For almost a year BATWG has struggled to find the transportation logic behind the frantic effort to push the $3,000,000,000 + Valley Link proposal to the front of the line for federal funding.
Background: Valley Link is a proposed 42-mile commuter rail service with a significant portion to be operated in both directions on a single track. The line would run from the East Dublin BART station via the north edge of Livermore and Tracy to North Lathrop in San Joaquin County. On 9.24.20, $400,000,000 in Alameda County sales tax funds were unaccountably diverted from their voter-approved intent of improving transit connections between BART and the Tri-Valley to the Valley Link proposal (hereinafter VL.)
On 12.2.20 the Draft Environment Impact Report (DEIR), estimated to be at least 5,000 pages long was finally released, with public comment due by 1.21.21. During the ensuing 40 days BATWG critiqued the document which we believe fails to meet CEQA, Alameda County Measure BB and AB758 requirements in a number of significant ways. Our critiques were submitted to the sponsoring agency before the deadline. Here is part of what we found.
Project Alternatives: CEQA requires that major infrastructure projects include viable alternatives to compare against the “preferred alternative”. Not a single one of the some 30 so-called “alternatives” listed in the DEIR come anywhere close to meeting this CEQA requirement. There were and are other options available. Here are two, either of which could serve local and regional travel needs better than VL would. Both have so far been ignored: