Joint Policy Committee Blinks

Joint Policy Committee Blinks 05/20/11 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning David Schonbrunn’s remarks: At its last Commission meeting, MTC made a major policy decision that will strongly constrain the ability of the RTP to accomplish regional goals. They voted on whether to hold previously selected projects to the same standard of regional effectiveness as new submissions. This vote on a committed projects policy told the world that MTC really doesn’t care about achieving results, and that it is only interested in the politics of transportation dollars. Every member of the Commission did the calculation: if it comes down to the regional…

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Massive Counter-Attack Ends Brief Spring at MTC

Massive Counter-Attack Ends Brief Spring at MTC 04/27/11 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning In a blow to the very heart of the region’s transportation planning process, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted today to preserve the longstanding dominance of local politics in the allocation of funds for transportation projects in the Bay Area. The shortage of funds due to the economic crisis had led MTC staff to propose a revision to the Commission’s Committed Projects Policy, so as to enable the MTC’s Regional Transportation Plan to be more effective. In the past, the policy essentially cemented in previous project selections,…

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MTC Shows its True Colors-OAC

MTC Shows its True Colors-OAC 09/08/10 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning MTC’s Programming and Allocations Committee met to once again take the heat in deciding whether to provide additional funding for the BART Oakland Airport Connector (OAC), a truly execrable project. This project, which had died after the Federal Transit Administration pulled the plug on $70 million in stimulus funding, showed itself to have many lives, and many functionaries willing to bend institutional rules to raise it from the dead. MTC violated its own rules in bypassing a required vote by its Commissioners, and was caught at it. Large…

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Oakland Airport Connector–Government at its Worst

Oakland Airport Connector–Government at its Worst 12/12/09 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning Guy Span wrote a powerful post on the decision of the BART Board to put itself into serious debt, in the midst of cutting service and not having the funds to replace its cars. Here’s the comment we posted: The BART Board’s decision to proceed is a textbook case of everything that is wrong with transportation decisionmaking in the Bay Area. Because the benefits of this extremely expensive project are so obviously minimal, BART Directors and MTC Commissioners have made their priorities very public. They clearly couldn’t…

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Major new figure emerges in Bay Area Transportation Reporting

Major new figure emerges in Bay Area Transportation Reporting 11/15/09 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning TRANSDEF was exceedingly pleased to discover the blog of Guy Span, available at Examiner.com. He wrote an in-depth multi-part series on MTC decisionmaking that was, in our opinion, the very best analysis we’ve seen. Check out his List of Articles. Tags: Guy Span, BART

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The BART Oakland Airport Connector

The BART Oakland Airport Connector 06/22/09 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning TRANSDEF’s statement to the BART Board of Directors on Thursday May 12: I’m David Schonbrunn, President of TRANSDEF, a Bay Area environmental non-profit focused on regional transportation, and BART extensions in particular. This is a historic decision that will tell the world what your Board is really all about. The start is not promising, in that one of your employees is organizing a campaign for this project while on the job, using a BART.gov email address. We believe this is certainly unethical and likely to be illegal. Today’s…

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MTC threatens TRANSDEF with sanctions

MTC threatens TRANSDEF with sanctions 05/02/09 Filed in: MTC On April 10, MTC sent TRANSDEF a threatening letter, demanding that TRANSDEF dismiss its lawsuit against MTC and ACTIA, or face a motion asking the Court to force TRANSDEF to pay MTC’s attorneys’ fees. Given how MTC typically spends money, this could easily run to over $100,000. ACTIA later sent TRANSDEF a copycat letter, threatening to join MTC’s suit.

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MTC adopts irresponsible regional plan

MTC adopts irresponsible regional plan 05/02/09 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning Now that MTC has adopted its 2009 Regional Transportation Plan, check out the latest comments TRANSDEF filed, and the critique of the Plan. Tags: RTP

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Warm Springs BART litigation

Warm Springs BART litigation 03/04/09 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning TRANSDEF recently filed a taxpayers’ lawsuit to prevent Bay Area transportation agencies from illegally sending BART over $315 million for construction of its Warm Springs extension. Check it out. Tags: BART

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The Regional Transportation Plan is nearing adoption

The Regional Transportation Plan is nearing adoption 03/04/09 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning | Climate Change On March 13th, MTC will have a meeting of its Planning Committee to go over final details of its draft Regional Transportation Plan, for approval on March 25th. See TRANSDEF’s comment letter. This plan is a joke as far as climate change is concerned. If you are going to attend these meetings, ask MTC to commit to reducing greenhouse gases at least as much as the land use and pricing alternatives studied in the Environmental Impact Report. Tags: RTP

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