Last night I attended a community meeting about the Irvington BART station. One of the biggest questions asked was why we need a BART station in Irvington since we already have two BART stations that are only five miles apart. The answer provided was that the station has been planned since 1992 and it is already funded. If it doesn’t get built, Fremont would likely lose the $120 million or so that has been allocated to the project.
The main concerns that were raised about the station were the impacts it would have on traffic and parking in the neighborhood. While a new BART station would reduce overall Bay Area traffic by getting more people out of their cars, it would likely increase traffic in the area around the station as people drive to the station and look for parking. One way to reduce this impact is to have very limited parking at the station and to have a neighborhood parking permit that would prohibit BART riders from parking in the surrounding neighborhood.
The other benefit of a station with a smaller number of parking spaces is that it uses up a lot less land area. The option with the least amount of parking does not required any construction on the east side of Osgood Road whereas the other two options presented would require that the parking be constructed on the other side of Osgood and the walk to the station would be much longer.
A concern raised about the option with fewer parking spaces is that it is unrealistic to expect many people to walk, bike, or take the bus to the BART station. While it is true that this isn’t a convenient option for everyone, we do have two other stations with thousands of parking spaces that can be used by people who need to drive.
I would love to hear your comments on the proposed BART station for Irvington!