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Editorial: Don't divert Dumbarton rail funds for costly SJ BART

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  • 6/27 Redwood City Daily
    Published Friday, June 27, 2008, by the Redwood City Daily News Derail bid to fund BART at local project s expense Editorial Regional transportation agency
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 27, 2008
      Published Friday, June 27, 2008, by the Redwood City Daily News

      Derail bid to fund BART at local project's expense

      Editorial

      Regional transportation agency staff should rethink a recommendation
      to divert $91 million from a Dumbarton rail corridor project into the
      costly, questionable scheme to extend BART into the South Bay.

      The latest price tag for connecting BART through San Jose and into
      Santa Clara is $6 billion, an expense that the region cannot seem to
      cover. The project has languished for years while South Bay leaders
      searched for ways to save it.

      The latest idea is to complete the 16-mile project in stages,
      presumably until the effort founders.

      The Metropolitan Transportation Commission staff suggests that
      $91 million budgeted for Dumbarton could be used to extend BART's
      terminus in Fremont another five miles into the city's Warm Springs
      district. This money would be repaid at some future date -- we hope.

      Palo Alto City Council Member Yoriko Kishimoto rightly said that the
      Warm Springs plan is, by itself, a "bridge to nowhere." The project
      still falls well short of the link to downtown San Jose that
      presumably makes it feasible.

      That missing piece includes no less than 4.5 miles of subway
      construction under San Jose. Don't expect that anytime soon.

      Admittedly, the Dumbarton rail corridor project faces its own
      challenges.

      The proposal <http://www.smcta.com/Dumbarton_Rail/information.asp>
      to run trains over the Bay between the Peninsula and the East Bay
      has doubled in cost to $600 million. Meanwhile, residents in Menlo
      Park are raising concerns about possible train noise, and the Santa
      Clara County civil grand jury has raised valid questions about the
      Dumbarton project.

      However, a previous grand jury has already blasted the BART project,
      as well. What will the region gain by shifting money from a project
      short of funding to another that may be completely unworkable?

      Regional transportation officials should not be siphoning away money
      from the Dumbarton project or any others to BART until they can
      devise a viable plan for a South Bay BART presence.


      [BATN: See also:

      Comment: Push to cannibalize Dumbarton rail funds for SJ BART
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/38878

      Dumbarton Rail may be sacrificed to help fund Warm Springs, SJ BART
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/38755

      SCCo. Grand Jury advises VTA to pull Dumbarton rail funds
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/38761

      SCCo. Grand Jury slams VTA, San Jose BART
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/19009

      Grand jury raps BART linkup to San Jose
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/18962

      SCCo. Grand Jury report: halt SJ BART extension
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/18942

      SCCo. Grand Jury blasts VTA on SJ BART extension
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/18940

      VTA chair brushes off Grand Jury SJ BART criticisms
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/18903

      SCCo. Grand Jury: Halt BART to SJ, reform VTA
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/18861 ]
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