The outcome of Measure Y, one of two local measures on the Nov. 3 ballot, will have a direct impact on the ability of the Valley Link light rail system to establish a station in Tracy.
That is a major concern of a group of local people who have formed a committee to support the ballot measure, according to Dino Margaros, chairman of the ad hoc committee.
“Without a Transportation Oriented Development plan (TOD) centered in downtown Tracy, made possible by the passage of Measure Y Nov. 3, Valley Link trains will pass through Tracy without stopping here; there can be no Plan B,” said Margaros, who is also executive director of the Tracy City Center Association, which promotes development of downtown Tracy.
Measure Y was placed on the Nov. 3 ballot by a 4-1 vote of the Tracy City Council, and it would provide an exception to the home-building cap that is one of the provisions of the growth management ordinance created by Measure A.
Because Measure A was approved by Tracy voters in 2000, it requires a vote of the public to amend its provisions.
Margaros said the “Yes on Y” committee plans to create a series of eight short interviews geared for viewing on social media, to explain the importance of Measure Y and to correct what he feels are misunderstandings voiced by some social media users. The interviews will be given by a cross-section of Tracy residents along with Valley Link officials.
He pointed out that the proposed Tracy transit-oriented development plan must cover areas within a quarter-mile of the Tracy Transit Station, which the city built a decade ago at the cost of $12.3 million. The designated areas include the downtown, the Bowtie area between Fourth and Sixth streets, and another area east of MacArthur Drive to Chrisman Road that’s designated as “Urban Reserve.”
Mixed-use developments would be encouraged to take place in these areas to provide easy access to transportation through use of pedestrian walkways, bicycle paths and public transit, Margaros said.
The Bowtie area has special potential, Margaros pointed out. It would have a mixture of uses, including “workforce housing” for first-time and middle-income homebuyers and renters, along with a multi-story parking structure financed by the Valley Link system.
He added that Valley Link is requiring transit-oriented development areas close to all its stations. Cities with already-approved plans for transit-oriented development include Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore.
The Valley Link light rail system, scheduled to be in operation by 2028, will have trains running between Lathrop and the Pleasanton BART station every 12 minutes on weekdays and 24 minutes on weekends, with the expectation of removing a third of the cars crossing the heavily congested Altamont Pass.
Margaros said additional information on the TOD program is available on the TracyDowntownTOD.org website established by the city of Tracy.