Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Two more die on Gov. Brown's Caltrain HSR-placeholder Altar of Death route in recent 3 weeks

On October 15, 2014 a 19-year old, 1-year post-high school graduate committed suicide, according to Caltrain's administration, near the Charleston Road crossing,  by placing himself in front of an oncoming urban Caltrain street-level commuter rail placeholder (for High Speed Rail)...yet another of Governor Jerry Brown's and California Democrat Party political sacrifice...on his vanity(vanity per Kashkari) project HSR, and its altar of (easy access) death.

On November 4, 2014 another teenager, 16 years old from Palo Alto's Gunn High School, Caltrain suspects committed suicide around 1:00 am just south of Palo Alto's California Street station.   This is yet another of Governor Jerry Brown's and California Democrat Party political sacrifice...on his vanity("vanity project" per Neel Kashkari, former 2014 candidate for Governor) project HSR, and its altar of (easy access) death. '

I am concerned that these all-too-easy fatalities, whether by accident or suicide or whatever, amounting to 9 this year, 2014; 50 since 1/1/2011, 210th since 1/1/1995, are a continuing result of the one-party, e.g., Democrat, majority rule, monopoly, and obedience of the unified result of San Francisco Bay Area political bodies at local, county, regional, state, and federal levels who have united to support their insensitive, uncaring, ego-driven Democrat Governor and the cronies who support him, regardless of how many die on these outdated trackage, a deadly embarrassment to Silicon Valley's innovation, creative, and "creative destruction attitude that prevails up the SF Bay Peninsula--except for this long-time deadly street level HSR shill--Caltrain.  Even HSR is currently set to be at street level, thus terminating those people on its shared street tracks, but at 110 mph instead of Caltrain's up  to 75 mph speed (whether by accident or suicide).

It is past time to start work to replace Caltrain-HSR shill with a safer, electrified, street-separated, zero traffic congesting, bay area wide, integrated real mass transit system--BART.   Replacing the Caltrain-HSR shill will cost about the same as "upgrading" the outdated Caltrain-HSR train from SJ to SF by replace it with BART for the final 30 miles up the Peninsula, to seamlessly connect and close the Bay Area loop with Eastbay commuters to/from the Peninsula's Silicon Valley employers.  BART should save many more lives due to its legally required street separation.  Unfortunately, replacing Caltrain-HSR with BART will take about 15-20 years, thus another 200 deaths of friends, neighbors, and others on Caltrain-HSR tracks.  But, the effort will only start with public/voter pressure on local, regional, and state Democrat officeholder sufficient to overcome Governor Brown, the (anti-human) Sierra Club, Big Labor, and Democrat-led Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Bay Area Council go-along, get-along business members.

Here is a 2010 article response Comment about these unfortunate deaths and the Mineta Transportation Institute's so-called "Correction" about Caltrain deaths, for some background:

 Important footnote:  In 2010 the earmark, specially Democrat funded "Mineta Institute for Transportation" //(MIT) was headed and, from my own experience, an anti-automobile, pro-rail federal and state Democrat funded advocacy "institute" (hah!!!!) thus any such "Correction": as noted above that downplays the extreme danger of this outrageous, out-of-place, ought-to-be, and once was pre-urban, rural commuter train that runs through increasingly dense SF Bay Area Peninsula cities at street level (causing huge cross and parallel traffic delays must be viewed from MIT's  "rail foamer" bigotry.  The hidden agenda is the scandal that not only prevents electrified street-separated BART from replacing this deadly Caltrain (210 dead since 1995, 50 since 1/1/2011, and 9 so far this year on this historic (1864 US Civil War built) trackage, but that Caltrain is really the Peninsula placeholder for the CA and Bay Area Democrats' High-speed rail corridor--regardless of how many lives must be sacrificed by suicide or accident.  As Gov Jerry Brown and MIT's then-ExecDir, former CAHSRA now US HSR head, Rod Diridon Sr said, in separate media (CBS Face-the-Nation with Bob Schiefer), Kbay, Southbay Sunday with Sam van Zandt) interviews, verbatim that "I've been working for 30 years to bring high speed rail to California...." HSR was only approved in 2008, though the CAHSRA had been funded for over a decade by Sacramento Democrat legislators.  Additionally, I allege that the last two-lanes 13 miles of SR152 Pacheco Pass near Gilroy that kills and injures a number of people every year (4 dead this year alone) because it was determined by local Democrats to be extorted into an improved 4 lane congestion-priced toll road whose excess revenue (about $2Billion to 2040) could help fund the adjacent planned HSR.  That is the full story of the result of one-party Democrat monopoly control of all local, county, regional, state, and federal elected and appointed boards--and the two leading business leadership groups in cahoots.  By the way, another two suicides occurred on the Palo Alto Caltrain-HSR tracks in the past 3 weeks--but public officials (Democrat- controlled) will do nothing in sacrificial service to their crony-capitalist (or, perhaps, crony Socialist)HSR god.  If HSR is to be, then it should follow the existing Amtrak route to San Jose, then Oakland to points east, not the few riders heading to SF.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I am hopeful that political candidates running for office in the November 2014 California elections will take on the proper and wise and cost-effective and transportation excellence cause of BART Around The Bay by committing to replace Caltrain along the SF Peninsula with BART over the next two decades and provide a transferless frequent, safer, non-polluting rail capability for travelers at any major trip generation point around the Bay.  

Caltrain Death Count as of today:
7 dead in 2014 into August.
48 dead since 1/1/2011
208 dead since 1/1/1995

Below is another recent blog on the BAtB Twitter:

On the question of Grade-separating street-level tracks such as Caltrain has, are not as effective as grade-separated tracks as BART would have. 

Caltrain's easy street-level fatalites, including suicides, and accidents ought to speak loudly to you. Caltrain deaths at San Antonio road overcrossing of the Caltrain street-level tracks and other i/cs are clear. Additionally, Caltrain has a higher kill rate due to its train-to-track clearance than BART--which, because of its third rail has more space--and has saved lives from both suicide attempts and accidents from those who fell on the tracks, much to the dismay of the former.

As for costs, the Transportation Demand Management capability of one-seat BART Around The Bay to unite East, South, and Bay riders, commuters, event attendees, University students, and shoppers, offers huge environmental, time, and motor-vehicle cost-saving benefits.  As written previously in blogs of "BARTAroundTheBay" and "Freemotorist', apparently some rigid Caltrain (always done it this way") zealots cannot understand readily that spending another dime on Caltrain also known as the 30-year High-Speed Rail (HSR) shill and placeholder (as Jerry Brown and his 40-yr long taxpayer-funded pro-rail progeny Rod Diridon Sr confirmed when they both said that they"...have been working to bring HSR to California for 30 years" KCBS-Face The Nation, 2012; KBAY Sunday Southbay w-Sam Van Zandt-2012). 
Caltrain was initially funded by Gov JB1 in 1982, 30 years ago, with local support by then-politician Diridon.  Replacing Caltrain (a 15 yr project for the future betterment of the Bay Area transit users, in which another 200 people or so will die on Caltrain's tracks), and using its Right Of Way (ROW) for BART Around The Bay wouild minimize cost by $Billions.  
Redirecting the $5Billion or so planned for Caltrain-aka HSR construction from SJ to SF and the TransBay Terminal, to BART would go a long way to closing the $8 Billion in funding for the last 21 miles gap in BART Around The Bay from Millbrae to the planned SouthBay/SCU station.  This would nearly double BART's capacity with unified two-way BART travel capability around the bay area's major university, shopping, airport/train, downtowns' trip generation points.  
Caltrain (aka HSR) vs BART cost deflection arguements ignore that, as Brown and Diridon said essentially, Caltrain is HSR. HSR is going to cost well over the current $68 Billion fraudulent number for a completely unneeded public tax(es), toll, and fee choo-choo.  
Eight Billion $ for a top-notch BARTAroundTheBay two-way closed-circuit, frequent, safer, electrified, grade-separated (by tunnel, trench, or aerial viaduct) zero-congesting rail, is far 'cheaper and far more beneficial than the boutique, limited, less-frequent, dangerous, polluting (think:1910 Dumbarton Rail resurrection) over the now-Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge South Bay. waters) back-and-forth only limioted set of at-capacity trains. 

Embrace a better SF Bay Area backbone (high-capacity) mobility future, not mired in "always done it this way thinking", certainly not in progressive Silicon Valley/SF Bay Area where "Creative Destruction" is the hallmark of our innovation and creativity.

Friday, April 4, 2014

SJ Metro papers buyout Santa Clara/San Benito crucial news sources

On news today that Metro Newspapers bought out the critical newspapers of Gilroy Dispatch, Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Freelance and Santa Cruz paper, I wrote the following Reply with respect to these communities and their newspapers key informative role in the Governor Brown's Northern California Trackway Scandal that far outpaces anything New Jersey Governor Christie is alleged by his opponents to have done.   Here, in Calfornia, Governor Brown's longstanding rail fetish, dating back to his first term where he used, manipulated state road right of way lands to effect the return of taxpayer-funded mostly inefficient, congesting, money-losing streetcars (now labeled with the generic term of "light rail") that failed due to their inflexibility in contrast to auto-mobiles and buses and coaches.

But despite 204 deaths to date from 1/1/1995 to today, at a current rate of more than 1 death per month, including too-easy suicides. Already 3 track deaths this year, 2014, including a Pleasanton-homed Good Samaritan high-tech worker (Nividia) death in Santa Clara, just two days after the SC VTA held a "celebration" of Caltrain, the HSR's 30-year SF Bay Area Peninsula rail placeholder\.  Incredible, to think this aged trainset is allowed to exist, and no Democrat in any local, regional, state, and federal position, except truly progressive Gavin Newsom are willing to fight to redirect HSR funds to local/regional needs, such as closing the final one-seat rail gap from SJ to SF with safer, electrified, non-congesting, frequent two-way BART in the Caltrain/HSR right-of -way:  Here's my Reply note in Metro's San Jose Insider comment on Metro's takeover of the South Santa Clara County's critical news sources"

"I hope Metro maintains the independent integrity that Metro & Insider demonstrated on the Shirakawa and other scandals....  Gilroy and MH are the crux of SoCounty/SCC VTA HSR fraud enablement--and Democrat-backed VTA Board's plan for the final 13 mile SR152 (joint with SR156) Pacheco Pass toll road to US101 to help fund it (as allowed for nearby transit facilities, per AB2032, Dutra, 2004).  Sorry to read of Gilroy Editor Mark Derry's departure.
Christie's Washington Bridgegate issues are nothing compared to Caltrain, the now, out-of-the-closet, placeholder/shill admitted Jerry Brown and Rod Diridon Sr clear rail fetish put on taxpayers, with its 150 year old street-level suicide, accident deathtrap and increasingly dense congestion (GHG) generator. The Caltrain shill, with same track size as HSR, blocking finally extending BART around the whole Bay, as BART was originally planned, and that all Bay Area counties have approved taxes to support BART, indeed, SCC by 2/3 vote in 2008!
BART would be super-efficient with dual direction high-frequency, safer, electrified, quieter, one-seat rail transit (like the 2 freeway loops around the Bay), separated from street-level traffic (required by law).
Both Gov. Brown and Diridon had on-air interviews (CBS Face the Nation w/ Bob Schiefer, and KBAY Sunday a.m with Sam Van Sant(?) in mid-2012) where they admitted to their up-to-now secret agenda. They both said they've been "...working to bring High Speed Rail to California for the past 30 years."  This is when the first Gov. Brown gave the initial 3-year funding for Caltrain (1982).
The scandal is that hundreds have died in Caltrain's 150-year old street level trackway.  Based on B.A.N.G. reporting, 204 dead since 1/1/1995, 45 dead since 2010, three this year (2014) continues the average of just more than  12 dead per month. Far fewer die on BART by any measure, including suicides.  New BART trains, more bicycle friendly focus, and huge efficiencies result by our politicians and business leaders planning BART to close the last 21 mile gap from Santa Clara (Univ) to Millbrae with minimal neighborhood and environmental or land needs would be possible by replacing deadly Caltrain by ending HSR and redirecting NoCal $ to bring BART to SJ, SCU, then up to Millbrae.  This save Billions that would be needed to update, separate, electrify, the incompatible Caltrain with BART's united efficient, ultimate Bay Area Loop.
Gilroy and MH would be better served with a Santa Cruz VTA coach-like service north to SJ multi-modal train/bus station than infrequent, rigid Caltrain, thus, the importance of Gilroy and MH, Hollister and commuters'points south--and completing SR152 without any tolls (we already pay for roads with our auto taxes and exorbitant auto fees).
 This deadly, congestion-causing Caltrain placeholder for HSR ought to be investigated and exposed, at least since Santa Clara and SM Counties' voters voted to support BART, as other Bay Area counties did previously.  Note that BART took over the ROW of at least 3 other formerly street-level trackways. Christie's 4-day Bridgegate is nothing compared to Brown's HSR/Caltrain Trackgate!

The Bay Area needs the Josh and Dan duo to investigate and expose this deadly, ongoing Caltrain/HSR sham and scandal that pollutes and endangers Peninsula residents instead of BART."

Also, posted on my Freemotorist blogspot site.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Calfi Governor Jerry Bown's SF area Caltrain-HSR Altar of Death. NJ Gov Christie bridgegate is nothing to compare!

What's the big deal with Christie's 4-day Bridge-gate when Calif Gov Jerry Brown admitted in 2012 on CBS' Face the Nation with Bob Schiefer that he "has been working for 30 years to bring High Speed Rail (HSR) to California." Indeed. Thirty years ago, nearing the end of the first term of California Governor, JB's (a rail "foamer" to be ssure) in 1982, Jerry Brown's administration gave SF Bay Area the initial 3 year funding for the deadly ~60 mile "Caltrain" from San Jose (and later Gilroy) to SF--the same rail as HSR is to take in this Democrat-one party, monopolized SF Bay region. Since his 2010 election, Brown has come out of the closet to support the Caltrain-HSR dangerous and deadly boondoggle even more up the SJ-SF Peninsula--with budget cuts elsewhere to support HSR's huge costs (over those of the needy poor and disabled, e.g., Calworks, InHome Services, MediCal cuts, etc). Despite all negative State Audit, Legislative Analyst and Transportation Expert Peer reviews, court decisions (HJTA vs HSR C060441 in 2011-- ergo, the 2008 ballot language was unconstitutional and illegal (a sales pitch, not objective), and the judgment now against it that halts funding (Judge McKenney) for compliance, JB's rail fetish overwhelms his sense of duty to the people of California. Ever since a granddaddy neighbor was killed crossing the Caltrain tracks near my home, I've tracked Caltrain fatality reports (via San Jose Mercury News) back to 1/1/1995. SInce 1995, 203 deaths on this 1864 (yes, Civil War, post Promotory Point, pre-auto, pre-urban, re-electricity, light bulb etc) Caltrain trackway. JB supports/protects this killer track, though BART makes more sense to close the loop around the Bay, Caltrain, as a placeholder uses the same standard rail width as HSR. About 12/deaths/yr occur by suicide or accident on the street level tracks by the 50-70 mph Caltrain Express trains. Two dead already this year. Prior deaths are indiscriminate: a visiting Indiana Obama-supporter, former Stanford professor, teenagers, despondent lovers, good samaritans (trying to save others on the tracks), kids, public employee union members, and more. Gov JB's (RailBeam?) 2012 admission, on air, to Schiefer, my ignored Tweets to JB about the danger, his $250M in this years Calif budget and now $29 million interim during the Court's HSR halt, only shows JB's true callous disregard and open admission of his Caltrain-as-a a-placeholder while at-grade Caltrain kills, maims, and congests/pollutes over 36 million vehicles/year (100k per day, per 1985 study), this on his (and Democrats') Caltrain-HSR Altar of Death. Obama is coming to Fresno this Friday, ground zero for not only the Calif Drought, but also HSR's starting point....presumably to deliver his Valentine wishes about both. But, even Democrat support is waning with Lt Gov. Gavin Newsom telling Joint Venture Silicon Valley's Russell Hancock, that his support for HSR is "softening" now (aired on KLIV, 1590 last week) due to the financial and other issues. 
So, what is with Christie's supposed 4 day issue, eh? Gimme a break. JB's Caltrain-HSR has millions congested/yr and hundreds die. The dead are dead. GW Bridge Delays were temporary delays--no deaths, and not for 20-30 years, while BART (street separated by law) waits finishing the planning for the last 21 miles to complete its long-envisioned, safe, loop around the bay (think like the efficiency of the complete Chicago Loop)