Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - August 2, 2013

Survey generating helpful data to help Pleasanton commuters

A consulting group is wrapping up an extensive residential survey today to assess current commute patterns and commuter preferences. The survey, managed by Lisa Adamos, the city's economic development specialist, is conducted every three years and provides the city, businesses and transportation agencies with valuable, up-to-date information. City planners, street maintenance staff, traffic engineers, the Wheels bus agency, ACE and even BART use the data to adjust schedules and determine better and more efficient ways of serving Pleasanton commuters. The Park & Ride lot on Johnson Drive at Stoneridge Drive and I-680 was built based on survey data. It is already filled to capacity and a new Park & Ride lot is being considered for Bernal Avenue near 680.

This year's survey involved telephone calls to 350-400 residents asking how they travel to work and around town during weekdays. Separate questions dealt with their views on using public transportation, alternatives such as carpooling, bicycling and walking, and on what changes they'd like to see to make navigating Pleasanton streets safer and more desirable. With the adoption of the city's Clean Air plan and recent enactment of state laws on clean air and emission controls, the survey data will also prove useful in assessing how well the public is signing onto these new rules. The data will assist the city's larger employers in finding greener ways for their employees to travel.

The 2013 data will provide a benchmark that can be used in 2016 when the next three-year survey is conducted. This fall, the Stoneridge Drive extension to El Charro Road and Livermore will open, likely creating new commuter traffic patterns and adding a more direct way to drive between the two cities without using I-580 or Stanley Boulevard. In addition, at least four new high-density apartment complexes could be open by then, adding several thousand more residents in Pleasanton. The 2016 survey will give Adamos and traffic engineer Mike Tassano updated information on how those changes affect Pleasanton as a whole and the opportunity to reassess commuter needs, from new traffic signals to more parking lots to more frequent and additional public transportation options.

Pleasanton employers also have a role in this municipal transportation management program. This month, Adamos will be looking for similar survey responses from 15 of the largest firms on what they are doing to ease the commuting challenges of their employees. Safeway already has an active commuter bus system serving its employees, Apple has buses to serve its Tri-Valley-based employees who are allowed to park at the Fairgrounds, Google has an employee bus that stops in Pleasanton and the Hacienda Business Park is testing a shared vehicle program for those who need to make day trips to other locations. Kaiser Permanente, Oracle, Roche, Clorox and other large Pleasanton-based employers are among companies being surveyed on how they help employees handle commuting needs.

Those who weren't part of the survey can offer their comments on transportation needs in Pleasanton by sending an email to Lisa Adamos at Ladamos@cityofpleasantonca.gov or Mike Tassano at MTassano@cityofpleasantonca.gov/

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