Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Coming soon to downtown San Rafael

The Novato City Council will press SMART for assurance that a countywide quiet zone would be in place before rail operations begin. At the same time, the city plans to move forward with a joint application with San Rafael for a quiet zone that includes both cities. The Novato council’s agreement Tuesday came after the San Rafael City Council on Monday expressed a willingness to help establish a single comprehensive quiet zone, as long as it does not put its residents at risk of enduring the trains’ horns when service commences. <a href="http://www.marinij.com/article/NO/20161005/NEWS/161009878">Read more about this topic</a>. (George Russell - Special to Marin Independent Journal)
Marin Independent Journal

A reader's comment to an earlier IJ story:

BTW - was driving in San Rafael yesterday heading west on 4th street just east of the rail crossing when a "practice" train came thru. The gates went down way in advance of the oncoming train which was moving very slowly. In the middle of the day, traffic backed up behind me east of the underpass toward Whole Foods before the gates went back up. Just imagine what it will be like during rush hour.

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At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"But Christy Waters, a retired psychiatrist living at Opera Plaza, said city agencies had done a poor job of letting the community know about the Van Ness and Polk projects. She added that city representatives at Wednesday’s open house gave no answer when she asked them if they had considered redesigning Polk exclusively for pedestrians and bicycles.

“I think at some point, you have to say, ‘You have to get out of your automobile,’” she said."

Incredible how SFMTA lets a handful of retired people with too much time on their hands dictate our urban planning. It's time to let people with jobs decide important matters like this.

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It might even make sense to change CEQA and other such regulatory laws to forbid retired people from having any involvement with them. Think of the savings in time and money in not having to deal with such people when setting policy. Being old, they won't be alive to see as much of the effects, and they should have proportionally as little say in their implementation.

At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice that a lot of the smarter retired folks are sitting out from local politics and concentrating their expertise and wisdom on more serious matters, such as the latest Donald Trump scandal.

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The Trump phenomenon is a lot more significant than the SMART project, which is merely a useful experiment in the current enthusiasm for passenger rail, a kind of miniature version of the high-speed rail project. Since SMART is a smaller and cheaper project, it will actually begin operating later this year or early next year. I suspect it will show that the project was oversold about alleviating Highway 101 traffic and that it will also be more expensive to maintain and operate than expected.

It will also cost state and federal taxpayers, since they too will inevitably get sucked into giving the system money one way or another. In fact that's already happening. I suspect the system will end up like a Highway 101 version of the Napa Wine Train, not a system that will have a significant impact on commuter traffic.

These issues also apply to the HSR project, with the important difference that it seems unlikely ever to be operational, since the money to even build the system has never existed.

And if/when that system is ever built, the enabling legislation for the project explicitly prohibits any taxpayer subsidy to operate the system if/when it's built, which is why a functioning SMART system will be an instructive economic experiment, if not a successful transportation project.


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