Danville is focusing on making the most of what it already has when it comes to making life better for commuters, Tai Williams, the town's community development director said.
"What we're really going to be looking for is ways of accommodating mobility in the future by maximizing how we use our existing infrastructure. As we deal with traffic congestion, we're not going to be looking at widening roads, we're going be looking at using our current roadway system more efficiently," she said.
Williams noted that for the most part, there's not much congestion in Danville on the 24-hour scale.
"Morning and evening, we certainly have concentrated areas of congestion," Williams said, pointing to TRAFFIX, which moves students to and from San Ramon Valley Schools as a good approach to solving one particular problem.
Williams said every year, Danville picks a corridor and fine tunes how its signals work.
"You synch a signal so that large platoons of vehicles can move at the same time," she explained.
The town will wait to see how new technologies, such as smart traffic lights that can communicate over long distances about traffic flow, work out elsewhere before investing in them.
"We don't see the town investing in technologies in certain ways. The way we would see our role is facilitating technologies in vehicles in the future," Williams said. "We would look to see where the technology is headed before we jump in."
She said unlike San Ramon, Danville is primarily a residential community and its focus is on quality of life issues, not moving large contingents of traffic into and out of town.
San Ramon and Danville are about to embark on a transit connectivity study to see what types of transportation can be shared between the two.
Meanwhile, San Ramon is planning how it will handle increasing transportation, according to Lisa Bobadilla, transportation services division manager.
"If we don't think beyond the next five, 10, 15 years -- if we're not planning now for beyond, we're going to have an area at a standstill. That's not just people getting to and from work. It affects everything," Bobadilla said. "With the growth, we're going to see more cars, but our hope is to provide people with alternatives."
While many would like to see BART or some kind of light rail to connect to BART, Bobadilla said that's unlikely at best, noting that it would require buying land for the railway itself and for a parking structure as well.
Which means buses are especially important for San Ramon's future, and Bobadilla said one solution is making public transit more practical.
"There were studies that were done for the San Ramon Valley to look at what type of transit-related improvements can be made through the valley. We are seeing a slow recovery from the recession. We are seeing a slight increase in sales tax dollars, and we are getting ready to update the express bus study," Bobadilla said. "We want to see more localized bus service through neighborhoods. The transit services aren't doing that today."
She said not everyone can use fixed bus service, pointing to hotel workers as an example of people who need to come and go at odd hours.
Beyond buses, Bobadilla likes the idea of something called realtime rideshare to get people to and from their destinations
"Using your iPhone, and having a network of people, you send them a text or an email -- 'I'm on 680 going to...' or 'I'm at the Walnut Creek BART station,'" she explained. "It's at the very beginning phases of planning."
The advantage for riders is convenience and the expense of a cab, which just adds to the number of cars; the advantage for drivers is that they get to use the high occupancy vehicle lanes.