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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"Activism": Not the same as politics

48 Hills

The problem with this kind of "activism": The hunger-strikers and their supporters start thinking that it's all about them, not the issue they were supposedly demonstrating about in the first place. Activism turns into political narcissism.

If you can't elect a mayor and a majority of supervisors, why would the mayor let himself be bullied by your militant minority into doing something he doesn't want to do?

Tim Redmond and the Bay Guardian left made a similar mistake on homelessness more than ten years ago when they acted like Food Not Bombs was the same as having a policy alternative to Gavin Newsom's Care Not Cash when it was nothing but political theater

Demonstrations and political theater are not the same thing as politics, which is why city voters, over the opposition of the Guardian left, passed Care Not Cash in 2002 and then elected Newsom mayor in 2003.

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