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Opponents band together to stop Norris Canyon/I-680 project

Original post made on Dec 10, 2011

It didn't take long for opponents of a proposed HOV/Bus access between Norris Canyon and Interstate 680 to organize. They began right at the meeting announcing the first stage of the public process. In fact, one opponent, Jim Gibbon, asked the presenters, "Can the community get together and form a committee to stop it? Most people don't want it."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 11:50 PM

Comments (12)

Posted by Dan Lister, a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

The smart thing to do would be putting an on/off ramp on northbound 680 at executive parkway, which dumps right into the heart of the business park and also provides a direct route to the transit center and the future downtown center.
Let's think simplistic here. Probably a lot less funds and alleviates a whole lot of local stress, as it is only affecting the business park side of freeway!
My idea and I am sticking to it!!

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer
on Dec 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


Did you send this suggestion to Caltrans? I think it's too late now, but here's the email address, Cristin_hallissy@dot.ca.gov.

It's a good idea, but it could cost a lot more because there isn't an existing overpass on the 680 to Executive Parkway. It would require cutting down more of the trees along the Eastern side of 680 and moving a sculpture, so I doubt that would happen.

They could make the connection to Bishop Drive, right before the S turn, which is a good place to put a stop light. It's always tricky turning in or out of the Bishop Ranch Vet parking lot there, so a stoplight would help make that safer too.

I already emailed my suggestions, which were to either use Bollinger Canyon Road or force all vehicles exiting to go East. I'm not sure if that could be done using Norris Canyon, but it would be required for Executive Parkway and/or Bishop Drive, so that's a great idea if Caltrans would consider it.


Posted by ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 12, 2011 at 9:49 am

Not too late Dan and you do have a stellar idea here...One that I would wholeheartedly support if all the details could be mitigated. Concerned CalTrans not as flexible at this juncture however...We'll see, won't we?

Posted by more traffic yay!, a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 13, 2011 at 8:39 am

Jim Gibbon is some bigwig with the Sierra Club. I thought they are for less cars on the road, more carpooling, transit and reducing car emissions.
What the hell is he doing opposing HOV lanes? Knock it off Jim you are fighting against your own people.

Posted by Getting fed up, a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 13, 2011 at 9:03 am

Jim Gibbon and his faithful followers fight against everything. It seems to be the battle that's important, not the issue.

Posted by ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I'd rather, ALWAYS, see BOTH sides presented fairly, as they have been - than rampant if not over-
development take place without a care, concern or time to deliberate...This isn't about the "Sierra Club" boys, it's about doing what's best in the City of San Ramon; what's NECESSARY? -And what, quite possibly? Can be mitigated to improve change FOR ALL. Get it? (one can only hope) Developers DO have a tendency to overrun city interests from time to time, Hm boys?

Posted by Is this that bad???, a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm

I am not sure If I am for this or against it. Since its brand new to most opponents lets look at some of the issues.

Is it possible that this can help both San Ramon residents and non residents? SR residents(especially those who carpool)have a way to avoid having cross over right to exit and go home. Non Residents have improved traffic flow through the SRV to get home faster.

I am sure that a healthy number of the 30,000 BR employees do not live in San Ramon. This seems that it is possible to alleviate local congestion during the two rush hour time frames at least a little.

I really dont see this affecting residential traffic or home values. I cant imagine any short cuts through residential areas unless someone has thought about this. Either way, it seems there can be solutions to that if it is proven to be a problem.

It seems that there are a few people that are against ANY thing that the city proposes. The only problem here is that this is a project by the state (caltrans) and the county (CCTA). They have chosen an existing structure to modify as opposed to starting from scratch. This seems to be a win win from all angles. It addresses traffic and congestion.

I will hold on and do some more research before I get to make any decisions. I hope you all can comment on this too so I can get your insight. BUT, please back up your comments with good solid support, and not any loose and unfounded allegations such as "Bishop Ranches offramp"

Posted by Is this that bad???, a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I guess I am for something like that. Do see much of the negatives, but I am still looking forward to a healthy debate about this. Please no Non sense though.

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer
on Dec 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

@Is this that bad,

You sound like a reasonable person. You might want to read my interview with Alex Mehran.

Web Link

I don't know why some residents dislike Mehran and/or Bishop Ranch. I've been attacked for merely asking him questions and quoting his answers.


Posted by ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 21, 2011 at 10:39 am

Bishop Ranch is a wonderful development (-some flaws, but generally a good anchor in the city) Most of us are glad it's here and few comments that I've read about here? Have, as you seem to think? "attacked" its existence (suggest you LISTEN better)

Now as for Alex Mehran? All many of us have attempted (-yes, attempted) to point out to you? Is that there are TWO sides to every issue and many of us believe he's favored far more "one sided" development solutions as opposed to looking at alternatives.

That's all Roz.


Roz's opinion of "silly"

Posted by San Ramon, a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm

This issue gives us all an opportunity to think about OUR community as a place to preserve and care about. Below are some of the reasons for thought:

Harmful Impacts of the Proposed Ramp at Norris Canyon Road

To start, the impact is significant when considering the difference between the present advantages of the Norris Canyon over-crossing and the harm of a future successful use of the new ramps.

The harmful impacts during the eight hours of commute time will be:

1. Delaying response times by police emergency services from the Police Dept offices to the business park
2. Delaying Fire Dept response times and emergency ambulance services across the freeway
3. Delaying our Emergency Operations Center (E.O.C.) response times in case of an earthquake along the Calaveras fault-line or regional/national emergencies
4. Impacting school bus and parent access to Iron Horse Middle School in the business park from the western side of San Ramon
5. Restricting and delaying local employee access to jobs in the business park
6. Restricting use of the ramp to buses and high capacity vehicles will require local commute traffic to the other two over-crossings
7. Exacerbating traffic problems at Crow Canyon and Bollinger intersections with many more cars
8. Adding neighborhood noise and air pollution at the ramps by diesel buses going up and down the ramps
9. Adding traffic on western Norris Canyon Road from having a new freeway access on that road
10. Adding congestion at the Norris Canyon and San Ramon Valley Road intersection
11. Adding congestion caused by adding another lighted intersection at the middle of the over-pass and too close to San Ramon Valley Blvd
12. Having two different agencies controlling intersection light systems and patterns
13. Adding light pollution caused by large lighted freeway signs required to make the ramps safe
14. Causing a major problem for traffic congestion calming in San Ramon as a whole
15. Adding danger to local children crossing the freeway by foot
16. Making it almost impossible for people with disabilities to cross the freeway on the new over-crossing
17. It will have a direct sociological affect on the lives of the residents along Norris Canyon Road and to a lesser but significant degree on all of the isolation felt by the residents of the Twin Creeks area
18. Adding a $100,000,000.00 financial burden to the county that has little direct impact on traffic
19. Reducing the money available to improve traffic on our other two existing intersections

We should also look at the reasons why or why not something is done. This ramp idea only benefits one side. If it does benefit all of us it harms all of us. I speak as a resident of San Ramon first. I see no conflict in wanting to preserve our community and the natural environment.

PS: Because of our questions and opposition Caltrans has decided to do a 'full' EIR on this ramp idea, not just a negative deglaration.

Jim Gibbon AIA
San Ramon for Open Government

Posted by dave, a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 29, 2011 at 12:59 pm

It does none of those 19 statements. Jim, eventually you will have to show someone where you get these ideas. A new Norris Canyon overpass with bike/pedestrian lanes on each side of the road is bad for children? This is not a $100,000,000 burden to the county. The residents of Contra Costa elected to contribute a portion of their 1/2 cent sales tax toward corridor mobility on 680. 680 and anything spanning 680 is the domain of Cal-trans. Dan Lister, Great suggestion! I'm sure it will be studied as an alternative. I'm sure "No Project" will also be measured as an alternative. Cost/Benefit will also be analized. If this doesn't benefit pedestrians, bikes, transit, and vehicles it will likely never get financed. Let's get the facts before we protest something that can be beneficial to all of San Ramon.

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