Monday, May 09, 2016

SMART[sic] train sucks up transportation dollars

(Source: The Greater Marin)
A Novato Station

SF Streetsblog's description of the latest Independent Journal story on the SMART train: "Sonoma Supervisor wants Transit Funds Used to Induce More Traffic."

All the news that fits! And if it doesn't fit your anti-car ideology, do some trimming with the description.

Anyone familiar with this part of Highway 101 knows it's a traffic bottleneck and needs more lanes.

The story is about how to divvy up $18 million in federal transportation money:

The money comes from a congressional earmark granted in 2005 for ferry service to Port Sonoma, a silted boat harbor on the Petaluma River, across from Black Point near Novato. The project has since been abandoned and its funding is up for grabs after the federal Department of Transportation released the money in March, according to regional transportation officials.

Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt wants most of the money to go to widen Highway 101 at Novato:

Rabbitt wants to see $15 million of the money used for 4.5 miles of widening along Highway 101 from south of the Petaluma River Bridge to San Antonio Creek, with the $3.2 million balance going toward the San Rafael Transit Center. Rabbitt said the widening would benefit as many as 100,000 drivers on a daily basis. The Sonoma County Transportation Authority has $15 million in hand for the narrows work and getting the Port Sonoma dollars would allow work to commence...

The SMART train folks want most of the money for the transit center.

This is the problem with dumb rail projects: they suck up transportation money that could be better spent elsewhere (e.g. high-speed rail).

Like all the Independent Journal stories about the not-so-smart train project, the comments to the story are must-reads.

Later: Santa Rosa Press Democrat editorial: Opening the bottleneck on Highway 101

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