BATWG: The Bay Area Transportation Working Group (BATWG) is an all volunteer organization established in 2012 to keep up with and respond to important Bay Area transportation issues and events. Our primary objective is to find ways of easing regional traffic congestion by improving the reliability and appeal of Bay Area passenger rail and bus systems. BATWG is dedicated to working with like-minded groups to bring about these needed changes.
VMT in place of LOS…..or VMT and LOS?
“On September 27, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 743 into law and started a process that changes transportation impact analysis as part of CEQA compliance. These changes will include elimination of auto delay, level of service (LOS), and other similar measures of vehicular capacity or traffic congestion as a basis for determining significant impacts for land use projects and plans in California. Further, parking impacts will not be considered significant impacts on the environment for select development projects within infill areas with nearby frequent transit service. According to ……….. SB 743, these changes to current practice were necessary to more appropriately balance the needs of congestion management with statewide goals related to infill development, promotion of public health through active transportation, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.” Fehr and Peers, Transportation Consultants. Read more here.
Hot Off the Press! “Getting Rid of Transportation Czar”
Here is an article from East Bay Times editor Dan Borenstein about the pending retirement of long time MTC Director Steve Heminger. In it Mr. Borenstein provides an extraordinarily clear and comprehensive rendition of why MTC so badly needs a carefully-selected new Director. We simply couldn’t have said it any better than Mr. Borenstein did.
Muni Meltdown 2018 – Planning for Failure
Excerpts from Joe Eskenazi’s August 7, 2018 Article in Mission Local
“Muni (i.e. the SFMTA) is finding creative new ways to blow up the system. Documents obtained by Mission Local reveal shunting buses off their runs to serve as shuttles during the Twin Peaks tunnel closure has resulted in service cuts of up to 33 percent on San Francisco’s most crowded lines. In the age of social media, riding on public transit isn’t what brings us together anymore in San Francisco. Rather, it’s complaining about riding on public transit that unites us.” Read more here.
RM3 Approved…..the Aftermath
RM3 was accepted by the voters of the Bay Area on June 5, 2018. By increasing bridge tolls on State-owned Bay Area bridges RM3 creates a gigantic $4.45 billion slush fund for regional planners to spread around.
As might be expected, non-bridge users voted mostly for RM3 and frequent bridge users voted mostly against it. All else aside, RM3 is patently unfair in terms of who pays and who benefits from bridge toll increases.
In addition, under Article 13c of the California Constitution the RM3 bridge toll increases are being improperly treated as fees (requiring a 50% vote) when they are in fact taxes (requiring a 2/3rd vote). Pursuant to State Proposition 26 passed on November 8, 2010, Article 13c provides that a bridge toll increase is a fee only “if it is imposed for the exclusive privilege of the payor (driver & passengers)…”. Since the sponsors of RM3 plan to use the increased bridge toll funds to pay for expensive projects scattered around the Region including in areas where most of the voters virtually never use the bridges, the proceeds of RM3 are clearly not fees.
BART Rejects Overpriced BART/Livermore Extension
Here is BATWG’s response to BART’s analysis of the alternative ways of improving access to the BART system from Livermore and the rest of eastern Alameda County:
At the BART Board hearing on May 24, 2018 a number of Livermore residents voiced their desire for BART to be extended 5 miles from the existing East Dublin BART station to Isabel Avenue in low density suburban Livermore at a cost of $1.635 billion. At the same hearing, a number of individuals and groups from other parts of the BART Counties presented the case for a cheaper and more practical Express-Bus Alternative: Read More Here.