Archive for October, 2019

It is curious how it is cyclists who can get their vehicle confiscated, but rarely car owners:

PEABODY, MA — Police confiscated bikes from more than 30 kids who were riding without a helmet Thursday morning as part of “a concerted effort to educate those children who are riding their bicycles in an unsafe manner.” The crackdown comes after complaints in social media forums for Peabody residents about kids riding bikes. Children who had their bikes taken by police were told they could get it back by going to the Peabody Police Station with a parent.


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The BART-SJ extension includes a redundant station at Santa Clara, duplicating the existing Caltrain service. At last month’s VTA Board meeting, Director Bob Rennie asked staff the following:

Rennie: We’ve had a number of people come to our Board meeting and ask why are we spending the extra money to extend to Santa Clara? I’ve never seen a trade-off of other options. If we have not done a trade-off analysis, are we going to do a trade-off analysis? Can we do a wider station at Diridon instead?

VTA Staff (Dennis Radcliffe): Many of those things were considered, but generally we are not exploring any of those…The Santa Clara station provides parking that we’re not providing at the downtown station.

I know this is pointing out the obvious but….if VTA wants to provide more parking at that location they can build a new garage at the Santa Clara Caltrain station and have those riders board Caltrain. 


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When San Jose pushed for a deep-bore tunnel on the downtown BART extension, one of the criticisms heard repeatedly was the station access issues. So it is bizarre that Mayor Liccardo would only now criticize staff for producing a station design lacking entrances:

For San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Councilmember Raul Peralez, who both sit on the VTA board, the higher budget or delayed opening wasn’t as much of a concern as the lack of pedestrian access to the planned Downtown San Jose BART station. The lawmakers called for a second downtown station entrance. The lively session on Friday included discussion of changes to the current plan, with board members representing San Jose raising flags about the concept for the BART station set to be built downtown.

The current plan only includes one main entrance — located just north of Santa Clara Street — across an already-busy intersection from many of San Jose’s largest employers and attractions.

“I’m just very concerned about setting ourselves up for having pedestrians cross and clear (Santa Clara) when we know the number of assets in downtown where we expect people to be coming from… San Jose State University, City Hall, Adobe world headquarters, Zoom headquarters, all the entertainment venues,” Liccardo said. “All of those are south of Santa Clara.”

VTA’s off-the-cuff estimate for the addition of a second, south-of-Santa Clara underground entrance to the station would be in the $100 million range.

Major downtown metro and rail stations typically have entrances going off in multiple directions. The SJ downtown stop will have just the single entrance.

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This is my car. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My car is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my car is useless. Without my car, I am useless. I must drive my car true. I must drive faster than my enemy who is trying to pass me. I must pass him before he passes me. I will …

My car and I know that what counts in driving is not the gas we burn, the noise of our exhaust, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the speed that counts. We will speed …

My car is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its accelerator and its wheels. I will keep my car clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will …

Before God, I swear this creed. My car and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of the highway. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no traffic, but peace. Amen.


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Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 9.54.45 PMYet another Climate Mayor who had bike lanes removed:

 It was a short-lived ride for Eaton Street’s brand-new bike lanes in Providence. NBC 10 News asked Mayor Jorge Elorza: What went into the planning?

“We’ve held a number of community sessions for a number of years now,” the mayor said.

Elorza said this investment into the city’s Great Streets Program didn’t work. “What happened on Eaton Street is that I think frankly that was the wrong street to start on,” Elorza added. The lanes installed on the narrow street rolled in a lot of negative feedback. Now, they’re coming out.

Elorza joins an illustrious group that includes the Mayors of Berkeley, San Jose, and Baltimore. If these “Climate Mayors” want to be taken seriously, its membership needs to stop promoting auto-centric policies.

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Mayor Elorza said this street was too narrow for a bike project



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Trumpism has no place at BART

It was inevitable that Donald Trump’s brand of toxic politics would spread. But who could imagine that it would infect the BART Board of Directors — namely Debora Allen, who represents District 1 in Contra Costa County.

Like Trump and his border wall, Allen is obsessed with keeping out the “bad guys” with new faregates. It does not matter what the cost, or the fact that a wall or gates or whatever is ineffective. She has routinely inflated claims of fare losses without a shred of evidence (she claims losses of $35-75 million when BART data says it is $15-25 million). And whenever someone corrects her on this, she engages in raging twitter flame wars:


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