San Jose City Council to discuss Diridon Area Plan tonight

In computer systems, the “BIOS” (which used to stand for “Basic Input Output System”) is the initial code that runs when a PC system is first powered on. After power-on self test (POST) and various other initialization activities, the BIOS code finds CPUs, memory, add-on cards and storage devices before passing control to an operating system such as Windows, Linux, or Solaris.

I’m part of the team that designed and announced the Oracle Sun Server X4-8. This is an x86 computer system with up to eight Intel Xeon E7-8895 v2 processors (for a total of 240 cores), 6 terabytes of RAM, up to 9.6 TB of local storage, 16 hot-swappable PCIe slots and oodles of other features.

We fit all of that into a very dense 5 rack unit form factor. And we still support 16-bit Real mode “legacy” BIOS which has an interface dating to the original IBM PC from 1981. The BIOS interface has been hacked at since then to support the ever increasing capabilities and complexity in modern systems, and some of the hacks are exactly what the word implies — they’re ugly and non-optimal. To exploit the full capabilities of this system, you really should use UEFI BIOS, which was designed to overcome the limitations of an ancient and inflexible computing architecture.

San Jose Diridon Station Plan

Legacy BIOS is familiar and comfortable for system engineers to use, but as its limitations have become increasingly obvious over the past decade, most (all?) large system vendors have overcome institutional momentum to replace legacy BIOS with firmware that implements the newer, more flexible UEFI standard.

BIOS as a metaphor for … what?

San Jose SAP Center Parking

The San Jose City Council will discuss and likely vote on the Diridon Station Area Plan tonight. This plan, once adopted, will provide direction for the 500 acres within a one-half mile radius of Diridon Station in San Jose. This process creates a vision and framework for higher intensity and transit-oriented development (TOD) in the area. Currently, there are 23,000 jobs and 2,700 homes within the plan area. The plan sets an ambitious goal of limiting driving to 40% of trips within the Diridon Station Area. There are some shortcomings, but overall the proposed plan has all of the right things about walkability, bikes and transit access.

The San Jose City Council will vote on the Diridon Station Area Plan tonight, with public comment beginning at 7 PM in Council Chambers. Staff mostly recommends adopting the plan as presented, which includes preserving the current parking minimums in the city zoning code. The map to the right shows parking in the vicinity of Diridon Station in red. Blue is the SAP Center, home of the San Jose Sharks NHL team.

The SAP Center management believes that sea of red is not enough and say they want an additional 20,000 parking spaces. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed seems inclined to agree, and at least half the city council may vote with him to encourage more parking in the area plan.

Andrew covers the issue in much better detail at Streetsblog SF.

The SAP Center management are pushing the comfortable, legacy transportation solution that limits expansion when they tell the city that over 90% of event attendees arrive by car. Their vision for the future builds on what they know, but I’ve heard from several Sharks fans online over the past week that they avoid some events at the SAP Center because of limited public transit options after late night events. You can speak up in favor of flexibility and future expansion tonight at the City Council Meeting by advocating for active transportation and a more desirable, livable community in the vicinity over more parking all the time for visitors.

Do you know the way to San Jose City Hall?

San Jose City Council convenes at 7 PM tonight (Tuesday, June 10, 2014) at City Hall on Santa Clara Street at 5th. It’s the space-age looking complex so it’s hard to miss. VTA buses serving this location include 22 / 522, 23 / 323, 63, 64, 65, 72, 73 and 81.

From Diridon Station, climb aboard any of the eastbound buses with those numbers. You’ll need to walk to Santa Clara Street to catch the 22 / 522 directly across from the SAP Center, or ride a Bay Area Bike Share Bike from Diridon to directly to City Hall, where the bike share station is on 5th at Santa Clara. The free “DASH” downtown shuttle runs from Diridon to 4th Street (a block from City Hall) until 9 PM. DASH goes to half hour headways after 6:30 PM so check the schedule.

Light Rail runs on 1st and 2nd Streets; it’s probably quickest to walk (or bike) from the Santa Clara light rail stations to City Hall.

Bike racks are available at City Hall. Bring good locks. Cable locks are frequently cut at this location.

More information –>


  1. For bike access, see page 63 of the below document.

    Note you can easily get around inside the Diridon plan area by bike. But riding circles around the train station is not enough. For a commute hub you need to be able to leave the plan area by bike. So the relevant part of the plan map is the parameter. Note the arrows and what awaits right off the edge of the map.

    They go on and on about San Fernando, but it only goes east. What about the other three directions?

    Now look at the south end of the map. Note there are no arrows pointing off the map, as there are in other directions. Why, because there are no good options for going south.

    (1) Bird is one option. Note the freeway crossing. If you have not ridden across that, check it out on on google maps and see how you feel about the high speed freeway on/off ramps that must be traversed. A bike lane alone will not help, because they will just end it at the freeway on/off ramps.

    (2) Lincoln is another option. Again no arrow pointing off the map. Why?. Maybe because the bike lane will end at the edge of the map, before it goes under the freeway? How would we know, if the map does not include the freeway underpass.

    (3) What about the Los Gatos Creek trail. Diridon is supposed to be a commute hub. What about wintertime evening commutes. The trail is closed after dark, and the penalty for being in a SJ park after dark is a misdemeanor, not just a citation. Plus its is a very circuitous route from Diridon to Willow Glenn. Add double wide strollers to the many turns, and you can have average speeds <5mph.

    Note the North end of the map.

    (1) The arrows are for the Guadalupe river trail. Same wintertime issues as the Los Gatos Creek trail.

    (2) The new Autumn bike lane runs into Coleman. Coleman according to their plan is supposed to be optimized to take a higher load of car traffic and to have the bike lane removed though. Even if not removed, the bike lane on Coleman only goes a short distance then stops. Autumn does not connect well at all to Vendrom since they are not aligned, and Spring officially dead ends at Coleman, plus both streets are not lighted and its not obvious that the draconian after-dark misdemeanors do not apply to them since they both go through the park.

    In general, I think people will be apply riding within in the plan area, but once you get just right outside the plan area it will be a different story, depending on which direction you are going. The plan should include at least some information how you are going to get to bike routes just outside of the plan area.

  2. See this update….

    The staff report recommends requiring office buildings within a half-mile of the Arena to provide more parking than they need. This is a double wammy. More land will still be used for parking, plus local workers will have no incentive not to drive due to the wide open parking lots at their workplace.

    In a land full of of car sewers and parking craters, Diridon was supposed to be a small island where a different approach was tried, but if you look at the details it looks more like the standard car-first model. Wide fast roads that are difficult to get across, lined with large parking lots that you must walk around. They are just finding loop holes to recreate the standard San Jose model. Its all smoke and mirrors.

    It seems like San Jose uses every attempt to try and derail their unanimously agreed upon General Plan goals for mode share.

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