By Tim Hunt
Frustrated local officials push BARTUploaded: Mar 16, 2017
Mayor Jerry Thorne and other Tri-Valley elected officials have grown increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of BART’s efforts to extend lines to Livermore.
As he did earlier in his formal State of the City address to the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, he told the Pleasanton Men’s Club that he is ready to push for local agencies to form a joint powers agreement to take over planning and, eventually, construction of the BART extension to Livermore.
He made it clear that it had to go all the way to Greenville Road to connect with the ACE train—just getting it to Highway 84/Isabel Avenue will not alleviate that much traffic. He wants the terminal BART station at the foot of the Altamont Pass.
Given the continuing job growth in the Silicon Valley as well as the lack of housing (there’s a reason that southbound I-680 is jammed in morning hours), the ACE connection is vital. Even if BART gets to Livermore and when its extension into Santa Clara County is finished, it will be more efficient for most South Bay commuters to ride ACE instead of BART.
BART will serve commuters bound for the inner East Bay quite well, but that’s not where jobs are surging.
The major’s motivation is clear—the need to complete Highway 84 at four or six lanes and get the transit alternative to alleviate traffic through Pleasanton.
The Tri-Valley cities have joined with Alameda and San Joaquin counties and the city of Tracy to form its own agency. ACE and BART also have seats at the table. This likely will become the joint powers authority that Thorne would like to see supplant BART’s efforts.
Jerry also offered a statewide perspective on housing. By 2025, it is estimated that California will need 3 ½ million more housing units and it’s already 2 million short. Throw in that home ownership is at its lowest rate since 1940 and it’s not a pretty picture.
With the warm March weather and abundant rainfall, grab your mosquito repellant and check your backyard for standing water. While playing golf last week at the Course at Wente Vineyards, I encountered two swarms of just hatched and hungry mosquitoes. There also were plenty of warnings, verbal and signage, that the rattlers have come out of hibernation.
The course was in great shape except for the 6th fairway where a mud slide threatens about half of the land as it narrows short of the elevated green. The maintenance team has spread plastic to try and keep the slide from growing.