Tuesday, July 3, 2012

As of December 31, 2012, there were 12 Caltrain Killtrain deaths by accident or suicide, and many injuries resulting in hospitalization. Since 1/1/2011, 28 Caltrain Killtrain deaths occurred. Since 1995, 188 Caltrain Killtrain human kills.

Does anyone in Bay Area and especially Peninsula leadership roles care?  How about for an alternative?  
How many more must die before Caltrain is finally replaced by BART Around The Bay (BAB), up the last 28 miles in the Peninsula from BART's currently planned terminus at Santa Clara University?

According to Caltrain, Bay Area news services from Bay Area News Group, Redwood City (and other) Patches, KGO, KCBS, KLIV, and others, Thursday, June 21, 2012 around 5pm a wheelchair bound male was hit and killed by the Caltrain in San Mateo--again.  I've labeled this outdated, noisy, dangerous, deficit-laden train, for more accuracy in my view, as the Peninsula "Killtrain".
According to the news sources this is the 10th death by Caltrain this year.  There have been others hit and injured, but without news followup to know their current status.
This death is the 26th since Jan. 2011 and 186th since 1/1/ 1995. I don't know the Caltrain killings on this outdated, outmoded train, especially the appropriately named (Baby) Bullet Express Trains that fly through stations at 50+mph within inches of people on the train loading pads.  How many more must die before this train is phased out and replaced by the ONE Bay Area modern, high-capacity, electrified, clean, quieter, One Seat, budget surplus -- BART? How long?  What will it take to replace the politicians, most all part of the Democrat "Body Snatched" Bay Area monopoly of stultified, arrogant, complacent politicians who cannot see or understand the huge benefits of BART, not Caltrain, not HSR who only serve their narrow special interests, but cost us dearly.

Accidents norh of BART Millbrae are so unnecessary because Caltrain is just a waste of scarce transit money that is duplicative of the more expansive, electrified, safer BART in the same 15 mile corridor. Officials and politicians just need to start a study of the final 28 mile BART gap from Millbrae down to Santa Clara where planning is underway to extend it. Caltrain can be replaced, station by station by BART over the next few years to both save our tax dollars while connecting the whole Bay Area with the "one seat" BART solution around the Bay. BART moves more people with a budget surplus, single administration and operations, cleaner, more frequently, and quieter--and freeing up the track ROW for a 60 mile SJ-SF safe, interconnected pedestrian/bike trail adjacent to BART (and a single Freight track again)--while providing thousands of jobs for the next 10-15 years!. HSR can stop in SJ, if not stopped entirely.  In addition, when BART has problems with the TransBay tube, BART can simply run longer, more frequent trains south--around the Bay to SF easily enough--when BART is around the Bay and replaces Caltrain. This would have helped last week, when BART equipment was damaged in the TOD Senior Housing construction fire adjacent to the tracks.

This would also save about $2Bil in Transbay terminal costs since BART will already go through it and no Caltrain will exist any longer.

 For south of Millbrae, such as Burlingame, San Mateo, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, all of which have suffered fatal accidents in the past year (and before, of course: 186 dead since 1995, 26 dead since 1/1/12, and as Casandra reports, 10 this year already) extending BART to join the whole Bay Area is fundable ~$8Bil, half from the 4 "improvements" (only a "faster horse", per Jobs/Ford quotes) to Caltrain (SF Extension, Dumbarton Rail Bridge $ diversion to BART--return the SoBay/Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge to its pre-DR Bridge 1910 natural state, Electrification, Grade Crossings), and the other half from diverted HSR and other Calif bonds, 2006 1B, 2008 1A, Regional Measure 1. Recall that in the past few years, both San Mateo and Santa Clara voters have voted to tax themselves for better transit--including BART. The decades ago votes against BART are history only opponents choose to raise this non-issue. Lives and our quality of life are at stake. It is time to focus on THE Bay Area modern transit backbone, safe, clean, rail solution--and free-up/sell resources including the SOMA Caltrain station and ROW to better uses that fit SOMA's revitalization, from Warriors to Giants venues to offices (jobs), homes, and shopping (tax income).

Politicians like Jerry Hill (well over 200 dead since he has been in public office), Anna Eshoo, Jackie Speier (who built her public ethos on so many deaths around and in her career--and has a Caltrain Locomotive emblazoned with her name, appropriately enough), Rich Gordon, etc.
Omar. A BARTaroundtheBay supporter.

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