Tonight – San Jose Planning reviews housing near Tamien – parking and station access concerns

City of San Jose is hosting a community meeting to review a housing and mixed use development with up to 440 units of housing and small, 3,000 square foot retail area, near Tamien Caltrain and light rail, on land currently used as a parking lot.  Given the area’s housing shortage, the transit location is a fine place for housing.

Tamien Housing

One question is how VTA will replace the 205 parking spaces. VTA’s proposal is to build a parking structure on the other side of the freeway – however that land is currently used for Caltrain parking.  How will parking and station access be maintained during construction?   And how safe and appealing will the routes be, to and from the parking lot, and to and from the station when the new buildings are built?

Also, less parking would be needed if Caltrain service was more frequent to the Capitol and Blossom Hill stations further south.  The Tamien Station has a high level of driving access, since it effectively acts as a terminal station, since the service frequency for stations further south is so much lower.  Unlike most Caltrain stations, where only a minority of riders get to the station in a car, Tamien station gets ~70% of its riders from the parking lot, and another ~10% dropped off by car.

The good news is that there is a proposal for more frequent Caltrain service south of Tamien included in the VTA “Call for projects” for funding from the 2016 sales tax. However, the spending plan is not yet set, and the ballot measure has not yet passed.

If you support the idea of housing near transit, that’s also important to say – the region faces a housing shortage that is driving up prices – housing in transit-friendly locations is helpful.

If you’re interested in these issues, the open house is this evening, Elks Lodge 522, Willow Room
444 West Alma Avenue, San Jose, 6-7pm

If you can’t make the meeting, send your thoughts in writing to the City of San Jose, VTA, and Caltrain, and feel free to send us a copy.