Given events of the past year, it is interesting that the race for BART District 4 has gone unreported. District 4 is where a BART police officer shot dead an unarmed passenger on a train platform. And Coliseum/Oakland Airport station, also in District 4, is the location of the Oakland Airport Connector (OAC). BART lost a $70 million grant for that white-elephant project due to Civil Rights violations.
The District 4 incumbant, Carole Ward Allen, is the major cheerleader for the OAC. For that reason alone, she does not deserve re-election.
Ward’s opponent, Robert Raburn, has an incredible public service record. For more than 20 years, Raburn has been in the trenches promoting alternatives to the automobile.
Raburn is the one who got BART to relax its restrictions for on-board bicycle access to trains. He sucessfully lobbied for secure bike parking at BART stations (eLockers, BikeStations, etc). Raburn is the one who developed the Safe-Routes-to-Transit program, which provides the bike/ped infrastructure for accessing transit stations.
The list goes on and on: the Bay Trail, the Bay Bridge bike path, and ‘Complete Streets’ policy at Caltrans.
Many of Raburn’s accomplishments have been adopted nationwide. Even if you don’t live in the Bay Area, chances are your local transit agency modeled its bikes-on-train policy after BART.
Most importantly, Raburn knows the BART organization inside and out, making him an excellent choice for serving on the Board.
He is in for a tough fight, however. Carole Ward Allen will have lots of help from the contracting mafia. If you live in the BART district, consider lending Raburn your support.