Some Thoughts on Transit Center Parking

by Julie Lovins

From my vantage point a couple blocks southwest of Bush and Villa, here are my two lists for this week: one of problems, another of useful proposals I’ve heard (none of them a complete solution in itself, nor should we expect such). After agreement on these and/or other items, the next steps require hard work by organized volunteers, and someone should step up to lead this effort.


  1. Too many cars (at $1.50 to $3/day!) for parking lot to handle.
  2. Comments of residents south of Evelyn about inconveniences to them caused by on-street parked cars identified as belonging to commuters.
  3. The local VTA buses that are supposed to be “feeders” to and from the station don’t run on schedules or routes that enable them to fulfill this function.
  4. Allowing parking “up to 24 hours” apparently doesn’t fit with the needs of the “overnight” parkers (who commute home by train and work in this area). Where should they be parking?
  5. The Farmers’ Market additional challenge on Sundays.
  6. The ancillary parking lot behind Tied House, owned by the City and used largely by Caltrain commuters, is slated for development.

Toward solutions?

  1. Starting asap, could we do our own very precise parked-car-counts, on a limited number of blocks, with frequent intervals, all hours, identifying them as belonging to residents or to visitors? (Strong opinion: If this is not done, it will be impossible to show the effect of any future changes in the neighborhood that might affect parking habits. Also, needed as a baseline in case we are successful in improving the situation before the City-sponsored parking study occurs.)
  2. Any unrealized potential for additional carpooling to/from the Transit Center by commuters with predictable commute schedules? Resources abound, starting with ‘511’.
  3. Could there be incentives (like free parking spaces?) for vanpools to/ from the station?
  4. Is biking there maxed out?
  5. Can we find out why more people are not taking advantage of the FREE parking available (with a 72-hour limit posted) at the large Park-and-Ride lot at Pioneer and Evelyn? It’s about 10 minutes to the train from there, via walking or light rail. LRT is free with a two-zone Caltrain ticket. Aren’t some commuters parking nearly that far from the station now?
  6. Any nearby off-street parking spaces, public or private, that could be used by or time-shared with commuters, finances TBD?
  7. What space might be available specifically for overnight parkers (other than the VTA lot, above, which already seems to be)?
  8. Forget about a “parking deck” over the current lot? Unfunded, no more permanent a solution than any others–quite aside from HSR planning considerations.
  9. Put informational flyers about parking alternatives on cars that meet group-determined criteria for nuisance value to residents?
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