Nudging Union City into the 21st Century

Route of the Union City Mayor’s New Highway

Here are two recent BATWG letters, each emphasizing the superiority of a new Dumbarton Rail service between the Union City BART  station and Caltrain’s Redwood City Station over U.C. Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci’s  “anachronistic short highway to nowhere”.

 Bay Area Transportation Working Group  

                                                              July 9, 2019

Dear Mayor Dutra-Vernacic (Mayor of Union City): 

We remember you as are a strong supporter of the plan to create a passenger rail service via a rebuilt Dumbarton Rail Bridge between the Redwood City Caltrain Station and the Union City BART Station.  We agree.   

That major east-west rail improvement, coupled with some well-thought out changes to the manner in which AC Transit lines serves your city, additional bicycle and scooter facilities, and perhaps a free downtown bus shuttle, would give people more transportation options and therefore reduce everyone’s current need to drive virtually everywhere.  Moreover, with those changes, you would be justified in instituting a citywide congestion pricing program.  This would encourage some people to switch to non-automotive means of getting around and oblige others to help pay for additional East Bay transportation improvements.  

We therefore urge you to reject Caltrans’ anachronistic plan to push a brutally-destructive highway through choice Union City open space in favor of taking the lead in making yours a more beautiful and less congested city.   

In any such effort you may count on BATWG’s support.

Sincerely yours,

Gerald Cauthen P.E.
Bay Area Transportation Working Group (BATWG)
510 208 5441


     Bay Area Transportation Working Group (BATWG) 

July 25, 2019

Dear Vice Mayor McQuaid Vice-Mayor of Albany (and Supervisor Keith Carsen’s alternative to the ACTC):

It is our understanding that you are keeping an open mind as to whether or not another highway in Union City would be necessary and desirable.  This is appreciated.

The Bay Area is on the cusp of a new era. As you know the Bay Council and Silicon Valley Leadership Group, strongly supported by elements of the private sector, plan to place a $100,000,000,000 transportation funding measure on the ballot next year.  The new plan will be focused on strengthening the Region’s currently disjointed network of trains and buses, not on highway-building.  We believe that it is only a matter of time before public and private transit become much more useful to many more people.

Union City would have a much better chance of qualifying a Dumbarton Rail Crossing for funding under this oncoming funding program than another urban highway that would both destroy the historic Ramirez  farm and erase the chances of ever merging the farm with a spectacular urban park along Alameda Creek.

In addition to the new interest in upgrading the Region’s transit lines, there is now also serious talk of imposing disincentives to drive, in the form of a tax on carbon consumption, roadway use charges and/or congestion pricing. 

With an exciting new Transbay rail line terminating at the Union City BART station, Union City has the opportunity to be at the forefront of this new era.


Gerald Cauthen P.E.
Bay Area Transportation Working Group (BATWG)
510 208 5441

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