The Peninsula Corridor Plan (PCP) project work in Belmont was structured so that it would contribute significantly to the City's overall vision planning work that coincided with the PCP project, in addition to identifying issues and opportunities for the areas within one half mile of the Belmont train station. The PCP initiative in Belmont also was crafted to provide specific recommendations to be considered as part of the City's General Plan Update. In fact, this study was ideal to illustrate how Placemaking strategies can help pull together the many positive, but parallel initiatives currently being spearheaded by Samtrans/Caltrain, private developers, merchants, and a variety of City departments.
PPS worked directly with the Places and Urban Design Visioning Committee to outline a series of strategies for: enhancing Belmont's village atmosphere and small town feel; transforming the car dominated village center into a real walkable downtown with a mix of uses and destinations; creating a sense of connectivity, linkage and cohesiveness -- among the neighborhoods, train station, retail area, civic and cultural institutions, and Twin Pines Park; identifying locations and a program of activities for new public gathering places in the downtown; and turning the Belmont Train Station into a gateway and an anchor for the City. It is anticipated that the feasibility of some of these recommendations -- changes to parking, streets, zoning, and land use policies -- will be explored during the General Plan update process.
Transit is a component, but by no means the extent, of your experience at a station that is a place. Memorable and enjoyable stations and stops that create value for neighborhoods are perfectly attainable. In fact, a transit station or stop can serve much more than a transportation function; it can be a setting for community interaction, a place that fosters a diversity of activities.