Letters: Support/decry Guardino BART bullying letter
- Published Friday, February 11, 2005, in the Mountain View Voice
Letters to the Editor
Region needs BART
I couldn't disagree more with your editorial on Feb. 4 calling Carl
Guardino's letter about voters' BART support out of line.
[BATN: Editorial: Guardino BART bullying wrong -- time to halt BART
There was a very clear mandate delivered by the voters in 2000 that
BART was the number-one transit priority in the county. That message
was the most overpowering result in any proposition that I have
witnessed in my 35 years in this valley. The alleged voting impact
of the electrification of Caltrain in your editorial is pure cotton-
candy conjecture. You've spun that one out of nowhere.
I agree that we are now in a great budget crunch compared to the
flush times of 2000. But I believe the wisest use of those transit
dollars is to build BART linking East Bay to San Jose and the
airport, even at the expense of the lesser important projects on the
list. BART represents our best hope for high capacity, low land-use
transit in our future. While I don't expect for a minute that it
will reduce freeway traffic by a single car, I do believe it will
carry the bulk of our future transit growth.
A livable and vibrant valley not trampled by autos and buses
requires a high capacity, efficient transit system to support a
higher density and higher-quality housing mix. It is a healthy
vision that lets us breathe, work and play in a new "Valley of the
Mind's Delight." Let's build a future in which we all can live.
BART needs reevaluation
I couldn't agree more with the Feb. 4 editorial, "Guardino's BART
push out of line." First of all, I do believe there are a number of
Bay Area communities that have been paying a special sales tax to
extend BART in other directions that should presumably be built
before any extension into Santa Clara County. Antioch and Livermore
come to mind.
Secondly, it boggles the mind that Carl Guardino would have the gall
to mail letters to North County city councils asking them to both
remove their current appointee on the VTA board and divert precious
transportation dollars that could and should be spent evenly across
the county. Does Guardino think we don't have traffic on the
Peninsula? Has he not seen the mess of the Highways 85/101
interchange? I also feel that his actions reek of corruption and
hypocrisy, and I don't believe he's pushing so hard solely out of
a love for "the voters."
Remember that many of the voters who passed the measure in 2000
did so while they were still making decent salaries (as opposed to
wages). Given the current state of the economy in California, I
think the majority of voters would agree that Greg Perry and the
other VTA board members are right to reevaluate the proposal and
look at alternatives to keep costs down.
Most everyone in Santa Clara County would agree that connecting BART
to VTA is a good thing. Certainly, the Warm Springs Extension is
much needed. From there, I think we should focus on bringing BART
down to Milpitas where it can connect with VTA and leave it at that
until money starts flowing back into government budgets. And, no, I
will not approve an additional tax for such a shortsighted plan. At
least, not under the current administration.
Keegan L. Patterson