MTC shows its true colors: Executive Director search process

The agenda for the October 24 Executive Director Selection Committee discloses all one needs to know about the approach being taken by the Committee. The only items on the agenda are the roll call, a mandatory opportunity for public comment, a closed session and a report-out. All the signs are there that a back-room deal is being cut for the most important hire for the future of the Bay Area. This is just the way it was done when Steve Heminger was appointed many years ago. A hire from the inside, with no national search process is what happened then…

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The future of transportation in the Bay Area is up for grabs

An article by Erin Baldassari, “Bridge toll hike is ‘first step’ in solving Bay Area’s traffic woes, experts say” points out just how expensive proposed future transportation fixes will be. However, a strikingly insightful column by Daniel Borenstein, Toll hike vote indicates Bay Area struggles ahead, suggests that the Bay Area’s policy leaders will not be able to enact these programs because voters will not fund them. This is an acknowledgement of the public’s lack of confidence in MTC, an agency that has intentionally remained unknown by the larger public. That begs the question of whether we will all drown in…

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Marin Independent Journal Publishes TRANSDEF Opinion Piece

Today’s Marin Independent Journal published  TRANSDEF’s opinion piece explaining how suburban development leads to solo driving, which leads to congestion. This problem is the result of our governance structure: Suburbanization is a piecemeal process, governed by local government. What’s been missed for the past 80 years is the cumulative effect of many thousands of subdivisions in dozens of jurisdictions on the region’s transportation network. That kind of analysis requires regional governance with the power and will to enforce consequences on development that has negative impacts on the region. The editorials opposing Regional Measure 3 by the Mountain View Voice and Palo…

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Press Democrat Publishes TRANSDEF Opinion Piece

Today’s Press Democrat carries an opinion piece by TRANSDEF that characterizes Sonoma County’s push for highway widening as no longer appropriate: What the supporters of Regional Measure 3 on the June 5 ballot are missing is that the world has changed in two critical ways. Highway widening, the go-to solution of the past, is now recognized as only a short-term fix. … More than 60 percent of Sonoma County’s greenhouse gases come from motor vehicles. Instead, it suggests that the Sonoma County Transportation Authority needs to make shared travel its top priority, replacing solo driving as the default commute mode.

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TRANSDEF Debated RM3 on KQED Forum

TRANSDEF’s President David Schonbrunn was paired with the Bay Area Council’s President Jim Wonderman on the Tuesday, May 8 broadcast of KQED Forum, 88.5 FM. Forum is the Bay Area’s premiere public affairs show. (Press the red Listen button) In his 4-minute opening statement, Schonbrunn asserts that because the MTC, Bay Area Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and SPUR, the sponsors of RM3, have been heading in the wrong direction, the toll increase won’t reduce traffic:    In this short segment, Schonbrunn discusses the solution to congestion as eliminating so-called Express Lanes (High-Occupancy Toll lanes) and heavily promoting ridesharing:

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Cupertino City Council Votes to Oppose RM3

In a highly unusual agenda item, the Cupertino City Council discussed the flaws in Regional Measure 3 and voted to oppose it. They will send a letter to other elected officials, informing them of their reasons for doing so. The item starts with public testimony on the measure, led off by TRANSDEF. Councilmember Steven Scharf offered a striking slide presentation. Vice-Mayor Rod Sinks presented a passionate and thorough recounting of the promises to Cupertino that have been broken by VTA. Councilmember Barry Chang urged the Council to take a leadership role in opposing the measure. Finally, the Council formulated its final…

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TRANSDEF Opposition to RM3 Published in Mercury News

TRANSDEF’s opinion piece “Toll Increase Would Condemn Bay Area To Gridlock” was published in the Sunday print version of the Mercury News. The subheading is “If the Metropolitan Transportation Commission knew how to cut traffic, it would have done so by now.” The piece was specifically targeted for Silicon Valley, and identifies Silicon Valley business as major funders of the Yes on RM3 Campaign, and asks “Are Silicon Valley businesses trying to stick the public with the cost of transporting their workers?” The opinion piece explains that Regional Measure 3 is going to trap the Bay Area in its current trend,…

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Why Environmentalists Should Oppose RM3

The general public has plenty of reason to distrust MTC and RM3. That said, environmentalists and especially climate activists have compelling reasons to actively campaign against RM3. Half of California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are produced by motor vehicles. We must fight back against MTC’s Business as Usual priorities, which result in continued emissions growth. MTC stubbornly refuses to change its priorities, even though the climate emergency clearly demands an entirely new focus: reducing GHG emissions. That requires shifting where the region’s transportation money is spent, something resisted by local governments. For the Bay Area and California to reach its…

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Bay Area transit ridership down despite subsidies, enticements

Bay Area transit ridership down despite subsidies, enticements 02/09/15 Filed in: Transportation Planning | MTC In today’s Chronicle, Matier & Ross write about how regional transit ridership in the Bay Area has been down for decades despite the many billions of dollars MTC has put into construction projects. This begs the question “Why?” For us, the answer is simple: MTC’s unique combination of indifference, incompetence and unwillingess to do the hard work of policy development has created a politicized unaccountable system that works great for contractors, but does little for Bay Area residents and commuters. See related several posts on…

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