Excerpts from BATWG’s 12/8/2019 letter to Mayor Dutra-Vernaci and the Union City Council:
BATWG is a 501c3 California non-profit corporation. We are all volunteers, dedicated to restoring a more balanced transportation system to the Bay Area. Collectively we have a vast amount of experience in transportation, housing and land use development.
From a review of your Plan 2040 it appears that the East West Connector [now euphemistically called the “Quarry Lakes Parkway”] is still in Union City’s program. We urge you to rethink this.
Union City will soon have a much better BART connection to the South Bay than at present. In the works is a further extension all the way through downtown San Jose and on into Santa Clara. This will give north-south travelers some important new options.
A shuttle train across a restored or rebuilt Dumbarton rail bridge has strong support on both sides of the Bay. That is because a passenger rail connection between the Redwood City Caltrain Station and the Union City BART station would at last give east-west travelers a way of quickly and reliability getting across the Dumbarton Straits without getting bogged down in Dumbarton Highway Bridge or I-237 traffic.
It is likely that the proposed East West Connector and the Dumbarton rail shuttle will turn out to be mutually exclusive. In other words, given the scarcity of transportation funding, Union City will have a choice of either a short freeway along Alameda Creek through lands should be an urban park or the rail service, but probably not both.
In addition, it appears from Plan 2040 that Union City is failing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with State and federal requirements. This will occur only if people are persuaded drive less, which first and foremost means the provision of attractive travel alternatives. Together the BART extension and Dumbarton rail project would go a long ways toward achieving this objective.
It is our considered opinion that a fast and reliable passenger rail service across the Dumbarton Straits would bring far greater benefits to Union City than a short section of creek-side highway to help a nearby housing developer.