October 26, 2004

Coyote Valley Vision

Category: Urban Planning

San Jose:If you must incorporate massive population growth, then it's wise to plan the infrastructure supporting that growth in a thoughtful manner. San Jose, quickly on the road to 1 million residents, appears to be doing just that.

Coyote Valley is the tranquil name for a potentially massive development on the city's southern fringe, which has just received a master plan, available for download here. The plan calls for walkable design, discouragement of the automobile, rapid transit, greenways, sustainable urban ecology including wetlands sewage treatment, and all the other great sounding things you would want in a smart development. So as far as the plan goes, it looks pretty good.

However, what actually gets built may not be as idyllic as the plan suggests. Compare these two San Jose Mercury News articles. One praises the plan as the epitome of smart growth while the other derides it as quite the antithisis.

Article One - Critical
Article Two - In Praise

So is Coyote Valley a good plan or not? Well, it may not be perfect, but for a new development it's certainly a step in the right direction, and it's certainly an infinite improvement on the existing development in San Jose, which is pretty much classically mindless suburban sprawl.

I just hope they incorporate Caltrain into the design or the Hwy 101 bottleneck, already insufferable, is going to get infinitely worse.

Posted by Nick at October 26, 2004 5:51 PM