PALO ALTO (KCBS)— Parking could be getting even harder to find in downtown Palo Alto. Valley Transit Authority (VTA) is proposing that one lane in each direction on busy El Camino Real be dedicated for rapid buses.
The El Camino Real BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) Project would eliminate more than 250 parking spaces. The Palo Alto City Council voted Monday night to oppose the proposal. City Councilman Pat Burt said it would also result in more gridlock.
“When we looked at it, the number of additional cars that might come off the road as a result of slightly faster bus rapid transit is far fewer than the number of cars that would be displaced from El Camino and driven onto side arterials like Alma that are already near gridlock,” Burt said.
He said councilmembers support BRT, but not if it means giving up one traffic lane.
VTA spokeswoman Brandi Childress said having a dedicated lane would make a big difference.
“The dedicated lane option competes with car travel if we build out full dedicated lanes. We’re looking at finding the best transit solution for this corridor and a dedicated lane gets us there,” said Childress.
Childress said while having a dedicated lane would be the best option, they are looking at seven possible alternatives.
A bus rapid transit line from Eastridge to the Shark Tank is currently being constructed.