Reference recent article in local media (~August 6, 2015) citing Supervisor, former State Senator, and former Palo Alto City Council (PA) and and prior land-use attorney about spending county sales tax monies for BART for San Jose--ignoring that PA and county-wide voters overwhelmingly support BART, and, I submit, BART Around The Bay. To get around the SF Bay, BART must first come to SJ, Santa Clara, then up the Peninsula, and/or down the Peninsula to finish the final 30 miles to close the bay area loop to make BART the most effective transit system in the West! But, the state Democrat political machine, of which Simitian is a key member, is hell-bent to continue dangerous, deadly Caltrain as the outdated, human sacrificing, HSR surrogate (same track size, unlike BART's) where over 220 people have died on its tracks since he, Senator Hill, and other Dem's were first elected to office in the early 1990's Lives don't seem to matter over their Democrat political HSR allegiance.
Thus, Simitian's "80%" comments are aimed at those uninformed or easily suckered that he is grossly taking advantage of in the worst way of any politician.
This alleged 80% 'social justice' transportation inequity is the worst of Simitian's despicable demagoguery on the human sacrificial deadly Caltrain-High Speed Rail tracks. It is another outcropping of the strongly state Democrat-machine backed HSR vs BART and other transit ops battle and his desperate attempt to rejoin the pro-HSR power block of crony-Capitalist profiteers and crony-Socialist Big Government Soviet style urban density advocates. Simitian ignores to mention a number of items:
Palo Alto voters in both 2000 joined the 70%county-wide voters in approving that initial BART tax.
In 2008, both MV and PA voters approved this "operations and maintenance 1/8c BART tax by 66.7%+.
PA voters, the most educated and highest percentage of post-graduate degree residents of all SCC cities, and Mountain Viewers know that in order for BART to eventually get to their cities, to complete the final 30 miles from Millbrae to SCU to have a one-seat, no-transfers, bidrectional, high-capacity, far safer, zero traffic congesting, quieter, parallel bike/ped trail (redundancy for station incident bypass) loop (reference my BARTAroundTheBay blog) single Bay Area heavy rail reach to the major universities (SCU, SJSU, Stanford, Berkeley, etc), airports, walkable downtown centers, many shopping malls, and other major venues, using tunneling, trenching, at-grade (where no crossings) or aerial configurations--as each city deems appropriate--for about the same cost as the Caltrain ROW (since 1995 HSR placeholder current deadly tracks (227 dead, 16 this year, ~12+ annually)+ Dumbarton surface rail (re-using its 1910 pylons within the Don Edward Wildlife Refuge!)+$2 Billion SF tunneling to TBTerminal, and $1.7 Billion electrification monies). Simitian's despicable "80%" citation and MV and WV cities ignore broad likely and actual voter support for BART, higher than Caltrain in both North County and South County in past surveys as well as the latest SVLG survey. The Democrat/Labor Union, crony, and Democrat-led (BAC, SVLG) groups' support for HSR at all costs has, and continues to, ignore citizens desires to implement Silicon Valley's hallmark Creative Destruction to replace deadly Caltrain/HSR standard track's width with BART's unique tracks, while moving HSR, if it cannot be stopped, to come over the (ACE) Altamont Commuter tracks to SJ and Oakland (with BART connections to SF, as Amtrak SF-destined riders do today) as the ACE Board is apparently pushing as a lower cost, lower environmentally destructive, option to current Pacheco Pass tunneling. With the all-Democrat Palo Alto out-of-touch, HSR-owned city council (Kniss, Wolbach, Berman, Burt, etc) and Democrat-HSR "Stepford Wife"-like majorities in Menlo Park, Mountain View and other Peninsula cities (not Atherton), Caltrain/HSR deaths will continue on this 1864 trackway. SCC Supervisor Simitian, Sen. Hill, Speier, Tissier, Kniss, Eshoo and other early 1990s first-election politicians all have responsibility to terminate their support for HSR up the Peninsula in order to save 12-20 deaths/year on the Caltrain tracks until they can be replaced over the next 15-20 years with BART (with a safe, separate single freight track). Congresswoman Speier, who built her politicial career on the basis of deaths around her over the years (Caltrain locomotive #925 emblazoned with her name) stated at the Golden Gate Bridge barrier dedication (16 died over the past 2 decades on bridge head-on collisions vs over 227 on Caltrain tracks--despite fewer Caltrain users/day).
At the GG Bridge barrier dedication, Speier announced "It is is obligation of elected public officials to protect the public health and public safety", a fact Simitian, Kniss (a former union(?) nurse), Sen. Beall, and especially Senator Jerry Hill, ardent, long-time, BART foe have dutifully ignored in their allegiance to the HSR Democrat "Hall:" machine and its cronies.
Finally, Simitian's demagoguery could've been used when the Hetch-Hetchy aqueduct was being built toward Palo Alto from the Sierra with some of Palo Alto's upfront money. The same could have been said about I-280's construction as it was being built, partly with Palo Alto's gas taxes, and other infrastructure projects--until they arrived into Palo Alto.
Clearly, Simitian and other Peninsula Democrats "80%" abuse is designed only to acquire more funds for the HSR money-sucking whirlwind cyclone using the deadly Caltrain tracks, and, to block efficient, effective BART around the Bay.
Motorist Pulled from car on Caltrain-Killtrain-HSR tracks in Sunnyvale by heroic San Mateo Transit cops seconds before train hits, Monday 8-3-2015.
It is absolutely crazy that Silicon Valley cities tolerate this deadly street level,1864 (pre-Civil War Appomattox peace signing, President Lincoln) trackage, except for knowing that the Sacramento power of the Democrat political machine that controls almost all city councils and legislative majorities because of Caltrain's same width trackage ass placeholder and sacrificial altar for High Speed Rail (or as former CAHSRA Chair now calls it "Low Speed Rail). Until voters demand extending electrified, street separated (required by law), zero traffic congesting, B.A.R.T. the final 30 miles from Millbrae/SFO to Santa Clara future B.A.R.T. station & to connect communities, universities, shopping centers, etc. from their politicians, especially Democrats, this carnage risk on the outdated Caltrain-Killtrain-HSR tracks will continue.
Political change with the ouster of State Senator Jerry Hill, a long-time opponent of B.A.R.T due to his longstanding HSR support on this embarrassing, deadly, trackway. Incude Palo Alto City Council members notably (union?) nurse Liz Kniss and others.
need Silicon Valley's famous "Creative Destruction" to replace Caltrain/HSR with modern BART (775 new BART cars on order to arrive starting in 2017). Unfortunately, 200+ more will die during that 15-20 year plan-fund-build process--when the city councils move to bring BART down to Santa Clara to complete its bidirectional, high capacity, safe, frequent service via San Jose or San Francisco between the East, South, and Peninsula cities. If HSR cannot be stopped, then it should come to the Bay Area (SF, SJ, Oakland, East Bay) via ACE over the less costly Altamont, freeing up the very dense Peninsula for for far safer, more frequent, electrified, non-congestion, less carbon GHG pollutants--BART--"only" 7 have died this year on its tracks, though it runs many more trains on more stations with higher service frequency, and greater ridership (430,000 weekdays vs. 58,000 on Caltrain-Killtrain's reserved Democrat HSR "sacrificial altar of death" trackway. Since Caltrain's tracks were designated for HSR in the mid-1990's (per Dan Richard, CAHSRA Chairman, January 2015 KCBS interview) were designated for HSR 227 people, teens, hi-tech workers, tourist visitors, young and old, have died on these easy-to-access, outdated street-level trackage, 16 this year alone, 65 since I started periodically to attend Palo Alto (all Democrat), Menlo Park (Democrat majority) and other local (all Democrat controlled) city councils in 2011 appealing to them to seek BART down the rest of last 30 miles of the Peninsula Corridor that Caltrain-Killtrain-HSR altar tracks now occupy.. Unfortunately, some may say that local and Sacramento Democrat politicians' years-long acceptance and support of Caltrain-Killtrain-HSR accidents is not unlike Democrats outright callous, acceptance and encouragement of Planned Parenthood's fetus/baby abortions and body organ and limb sales due to their political aims
Such is life in this Bay Area/Sacramento one-party political monopoly--until the people (voters) make the change.