College Heights is designed to promote a sense of community in an oasis free from pollution and traffic noise. Homes are arranged around courtyards, promoting a sense of community and neighborhood and shared space where informal gatherings are spontaneous. Walking is encouraged by well lit paths throughout College Heights. The hub of the community is the Village Square, where the business office, grocery store, and bus-way are located along with the community room and café. A limited number of parking spaces, rented separately from residences, will be located near the Village Square, encouraging homeowners and visitors to own no, or fewer, cars, and to rely more on walking, cycling and transit. Both interior walkways and those surrounding the Village accommodate public safety and emergency vehicles, as well as moving vans, garbage and recycling trucks. However, these roads are constructed using a green paving system, grasscrete, to maintain the aesthetic of the Village. Indeed, College Heights takes “smart growth” to a higher level, incorporating compact development, mixed use, and expanded, alternative transit in a setting convenient to work, home and play.
College Heights makes alternatives to drive-alone travel as convenient and efficient as the auto in suburbia. The project is by no means car-free, but travel modes shift away from cars. Travel times for all destinations, from getting to work, shopping, or a cup of coffee, would be comparable to, or better than, those of suburbia. The plan greatly reduces parking areas and increases use of walkways to reach the units, with the longest walk from the Village Center to the furthest residential unit taking less than five minutes. HOA assets include the Village Bus, a Village Van, and an electrocart. The Village Bus, a small shuttle managed by the HOA, would be fast, frequent, and free. It would run every ten minutes most of the day, taking two minutes to reach the CSUEB campus and six minutes to reach the Hayward BART station. The bus would use numerous rapid bus technologies and electronic fare collection. The Village Van may be used for shuttling kids to school, or other group trips. The electrocart is for resident’s use to move heavy and bulky items to and from their homes. College Heights will reduce auto dependency, but does not eliminate use of cars. The site would have available parking spaces leased at market rates, spaces for car share and car rental. Taxi/Uber/Lyft vouchers could cover important trips where transit does not work and trips home from BART when the Village Bus is not running. No household within the community should need a car routinely. Residents may find they do not need to own a car at all, or can reduce the number they own, and frequency with which they use them.
The Village Bus will provide fast, free, and frequent service to residents – up the hill to California State University and down the hill to the BART station and downtown Hayward, with its restaurants, shops and cinema. The high tech vehicle boasts a hybrid engine with regenerative braking, guided docking, flat, no-step entry, and traffic signal preference. Once possible, and if needed, it will operate 24 hours a day on a reliable, posted schedule. Residents would have an eco-pass to ride free. Others could buy the eco-pass online, or at the Village Square office, the BART station, the University Book Store, or at Automatic Ticket Machines at stops along the route.
Other Mobility Features
Transportation Demand Management (TDM)
TDMs are policies that make sustainable modes faster than cars for many trips. They make it possible, even easy, to live without a car. A TDM is usually an anemic add-on that does not work to get more than 5% mode shift away from cars. For College Heights we propose the most effective TDM ever built in California. We believe our TDM strategy can achieve a mode share for sustainable modes of 60% or more. TDM in College Heights includes many features.
The Village office staff will have information on transit routes and schedules, ride-share, car-pooling, car rental, and some local, affordable off-site parking. They will manage taxi rideshare vouchers for guaranteed ride home health trips for residents as well as the use of the electro carts for delivery of heavy &/or bulky items, and coordinate the delivery of furniture and appliances within College Heights proper. The homeowners’ association will manage the use of the community-owned Village Vans available for taking kids to school and after school programs and for family and community outings for shopping, cultural events and other things residents might want. Bike racks outside the Village office, at each residence and on the Village Bus encourage cycling as do the many walkways throughout College Heights.
- Stop for a quick snack at the café on the way to work or class, or order a meal to eat there or to go
- Shop for this week’s food, or something you forgot, or an impulse craving of the moment at the neighborhood small corner store
- Grab cash at the ATM
- Shop for a gift at the gift shop
- Pick up the mail, or get a package at the office counter
- Drop off the children at daycare
- Attend fun and interesting events at the community center
- Workout at the fitness center, or hike the Foothills Trail
- Relax in the Residents Lounge
Most of us use our cars for carrying stuff. College Heights has a variety of alternatives for things too heavy to carry.
- Heavy bulky items. For moving in, furniture or appliances, the Village office will have an electric cart available. The cart uses a quiet, low-pollution electric motor, avoiding noisy polluting diesel trucks. Moving vans may come in by prearrangement. Delivery vehicles, i.e. USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc., park at the delivery curb next to the Village Center where there will be mailboxes for residents.
- Groceries. For lighter day-to-day items, College Heights will have receptacles in the residences where, by arrangement with the HOA managers, and for a fee, deliveries can be arranged. No-step entries to residences, and vestibules within the units for storage make wagons and pushcarts practical for residents to use.
Visitors and Guests
Visitors coming to College Heights by car can utilize free parking at the Hayward BART station or at the downtown Hayward parking structure and take the Village Bus for a reasonable amount per person one way. Limited parking at College Heights will be charged daily parking fees and there will be time limits with cars that exceed these limits towed at owners expense.