Residents, cyclists, families, students and neighborhood leaders gathered on Monday, August 23 to speak about the plan for Diridon Station. With an upcoming September San José City Council vote, the group voiced their concerns on the existing three conceptual alternatives that were presented at a city sponsored meeting on August 7.
The main topics on the agenda were land use issues, parks and open space, pedestrian and cycling issues, and parking. Many felt that with two major sports venues, an office and R&D center located to the north of the HP Pavilion, and a major expansion of Autumn Street, the character of the area would deteriorate to a car oriented train and sports district instead of a livable walkable community.
Many of the cyclists in the room felt that the city just doesn't appreciate the wonderful opportunities to expand the bicycle infrastructure. With fewer roadway and parking requirements, easier accessibility to downtown destinations, and the lack of noise and air pollution that cycling provides, many thought this plan would be an excellent opportunity to make some positive changes.
Also during these rough economic times the bicycle means less stress to one's pocket book which means there is more money to spend in our community. But for that shopping to take place the stores must be on a smaller scale than the proposed "freeway oriented retail" which is another name for big box retail. Instead of freeway oriented retail residents should be demanding "pedestrian oriented retail" for the Diridon Station Area.
One shining example of a development that lacks accessibility for bicycles is the recently developed San José Market Center (as well as the Lowe's development a mile up the road).
As you can see in the in the aerial view below the shopping center not only faces away from Diridon Station but offers very little access to pedestrians or bicyclist. What the women in the picture sees in the photo on the left is the backside of the Target store though two layers of six foot high fencing.
Show support for a more beautiful more people-friendly train station. Help us by showing your support for our manifesto for a more bikeable Diridon Station.