Wednesday, March 6, 2013

As a result of the ongoing and latest death and accidents on the long-since outdated, dangerous urban,  Caltrains racingup the Peninsula only a few feet from people, kids, stray pets, wildlife et al, this Comment was posted on the Palo Alto Patch today:

"Caltrain is outdated, dangerous at-grade, and a disjointed rail system in the region that ought to be phased out to be replaced by BART over the next 10 time for 2022, BART's 50th birthday, perhaps. When BART circles the Bay to compete effectively with "cars" in a one-seat transit solution to get to Bay Area major Universities, downtowns, Sports and event venues, airports and interregional transit hubs, and the burgeoning literally millions of square footage of NEW construction in the Peninsula that sucks motorists over from the East Bay with no transfer-less high capacity, safe, redundant transit option, such as motorists have with I80-I680-I280 and I80 I880-US101 1-seat loops around the Bay. 
Electrified, grade-separated, fast, sleek, BART is planned to S.C. University now...leaving only 28 miles to study, fund, build to close the BARTAROUNDTHEBAY (my blog) (BAB) gap over time. The ~$5Billion planned to perfume the Caltrain pig needs to be redirected to BART BAB.
Ironically, some Peninsula cities suffer more Caltrain deaths than illegal gun use deaths each year, in fact, 190 dead by Caltrain since 1/1/1995, 30 since 1/1/2011, 12 last year, and 1 already this year, per Bay News sources. 

Why is this Caltrain urban slaughter, including easy suicides, tolerated with this incredibly dangerous outdated train literally in our midst? Is it because we, in Silicon Valley, the land of "Creative Destruction" and Innovation have "always done it (Caltrain passenger rail) this way" ... since the 1863 trackway was first laid in the then very rural area, now increasingly densely populated and urbanized Let's fight for BAB (with or w/o HSR) by encouraging BART Around The Bay with legislators, environmental groups and those concerned about the safety of this children, especially those who are toddlers today, but will become suicide-susceptible teenagers.  Note: for environmentalists and Save The Bay interests,  The Dumbarton Rail (DR) across the SF Bay will no longer be needed.  BART Around The Bay (BAB) will serve the same communities as DR--more safely (for wildlife and humans) than a surface commuter rail setup, and, the DR rail pylons in the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge of lower S.F. Bay can finally be removed, restoring that part of the Bay to its natural state--as it was before 1910 when the original DR bridge was built!

Let's get real trainsit moving around the Bay, as called for by recent Joint Venture Silicon Valley Index that noted that 17 Bay Area Transit agencies need to be is one that is a "win-win", but we need leadership that can overcome special interest (read: current Democrat machine monopolistic hegemony of thought) that benefit from the deadly, inefficient, "always done it this way" behavior. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

According to the S.F. Bay Area News Group (BANG) reporting of the Caltrain Spokesperson, Another Palo Alto, CA pedestrian death by the at-grade commuter Caltrain Killtrain occurred on February 8, 2012 evening at the deadly Meadow road crossing. This is the first of 2013's 12-16 likely deaths on this outdated dangerous train amid an increasingly dense and busy (SmartGrowth/Sustainable, not-so-Livable) Peninsula.

Last year, 5 died in Palo Alto and two more near its border including a likely Palo Altoan's suicide-by-train in Menlo Park, CA.

Indeed, there is no doubt in my mind that in most Peninsula cities, again Democrat-controlled mostly, Caltrain kills more than illegal gun use each year.

The successful Gun Buybacks in some of the Peninsula Caltrain communities ought to nurture the notion to start a "Caltrain Buyback" program with the same logic-to save lives.  I suggest that Caltrain is so much more dangerous speeding through these communities that illegal gun use -- Caltrain passes just inches from people and cross-traffic as it has done since it was built in 1863 when the area was very rural.

Almost all S.F. Bay area cites are controlled by "caring" Democrats (horizontal political control) and all vertical elected legislative bodies above city councils to California's Governor and US President, and all regional bodies are controlled by "caring" Democrats, not a one has started to plan to retire this deadly commuter Caltrain and extend the Peninsula Rail Corridor instead to the nearby rational, grade-separated, much safer, more frequent, already electrified, high-capacity, low-profile heavy rail, no-cross or parallel traffic congestion creating rail system -BART for a whole SF Bay Area integrated, one-seat solution.

Note: Caltrain South of San Jose can easily and more cheaply be replaced by a Santa Cruz-type of Express Coach service from Gilroy and Morgan Hill to the Downtown San Jose Train Station @ Cahill Street.

What will it take to stop this long-term, ongoing carnage on the tracks of this outdated Caltrain?
How many more must die on the Caltrain's Peninsula tracks due to this Democrat-based ignorance at best, or, negligence, at worst?