SAN JOSE (KPIX) – The San Jose City Council voted unanimously in favor of a plan to re-design and expand the Diridon Train Station that will likely mean years of construction followed by increased trains, traffic and noise for neighborhoods near the tracks.
“To add two more tracks to this neighborhood, I mean they’re going to tear us up. It will destroy property values. It’s not fair. It’s not right,” said neighbor Michael Nolting.READ MORE: Former Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang Touts Basic Income at Mountain View Rally
The city is anticipating a tenfold increase in passengers to the Diridon Transit Center in coming decades as commuter rail, high-speed rail and BART add or expand service. In order to accommodate the increased traffic, the City Council voted for a plan to a second set of tracks parallel to existing ones.
“You definitely have to learn to tune out the noise. Some days, there’s more horn blowing than unusual. The worst is at night because freight trains come through,” says Shobna Swamy whose house is across the street from the tracks.READ MORE: National Park Service Proposes Parking Fees at Popular Bay Area Beaches
The City Council considered an alternate route that would have steered construction away from neighborhoods near the existing tracks. It would have involved building an elevated set of tracks similar to freeway overpass, and would have cost twice as much.
“There’s been an undue burden of significant infrastructure projects in that area. But what we’re looking at and what we’ve studied in depth is what the alternatives are,” says Jessica Zenke, the Transportation Department’s Deputy Director.
The alternate route was ultimately scuttled to the disappointment of neighbors.MORE NEWS: CVS Stores Roll Out Pfizer Booster Shots Across Bay Area
“This will be unbearable. We think it’s hard now. But four? No.” said Carol Williams.