With the BART Warm Springs construction now underway, it is worth looking at the impact on the local waterways:
As can be seen from the map, the BART extension crosses a number of creeks. During the past 100 years, these creeks crossing the ROW were culverted, piped, and undergrounded by the Army Corp of Engineers, and the Alameda County Water District — causing enormous damage to the ecosystem.
Might some creek restoration been done as part of this massive $1 billion project? Sadly, nobody seems to have given serious consideration to that idea. Not even California Regional Quality Board, whose motto (ironically) is Preserving, enhancing, and restoring the San Francisco Bay Area’s waters for over 50 years. The new BART line will generally preserve the existing conditions, except that higher-capacity culverts and pipes will be installed (i.e. flood control “improvements”).
Now granted, some of the creek culverts are situated very close to buildings and other development. Restoring those creeks would be a major undertaking. But there are some which are comparatively “easy”:
Part of the problem may be institutional bias in the Alameda County Water District. They have fenced off almost all their creeks and waterways, preventing ordinary citizens from going out and enjoying the habitat. Perhaps out of embarrassment for the ecological damage done? Whatever the reason, it cuts off what could be ideal transportation corridors for bikes and peds. And the BART tracks that cross this creek will be yet another barrier.
Incidentally, there is one bit of good news, it is the restoration of Alameda Creek beginning next year, with installation of fish screens and ladders. Although it should be noted this project is North of (and unrelated to) the Warm Springs extension.