Thursday, March 30, 2006

Doing everything possible to discourage transit

It is amazing that anybody rides transit in California. It seems transit agencies are doing everything possible to encourage people to even be able to access transit. In Sunnyvale, a functional dirt path provided direct access to the station platform. With the entrance closed, prospective passengers must now walk about 4-5 additional blocks and cross 4 active train tracks. And even more ridiculous was their reason for closing it - an ADA complaint.

The ADA was used as an excuse for limiting access. I wonder if the same could be done for freeways. We could file an ADA complaint that a freeway ramp is not accessible to those in wheelchairs, and have it shut down for a few months. Or maybe even a road - many lights do not have adequate cross time for handicapped people. The roads should be closed for community meetings until those could be resolved.

But ADA was not all - parking was used as another complaint. I've been to the neighborhood north of the station, and seen tons of abundant street parking. Yet, people are complaining that others are actually using this street parking. Welcome to Sunnyvale, a place where parking spaces could easily outnumber residences, and where everyone wants their spot to be all to themselves.

Message from Caltrain regarding Sunnyvale, CA station:

Thank you for your comments concerning the closing of the fence on the east side of the Sunnyvale station. ADA proponents recently made an official complaint stating that the hole in the fence was a de facto entrance - which it never was - and therefore had to be made ADA compliant. On the other hand, neighbors have complained about Caltrain passengers parking their cars along Hendy and in adjoining streets. The Sunnyvale Department of Transportation and Traffic will be holding community meetings concerning this issue - probably in April - to try to come up with a final solution. Meanwhile Caltrain will be keeping the fence closed.
Caltrain Customer Relations Specialist