Measure B would double VTA’s sales tax. This is intolerable, when the Measure fails in three distinct policy areas:
- BART to San Jose and Santa Clara is a horribly wasteful and ineffective response to the commuting challenges of Santa Clara County residents.
- The continued funding of highways is ultimately futile, as congestion will merely continue to get worse. See this study to learn how highway widening increases greenhouse gases over the long run.
- While Silicon Valley desperately needs great transit, VTA continues to operate a hopelessly ineffective transit system. Its plans allocate little of the Measure A proceeds to an Santa Clara County transit network.
The Sierra Club/Communities for a Better Environment suit seeks a reduction in greenhouse gases and air pollution that affects communities of color in West Oakland. The “Bay Area Citizens” suit is a right-wing challenge to what it views as an assault on Americans’ God-given right to live in suburbs. The Building Industry Association suit makes interesting claims that have never been litigated: that the regional plan violates SB 375 by not providing for feasible levels of housing for the entire population of the Bay Area, including in-commuters from the Central Valley.
For the associated documents, see the bottom of this page.
In its August 26 meeting, the Committee approved a consensus plan including the following elements that had been proposed by TRANSDEF: a North-South bikeway on the railroad trestle, if feasible; improved merging of E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd. with I-580; and an added eastbound lane on E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Marin County has become known lately for very vocal opposition to the Bay Area’s regional plan. TRANSDEF published an opinion piece on recent overreactions to regional planning. In an effort to foster an informed dialogue over housing issues, the Marin County League of Women Voters has published Dispelling the Myths Surrounding Affordable Housing.
Independently of anything the regional agencies do, the nine-county Bay Area is growing in population and getting wealthier, so, inevitably, it is changing. That means that the region is in transition. The aspect that concerns us is a needed transition from the present land use/mobility system to a new one.
The old, existing system is based on the single-family house, the personal automobile and the freeway. It handles growth mainly through outward spatial diffusion, or sprawl. It has grown up over decades, and has become our thoroughly familiar environment. We have all deeply adapted to it. It is individualistic, and not egalitarian. Growing up in times of economic success and prosperity, it offers what people believe is freedom. Therefore, on the basis of inertia alone, the traditional layout has support from the very large share of the population (and public and private administrative structures) that are comfortable in it and who want to preserve what is known and good. Read More...
TRANSDEF’s Comments to the
Transportation Authority of Marin
Regional Transportation Plan Discussion, 10-27-11
You have the authority to set a
very new direction for transportation in this county.
But you would never know it by reading the staff
report. Judging by the report, this agenda item
appears to be just another routine item.
The whole point of this agenda item last month had been to ask you what weight to give to each of the RTP candidate priority criteria. But that focus has been buried. It isn't at all clear what you are expected to do with this item. If you had been properly briefed by staff, you would recognize this item as the ultimate transportation policy setting discussion.
In my view, this is yet another in a long history of presentations shaped to maintain the status quo. TAM's predecessor agency had an ugly practice of keeping decision makers in the dark, so as to have staff positions rubber-stamped.