KGO – excerpt (includes video)
ABC7 News has learned a controversial freeway project that Caltrans claimed cost $300 million actually cost $460 million, 50 percent more than the agency told the public.
Documents obtained by ABC7 News show Caltrans has been giving out the wrong total cost figures for the Willits Bypass on Highway 101 in Mendocino County for the past five years.
The new freeway opened last November. It is 6 miles long, with two major overpasses, designed to route cars and trucks around a traffic bottleneck in the tiny town of Willits.
Willits Mayor Gerry Gonzalez is glad to see it finally finished. “Getting commercial truck traffic off of Main Street and making it a safer community is important,” he said.
No offense, but how much safety can we afford? What percentage of our taxes is going into “safety projects?”
$460 million so far, (we are told will go higher), for 8 miles of highway overpass? That is $57K dollars a mile before they finish the mitigations. We could do a lot more with that 460 million dollars than build an overpass for a small town. Someone must already be planning a new development off the freeway.
MTC : prnewswire – excerpt
SAN FRANCISCO, June 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has been awarded a 2017 Transportation Planning Excellence Award from the Federal Highway Administration for the project, “A Strategy for a Sustainable Region: Plan Bay Area and the One Bay Area Grant Program.” Plan Bay Area is the long-range transportation and land use plan for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area while the One Bay Area Grant Program channels the region’s federal transportation funding to make the vision of Plan Bay Area and its successors a reality… (more)
More deceptive back-patting by MTC. The Bay Area sports a dropping per capita transit ridership and suffers as the second most congested metropolitan region in the country. Despite this, according to its many boastful pronouncements MTC would have us believe that it is the most wonderfully successful planning department in the country if not the entire world.
Here’s the truth of the matter.
MTC’s “excellence” is in the forming of multitudinous overlapping and vaguely defined committees and in generating mountains of fine sounding reports that make it look to the feds and the gullible as if everything in the Bay Area is in perfect order. The truth is that MTC doesn’t come even close to practicing what it preaches in its flood of written communications. Instead of advocating and promulgating sound regional planning MTC remains passive whenever a regional transportation problem of consequence arises. Instead of addressing regional transportation issues MTC remains in the back rooms brokering deals with the handful of Bay Area cities with significant influence in Washington. The result is a continuing series of high cost/low benefit parochial projects that do nothing to address the increasingly excessive traffic congestion and dropping public transit ridership that are detracting from the Bay Area’s quality of life. So far the Region has let MTC get away with this swindle.
Kenneth S. Alpern, City Watch LA : capoliticalreview – excerpt
TRANSIT WATCH–Do you wonder why homelessness has shot UP in our city and county after we’ve screamed and spent more to try to help our fellow Angelenos and free up our streets, and instead we’ve gotten more … Garcettivilles? Do you ever wonder whether those sudden and new homeless living in tents, in campers, or in sleeping bags under our bridges and taking over our streets are actually Angelenos, who have come here from all over the nation and who have decided to create their own “neighborhoods”… a.k.a., Garcettivilles?
Money is best spent well, and to its credit, LA Metro has overall earned the bragging rights to money well spent, and to not taking the taxpayers’ money for granted. But we’ve seen lots of interesting data, and we’ve not always had the best partners in Sacramento and Washington…so how do we best proceed?… (more)
Shuttle bus brigade takes how many cars off the street and moves how many people at a time? According to one neighbor, only 3 or 4 people are on some of these behemoths. How practical of a solution is this?
Friday June 16, 10 AM
Room 416 City Hall – Public Hearing on Shuttle zone changes
Letter regarding shuttle bus program with Hearing sent to Ed, who is working on the shuttle bus problem on 24th Street in Noe Valley:
Thanks for sending (list of complaints). I’ve passed along your notes from the last couple weeks to the appropriate shuttle operators. A few things I wanted to note:
- We’ve recently communicated with a few companies that are missing a sticker or two on their vehicles as you have noted, and we have provided them with replacements for those stickers. We’re creating an official process in the new Salesforce portal that is being built for the program for shuttle operators to request replacement stickers and to indicate the reason why they need new stickers (i.e. new paint job, replaced bumper, etc)
- We’re speaking with our engineers about policies around shuttles staging in the Valencia turn lane
- Shuttle zone changes are going to public hearing next Friday 6/16 at 10am in City Hall Room 416. We look forward to seeing you there and I’d be happy to talk to you about the proposal before then as well.Thanks,Alex
By Stanford M. Horn :sfexaminer – excerpt
It needn’t take a $2.5 billion tunnel construction project dragging out more than seven years to get Caltrain extended to the new Transbay Terminal. That goal could be achieved in 99 percent less time, at 99 percent less budget. In fact, the project is so simple that it shouldn’t take more than a few weeks or months to build, involving no new structures taller than a cantaloupe or excavations deeper than a watermelon. In short, there need never be an embarrassing white elephant along downtown Mission Street because trains would be running on the terminal’s first day under the interim solution proposed here. When the permanent tunnel is completed, in 2025 or so, service would be switched there… (more)
By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt
Sausalito Harbor photo by Zrants
A project to revamp the ferry terminal in Sausalito and planned upgrades to San Francisco’s docks, above, along with Larkspur, are intended to smooth boarding for wheelchair users under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
An embattled $11 million project to rebuild and revamp an aging Sausalito Ferry terminal will shrink to meet concerns of Sausalito neighbors, as the project faced further critique last week.
And the project may face other obstacles as well, as The City of Sausalito sent a letter essentially barring construction crews from a long-planned staging area.
The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District voted to mitigate the size of the revamped terminal last Friday, after working in cooperation with The City of Sausalito… (more)
By Derek Moore : pressdomocrat – excerpt (includes revised schedule)
The dream of making excursions to San Francisco from the North Bay aboard a train, or venturing north from the city to Wine Country, is closer to reality with the looming start of passenger rail service, but current timetables for the train, ferry and a connecting shuttle indicate riders will have to be adaptable.
While the focus since Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit released its schedule last week has been on commuters — the rail agency’s bread and butter ridership — another key component of service is linking people to San Francisco via the Larkspur ferry.
North Bay residents and others across the Golden Gate, have been looking at SMART’s new timetable to see if it will work for them…
By Kurtis Alexander : sfchronicle – excerpt (graph included)
280 Overpass photo by zrants
California’s famously congested freeways may soon do more than create headaches.