Tuesday, July 3, 2012

San Francisco Examiner Op-Ed: Omar's Freemotorist Comments :

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 additional 5 jobs for each high-paying, likely union craft, construction job that will be created as well. BART around the Bay will unite the Bay Area region's major travel, sports and other 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.

The above is consistent with the February 5, 2012, annual Joint Venture Silicon Valley Index outcome about improving regional.

BART around the Bay (BAB) will stop the Caltrain Killtrain deaths.  These include unfortunate, perhaps otherwise preventable suicides had early mental health intervention occurred, but it is too easy for despondent persons to simply step in front of an at street level 50 mph -75 mph racing only inches from unlimited jump off points.  As of December 31 2012, 188 persons have been slaughtered and violently but instantly dismembered on the tracks since 1995, 28 since 1/1/2011, 12 in 2012.  Others have surely died in hospital from injuries or had limb amputations or lifelong suffering from the at-grade Caltrain accidents' injuries.

BAB allow the TransBay Terminal to finish without the $2Bil gap projected currently to fund the outdated and disjointed Caltrain extension while enabling the rerouted SF Central Subway to station  there.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 synergy.

BART is electrified, safer, quieter, more frequent, returns its surrounding area to neighborhood calmness, enables removal of the Dumbarton Rail pylons so the SoBay wetlands can restore to their natural 1910 state along with the salt flat reclamation, and most importantly, enables BART redundancy & SF access from two directions for emergencies or shutdowns (and shopping!). BART betters transit finances and allows for a 60-mile exclusive, safe Trail & bikeway between SJ to SF and interconnects with many East-West trails.  Finally, BART replacing Caltrain is fundable by the $4B from the 4 Caltrain multi-Billion$ projects, redirecting HSR funds to BART Around The Bay to close the 28 mile gap, and facilitates the sale of the Caltrain station and SF trackage for better city use so the land can be used to support the fantastic SOMa projects and growth, Warriors, AT&T Park, and even Mission Bay densification.   HSR helps none of this but bleeds Cities, unions, and so many social needs hurtfully...BART doesn't. BART is proven.  BART Around the Bay is good Innovation. Let's work on BAC and SVLG to bring BAB, replacing the outdated Caltrain Killtrain (Suicide Train?) with the magic of BAB by its 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-eds/2012/06/innovation-key-city-s-transparency#disqus_thread#ixzz1zWkyBfFp

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