Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Not letting the "Interchange to Nowhere" force additional sprawl in Coyote Valley

The San Jose General Plan Task Force talked about backloading development in North Coyote Valley and east Evergreen. I'm actually writing this during the meeting and will soon have my very short chance to comment.

Unfortunately there was one objection to backloading which couldn't be more wrong but I won't have time to address.  One person said that the state spent money building infrastructure in Coyote Valley, so it would be wrong not to promote development there.

What I would say, if I had time, would be to say that the state spent money widening Highway 101 and on building the Bailey Avenue/Highway 101 Interchange.  Widening Highway 101 was done for many reasons for better or worse and isn't dependent on developing Coyote Valley.  The commenter may appreciate Highway 101's widening, without needing to support development of Coyote Valley.

The Bailey Interchange, however, could probably be known better as the Interchange to Nowhere - a massive, expensive construction designed to funnel tens of thousands of non-existent commuters to non-existent jobs in Coyote Valley.  A significant portion of the useable lifetime of the structure has passed and will pass for no reason with no justified use - think of the actually useful things that could have been done with that money.  The Interchange to Nowhere isn't a reason to double down on a mistake; it's a glaring example of why sprawl is a gigantic waste of taxpayer money.

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