Thanks Mr. Fialho for insisting that Pleasanton have a say in a matter that affects Pleasanton homeowners.


Like this comment
Posted by D W
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2009 at 3:07 pm

It's about time BART treated Pleasanton like a city and not like a Rodney. We deserve a little respect from the Eastbay's most important public transit system.


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