Traffic Jams

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October 26  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Traffic Jams: they can sour every trip we take in Santa Clara County.

That’s why we support Measure B. Like a jigsaw puzzle, Measure B puts all the pieces together for a sweeter commute:

* First, we finish the job on BART, bringing it to East San Jose, San Jose State, the SAP Center and all the way to Santa Clara University.

* Second, we link BART with an electrified Caltrain, at the SAP Center and across the street from Santa Clara University, for rapid rail around the entire Bay Area.

* Third, we ensure seniors, the disabled, students and working families have the lifeline and core transit service they deserve.

* Fourth, we build bicycle and pedestrian improvements, especially near our schools, including our 10 universities and colleges.

* Fifth, we improve highway interchanges and all 10 County Expressways.

* Finally, one of every five dollars fills potholes in all 15 cities and towns.

Traffic jams have turned our commute sour. Measure B makes them sweet again.

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Traffic Relief we Need, Accountability we Deserve

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October 19  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Okay, truth be told – I hate taxes. I just hate traffic more.

So why am I leading and funding a traffic relief and road repair initiative on the November ballot – known as Measure B?

First, Measure B provides the traffic relief, transit alternatives and road repair funds we need:

  • We finish the job in bringing BART to Silicon Valley, with stations at Alum Rock, next to San Jose State, the SAP Arena and Santa Clara University.
  • We build on the electrification of Caltrain commuter rail service, to add capacity and safety improvements.
  • We fund street maintenance and pothole repairs in all 15 cities and towns.
  • We ease traffic on all 10 County Expressways – like Almaden, Capitol, Lawrence and San Tomas.
  • We fix interchanges on all 8 Highways that tie us up in traffic knots, like 87, 17, 237, 85, 101, 280, 680 and 880.
  • And we don’t leave our senior citizens or those with disabilities stranded at the curb, by ensuring lifeline and core transit service for those without cars or no longer able to use their cars.

Second, Measure B ensures the accountability provisions we deserve:

  • With Annual Independent Audits,
  • A Citizens Watchdog Committee to oversee the funds,
  • And a 2/3 vote requirement at the ballot box, so that every dollar can only be used for the specific traffic improvements in the measure.

Santa Clara County is a great place to live and work, but traffic congestion taxes my patience. With Measure B, we start to unlock the gridlock with guarantees needed to ensure accountability.

Learn for yourself at

Puzzled by Traffic Congestion

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October 7  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Are you puzzled by the traffic congestion that has crippled our region? Then join us to pass Measure B – for Better Commutes & Better Roads – on the November ballot.

Like a Jigsaw Puzzle, each piece of Measure B is important on its own, but fits together like a Jigsaw Puzzle for countywide congestion relief, transit alternatives and road repairs to fix the crumbling conditions of our local streets & roads.


First, it finishes the job on bringing BART to downtown San Jose and on to Santa Clara, connecting to Caltrain Commuter Rail service with platform-to-platform transfers.

Second, it builds on the electrification of Caltrain, which begins in 2020, so that we have “rapid rail around the entire Bay Area,” with vital capacity & safety improvements for Caltrain passengers.

Third, it ensures we have lifeline service and core transit service for seniors, people with disabilities, students and people of modest means.

Fourth, we finally add a “Transit-only solution” in the empty “center median” in Highway 85 – long preserved yet never funded until Measure B.

Fifth, we fund bike and pedestrian safety improvements, especially near our schools.

Sixth, we fix 20 key interchanges and auxiliary lanes on Highways 101, 280, 680, 17, 87, 237 and 85.

Seventh, we improve all 10 County expressways, easing congestion on each expressway and taking the pressure off of adjoining neighborhood streets.

Finally, nearly one of every five dollars will improve local streets and fix potholes in all 15 cities and towns.

Measure B is like a Jigsaw Puzzle with each piece vital on its own, yet fits together to provide comprehensive, countywide traffic relief. For more details, visit

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We Need an Army, Not an Audience

August 31  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino
Lawrence traffic

Lawrence Expressway

Here’s food for thought . . . In Silicon Valley, we don’t need an audience, we need an army.

On Tuesday, it took me 60 minutes to travel seven miles on Lawrence Expressway.

And I was in the carpool lane. It’s past time that we stopped fuming, and starting fixing the traffic congestion problems that plague our daily commutes.

It makes me more motivated than ever about our three-plus year effort to pass Measure B, for Better Commutes and Better Roads. Designed by traffic engineers and transportation professionals, Measure B will have a Game-Changing impact on key corridors like Lawrence, which will go from a “Level of Service F,” – near gridlock in the a.m. and p.m. commutes – to “Level of Service A” – near free-flow – throughout the day.

Please, learn more at

But back to our need for an army, not an audience, if Measure B is to be successful on November 8. In Silicon Valley, in our community, we don’t need an “audience” –

>> An audience is interested; but an army is involved
>> An audience sits back; while an army stands up
>> An audience puts others down; while an army lifts others up

Join me. Enlist today. Contact me directly at 408-501-7864, or visit Let’s get Silicon Valley moving again.

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BART and Caltrain, On-Track and Ready to Roll

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August 17  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . BART and Caltrain, on-track and ready to roll.

This week, Governor Brown’s Secretary of Transportation, Brian Kelley, announced the 14 transportation improvements that are recipients of the highly competitive “Cap-and-Trade” funds.

Two of the top priorities from around the state are $20 million to help complete the planned electrification of Caltrain, and $20 million for Segment 2 of our BART extension to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara.

Like peanut butter and chocolate, BART and Caltrain are two great systems that are even better together.

And they will, when voters approve the VTA’s Traffic Relief and Road Repair measure on the November 8 ballot. The second segment of our BART extension will bring the popular line from Berryessa in north San Jose to Alum Rock, downtown San Jose near San Jose State University, the Diridon Station at SAP Center, and on to Santa Clara, immediately across from Santa Clara University.

Both the Diridon Station and the Santa Clara Station will link BART with Caltrain, which will start to be electrified by 2020. Yes, our 60 year dream of Rapid Rail around the Bay is within reach.

The Governor’s decision to invest Cap-and-Trade funds for our BART extension underscores the State’s long-term commitment to Segment two. As Transportation Secretary Kelley wrote when announcing the funds, the state plans for a long-term, multi-year funding commitment to bring BART to downtown San Jose and on to Santa Clara.

BART and Caltrain. Some things simply go better together. And when it comes to easing our crippling commutes, we are one election away from making this dream a reality.

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We Can Whine or Win

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July 25  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . We can whine or we can win.

In can-do Silicon Valley, rather than cry and complain about problems, we have a history of working together to solve them.

This November is a clear case in point. For three-plus years, hundreds of private and public sector leaders have collaborated on a Traffic Relief and Road Repair measure that the Valley Transportation Authority recently voted to place on the November 8 ballot. Their 12-0 unanimous vote underscores the thoughtfulness of their process, the need for meaningful countywide congestion relief, the importance of the improvements called for in the allocation plan, and the broad coalition of support the measure enjoys.

The traffic relief improvements called for in the measure are not only important individually, but work together collectively:

* Complete the BART extension to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara
* Greatly increase Caltrain commuter rail capacity, including safety improvements at grade crossings
* Build cost-effective transit alternatives in the Highway 85/West Valley corridor
* Strengthen basic transit service for seniors and the disabled
* Ease traffic on all eight county expressways
* Improve key highway interchanges to alleviate congestion on Highway 101, 280, 880, 17, 85, 237 and 87
* Fix potholes and improve streets in all 15 cities and towns
* Provide bike and pedestrian improvements, especially near schools

Traffic congestion is one of the most challenging problems plaguing our Valley. Whining about it does nothing. Working together to win approval of a countywide Traffic Relief & Road Repair measure this November is how we strengthen Silicon Valley. To get engaged, call me personally at 408-838-4848.

Fight for Flights

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April 6  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought … San Jose Airport is taking off.


In the past three years, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has actively championed several international flights out of San Jose International Airport:

  • ANA to Tokyo began January 11, 2013
  • Hainan Airlines to Beijing began June 15, 2015
  • British Airways to London starts May 4, 2016
  • Air Canada to Vancouver starts May 9, 2016
  • Lufthansa to Frankfurt starts July 1, 2016

It’s time to look within the U.S. rather than just abroad. Our recent survey of 120 executives identified some of the top domestic destinations:

  • New York City
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Chicago
  • Boston
  • Seattle

If given a preference based on convenience or cost, 89 percent would prefer flights from San Jose Airport, 3 percent from San Francisco Airport. Now the hard part: trying to convince airlines to care about the choices and concerns of their customers – and making the business case for multi-billion dollar decisions.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group will fight for flights. Please join us.

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Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project

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March 9  |  Education, Housing, Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . There are two ways to weather a storm – buy umbrellas or build boats.

In Silicon Valley, to battle the economic storms of international competition, the better way – the most successful way – is to build boats that lift everyone in our Valley when the inevitable rainstorms occur.

That’s why we commission the “Silicon Valley Competitiveness & Innovation Project,” in partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, comparing Silicon Valley with the other top five tech regions in the United States, as well as international regions like London, Seoul, Berlin and Beijing.

The findings – like our Valley – show that we have “high-highs” and some “low-lows.”

Our strengths are to be celebrated:
* Talent, risk-capitol and R&D, idea generation, commercialization and business innovation, labor productivity and jobs in innovation industries.

Our challenges are to be assessed and addressed:
* Cost of doing business, home and rental rates, traffic congestion, math proficiency in 8th grade, reading proficiency in 3rd grade and pre-school enrollment.

Take traffic – The average Silicon Valley commuter loses 75 minutes each week due to traffic congestion, above their normal commute time. As a region, we lose $5.4 billion annually due to congestion – in lost productivity, vehicle wear and tear and increased gas usage. During commute hours, our economy – literally – comes to a stand-still.

Concerned? Read more at Silicon Valley is still the innovation engine of the world, but resting on our laurels will move us from the driver’s seat to the back seat, which we cannot allow to happen.

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I am now “High” on High-Speed Rail

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February 19  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . I’m now “high” on High-Speed Rail.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is poised to pivot, adjusting their work-plan to come first to San Jose and Silicon Valley, rather than building first toward Los Angeles.

Why does this matter? For Silicon Valley commuters, this is a convergence of commute alternatives in-tune with the innovation economy:

First, High-Speed Rail between the Silicon Valley and Central Valley, linking Fresno in 1 hour, Merced in 45 minutes and Gilroy in just 15.

Second, with our efforts to electrify Caltrain where High-Speed Rail and Caltrain will converge in Downtown San Jose, we will double the number of people who can use Caltrain on a daily basis, from 60,000 to 120,000 daily trips.

Third, the BART extension to downtown San Jose, connecting with High-Speed Rail and Caltrain, means rapid rail throughout the Bay Area and beyond.

For those balancing housing costs with horrific commutes, High-Speed Rail to San Jose is also a game changer. For that teacher, fire fighter or police officer working in an expensive Silicon Valley city, a home in Gilroy is suddenly a 15-minute commute. Merced? Just 45 minutes.

Silicon Valley is a land of opportunity for many. High-Speed Rail, linked with electrified Caltrain and BART to downtown San Jose, expands that opportunity for tens of thousands of citizens for quicker commutes and more affordable homes.

Let’s build.

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Pothole 1, Prius 0

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February 4  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Pothole and PriusHere’s food for thought . . . . Pothole 1, Prius 0.

On Wednesday morning, I had one of those “is this happening to me” moments, while traveling to Sacramento for meetings with some top legislative leaders – ironically, to discuss transportation funding for road maintenance and pothole repairs.

After descending the Altamont Pass, driving between two rather large trucks in the center lane, my back right tire literally blew up after hitting an especially bumpy patch of road. As my car pulled in one direction closer to the semi-truck to my right, I was able to get around the truck and over two lanes onto a very narrow shoulder before my car became inoperable.

AAA was/is awesome, but it was a 90-minute wait until the tow truck arrived, as it was hard to pinpoint precisely where I was – until technology stepped in by using Waze to better direct the tow truck driver to my location. Thanks Google!

I was lucky that I didn’t get into a serious accident. And I had a wonderful surprise when – after reading my tweet about the blow-out – East Bay Congressman Eric Swalwellasked if he or his staff could be of help. Now THAT is constituent service.

The incident with the pothole was a visceral reminder as to why California needs to get serious about better maintaining our 50,000 miles of state highways, 15,000 bridges and our extensive local street and road network. It also reinforces why the Silicon Valley Leadership Group believes any future local transportation ballot measure in November must include funds to repair and maintain our roads.

San Jose Mayor Liccardo jokes that potholes in San Jose have been “re-purposed” into “traffic calming devices,” and I often joke that with El Niño, our potholes can be used for neighborhood swimming pools. On Wednesday morning, the joke was on me – and my wallet – after shelling out $500 for new tires and roadside assistance.

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