Here’s what one Road Warrior reader has to say about the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s new long-range plan for road, bridge and mass transit construction in the Bay Area. Read the details in our March 22 post.

Dear Linda,

I had read another article on this topic in another newspaper and I have lots of trouble with these groups on long range forecasts.

Too often there are a bunch of consultants doing their forecasts and over time the population of California stops growing and sometimes contracts due to the economy. This 25 year forecast may miss the mark big time yet the planning is for the worst case scenario.

So this new forecast is all about centralizing government in the Bay Area including Sonoma County and telling people and government how to live and act. The MTC has control over the budgets and is very San Francisco focused because it is a high density city with a good public transportation system. But the reality is that the Bay Area is suburban and rural and the infrastructure is built up.

I used to live in San Jose for many years and despite BART coming to San Jose (north San Jose and downtown is up in the air for decades after that), it will not change how people live, work and have fun and shop. So trying to impose this San Francisco mentality on the rest of the Bay Area will fail and our government leaders locally must resist it.

Although I was not living in Sonoma County when SMART was voted in, I saw similar issues with BART to San Jose at the same time. And then both have suffered on the financial front with BART to San Jose getting lucky with the federal government sending a check for $760 million to pay for the Fremont to North San Jose line (still needs to reach downtown San Jose and the city of Santa Clara). Neither transit lines will change the way people live in the area are to be installed and with SMART until they figure out a way to build out the entire system quickly after Phase One, the system will be a failure. Plus there needs to be a way to feed SMART locally at each station with public buses taking people to and from the station and enough parking.

MTC will use the money issue and you will see a backlash towards their San Francisco bias on forcing changing. The high tech sector is always changing and people live in one area and work in another. That is why public transportation is not successful whether in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Alameda Counties. Ditto in Sonoma County with our diverse economy in a suburban-rural existence.

Sometimes these consultants are self-serving in there ways to justify their jobs and existence. Thanks.

Andrew Smith
Santa Rosa