The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau acts on legislative issues that will have an impact on your business. We research and review information provided by many resources, including the CalChamber. As our Chamber continues to work towards a more business-friendly climate, we encourage you to become more involved in the process. Following is information on the Valley Transportation Authority's proposed Bus Rapid Transit system. We encourage you to send a letter expressing your opinion to the Santa Clara City Council and VTA. (A link is included for a sample letter.) Together we will make a difference!
The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau is concerned about the changes that the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is proposing regarding a Bus Rapid Transit system on El Camino Real. The proposed project is located along a 17.4-mile portion of the El Camino Real, running from the HP Pavilion in San Jose to the Palo Alto Transit Center. The primary project focus is a system where one lane in each direction of El Camino Real would become dedicated bus-only lanes starting at Lafayette Street and extending through Santa Clara. VTA has presented a total of 5 alternatives for the BRT system, but this is the one that appears to be the primary focus in creating the new system.
The Chamber has the following primary concerns with this project:
- Loss of traffic lanes means slower moving traffic along El Camino Real
- Loss of left turn lanes (more than 10 would be removed along this stretch), making it more difficult to reach businesses along El Camino Real
- Loss of curbside parking
- Not all cities along El Camino Real are in agreement with the plan (Santa Clara City Council voted to support it, while the Sunnyvale City Council opposes the project)
- Impact to businesses-with limited street parking and perceived traffic flow problems, customers may seek out businesses that are located on a more traffic-friendly street, potentially leading to lower sales tax revenues for the City
- Expected time-savings is not worth the impact (estimated to be 10-15 minutes for the entire route)
- Increased flow of traffic on side residential streets due to drivers avoiding the back-up on El Camino Real
The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce has sent a letter to our City Council advising them of our position in opposition to the dedicated lanes and the primary BRT project alternatives. The Chamber understands that there is a need for improved public transportation systems, but not at the expense of the businesses and residents of our community. The Chamber encourages you to send a letter to the council expressing your concerns-to utilize the Chamber’s sample letter, please click here to download. You may copy and paste the letter on your own company letterhead and send it to the Council. Please make sure to send us a copy as well.
We have also created a short survey to receive additional feedback from our members. Please take a few moments to complete our survey by clicking here.
And, should you have any questions, please contact our office at (408) 244-8244 or email Steve Van Dorn, our President & CEO by clicking here. Together, we can continue to make Santa Clara a viable, successful place to live, work and do business!