Congressman denounces Bay Area toll hike for transit

By Matier & Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt


Twilight on the Bay Bridge photo by zrants

East Bay Rep. Mark DeSaulnier has been back home and getting an earful about the situation in Washington — but it was the proposed ballot measure to raise tolls on the state’s Bay Area bridges to help fund transit projects that got his blood boiling…

The measure — which would raise tolls by $2 to $3 — is being put together by a collection of Bay Area legislators. It’s expected to generate about $125 million for a slew of road and mass transit improvements throughout the nine-county region…

DeSaulnier is not alone. State Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, is raising questions about how the money would be spent, as is Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-San Ramon.

Other East Bay officials, whose constituents would pay the bulk of the toll increase, have said they’ll support the measure only if more projects are added to the goody list in Alameda and Contra Costa counties…(more)

Why not move the jobs to the housing? Would that not be a cheaper less painful solution for the folks living in the suburbs? With so many creative ideas coming out of Sacramento you would think they could figure that one out. Why not just spread the wealth and political power? Cut their commutes and commute traffic around the coast cities at the same time. After the floods in the Gulf coast you might want to think twice about building huge cities at sea level.


Stuck in traffic: 5 in 6 Bay Area residents think it will never get better


It will surprise few that Bay Area residents are increasingly frustrated — and overwhelmingly pessimistic — about traffic woes and bottlenecks in the region.

The Bay Area Council’s annual poll found that 83 percent of those surveyed, a “staggering” number, are convinced things will never improve. And those who think it’s somewhat harder or much harder to get around than a year ago has jumped to 54 percent of those surveyed, up from 37 percent in 2015…

Anyone who monitors early morning or late afternoon traffic reports in the region won’t fall out of bed when they see this data. Freeways are clogged from crowded Highways 29 and 37 in the Wine Country to U.S. Highway 101 down the Peninsula to the I-680 corridor to the Nasty Nimitz, the Bay Bridge, or almost any other major route you want to talk about. BART’s jammed with record ridership. And pretty much every other option is crammed, jammed, packed or otherwise stymied.

Some of the negative vibes are self inflicted, since 79 percent of those surveyed said they typically drive alone for commuting or running errands, up from 74 percent last year.

“We’re running out of adjectives to describe how bad Bay Area traffic is and the misery it’s causing,” Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council, said in a statement. He says the business community and public transit agencies shouldn’t accept the mess as inevitable, suggesting that new technologies, carpooling apps and intelligent transportation design has the potential to make things better.

But the public seems to have a different take, along lines of voters’ grim view of 2016 political options.

As for solutions, the Bay Area Council highlights the fact that 70 percent of those surveyed somewhat or strongly support a second BART Transbay Tunnel, although without cost and funding sources that support may not mean much…