Seldom can a city, a bus company and state highway officials come together to forge a solution to a contentious community issue. But that is exactly what has happened in Fremont, Calif. with the installation of a traffic light, the repositioning of a bus stop and minor re-routing of a bus line.
It is a dramatic victory for everybody involved. And it was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Niles Veterans Hall, 37154 Second Avenue, Fremont. The public is invited.
“We were determined to find a way to keep bus service viable for those who rely on it, while at the same time consider the concerns of residents in the neighborhood,’’ said AC Transit General Manager David Armijo. “We were glad to be part of a collaborative effort to make workable adjustments that have helped retain transit service for the community.’’
Some years ago, AC Transit received a request for service from the Gurdwara Sahib (Sikh Temple) to provide direct transit service to its members. Given the lack of a safe crosswalk on Mission Boulevard, it was determined that a minor re-route of a bus line to the temple would help to meet the request for service. Unfortunately, the minor re-route did not sit well with the surrounding neighborhood that was concerned about safety-related issues associated with buses traveling along the street.
The solution: Ultimately, re-route the bus back to Mission Boulevard.
But to do that would also require installation of a bus stop onto the heavily travelled boulevard which was already deemed unsafe, even for a short walk to the temple.
The solution: install a signal light at the busy intersection.
“This is a wonderful example of how the local community and governmental agencies can join forces to increase public safety and provide transportation improvements for local residents,” said Caltrans District 4, Director Bijan Sartipi. “Caltrans is proud to have taken part in a partnership that provided the right solutions for everyone.”
So, AC Transit — along with the city of Fremont, Caltrans and the Gurdwara Sahib — made it happen. The new bus stop is in place, a traffic signal has been installed at Mission Boulevard and Gurdwara Road in Fremont, and Line 345 has been slightly re-routed back onto Mission Boulevard.
“These changes improve both safety and service along Mission Boulevard, and that is exactly what was needed,” said AC Transit Board member Jeff Davis who represents the area. “With buses no longer turning into the neighborhood to serve the temple on Sundays, everybody is happy.”