TRANSDEF’s President David Schonbrunn debated Newell Arnerich, a member of the CCTA Board and Danville City Councilmember on Contra Costa TV. The highlight of the debate was the discussion of suburban sprawl at 18:00, culminating with a take-down of Contra Costa’s vaunted linkage of transportation and land use.
The subject came up again, with a particularly good discussion of sprawl at 29:00, peaking at 31:00, with TRANSDEF’s statement that “Single-story ranch homes–that’s obsolete, in terms of new construction.” Moderator: “But people like that! That’s why they move here.” TRANSDEF’s response: “They may like all kinds of things, but when you have 300,000 new residents that like that and buy cars, that destroys the ability of every resident to get around this county. It creates an insoluble traffic problem, and that’s exactly where this county is currently heading.”
A great discussion about transit funding, with implications for Faster Bay Area, starts at 35:18. Moderator: “How do you change people’s minds about how they get around?” TRANSDEF response: “Simple! You establish a priority that it is the good of the larger number that matters. If you get people convenient transit that is faster than driving, you’re going to see a remarkable shift in how people get around.”
Moderator: “Is there enough money now to establish the kind of transit you’re talking about?” TRANSDEF response: “If it weren’t wasted. There’s certainly enough to begin it. … Had MTC been willing to use its funds to build the transit network that we needed back in 1995, we would not be talking about a $100 billion Megameasure that might be on the ballot in the fall, because the money was there, and it could have been spent wisely, but was not. We argue that Measure J is exactly analogous. That it’s not being spent properly.”