Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Source: SF Examiner, SF Mayor Ed Lee Op-Ed about Innovation (late 2012):
San Francisco's Mayor Ed Lee and others are correct about the need for innovation in the Bay Area. Innovation also applies to transportation as well as effective and optimized public budget spending and investment. Mayor Lee and others need to take a hard look at HSR to support also extending BART Around The Bay (BAB), up the Peninsula using Federal and State funds. This BART and Bay Area rail innovation starts with a study asap on the final 28 miles from the currently-planned BART South Bay station at Santa Clara University up the Peninsula to the existing, but underutilized BART station in Millbrae.
BAB will enable benefits of ten to 15 years of continuous construction jobs, about 2500 at least, up to an ancillary 4-5 jobs will be created as well, and will unite the Bay Area major travel, sports venues, downtown shopping areas, and universities while connecting San Francisco trip origination and destinations with SJ--and those cities in between on both sides of the Bay.
BART around the Bay (BAB) will reduce or stop the Caltrain Killtrain(including suicide) deaths, that is, 188 slaughtered since 1995, 28 since 1/1/2011, 12 in 2012 on the track right-of-way.
BAB allow the TransBay Terminal to finish without the $2Bil gap projected currently to fund the outdated and disjointed Caltrain extension while enabling the rerouted SF Central Subway to station there. Replacing Caltrain with BART up the Peninsula as part of BAB, BART can expand its stations within the TransBay Terminal to handle ridership increases that result from the unified, single-ride, single-seat, single-ticket BART Around the Bay (BAB) synergy
BART is electrified, safer, quieter, and more frequent than Caltrain. BAB will return its trackway's surrounding area back to neighborhood calmness.
BAB enables the removal of the Dumbarton Rail Bridge pylons, erected in 1910) so the South Bay's Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge and wetlands can be restored back to the pre-1910 bay waters condition along with the salt flat reclamation. None of us are old enough to have known that viewshed condition.
Importantly, BART Around the Bay enables BART system redundancy for its passengers to have access from two directions for emergencies or shutdowns, shopping or other purpose or convenience.
BART betters transit finances and allows for a 51-mile exclusive, safe Trail & Bikeway between SJ to SF while seamlessly interconnecting this new Peninsula BART trail with many other East-West trails adjacent to the whole BAB trailways.
Finally, BART replacing Caltrain is fundable by the current $4B+ from the 4 Caltrain multi-Billion$ projects, redirecting or blending HSR funds with BART Around The Bay (BAB) to close the 28 mile Milbrae-SCU gap, and facilitates the sale of the Caltrain station land and excess passenger rail trackage for better, adjoining use by the respective Peninsula SF-SJ cities according to their General Plans. Excess Caltrain land can be used to support the fantastic South Of Market SF projects and planned growth, Warriors, AT&T Park, and expected Mixed Use Mission Bay, Bayview densification projects.
HSR helps none of this growth to the extent that BART Around the Bay would. HSR alone may only bleed Cities, unions, and so many related social needs (as we see from Spain's extensive, but debt and ultimate unemployment impacts of its HSR).
BART doesn't hurt economic growth. BART is proven to spur short and long term growth. BART Around the Bay is good, worthwhile, cost-effective, economically generating Innovation.
Bay Area business policy groups like the Bay Area Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and Joint Venture Silicon Valley, labor unions, environmental, and other influencer groups ought to get on board to bring BART Around the Bay (BAB), replace the outdated, dangerous, congesting, polluting Caltrain (Suicide, Train?) with the synergistic magic that BAB will bring, and do so a target date of BART's 50th anniversary in 2022.
Note that in recent weeks, the TransBay Terminal or West Oakland station and other
chokepoints have been intermittently not usable With BAB, BART can send its trains
south via SJ and up the Peninsula to SF with minimal rider and no multi-transit,
multi-transfer tumult or disruption, such as occurred on June 14 2012 and again
over the past 2 weekends.
BART Around the whole Bay (BAB) is compelling for the BART board to consider for
real high-capacity transit via SF or SJ, that is, innovative public-transit. It is
compelling for the opportunity to reclaim the SoBay Don Edwards Wildlife Refugefor
nature and better Caltrain property use for SF growth and synergy. Also, a
complete BAB is a lasting POSITIVE legacy for all politicians, including Jerry
Brown and Dan Richard and its supporters--in their lifetime!
HSR is a negative, losing legacy, like the now-failed, futuristic "SST" aka
Concorde, Tupolev 144, because its cost and subsidies will drive this state into
deep debt as HSR has done in Spain, Portugal, and Italy (the latter with huge
20,000 people protesting the latest extension), and not doing a darn thing for
unemployment, except worsening it after construction completes. Spain = 25%!
Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/op-