Thursday, August 10, 2017

Caltrain electrification is a shame and shill for California's High Speed Rail wasteful boondoggle.  What's worse is that Caltrain/HSR continues to block completion of BART Around The Bay which will serve far more people as a true "Mass Transit" system than a long-since outdated, congesting, pollution-causing, dangerous street-level 55-70mph "unstoppable" million-pound trainset.

Local Democrat politicians and "leaders", such as Silicon Valley Leadership Group's public policy CEO, Democrat Carl Guardino and others perpetrated an untruthful story to Truimp's Washington D.C. Department of Transportation Director, Elaine Chao, that somehow Caltrain Electrification is a separate project from High-Speed Rail.

In fact, since 1995 they have been unified projects, as confirmed by CHSRA's Chairman Dan Richard and S.F. Mayor Ed Lee.  Indeed, when I joined the pro-Caltrain predecessor advocacy group on October 6, 1982, yes 1982, at a kickoff meeting at the behest of then County Supervisors Susanne Wilson and Rail Zealot-at -any-cost-to-taxpayers Rod Diridon, another advocate engaged me in a conversation about the then SP, later Caltrain, Peninsula Corridor being for high-speed rail such as exists in Japan (Tokyo - Osaka route).  Apparently, Diridon had become smitten with HSR upon a visit there.

It is a real shame that all Democrat-led San Jose and Peninsula cities (aka Silicon Valley) and voters allow themselves, to their detriment, to act as dumbbell "suburbs" to narcissistic San Francisco politicos who don't care about their lower Peninsulas residents and communities' well-being, safety, and quality-of-life.

The release of Facebook's $1M Dumbarton Corridor study plus urban planning's SPUR suggestion to extend Caltrain/HSR from SF to Oakland with a new tunnel under the Bay validates my long-time asserting that the cost to extend BART around the Bay the final 30 miles to Millbrae, which will tap every city that any resurrected Dumbarton rail project will "serve", will be the same or less than the ultimate Caltrain/HSR configuration--and serve and carry far more people ("masses"), employ more directly and indirectly, electrified, frequently, safer, and with the bonus of higher farebox recovery.

So, where do we go from here?  I suggest that our Central Valley HSR opponents, legislators, Congressmen, and federal DOT Director and staff demand that any future release of tax monies to Caltrain/HSR require an alternative analysis to study a few configurations of BART 30 miles from San Jose to Millbrae, replacing Caltrain/HSR tracks with BART's, plus one for the occasional freight train, to close the long-planned "loop" and thus create a two-way BART system to not only serve regular one-way commutes, but also provide reliable redundancy station access from the other direction in case of track, equipment, medical or protest shutdown obstructions.

Let our HSR opposing Congresspersons know about this!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

SF Warriors Arena would be better served by BART Around the Bay than by keeping deadly, outdated Caltrain.

It is time to start planning to extend BART down the Peninsula to future Santa Clara station to complete the BART Around The Bay dual (two-way) loop to be able to collect and distribute riders to the new arena, University, downtowns, shopping (Hillsdale, Newpark, Stanford, Southland, SF Market-Union, etc) travel facility and other Bay Area venues with the most efficient, safer, frequent, Zero-congestion heavy rail system that has proven its worth, 70% farebox recovery--highest of any transit system in the Bay Area. To save big $, BART should replace outdated, Deadly Caltrain (18 killed by Caltrain this year, twice BART deaths (suicides) and no car-train accidents. By replacing the Caltrain Killtrain, and keeping a separate freight single track, Caltrain excess land is freed up for sale in SF (Mission Bay) and elsewhere to help pay for BART extension down the Peninsula.BART's average ridership exceeds 435,000/day vs deadly Caltrain's (Democrats placeholder for future HSR) meager 60,000/day and that requires transfer delays at each end, unlike BART's homogeneous, integrated,unified system. Last year's Warrior celebration had BART carrying over 550,000 riders--without even the Peninsula extension. 775 new BART cars are coming starting in 2017, too.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

More blogging on BAB, ACE, and the SF Peninsula Corridor highest use - BART

More blogging about if CAHSR cannot be stopped, then HSR should use the SJRRA/ACE corridor to reach the Bay Area, SJ and SF via the East Bay Capitol Corridor/Amtrak trackway, leaving the Peninsula Corridor to replace the 1864 Civil War era deadly street level Caltrain trackway to far more efficient, safe, non-congesting, high-capacity, dual directional, effective BART to connect the final 30 miles from Millbrae to Santa Clara with a united consensus to really move people via backbone, integrated, one-seat, single (but bidirectional redundancy to reach all points around the Bay in case of a track incident). Amtrak does not use the Peninsula Corridor. HSR need not as well to SF.

Since BART is already in core Downtown SF and coming to core SJ, and 15 miles down the Peninsula, it only makes tax, transit, and TDM sense to finish BART's loop around the Bay, even before consideration of a second transbay tube, new SF subways (SF Supervisor Weiner's Sept 2015 proposals) --for about the same cost as "upgrading" Caltrain for HSR and special HSR SF tunnels, and Dumbarton Rail resurrection within the pristine Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge in the southern SF Bay. If HSR's unconstitutional 2008 Ballot Prop 1A, can be revoted for regional rail needs, then finishing the BART bidirectional loop around the Bay integrating the major Bay Area cities, shopping malls, universities, entertainment venues, and airports with a one-seat, safer, more frequent, high-capacity, more reliable Bay area non-stop access redundancy near the backbone BART railway and TOD projects. Posted to CHSRA - Caltrain blog.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

If HSR cannot be stopped, then best to run HSR on ACE-SJRRA tracks. Here's why...

If HSR cannot be stopped and bond funding re-allocated to regional projects instead of destroying farm and ranchlands, and wasting funds competing with at least tax and fee-paying 5 LA-SF intercity private coach companies--and similarly airlines, then the best route for HSR into the Bay Area, and San Jose, is via the ACE and SJ trackway both due to heavier population centers enroute, Livermore, Pleasanton, etc (not Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Lodi, Galt, etc,). This would be consistent with Amtrak which does not go from SJ to the SF dead-end track. Amtrak relies on local transit and rail BART and deadly, outdated, street-level Caltrain. 227 people have been killed in accidents or easy-access suicides since the CHSRA and Democrat political establishment thought to use Caltrain's Peninsula Corridor tracks from SJ to SF deadend in 1995. At least 16 have died on Caltrain-HSR tracks in this most dense Bay Area Peninsula Corridor this year alone--with more to come as regularly as the months arrive on our calendar. With HSR using ACE-SJRRA tracks instead to the Bay Area, then, over the next 15 -20 years BART can finally complete the long-envisioned, extraordinarily bi-directional, high (double current) capacity, safe Bay Area backbone rail loop at "minimal" cost ~$13 Billion, but totally grade-separated making suicides more difficult and vehicular accidents impossible--thus reducing rider delays and increasing efficiency and likely farebox recovery up from BART's current 70% farebox rate.

 There are so many advantages to running HSR on ACE/SJRRA tracks to Oakland (Jerry Brown's hometown) and San Jose/Silicon Valley, rather than uniquely through new environment-destroying Pacheco Pass tunnels and UNP-owned tracks into SJ then deadending in SF. Coming via ACE & SJRRA tracks to Richmond/Oakland could be an economic boon to these cities (example: Oakland's proposed Coliseum City complex and venues)while providing a straight trackway to Sacramento, again, though the proven heavily-traveled I-80 (Capitol Corridor trackway)corridor.

This dual concept (HSR via ACE+SJRRA, complete, one-seat, integrated, bidirectional, electrified, ...) Bart Around The Bay Loop would do more to reduce ICE automobile congestion-induced GHG/Carbon emissions while boosting economic vitality along all corridors while reducing congestion thus restoring highway capacity for vehicular long or very short distance mobility.

 This is really a no-brainer to maximize rail and motorist, general fund, highway tax and fees, cap-and-trade dollar use.
From a legacy standpoint for the Governor's Brown, son Jerry would be completing one of his father's, Pat, most profound public service projects --BART Around The Bay in which Pat Brown was governor in 1962 at the initial BART groundbreaking ceremony--with LBJ!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Simitian's 8/6/15 outrageous and desperate "80%" sales tax to BART versus deadly Caltrain/ aka HSR comments

Reference recent article in local media (~August 6, 2015) citing Supervisor, former State Senator, and former Palo Alto City Council (PA) and and prior land-use attorney about spending county sales tax monies for BART for San Jose--ignoring that PA and county-wide voters overwhelmingly support BART, and, I submit, BART Around The Bay.  To get around the SF Bay, BART must first come to SJ, Santa Clara, then up the Peninsula, and/or down the Peninsula to finish the final 30 miles to close the bay area loop to make BART the most effective transit system in the West!  But, the state Democrat political machine, of which Simitian is a key member, is hell-bent to continue dangerous, deadly Caltrain as the outdated, human sacrificing, HSR surrogate (same track size, unlike BART's) where over 220 people have died on its tracks since he, Senator Hill, and other Dem's were first elected to office in the early 1990's Lives don't seem to matter over their Democrat political HSR allegiance.  

Thus, Simitian's "80%" comments are aimed at those uninformed or easily suckered that he is grossly taking advantage of in the worst way of any politician.   

This alleged 80% 'social justice' transportation inequity is the worst of Simitian's despicable demagoguery on the human sacrificial deadly Caltrain-High Speed Rail tracks.  It is another outcropping of the strongly state Democrat-machine backed HSR vs BART and other transit ops battle and his desperate attempt to rejoin the pro-HSR power block of crony-Capitalist profiteers and crony-Socialist Big Government Soviet style urban density advocates. Simitian ignores to mention a number of items: 
Palo Alto voters in both 2000 joined the 70%county-wide voters in approving that initial BART tax.  
In 2008, both MV and PA voters approved this "operations and maintenance 1/8c BART tax by 66.7%+.  
PA voters, the most educated and highest percentage of post-graduate degree residents of all SCC cities, and Mountain Viewers know that in order for BART to eventually get to their cities, to complete the final 30 miles from Millbrae to SCU to have a one-seat, no-transfers, bidrectional, high-capacity, far safer, zero traffic congesting, quieter, parallel bike/ped trail (redundancy for station incident bypass) loop (reference my BARTAroundTheBay blog) single Bay Area heavy rail reach to the major universities (SCU, SJSU, Stanford, Berkeley, etc), airports, walkable downtown centers, many shopping malls, and other major venues, using tunneling, trenching, at-grade (where no crossings) or aerial configurations--as each city deems appropriate--for about the same cost as the Caltrain ROW (since 1995 HSR placeholder current deadly tracks (227 dead, 16 this year, ~12+ annually)+ Dumbarton surface rail (re-using its 1910 pylons within the Don Edward Wildlife Refuge!)+$2 Billion SF tunneling to TBTerminal, and $1.7 Billion electrification monies). Simitian's despicable "80%" citation and MV and WV cities ignore broad likely and actual voter  support for BART, higher than Caltrain in both North County and South County in past surveys as well as the latest SVLG survey.   The Democrat/Labor Union, crony, and Democrat-led (BAC, SVLG) groups' support for HSR at all costs has, and continues to, ignore citizens desires to implement Silicon Valley's hallmark Creative Destruction to replace deadly Caltrain/HSR standard track's width with BART's unique tracks, while moving HSR, if it cannot be stopped, to come over the (ACE) Altamont Commuter tracks to SJ and Oakland (with BART connections to SF, as Amtrak SF-destined riders do today) as the ACE Board is apparently pushing as a lower cost, lower environmentally destructive, option to current Pacheco Pass tunneling.   With the all-Democrat Palo Alto out-of-touch, HSR-owned city council (Kniss, Wolbach, Berman, Burt, etc) and Democrat-HSR "Stepford Wife"-like majorities in Menlo Park, Mountain View and other Peninsula cities (not Atherton), Caltrain/HSR deaths will continue on this 1864 trackway.   SCC Supervisor Simitian, Sen. Hill, Speier, Tissier, Kniss, Eshoo and other early 1990s first-election politicians all have responsibility to terminate their support for HSR up the Peninsula in order to save 12-20 deaths/year on the Caltrain tracks until they can be replaced over the next 15-20 years with BART (with a safe, separate single freight track).  Congresswoman Speier, who built her politicial career on the basis of deaths around her over the years (Caltrain locomotive #925 emblazoned with her name) stated at the Golden Gate Bridge barrier dedication (16 died over the past 2 decades on bridge head-on collisions vs over 227 on Caltrain tracks--despite fewer Caltrain users/day). 
At the GG Bridge barrier dedication, Speier announced "It is is obligation of elected public officials to protect the public health and public safety", a fact Simitian, Kniss (a former union(?) nurse), Sen. Beall, and especially Senator Jerry Hill, ardent, long-time, BART foe have dutifully ignored in their allegiance to the HSR Democrat "Hall:" machine and its cronies.
Finally, Simitian's demagoguery could've been used when the Hetch-Hetchy aqueduct was being built toward Palo Alto from the Sierra with some of Palo Alto's upfront money. The same could have been said about I-280's construction as it was being built, partly with Palo Alto's gas taxes, and other infrastructure projects--until they arrived into Palo Alto.  
Clearly, Simitian and other Peninsula Democrats "80%" abuse is designed only to acquire more funds for the HSR money-sucking whirlwind cyclone using the deadly Caltrain tracks, and, to block efficient, effective BART around the Bay. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Motorist Pulled from car on Caltrain-Killtrain-HSR tracks in Sunnyvale by heroic San Mateo Transit cops seconds before train hits, Monday 8-3-2015.

Motorist Pulled from car on Caltrain-Killtrain-HSR tracks in Sunnyvale by heroic San Mateo Transit cops seconds before train hits, Monday 8-3-2015.

It is absolutely crazy that Silicon Valley cities tolerate this deadly street level,1864 (pre-Civil War Appomattox peace signing, President Lincoln) trackage, except for knowing that the Sacramento power of the Democrat political machine that controls almost all city councils and legislative majorities because of Caltrain's same width trackage ass placeholder and sacrificial altar for High Speed Rail (or as former CAHSRA Chair now calls it "Low Speed Rail).  Until voters demand extending electrified, street separated (required by law), zero traffic congesting, B.A.R.T. the final 30 miles from Millbrae/SFO to Santa Clara future B.A.R.T. station & to connect communities, universities, shopping centers, etc. from their politicians, especially Democrats, this carnage risk on the outdated Caltrain-Killtrain-HSR tracks will continue.  

Political change with the ouster of State Senator Jerry Hill, a long-time opponent of B.A.R.T due to his longstanding HSR support on this embarrassing, deadly, trackway.  Incude Palo Alto City Council members notably (union?) nurse Liz Kniss and others.
 need Silicon Valley's famous "Creative Destruction" to replace Caltrain/HSR with modern BART (775 new BART cars on order to arrive starting in 2017).  Unfortunately, 200+ more will die during that 15-20 year plan-fund-build process--when the city councils move to bring BART down to Santa Clara to complete its bidirectional, high capacity, safe, frequent service via San Jose or San Francisco between the East, South, and Peninsula cities. If HSR cannot be stopped, then it should come to the Bay Area (SF, SJ, Oakland, East Bay) via ACE over the less costly Altamont, freeing up the very dense Peninsula for for far safer, more frequent, electrified, non-congestion, less carbon GHG pollutants--BART--"only" 7 have died this year on its tracks, though it runs many more trains on more stations with higher service frequency, and greater ridership (430,000 weekdays vs. 58,000 on Caltrain-Killtrain's reserved Democrat HSR "sacrificial altar of death" trackway. Since Caltrain's tracks were designated for HSR in the mid-1990's (per Dan Richard, CAHSRA Chairman, January 2015 KCBS interview) were designated for HSR 227 people, teens, hi-tech workers, tourist visitors, young and old, have died on these easy-to-access, outdated street-level trackage, 16 this year alone, 65 since I started periodically to attend Palo Alto (all Democrat), Menlo Park (Democrat majority) and other local (all Democrat controlled) city councils in 2011 appealing to them to seek BART down the rest of last 30 miles of the Peninsula Corridor that Caltrain-Killtrain-HSR altar tracks now occupy.. Unfortunately, some may say that local and Sacramento Democrat politicians' years-long acceptance and support of Caltrain-Killtrain-HSR accidents is not unlike Democrats outright callous, acceptance and encouragement of Planned Parenthood's fetus/baby abortions and body organ and limb sales due to their political aims
Such is life in this Bay Area/Sacramento one-party political monopoly--until the people (voters) make the change.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Fresno landowners fight the altar of CA HSR, and, up another Caltrain-HSR shill death to 220 dead in SF Bay Area-Mountain View

Poatings on Fresno Bee site, 03-18-15 about Farmers resisting selling their land to CHSRA

People are dyinng now in the SF Bay Area due to the 1995 decision (13 years before 
Prop 1A in 2008, and 17 years before the formalized 2012 "blended Solution MOU) Dan Richard confirmed this decision on air (KCBS 740 AM radio "Indepth" Interview, January 11, 2015) by the nascent, secretive, CHSRA to share the Caltrain commuter surface train tracks (same size) which are at-grade. minor gate improvements do not improve an 1864 Civil War era street level track in the midlst of increasingly dense urbanity, no longer rural area.   220 people have died by accident or all-to-easy suicide on Caltrain's HSR tracks from SJ to SF since 1995, mostly by the 70mph Caltrain Express (Baby Bullet train.  HSR is planning to go up to 110mph for a faster horizontal guillotine effort to kill anyone on its tracks.  The ROW is frozen at street level awaiting HSR.  Horribly, 9 this year so far have died. including yesterday's suicide in Mountain View.  HSR has no $ or plans for most grade separations.  All the while, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) could use the 30 miles of the Caltrain-HSR ROW to build its required-by-law grade-separated tracks.   Where are the Personal Injury attorneys when we need them? More at my blog..BARTaroundthebay or freemotorist.   One can only wonder how many tracks HSR has reserved (frozen with minimal improvements) and for how long in Central Valley and LA Metrolink lines where others may also be getting killed.  HSR must be stopped.  As Newsom and Kopp and others have said, there are better local projects, whether rail, water (CV), or I-5.   Richard's statement about highways is bogus as Terry Stephan points out...because highways carry goods and services commerce, not just subsidized passenger bodies!  I-5 requires very few interchange improvements to fill its 8-lane design width since most road crossings in the CV are overcrossings..and a wider highway now is a safer highway with more lane room for human driving errors, unlike today's congested 1972-built 4-lanes,

Reply to Glen Parsons and Terry Stephans Comment on the article about Farmers resistance to sell land to CHSRA:
Central Valley needs water, reservoirs (and recreation), distribution systems, and 4-lane+ highways, I-5 and SR99 to 6 or 8 lanes, not 2-lanes; SR43, 140, 145, 65, 58 to I-5, 46, etc; SF Bay Area needs BART around the Bay, 34 miles or so to go to carry ~800,000 up from about 420,000/day now; and LA area needs more non-toll highway upgrades, esp. SR1238, SR14, I-210, 74, 79, 118, 126, 23, etc, safer rail, and transit. No one needs or wants HSR--except 40-yr taxpayer gigolo Diridon and Richard and Morales "rail foamers" who never outgrew their childhood enthusiams for choo-choo trains-at the expense of UC, CSU student tuition (discount Gov Brown's typical two-step--stealing from students by General Fund HSR interest on bonds ($550 Million/yr at each $10Billion in bonds), Cal works, Court system justice underfunding, In-home care, Medi-cal reimbusrement, K-12 education, homeless, mentally ill care. Brown is a terrible Democrat, elitist hypocrite with HSR exercising his childish train fetish (2012 interview with CBS' Face the Nation, Bob Sceifer, later with Scott Pelley "I've been working to bring HSR to California for 30, 40 years". At January 27, 2015 HSR groundbreaking: "I like trains")--no matter who gets hurt or what the cost, including all the deaths on the frozen-in-place HSR shill in the SF Bay Area since 1995...when 220 people have died by Caltrain collision accidents or all-too-easy Gov. Brown-provided suicide, horizontal guillotine effect- euthanasia on the tracks. 9 have died this year on the Caltrain-HSR tracks, including yesterday's latest in Mountain View. Terrible.