Some interesting news emerged from the Tri-Valley Mayor's Summit at the Blackhawk Museum Wednesday where I served as moderator.
After consultation with the executives from the five Tri-Valley chambers, I posed a serious of questions including one about Measure BB that would double the sales tax from a half-cent to one-cent for transportation operations and improvements in Alameda County. It would run for 30 years (nearly a working career for most people).
The three Alameda County mayors, John Marchand (Livermore), Tim Sbranti (Dublin) and Jerry Thorne (Pleasanton) strongly supported the measureThorne was the lone mayor to oppose the prior measure because it had no sunset date. I am still not sure why 15 or 20 years was not sufficient, but Jerry is impressed with the oversight group and lauded the agency for combining the former half-cent agency with the county commission to because their mission was the same.
The down payment on BART to Livermore of $400 million is includedjust how expensive that extension to the Airway Boulevard area will prove to be remains for the engineering, but it is quite challenging because the median of I-580 IS NOT designed to carry BART and that's where it is planned to go. That would mean elevated BART tracks or moving several lanes of the freeway to new right-of-way on either side of I-580 to accommodate the BART tracks. The prior extension from San Leandro to Dublin/Pleasanton was built in a median that was designed to accommodate BART.
Equally importantly, Sbranti explained that there could be a way to connect Dublin Boulevard with North Canyons Parkway (Livermore) to create an arterial north of I-580. Both Livermore and Dublin have declared the Doolan Canyon area open space, so the normal financing method of leveraging new development to pay for road improvements will not be an option.
Tim indicated that given the heavy truck traffic on I-580 serving the port of Oakland as well as retail outlets through the Bay Area (coming from distribution centers in the San Joaquin Valley), the cities could tap into funds in the sales tax measure allocated specifically to move goods.
That's good news if the mayors can run down those funds. I-580 is the key goods movement corridor (just look at those container trucks coming to and from the port of Oakland).
One other interesting goods movement questionposted by San Ramon Councilman Dave Hudson, their resident transportation expertwas connecting Byron and eastern Contra Costa County with I-5 to create a second major goods corridor into the Bay Area and scape that traffic off of I-580. It would run through three countiesSan Joaquin, Alameda County (briefly) and Contra Costa before connecting with Highway 4. Distributing that non-port traffic could alleviate a decent percentage of trucks serving retailers.
Looking for something to do Saturday that will stretch your mind, consider the TEDxLivermore Uncork Your Creativity event at Las Positas College. The organizers have lined up an impressive roster of speakers that includes Meg Lowman from the California Academy of Sciences, Lindsay Shepherd from GoldieBox (the toy company whose mission it is to get girls interested in careers in science, technology and engineering; Maestro Michael Morgan from the Oakland East Bay Symphony and Todd Johnson, the organizer of design labs at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and the Silicon Valley Global Innovation Summit to name a few.
For details and the full lineup, please see