The San Carlos project illustrates how Placemaking strategies can help pull together many positive, but somewhat unconnected projects being carried out by the city, transportation agency merchants, and private developers. Moreover, this study created an opportunity for the city to work collaboratively with Caltrans and samTrans to ensure that the redevelopment of vacant sites adjacent to the train station, created during the recently completed grade separation project, would help the city to achieve many of its goals such as tying together the east and west sides of the city, improving pedestrian access and taming El Camino Real to support new development at the train station, creating a "sense of place" at the train station, facilitating transit-oriented development all the while maintaining the feeling of a village.
The efforts in San Carlos are proceeding in two phases, with the second phase involving PPS as a facilitator of the City's Plan of Development for the redevelopment of vacant sites north and south of the train station, owned by samTrans (San Mateo County Transit District) for mixed use (housing, retail, office).
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.