Oct 2011

RTP Submission by TAM

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.


Testimony on Central Subway

Testimony Before the S. F. Supes Audit Comm.
10/27/11 Hearing on Civil Grand Jury Report on Central Subway

We are transit advocates, working primarily at the regional and statewide level. We have opposed the Central Subway for years, because instead of being a well- designed cost-effective transportation project, it is primarily a political payoff.

The Grand Jury deserves the thanks of all San Franciscans for their willingness to dive into an incredibly dense thicket of details and their courage to call a spade a spade. Their report is a proud addition to the long tradition of speaking truth to power.

The fundamental project design problems raised in the report are so serious that they necessitate a response from the Board on recommendations 16 - 20, even though you weren't specifically asked to. If the Board ignores these recommendations, it will send a strong message of “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.”

As Mr. Reskin, the MTA head said, the questions about this project were asked and answered. However, the answers were so steeped in politics as to be worthless. The Grand Jury is telling your Board that the Emperor has no clothes. Future generations will remember you as the Board members that ignored their message and put Muni into an extended fiscal crisis.