Optimizing the Use of Both Passenger Trains and Bicycles

To: Theresa MacMillan

Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Re: Bicycles on trains

The Bay Area Transportation Working Group (BATWG) supports connection to public transit by bicycle and other non-automotive means. But we also recognize that rail systems, especially, are becoming increasingly crowded throughout the entire day.

The current policy of allowing bicycles on trains reduces the space available for other riders.   BATWG suggests a number of ways to support bicycling while freeing up space on crowded trains : Continue reading

The Decline and Fall of the Bay Area’s Transportation Agency

The State Legislature created the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission (hereinafter MTC) in 1970. At the time it was widely anticipated that MTC would put an end to parochialism and bring a regional perspective to what was already recognized as a serious regional problem. As set forth in Title 7.1 of the California Government Code, the underlying reason for bringing MTC into existence was simple and to the point: Article 66502 of Title 7.1 reads as follows: “There is hereby created…. the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to provide comprehensive regional transportation planning for the region comprised of the City and County of San Francisco and the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.”

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But this didn’t happen, and as a result both the Region and MTC have fallen on hard times. Ridership on buses and trains is declining and an ever increasing flood of cars is overwhelming Bay Area roadways. With respect to MTC people are increasingly asking: “Where’s the Beef” and, “Is there any content…...or is it all process? These problems didn’t develop by accident and they weren’t inevitable. Here’s a part of what happened: Continue reading

Dumbarton Rail Gets a New Look

The overloaded Dumbarton Highway Bridge extends from Newark to East Palo Alto and is a virtual parking lot during peak commute periods. AC Transit’s feeble attempt to serve transbay commuting needs by using this highway bridge for its buses is completely negated by the fact that harried AC riders get bogged down in the same often unbearable gridlock as everyone else.

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To alleviate this intolerable situation, it has long been recognized that a transbay passenger rail connection across the Dumbarton Straits was necessary. Such a crossing would run via a restored or rebuilt Dumbarton rail bridge between Redwood City and Union City. Continue reading

Excerpts from BATWG Letter to Contra Costa County’s City Selection Committee

Excerpts…..(similar letters have been sent to other MTC counties)

City Selection Committee of Contra Costa County
Secretary Jami Napier                                                    c/o Contra Costa Mayors’ Conference
Chief Asst. Clerk of Board of Supervisors                  Attn. Gary Pokorny, Executive Director
County of Contra Costa                                                  2221 Spyglass Lane
651 Pine Street, 1st Floor, Room 106                           El Cerrito, CA 94530-1883
Martinez, CA 94553

VIA E-MAIL: gjpokorn@Lmi.net; Jami.Napier@cob.cccounty.us; etc.

Re: March 7, 2019 City Selection Committee Meeting, Item 4: MTC Appointment (2019-23)

Dear Mr. Pokorny, Secretary Napier and the City Mayors of the Selection Committee:

Bay Area Transportation Working Group (BATWG) is an all-volunteer organization formed in 2012 to keep up with and respond to ongoing Bay Area transportation issues and events. We are dedicated to finding ways of easing regional traffic congestion by improving the reliability and general appeal of the region’s passenger rail and bus systems. Continue reading