BATWG Positions

The following summary of BATWG’s concerns was compiled in 2014.

1.) Rejection of MTC’s HOT Lane (now dubbed “Express Lanes”) Program: On May 13, 2013, BATWG sent a letter to MTC Director Steve Heminger taking strong exception to MTC’s HOT lane program, which includes 300 + lane miles of new Bay Area freeway. Now is no time be expanding Bay Area freeways and permitting the affluent and the influential to speed past freeway backups while everyone else stews in gridlock.

2.) Resolving Transit Labor Disputes: On July 3, 2013, BATWG pointed out the folly of permitting a few hundred BART fare collection agents to adversely affect the lives of millions of Bay Area commuters. No matter what the issues between management and labor, it is not acceptable for a small number of aggrieved public servants to shut down an entire region. In the future such differences should be worked through mediators or if necessary, arbitrators acceptable to the parties.

3.) Guidelines for a Regional Planning Director: On October 24, 2013, BATWG issued a set of proposed guidelines for this vitally important position. If adopted the guidelines would help ensure that in the future the position was occupied by an individual with the experience, imagination, patience and perseverance needed to effectively carry out Bay Area regional planning responsibilities.

4.) AC Transit Improvement: On October 26, 2013, BATWG sent a letter to AC Transit General Manager David Armijo outlining ways of rendering AC Transit more efficient and more responsive to the needs of its riders and would-be riders.

5.) Restructuring MTC: On November 27, 2013, BATWG issued a white paper describing changes to MTC designed to bring it closer to its constituencies around the Region, increase the transparency of its key decisions and strengthen its ability to ensure regional cooperation when necessary.

6.) Dumbarton Rail: On April 14, 2014 BATWG, sent a letter to Mr. Heminger supporting the plan to extend an upgraded Altamont Commuter Express line across a rebuilt Dumbarton Rail Bridge and then via the Caltrain right-of-way into downtown San Francisco. With BART’s subaqueous tube between Oakland and San Francisco nearing capacity, the need for a second Bay rail crossing is increasing. The longer MTC avoids facing this problem, the more dire the eventual consequences.

7.) Rejecting Alameda County Measure BB: In 2014, BATWG turned its attention to the Alameda County Transportation Commission’s (ACTC’s) ill-conceived Measure BB. Measure BB will raise $7.8 billion in new transportation sales taxes and yet fail to address the County’s most important transportation problems. Instead the ACTC appears poised to waste much of the money raised on politically-inspired ventures of small consequence.

8.) Rejecting San Francisco’s Prop A: In August 2014, BATWG announced its opposition to San Francisco Prop A. Including bond interest Prop A would saddle San Francisco property tax payers with over a billion dollars in new taxes. Despite this, Prop A fails to address either San Francisco’s increasing population and employment or its most pressing transportation problems.

BATWG pledges itself to work with the Region’s transportation agencies, and with like-minded good government, environmental, civic and neighborhood groups, in a continuing effort to improve the Region’s non-automotive transportation systems, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect towns and cities from the adverse effects of traffic congestion.