Interesting development in Livermore:
In a surprising about-face, Livermore’s leaders Monday yielded to a group that wants the future BART-to-Livermore extension to stay on the freeway. Mayor Marshall Kamena, Vice Mayor John Marchand and Councilwoman Marj Leider voted 3-2 for an initiative aimed at keeping stations along Interstate 580. Councilmen Jeff Williams and Doug Horner were the dissenters. Kamena made the motion to adopt the initiative, essentially forcing the council to renounce its earlier endorsement of BART’s plan to build stations downtown and at Vasco Road.
A downtown location is better than a freeway median, but not if it means digging a $3 billion subway through ex-urban greenfield. Still, it is disheartening that residents opposed the downtown alignment for all the wrong reasons:
A coalition called Keep BART on 580 formed earlier this year, with members walking door to door to gather signatures for the initiative. The group argued an underground route downtown was a bad idea, citing undesirable high-density housing, the planned destruction of 11 homes and possible increased crime though City Council had pledged to build a police substation at the station.