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Editorial

Original post made on Jun 20, 2008

For hundreds of Pleasanton residents--perhaps even thousands--who live within earshot of the Union Pacific railroad trains that travel through Pleasanton every night, a better night's sleep may be on the way. The City Council agreed Tuesday to spend $150,000 to study the financial feasibility and ongoing costs of placing full crossing barriers on the four grade crossings at the tracks, a project that could cost $2 million for starters. These fully-protected crossings, which would bar both pedestrians and vehicles from skirting around the single gate now in position on each side of the tracks, would allow Union Pacific engineers to silence their horns when coming through town. As it is, state and railroad laws require them to toot four times as they are approaching each crossing. In the old days, when there was one, maybe two trains a night, the horns were tolerable. Today, however, with much heavier train traffic, it's almost a constant barrage of diesel horns sounding from dusk to dawn, enough to make even the soundest sleeper toss, turn and wake, train after train after train.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 20, 2008, 12:00 AM

Comments (48)

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Wow, what a surprise--the Pleasanton Weekly's editors agree with the Mayor--again, and again, and again. When's the last time they didn't?

If these residents by the tracks don't like train horns, why the heck did they buy a home next to train tracks? Duh.

$2 million to start? $150,000 to study the feasibility of spending $2 million--maybe more?

Nothing like wasting tax dollars. Someday, when the City's coffers are running low, you'll regret that City funds were ever spent on such foolhardy, ridiculous boondoggles like this. What a waste of time, money, and effort.

Ever hear of a special tax assessment district? No, we want EVERYONE to pay for our peace of mind, despite the fact we had a choice not to buy homes next to railroad tracks.

There's your solution. Of course, you folks at the Weekly won't agree--because it doesn't agree with the Mayor's opinion on this, of course.

Why don't you rename the paper the Hosterman Weekly?


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Posted by Toot toot
a resident of California Somerset
on Jun 20, 2008 at 3:44 pm



Earplugs... $2.99 at Walmart.





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Posted by Mai
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Jun 20, 2008 at 8:20 pm

I'm MaiTai the drunk!


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Posted by Train Talk
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 21, 2008 at 11:02 pm

I appreciate the city looking into the trains. We live about 500 feet from the train tracks. And yes we chose to live here. We've lived in our neighborhood for about 6 years. We quickly got used to the trains and rarely heard them with our triple pane windows.

The problem is the increasing traffic of the trains. We would hear the last train about midnight and the next one around 6am. Trains are now coming every 2 hours and blowing their horns more than 4 times and for at leat 5 seconds each. This is a new development that has occured in the last year. Our children are waking up in the middle of the night - when they used to sleep right through the noise. We are no longer able to sleep with our windows open.

Do the trains really need to blow the horn so much?? I have no idea what to do. It will be hopeless to sell our home now.


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Posted by Pam
a resident of California Reflections
on Jun 22, 2008 at 7:50 am


I grew up in a house that backed up to a busy train line. We became immune to the noise and we never felt earth quakes.

You made the choice.



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Posted by Liz
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 22, 2008 at 1:38 pm

I also lived near RR tracks for many moons and I never pay attention to the horns. Only when I have guests stay the night the mention it. But the horns are a fact of life.

Reminds me of people moving next to an long established air port and next thing they're pushing to close it. You made the choice!


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Posted by Cosmic-Charlie
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 24, 2008 at 6:59 am

2 million bucks! Can you believe it. I'll tell you, before I bought my place which is only about 50 yards from the rail line, I knew that the train would be coming through here on a regular basis... and blowing their whistles at all hours of the day and night. I had to make a choice: keep all the doors and windows closed, or live with it. I decided that before I even moved in, I would love the sound of trains going by. And wouldn't you know it, I love it. I suppose if I didn't want to be bothered with the noise in the middle one night, I would have located myself far enough away to where wouldn't be a consideration. And by the way, they go by so often I don't even notice them. Get over it.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2008 at 9:38 am

You've got admit, there are tons more trains coming through town. Why not make the crossings safer and quieter.

Why not give some peace and quiet to a few thousand people if it's possible. Planes don't honk as they land. Cars don't honk as they go through intersections. If they can stop idiots from going around the gates with the improved crossings, and let's admit that's what we're talking about, why not.


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2008 at 11:21 am


150k for a study is foolish. Surely Union Pacific has already done studies and would do more if asked. Has anyone from the city approached them? Use their dime.



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Posted by A Joke
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2008 at 11:38 am

What a joke! The Council can't do anything right. If they aren't getting accused of being in bed with "the developers" they are being criticized for trying to make life a little better for your fellow residents.


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Posted by Another Taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Heaven forbid we, the citizens, taxpayers, and registered voters of Pleasanton, should ever criticize our elected officials for how they wish to spend our tax dollars. I'm sorry, I guess I forgot, they're always right--right?

Criticizing anyone for criticizing elected officials (aka exercising free speech) is what's really a joke.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Beratlis Place
on Jun 24, 2008 at 5:11 pm

Let's all remember the reason WHY they toot their horns before passing through.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Let's all remember the reason WHY they toot their horns before passing through.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Beratlis Place neighborhood
***

Well I guess it's to let the one guy who DIDN'T care about all the bells, OH and the pretty bright red lights and OH the striped gates coming down know that the, AH I don't know, the train is coming?

Dude, read about it, the safety upgrades will block that guy from slipping through like he can now and the train will still toot if the engineer spots someone anywhere near the tracks.


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Posted by Max D.
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 25, 2008 at 2:29 am

So these people asking for help purchased new homes near railroad tracks and now they are not happy with the noise??? This is ludicrous to spend city tax dollars on a study. If those houses had been on a nice piece of land out of earshot of the trains, don't you think they would have sold for more money?? It was a tradeoff in the price whether the folks thought about it that way or not! Don't expect the rest of us to pay for the choices you made. Feel free to move to a quieter neighborhood.


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Posted by Becky Dennis
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Jun 25, 2008 at 9:09 am

An assessment district would seem to be part of a fair solution. I don't fault the neighborhood for asking the Council for help. If future rail traffic through Pleasanton will increase, the Council may have an opportunity to negotiate a major contribution from Union Pacific in exchange for something they might need from us.

Union Pacific has a unique protected corporate presence and access to Pleasanton locations that they probably couldn't buy today for any amount of money. A City study of their present and potential impacts (environmental and financial)will probably pay for itself long term.


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Posted by JR
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 25, 2008 at 10:29 am

It seems to me; if many other quality of life issues that affect residents in certain parts of town have been financed by the city, some of which are referred to in the article, why treat this one differently. Would anyone be against all those other improvements too?

As to this issues in particular, the tracks of course were there first. If the neighborhoods around the tracks were wanting to shut down the rails, that would be ludicrous, but questions do come up: Are there more trains coming through town than before? Has the blowing of the horns worsened? Why is the train horn used? Is there something better than the horn? If the fortifications of the crossing make the crossings safer, doesn't that benefit all residents who cross?


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Posted by Jim
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Jun 29, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Pleasanton continues to feel the effects of all the yuppie dot-comers who are now downsizing from their Ruby-Hill and Kottinger Ranch mega mansions, scooping up downtown property along the train tracks at a reduced cost (because they are right next to the train tracks) and then asking the city to foot the bill to silence the trains. Most of these people worked for three years, made a ton of money and now are seen by the Hosterman bunch as city movers and shakers. Hey Jennifer, if your possee didn't have a bunch of money would you listen to what they say over coffee at Tullys? I think not.


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 29, 2008 at 5:12 pm

I live in Vintage Hills.

The Frogs in Kotinger Creek are driving me crazy!
Every night the like clockwork: "Ribet, Ribet, Ribet"
I'm going to band together with my neigbors to get the city to do something about those dang frogs! Maybe we can fund a study to get the frogs to shut up at night.

If the people who live near the trains want a 2 million dollar fix, let them pay for it.
They can't hear my frogs, and I can't hear their trains.


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 29, 2008 at 5:18 pm

I live in Vintage Hills.

The Frogs in Kotinger Creek are driving me crazy!
Every night like clockwork: "Ribet, Ribet, Ribet"
I'm going to band together with my neigbors to get the city to do something about those dang frogs! Maybe we can fund a study to get the frogs to shut up at night.

If the people who live near the trains want a 2 million dollar fix, let them pay for it.
They can't hear my frogs, and I can't hear their trains.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Jim is too funny. I almost spit out the Tully's! Dude, rich folk leaving their golf courses and moving next to the tracks in downtown, you crack me up! I gotta meet ya, come on down to Tommy T's Open Mic EVERY MONDAY NIGHT! sign-ups at 6:00PM, starts at 7:00pm. Ah, too much.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Rick,

Thank your neighbors, Friends of Kottinger Creek (who secured, what was it?, 1.2 mil from the city for your community), for the frogs not the old timers downtown. It's a long way to your creek, the downtown folks don't really get to see it but they are glad they helped you out with their tax money.

...but if you guys are looking to pay that back with a community assessment be sure to check with the rest of your neighbors first...


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Jim: "Pleasanton continues to feel the effects of all the yuppie dot-comers"

***

Dude, I just pulled out my secret decoder ring and figured out what you meant be "yuppie dot-comers". Shhh, don't worry I won't tell anyone, it'll be our litle secret. (wink, wink)


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 29, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Ed

Restoring Kottinger Creek was a waste of money.
1.2 million dollars later, and it looks the same as before.

Lets not waste any more money on nonsense like train noise.

The Frogs and the Trains were here long before we moved in.
I am dealing with the frogs (they are noisy little devils).
Downtown residents should get used to the train noise.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Rick,

The point still stands. Although you disagree with the Kottinger Creek project, many in your community were for it. This doesn't just apply to the creek, many other projects have been tended to throughout the city that affect one community more than another.

As to the frogs vs. trains, there is no comparison. Point one: take a decibel reading for the frogs and then compare that to the train's horn. Point two: Of course the trains were here first, no one is trying to stop them or silence their mechanical functions (which I believe would be your comparison to the frogs natural functions), only the train horns.

This is about the train horns which are only blasted to discourage those .01 percenters who are looking to illegally go around the lowered red and white striped gates, who are ignoring the bright red flashing lights, and who are ignoring the continuous bells.

Thousands of residents are taxed nightly not because of the function of the train but to discourage the few who try to go around the numerous safety features at the crossings.

Since 1980 freight train traffic has doubled and it's projected to go up another 90 percent by 2035 (per the federal gov) as more and more goods are being sent inland from the ports via train vs trucks. The Ace Train (per there own info) is going to expand from 8 trains to 20 or more a day. The High Speed train to Southern California will look to have feeder lines coming through the Altamont Pass. Also, since 2005, trains horns are blasting more times at each crossing than before per new federal government regs. The new regs also allow (per a railroad spokesperson) for louder horns going up from 80 decibels to an ear piercing 120 decibels! For some perspective, the City of Pleasanton considers 75 decibels to be too loud per it's in town event noise ordinance. 120 is super loud.

These are not the same near railroad neighborhoods that people moved into. Many more trains plus much more and much louder horn blowing per crossing. If this was a street turning into an expressway, you would get: environmental studies, sound walls, etc.

Once again, though, this is not about the function of the train or its mechanical noise. This is about a city safety issue meant to protect some in our community who can't obey common sense and standard safety devices for which thousands of residences are being taxed nightly.

Those who live near the tracks SHOULD have to pay by having to hear the mechanical noise of the train just as those who live near airports have to hear airplanes and those who live near creeks have to hear frogs, but NOT the train horns. The train horns which have nothing to do with them or the function of the trains but have everything to do with the decision of someone at a crossing should be silenced by (the better way) the complete blocking off of the crossing when the train is coming through which would stop these people from going around the two gates we have now. This will make the crossing safer than ever which in turn benefits the whole community just as it has for over three hundred communities throughout the U.S.


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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Jul 1, 2008 at 1:13 am

Sounds like a good case for sound walls....:) :).


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Posted by problem down with
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 1, 2008 at 12:55 pm

So what i think sounds good is we make the train man stop tooting his horn and see how many people get hit and die cus they dont hear the train. So the people that live close wont hear the horn just it crashing into someones car or something. Quit bitching and get over it. Or many complain some more and more and more and shut down the train so more people will drive, gas will go up more and blah blah
yuppies


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Posted by almost forgot
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 1, 2008 at 12:57 pm

they will get hit by the train cus they wont hear it and just go through the blockers cus they think someone is just messing with it.
yeah sounds good to me.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Problem down with/almost forgot,

Dude, put the bottle down for a minute and type with two hands (or two fingers) so we can understand what you're trying to say, or better yet, wait an hour per ounce chugged to sober up, then check back.


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Posted by Another Taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Ed,

Regarding your comment and claim, "Although you disagree with the Kottinger Creek project, many in your community were for it."

Really? Please specify just how many "many" is. A majority of Pleasanton taxpayers? I doubt it. Disagree? Then prove it, instead of making unsubstantiated claims.

Regarding your projections, that's just what they are--projections, not facts.

Regarding the high-speed train, that's assuming a.) the state bond measure being proposed to fund it even passes, and b.) the money raised from the bond measure, if it passes, is enough to pay for that boondoggle. California's already mired in a growing multi-billion dollar budget deficit, but hey, let's saddle our kids and grandkids with even more debt 20-30 years down the road.

Regarding your statement, "...this is about a city safety issue..." that's your opinion, not a fact.

In my opinion, this is really about creating a 'quiet zone' for those living near the train tracks, especially those who bought houses by the tracks in the last 5-7 years, and with $150,000 just spent/committed to by the City Council to conduct a study, with a "projected" cost of $2 million to install the 4-way gates, sorry, that's way too expensive in my book to appease a neighborhood--just like the $1.2 million the City spent on the Kottinger Creek restoration, which was fixing something that wasn't broke to make the Creek more aesthetically pleasing to some folks, which I doubt was a majority of City residents.

These are ridiculous projects and wastes of City taxpayer dollars.

In my opinion, I think a lot of us City taxpayers will agree by making our preference for who should be the new Mayor very clear come the November election.

By the way, I should note that the current Mayor didn't even win by obtaining a majority of all of the votes cast for Mayor in the 2006 election, rather, she garnered a plurality of the votes. And that, my friend, is a fact.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 1, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Huh? Considering that there were only 2 candidates for mayor, and Hosterman got 50.2% of the votes, I'd call that a majority, not a plurality.


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Posted by Another Taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2008 at 5:37 pm

You are mostly correct, Stacy.

There were more than two candidates for Mayor in 2006, counting write-in candidates/votes.

Hosterman won the 2006 mayoral election over Steve Brozosky and others with 50.15% of the vote, to be exact, which is indeed a majority, so I stand corrected by you on that. She won by 188 votes over Brozosky. There were 117 write-in votes. If you add those to Brozosky's votes, Hosterman garnered just 71 votes more than all of her opponents' votes combined.

It was the 2004 mayoral election that Hosterman won by a plurality, garnering just 43.75% of the vote to challenger Kay Ayala's 41.37%, and challenger Gabe Kralik's 14.58%. Thus, if you add Ayala's and Kralik's vote totals (12,036 + 4,243 = 16,279), those two combined garnered more votes than Hosterman (12,729).

Thus, no majority of votes for Hosterman in 2004, and a very small majority of votes in the 2006 election. Hosterman actually received fewer total votes in 2006 than she did in 2004 (12,729 in 2004 vs. 11,671 in 2006).

All figures per records obtained from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters web site.

An argument can be made that had Gabe Kralik not run for Mayor in 2004, Kay Ayala would have won the election that year, and may still have been our Mayor right now.

That said, I reiterate that I think a lot of us City taxpayers will be making a choice other than Jennifer Hosterman for Mayor come the November election.

Hosterman would be wise to keep in mind that she garnered considerably less than half of the vote in 2004, and a razor-thin majority in 2006.

Clearly, very close to half of the electorate in this town doesn't want her to be Mayor, and based on her past election history, it won't take many votes to get someone else elected in 2008, either.


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 1, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Ribet


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Posted by Curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Another Taxpayer...

Do you have any suggestions of the name of another candidate to face Jennifer in the coming election?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 1, 2008 at 10:07 pm

I wasn't quite counting write-ins for the 2006 election because they were, well, write-ins. 116 people agreed with me that neither Hosterman nor Brozosky should be mayor!

I think the election this year may end up being more of the same depending upon who decides to run. Given that Hosterman is the incumbent she could very likely win again. Brozosky, Ayala, and Hosterman are really just the same candidate, which is my explanation for why the elections were so close. For example, traffic is a big issue in this city and both Hosterman and Brozosky ran basically the same position on that issue. To me it also means that none of them have strong leadership styles because they can't inspire enough of "the other half" to vote for them.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 1, 2008 at 10:24 pm

BTW, on the topic of railroads, the US is somewhat backwards when it comes to train safety. In Sweden I never saw a rail cross a car road (ie. Caltrains has converted many road crossings into underpasses) and in England the crossing guards were designed in such a way that not even a pedestrian could pass. Some could say this is to protect people from themselves. I like to see it as protecting the public from people who want to do harm to themselves.


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Posted by Another Taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2008 at 5:12 pm

To Curious,

Yes, here's a suggestion-ABH-Anyone But Hosterman.

More specifically, someone who isn't preoccupied with:
-opposing Arctic oil drilling;
-action against Iran;
-the Iraq War, and;
-nuclear non-proliferation declarations.

Somone who isn't ultimately preparing themselves for running for higher political office, and using the Mayor's office for constant self-aggrandizing activities.

Someone who's satisfied to simply serve, not lead, nor dictate policy to, the people of Pleasanton as their Mayor, and as such, focus exclusively on local issues.

Someone to serve the people of Pleasanton? That would be Anyone But Hosterman.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2008 at 10:12 pm

***Another Taxpayer said:

Regarding your comment and claim, "Although you disagree with the Kottinger Creek project, many in your community were for it."
Really? Please specify just how many "many" is. A majority of Pleasanton taxpayers? I doubt it. Disagree? Then prove it, instead of making unsubstantiated claims.

***Ed's response:
Please read carefully and not out of context: "The point still stands. Although you disagree with the Kottinger Creek project, many in YOUR community [in this city] were for it. This doesn't just apply to the creek, many other projects have been tended to throughout the city that affect ONE community [in this city] more than ANOTHER."

***Another Taxpayer said:
Regarding your projections, that's just what they are--projections, not facts.

*** Ed's Response:
Are you kidding? What a conveniently inaccurate way to dismiss all that is in the works for a shift from trucking to trains, billions of dollars of investment and all the extra traffic thus far! According to big-time value investors like, oh Warren Buffet, the railroad industry representatives, and the federal authorities your mere "projections" dismissal has no merit. To pretend it hasn't been happening and isn't going to continue to move forward is insane:
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link

***Another Taxpayer said:
Regarding the high-speed train, that's assuming a.) the state bond measure being proposed to fund it even passes, and b.) the money raised from the bond measure, if it passes, is enough to pay for that boondoggle. California's already mired in a growing multi-billion dollar budget deficit, but hey, let's saddle our kids and grandkids with even more debt 20-30 years down the road.

***Ed's Response:
If it's going to run through the Pacheco Pass which is the most likely scenario, then Altamont will likely have feeder lines coming through. The big question is funding, but whether you like it or not you can't ignore or dismiss the fact that state and regional governments are moving forward at every opportunity to make it happen.
Web Link

Also, it seems you forgot to mention the more important expansion of ACE train runs from the current 8 to the 27 [per there own reports] or more for an additional 300 plus horns a day!

***Another Taxpayer said:
Regarding your statement, "...this is about a city safety issue..." that's your opinion, not a fact.

***Ed's Response:
So are you saying you think the train horn is a mechanical function of the train itself? Once again, though, this is not about the function of the train or its mechanical noise. According to a report issued by the Department of Transportation's Inspector General, 94 percent of all grade crossing accidents are caused by risky driver behavior. This is about a city safety issue meant to protect some in our community who can't obey common sense and standard safety devices for which thousands of residences are being taxed nightly. I don't see how you can argue with that. It seems disingenuous.

***Another Taxpayer said:
In my opinion, this is really about creating a 'quiet zone' for those living near the train tracks, especially those who bought houses by the tracks in the last 5-7 years, and with $150,000 just spent/committed to by the City Council to conduct a study, with a "projected" cost of $2 million to install the 4-way gates, sorry, that's way too expensive in my book to appease a neighborhood--just like the $1.2 million the City spent on the Kottinger Creek restoration, which was fixing something that wasn't broke to make the Creek more aesthetically pleasing to some folks, which I doubt was a majority of City residents.

***Ed's response:
Old time residents are the one's who have been anecdotaly explaining how it's gotten worse! How do they know?: Because they've been around to know the difference! The facts have been checked as shown above and the numbers back up there experiences. I don't know how you came up with your 5-7 year residency figure but FYI, even with that obscure figuring, since 2005 the Federal Railroad Administration has standardized the use of the train horns which has increased the use of the horn at the crossing to 4 blasts per crossing. Union Pacific says they have expanded to currently running up to 18 trains a day through the route. ACE is currently running 8 runs a day; that's 26 trains a day. The new 4 blasts per crossing multiplied by the 4 downtown crossings is 16 high decibel blasts per trip through town. 26 trains a day at 16 horn blasts each is 416 high decibel horn blasts a day! That's what is making the difference in what is being heard.

***Another Taxpayer said:
These are ridiculous projects and wastes of City taxpayer dollars.

***Ed's Response:
Building the railroad under/over passes at Bernal then at Valley, was that a waste of money too? Also, can you imagine if we still had just stop signs at the Santa Rita crossings like we used to, was getting even the two gates there (safer than stop signs and a solution for that time period) a waste of money too? As Stacey pointed out above having the two gates at-grade crossing doesn't make sense and is not the safest way to go. Under/overpasses make the most sense and if not possible then Quad gates to seal off the intersection makes sense. With obvious increased and increasing train runs, horn blowing and noise levels, I don't see how you can say improving the quality of life for a few thousand residents plus added safety at our crossings is a waste?

***Another Taxpayer said:
In my opinion, I think a lot of us City taxpayers will agree by making our preference for who should be the new Mayor very clear come the November election.
By the way, I should note that the current Mayor didn't even win by obtaining a majority of all of the votes cast for Mayor in the 2006 election, rather, she garnered a plurality of the votes. And that, my friend, is a fact.

*** Ed's Response:
No my friend, that is not a fact and is completely false as was pointed out to you in a post above. In addressing your statement about the 2006 election Stacey was not "mostly correct" as you put it, she was absolutely correct.

All in all, you can keep trying to knit pick through my wording here or there or take things out of context but you can't dispute the facts:

1) We have more trains running through town than ever before.
2) Each train sounds the horn more times than ever before.
3) The freight trains have increased there decibel level up to an ear piercing 120 decibels.
4) Major (billions) investment and plans have been put into place for continued increase in freight and passenger service.
5) The horns are being blasted as a safety measure NOT as a mechanical necessity because someone driving through our city might try to wiggle around the two gate system (signs, 2 downed gates, flashing lights, bells).
6) The four gate system will completely block off the intersection for no wiggle room which is in fact what is causing all the train honking in the first place.


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Posted by Ladybugg
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 3, 2008 at 1:29 pm

I'll save the city money & do the study for only $149,999.99. The trains are noisy & $2,000,000 is chump cahnge.....You're a chump if you pay $2,000,000!


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Posted by Another Taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Dear Ed,

Regarding the misstatement of fact regarding the 2004 mayoral election, I already acknowledged that to Stacey, and for all reading this string to see. She replied with what I found to be some interesting opinions on the two most recent mayoral elections, and what might happen later this year, all in a civil manner, I might add.

On the other hand, me being accused by you of being "insane" and "disingenuous" is quite uncivil. Please, spare me the personal attacks.

That notwithstanding, to use your words, you, Ed, are the one who can "...keep trying to knit pick through my wording here or there or take things out of context..."

Familiar with the phrase "pot calling the kettle black?"

Facts are facts, and opinions are, well, opinions. My opinion is while you indeed present some facts to support your opinions, I'm confident "many" reading your post will also clearly be able to see where you conveniently sidestep certain things I've previously pointed out to suit and support your own opinions. While I definitely don't agree with several of your opinions, I can, however, agree to disagree with you, and in a civil manner.

That's it from me on this. I suspect you may choose to have the last word in this string to make yourself feel 'right', so have at it.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2008 at 5:19 pm

Another Taxpayer,

No disrespect or personal attacks were intended. I was speaking to the idea not the person in a familiar way, and in a manner such as when one talks amongst friends and says "that's crazy" or "that's nuts" without malice, I should have been more formal and have chosen more civil words and I apologize for any offense.

As for sidestepping, I believe I briefly but directly addressed the side issues presented by others, such as the park and the elections then appropriately focused with detail on the actual topic of this thread. I have even more links with other factual data than posted above, but this forum only allows five web links at a time.

I do, as I'm sure you do, appreciate the fact, whether we agree or disagree, we are having this discussion with the freedom to do so, on the eve of the celebration of the birth of this great country. I sincerely wish all the best to you and yours and God bless America.


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Posted by unclehomerr..
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 8, 2008 at 8:39 pm

Problem solved!!

It's Tues. 7/8 and the temperature outside is 107 - 109, depending on which channel you watch. I heard a radio report at 5pm which said todays ACE trains were delayed because of the heat causing tracks to spread and lift; remember heat expands, cold contracts?? When the trains did come through.. 7 - 8:30 or so, they were moving about 5 mph. and the horns were almost non-existant. Very quiet and restrained.

"Lightbulb on"!

If the trains slowed to 5mph everyday... we wouldn't have to spend 3 million or more.. [you know everything done is over budget].. to protect the fools from themselves. 3+ million 'in case' someone trys to go around the lowered warning gates?? And, they 'might' get hurt!!

I'm not in favor of fixing things which 'ain't' broke. This is one of them! Slow 'em down and lay off the horns!

unclehomerr..


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Posted by factchecker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2008 at 12:03 am

Another Taxpayer:

Casual pairings of facts do not tell the whole story.
Two points-
First: There were more voters in 2004 than 2006 due to the presidential election, just as there will be more voters in 2008. Second: More people in America voted for Gore and we got Bush. Get over it. The one with the most votes wins. In the case of the pres, in the electoral college. In Pleasanton, the one with the plurality.


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Posted by Optimist
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Factchecker:

Well, more people in Pleasanton voted for someone other than Hosterman in 2004 and we got Hosterman. Hopefully, a challenger will get more votes than Hosterman in 2008 and win!


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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 17, 2008 at 9:39 am

Seems that a majority of people in this town got it right -- you pay less to live near the tracks then you can shut up about the noise. Or hire your own people for a survey and pay the millions to put up new crossings. Another thought, there might still be land under the airport departure corridor for you to buy. Then you can try to force those big old noisy planes to stop flying and disturbing you.

About the mayor sipping coffee at Tully's -- fat chance. That would require her to actually spend money downtown. Find one merchant who has ever, EVER, sold anything to Hosterman. She talks the talk every Friday concert night about spending money downtown. She has never spent a dime in any store on Main Street. I would bet my shrinking 401k on it. I am on that ABH bandwagon big time.


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Posted by Jennifer Hosterman, Mayor
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 17, 2008 at 9:31 pm

This last note caught my eye. I can assure the anonymous "resident" that I do, indeed, shop downtown. I am at this moment wearing clothing which I purchased from downtown merchants, I'm reading a book from our downtown bookstore, and I just got my hearing aids checked by our downtown audiologist. I hope The Weekly will consider asking bloggers to post their real names. For more information on myself, and your City government, you can visit the City website, or my own.

Oh, and by the way, my husband, Michael Hosterman, has his personal injury law firm in our downtown. Michael is a past President of the Pleasanton Downtown Association, and many years ago, was instrumental in writing the downtown Specific Plan, which fueled our downtown development and revitalization, which we all enjoy, today!

Indeed, I encourage all Pleasanton residents to shop in Pleasanton, just as does the Hosterman family!

Yours in service,

Jennifer
.............................................
Jennifer Hosterman
Mayor
City of Pleasanton


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 17, 2008 at 10:57 pm

Yea, right. Like we're supposed to believe the above post was really written by Hosterman? GET TO IT, PW!


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Posted by Xman
a resident of Danbury Park
on Jul 20, 2008 at 7:35 pm

How about spending half the proposed amount to reduce traffic noise on Santa Rita and Valley? It's mostly Livermorons going home thru ourtown to get around the freeway backup. And speaking of freeways, how much would it cost to build better sound walls so none of us have to listen to freeway noise at night? Better yet, put the UP, BART, and 580/680 underground...


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Posted by Xman
a resident of Danbury Park
on Jul 20, 2008 at 7:35 pm

How about spending half the proposed amount to reduce traffic noise on Santa Rita and Valley? It's mostly Livermorons going home thru ourtown to get around the freeway backup. And speaking of freeways, how much would it cost to build better sound walls so none of us have to listen to freeway noise at night? Better yet, put the UP, BART, and 580/680 underground...


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