Friday, May 31, 2013

Today's BART TransBay Tube delays cries out to restart planning to bring BART Around The Bay...up the Peninsula ... the last 28 miles from coming future end at Santa Clara University to current Millbrae station.  Imagine the HUGE benefits of the "one-seat" (no transfers) BART to any major Bay Area venue, employment centers. BART is safer, more frequent, no cross-traffic congestion, electrified already (it is Stupid to electrify 15 miles of the deadly Caltrain parallel to BART's existing track north of Millbrae into The City and TBTerminal. Save $$$, too and eliminate Dumbarton Rail & its supports in the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge (more on my BARTAROUNDTHEBAY blogspot.).  This a.m.'s TBTube problems would have been mitigated by BART travel south (Richmond->Fremont->future SJ/SC-then up the last 28 miles to Millbrae) for the bidirectional, redundant BART flow capability. One intra-regional arterial rail system that balances backbone heavy transit needs with green electric BART.

Today's issues with the BART Tube accident, which required 300 feet+ of BART third rail repair, as well as with other BART maintenance and incident recovery needs provide another set of key reasons for the urgency of having BART Around The Bay.
This reason is in addition to greatly reducing the 1 to 1.5 consistent and predictable Caltrain track deaths by accidents and easy suicides each month that severely delay Peninsula commuters that my blog has addressed, but Bay Area Democrats could not care less.  Democrat Bay Area monopoly and its dogma has so far prevented replacing Caltrain with the logical inter-regional reach and efficiencies and environmental benefits of One Bay Area BART!

Rail funding is easier to obtain to close a major regional rail gap (over time), than a New Start or Rail Extension.  BART is fundable at the current cost per mile, of about $200M/per mile through suburban environs, and, depending on each city agreement with BART, up to $400M per mile through the most dense urban downtown passages (Burlingame, San Mateo, Menlo Park, and possibly Palo Alto (to save the Palo Alto tree University-Alma area).  

Certainly if the funds allocated to the HSR waste and fraudulent project can be redirected from the outdated Caltrain Killtrain, then the monies can certainly provide real, urban, backbone intraregional rail mass transit redundancy for not only the current 500,000+ daily riders on BART, but the more than 50,000 Caltrain riders induced by the unified BART gap closure around the Bay, especially with new BART cars et al.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Another Caltrain Death 5-15-13

Wedensday, May 15, 2013, yet another death on Caltrain's Peninsula tracks, the second in one month, the eighth this year, 36 since 1/1/2011, and 196th since I started my count, courtesy of excellent reporting by the Bay Area News Group's San Jose Mercury News and Peninsula Daily News.

This death, in San Bruno, was a totally unnecessary accident on the outdated, Express Caltrain's dangerous street-level tracks, that run parallel to BART tracks are far superior in efficiency, Bay Area reach, safety, run more frequently at similar top speed (up to 79 mph) and are already grade-separated, and electrified with Positive Train Control enhancements--all of which Bay Area Democrats and their Spend, Spend, Spend union puppeteers want to spend tax monies on Caltrain trackage to duplicate--even though BART already covers the first 15 miles from San Francisco to Millbrae!  What is wrong with this picture?!

BART only needs to extend 28 miles south from Millbrae to Santa Clara University while San Jose/Santa Clara and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority ("VTA") continue their work to reach Santa Clara University from the South and East Bay.  

I suppose San Francisco Bay Area Politicians that comprise an inflexible, arrogant, un-innovative, Democrat monopoly of majority elected public officials that reach from almost all city councils, county bodies, then up through regional decision-making bodies, including all state and federal legislative officials are simply unable to break away from their special-intere$t, campaign funders of high-density developers, contractors, consultants and the human-subordinating Sierra Club, masking itself locally as self-proclaimed "Friends of Caltrain" human life-taking advocates.

Sadly for those who may either take their own life in a moment of despondency, mental illness, or simply by accident of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Caltrain is now primarily and simply the "Blended Solution" placeholder for High Speed Rail, killing at least one person each month. This "placeholder" strategy is derived by 2012 on-air interviews of both Governor Jerry Brown and South Bay, CaHSR Chairman "Emeritus" (as he arrogantly labels himself), now US HSR Association Chairman, where they each stated that they have been working to get HSR into California for "30 years."  Caltrain was revived with taxpayer funds from Souther Pacific 30 years ago. No coincidence.   Pity for so many who have died on Caltrain tracks during this time and yet not one "Caring" Democrat has stepped forward to articulate the need to move beyond the Caltrain "Killtrain" during that time to the  reasonable and more appropriate, safter, integrated, electrified, more frequent, lower-profile, sleeker, less obtrusive BART trains...around the Bay.
Note: Gov. Jerry Brown was interviewed by Bob Schiefer on a 2012 Sunday's  Face The Nation.  Rod Diridon Sr. was interviewed separately on a KBAY radio's 6:00am Sunday show in 2012.

Indeed, worse yet that not even one of the Peninsula, San Francisco, nor San Jose Democrats has stepped forward to restart talks with BART to initiate and fund the study to get the final gap closure, replacing the Caltrain "Killtrain", with a load balancing, one-seat (no transfer) two-way around the Bay BART loop.  The Democrats are clearly bought and paid for by their few $pecial interest constituencies (what else is new for Democrats?).

Neither State Senator Jerry Hill nor Congresswoman Jackie Speier have taken up the cause to initiate a study to replace the Caltrain "Killtrain" with BART, despite their often run before news cameras and other media to proclaim their latest headline-grabbing proposals.  About the Caltrain's ongoing deaths, monthly and over the years, including the years when they both were on the Caltrain governing board, and each of whom served as its Chairperson. Where are these righteous elected officials when it comes to the obvious, regular deaths and dismemberments under Caltrain locomotive wheels and rails? Hello?
Where are other, mostly Democrat, regional opinion leaders?

Hill jumps before cameras to stand up for the (only) 8 who died in the San Bruno pipeline explosion, 1 who died in a Party Bus accident, and the 5 who died in the San Mateo Bridge Limousine fire.   Speier jumps before cameras to fight rightly for finance reform, military rape and assault rectitude, gun-control, and, runs on the platform of deaths around and in her each year, harking back to the Democrat-schmoozing George Jones, Jonestown Guyana, cultish, mass killings and killing of her late boss Congressman Leo Ryan up to 2012's election-year announcement of her past abortion.

In some of the safer Peninsula communities, such as Palo Alto, San Bruno, Burlingame, etc, one can suspect the likelhood that, on average, each year more people die by Caltrain than by illegal gun use.

What will it take to stop the Caltrain carnage of 12-16 people per year, especially when BART is so readily available, frees up Caltrain station land in SF and south, and improves regional and Peninsula rail arterial traffic, congestion relief, safery, and trainsit efficiency?  How many more must die before the $5Billion now being sought to upgrade the redundant, deadly Caltrain, can instead be redirected to close the final BART gap Around The Bay?

Hello?  Does anyone care enough to look forward to more modern rail transit and save lives as well?

Friday, May 10, 2013

05-10-2013 More on the tragic latest Caltrain death between Burlingame and San Carlos, adjacent to Burlingame High School, SF Bay Area.

Please, please, start a study to replace this Caltrain "Killtrain" with BART--one, unifying, one-seat ride" major, already electrified, already grade-separated, single, balanced and SAFER two-way rail system around the SF bay.  This is the sixth death this year 194th since 1995, 34th since 1/1/2011. How many more must die before the public, and voters, and current Caltrain riders who suffer these frequent unplanned delays to work/home, entertainment venues, pressure Peninsula (all Democrat) to start the 10-yr process to replace the Caltrain Killtrain with BART...that's another 160 deaths until BART can extend south to the new San Mateo Event Center & TOD housing, Hillsdale Shopping Center, Stanford University, then to the planned future BART station at Santa Clara University--One efficient, frequent, cleaner, safer rail system to serve all more reliably and fewer deaths (and fewer suicides). Quick-to-Grandstand Senator Jerry Hill and Congresswoman Speier are intransigent and don't care about these deaths--I've tried. Replacing Caltrain will also save transit $$#$, provide better service to future TransBay Terminal, can work adjacent to High Speed Rail into the TBT, and free up scarce SF SoMa land for better uses as Mayor Lee desires.  More, on my BARTAroundTheBay Blog to advocate to get rid of Caltrain for one Bay Area arterial rail system like so many major cities around the world have now.  It is time for the illustrious SF Bay Area to join world-class rail transit connectivity.
05-10-2013, Another, the sixth this year, Caltrain (Killtrain) death down the deadly tracks from the last in Burlingame, near San Carlos.  How many more must die before the Peninsula politicians, all part of the Labor Union captive Democrat Party machine, will take action to the most logical, reasonable, safe, pro-transit solution, that is, to extend safer, already electrified and grade-separated BART from its current Millbrae (near SFO extension) 28 miles down to the San Mateo Event Center, Hillsdale Shopping Center, and heart of Silicon Valley's coming future BART station at Santa Clara University?

Following is my News station Comment posts...Let's end this madness by pressuring Assemblyman Mullin, Senator Hill, and Congresswoman Speier to fund a study to replace Caltrain with BART the last 28 miles, and free up the SF SoMa land and Peninsula stations for higher and better land use, no longer for redundant parallel rail tracks that waste transit funds.

"The Sixth Caltrain death this year already, today, 05-10-2013, next to Burlingame High School.... It is time to start the work to replace this deadly, outdated Caltrain Killtrain with BART--and finish BART Around The Bay (my blog name, too).  How can we tolerate this continuing, and never-to-end Caltrain deaths in our advanced society, especially by the particularly fatal Express trains (except those that are delayed for hours after each slaughter).  State Senator Jerry Hill and Congresswoman Speier, both of whom are quick to grandstand on fewer deaths by guns, limo's or pipeline explosions, refuse to take action to save Peninsula lives by starting a study to close the last 28 mile gap of electrified, grade-separated BART Around The Bay, to the future Santa Clara Univ. BART station from Millbrae.  Both of these politicians served on the Caltrain Board as members and chairs.  They cannot change and must be voted out if they continue to run and hide with every Caltrain Killtrain death.  These cannot continue, HSR or not!  At this point, Caltrain is only a deadly, dangerous, disjointed SJ<->SF  placeholder for HSR (High Speed Rail). HSR and BART can get along together instead. 
Kill Caltrain, sell the land, and finish BART around the Bay in the Peninsula by closing the final gap. Save lives, Save time, save congestion and pollution, and throw out the unresponsive politicians, Hill and Speier"