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Please support Measure B3 funding for BART to Livermore

We should ensure that BART to Livermore is one of the projects funded by Measure B3 (reauthorization of Measure B) on the 2012 ballot. It is a major source of local funding. If we get that funding, it will be easier to get matching funds from the State of California and the Federal Government. If we don’t get it on the list of projects for Measure B3 on the 2012 ballot, it will be another 20 year wait. We have waited long enough. We can’t let incorrect facts from groups opposing the station to yet again delay our long promised BART station that we have been paying for 49 years. You can express your support at the following meeting:

Approval of Expenditure Plan and Ballot Measure: Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) Board Retreat, Friday December 16, 2011, Newark Pavilion, 6430 Thornton Avenue, Newark, CA 94560

You can also submit your comments in support online at this webpage of Alameda County Transportation Commission, Countywide Transportation Plan (CWTP) or by emailing Bob Vinn, Assistant City Engineer, City of Livermore. Be sure to mention that you won’t vote for Measure B3 on the 2012 ballot unless BART to Livermore is one of the projects funded by it.

A good summary of a recent ACTC hearing on this is available here (A copy is here in the event the first link stops working).

Here are some key facts about BART to Livermore (thanks to Bob Vinn):

  • The Phase 1 project is estimated to cost about $1.2 billion, not the $4 billion listed in the “Community Vision Platform.” The City of Livermore is working with BART and our funding partners to reduce costs even further.
  • $400 million of Measure B3 funding is proposed for the Phase 1 project.
  • There is over $100 million of bridge toll revenues already allocated to BART to Livermore. This along with the proposed Measure B funding would bring the funding commitment close to 50%, not 85% unfunded as listed in the “Community Vision Platform.” A 50% or greater funding commitment for BART to Livermore Phase 1 will go a long way to attract additional Federal and State funding.
  • The MTC Project Performance Assessment results showed BART to Livermore Phase 1 Project scoring 5.5 in the overall targets score, putting the project in the top third of the 76 projects scored. It has showed a cost benefit ratio of 1.0, not the 0.4 as referenced in the “Community Vision Platform.”
  • Building BART to Livermore will bring much needed jobs to Alameda County. Several Union members spoke in support of the project at the 11-17 meeting
  • BART to Livermore was shown as a future extension in the 1962 BART Composite Report that was used for the ballot measure approving the property tax for Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco county property owners to fund construction of the original BART system.
  • Livermore residents have been paying for BART taxes for 49 years but do not have direct BART service.
  • Livermore is the largest city in the BART District without direct BART service.
  • All BART extensions shown in the 1962 BART Composite Report within the BART District have been completed or approved for construction except for the Livermore extension.
  • BART extensions outside of the BART District have been approved before the Livermore Extension.
  • A BART to Livermore is recommended in the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s 2007 Regional Rail Plan.
  • BART, City of Livermore and our funding partners are working to develop a first phase project that is affordable, workable and deliverable in the near term. The preliminary estimate of the Phase 1 project is $1.1 billion, but BART and Livermore staff are working toward finding ways to deliver the extension at less cost.
  • The Phase 1 Project is expected to generate over 20,000 new BART riders which produce significant and measurable environmental benefits:
    • Reduce over 400,000 vehicle miles travelled
    • Reduce over 260,000 lbs/day of greenhouse gasses supporting the California climate protection legislation AB32 and SB375
    • Reduce over 400 Billion BTUs/year of energy consumption

Livermore settles on an updated BART alignment

The City of Livermore in its July 11, 2011 meeting took input from a new study and from the proposed citizen initiative (that asked to keep BART on 580) and approved a new BART alignment option. This option proposes one station at Isabel @ 580. The second station is proposed to the south of the original Greenville @ 580 station site. This site preserves the City of Livermore’s Urban Growth Boundary but requires most of the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) required to get federal funds to built at the new Greenville site because it is not possible to build near Isabel due to the nearby airport and other zoning restrictions.

You can see the video of the meeting at this link below.
http://www.tri-valleytv.org/VOD.html
Look for July 11, 2011 meeting. The discussion about this new alignment starts roughly an hour into the meeting. As usual the best newspaper coverage on this is from our local newspaper The Independent News. A live link to their article is here. A backup link is here.

It is great to see the democratic process in action with supporters of different alignments compromising somewhat to come up with a unified City of Livermore position on BART alignments. This unified position should hopefully us when we try to get the funds to build the stations. Now, let’s go get the money to build that Isabel/580 station first.

Livermore Citizens Petition for Vote to Keep BART on 580

Grassroots Issues interviews Linda Jeffery Sailors about BART to Livermore issues, including an effort to keep BART on 580. Linda and host Barbara Hickman discuss the issue of keeping BART on 580 versus running the track through downtown Livermore. Linda mentions several important facts that the public meetings have glossed over, have not made public, or have mislead us about, such as the self-imposed environmental constraints, how and how many Livermore residents would be impacted by the downtown track, and the expected economic development arising from having BART downtown.

For those citizens who are interested in the effort to keep BART on 580, please see their web site for more information.

Bold, forward-looking vote by Livermore City Council on BART stations

Quoting from the Livermore Independent newspaper:

The Livermore City Council voted unanimously to recommend that a BART extension to Livermore go underground through the downtown and at grade to Vasco Road.

If funding could not be obtained for a downtown station, the council’s vote included the recommendation to extend BART to Vasco Road. A Vasco station would be near the national laboratories and the area where Livermore anticipates that a large number of jobs will be generated at the i-Hub. The state has designated Livermore as an i-Hub, a center for innovation.

The final decision on a BART extension alignment will be made by the BART board. The decision is expected to made in June.

You can read the full article here.

Here’s a link to the video of the Livermore City Council meeting on 4/26/2010. It is about 4hrs long mostly citizen comments. The council vote and discussion starts at 3hrs 14 minutes and goes for about 30 minutes.

We congratulate the Livermore City Council on this bold, forward-looking decision. We thank the Planning Commission and City Engineers for their hard work on this matter. We request the City of Livermore and other agencies to put forth detailed plans to address the concerns of the citizens adversely impacted by these stations in the years ahead. Good luck to the City of Livermore in crossing the next hurdles and getting funding for the BART stations it so deserves.

Your Help is Needed at BART Meeting, Apr 26 @ 7pm

The Livermore City Council will be voting on a preferred alignment for BART at their regular meeting this coming Monday, April 26.  The meeting starts at 7 pm and will be held at the council chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue.

Supporters of a downtown BART (a relatively small but vocal group)have been packing the previous meetings.  Unless the city council starts to hear more from the many Livermore residents who disagree with a downtown alignment, there is a high probability that the council will vote to endorse an alignment that runs underground below Portola and Junction Avenues, with stations downtown and at Vasco Road.  This alignment will require the acquisition and potential condemnation of close to 200 parcels, including from 84 to 104 residences.  City staff and the planning commission are recommending this alignment.

We feel strongly that a downtown BART station would be bad for both the downtown and our chance of ever getting BART.  With its massive price tag of nearly four billion dollars, the downtown alignment is significantly more expensive than the two-station freeway option (about an additional 2/3 of a billion dollars.)  It also seems that downtown proponents are in denial about the traffic and parking impacts of a downtown BART station.  To get a picture of the parking requirement, imagine the Dublin BART parking structure and surrounding ground-level parking in downtown Livermore.  We support a single station at Isabel/I580 (1.1 billion dollars) as an acceptable and fundable alternative.  BART already owns the station site at this location.

We believe most Livermore residents do not want to see BART downtown.  The breakdown of EIR comments from those who expressed a preference showed that more than three times as many people supported the freeway alternative as compared to downtown supporters (241 vs. 73), and most of them were very strongly opposed to a downtown station.  We see no reason not to believe that this is representative of the community.

The most effective way to influence the council is to attend Monday’s council meeting and express your views.  If you are unable to make the meeting we urge you to e-mail city council members prior to the meeting.  You can access these addresses at the council website – www.ci.livermore.ca.us.

Please join us and speak out for the only affordable solution for Livermore.  If you would like more information feel free to call either of us.

Valerie Raymond – 447-4027
Linda Jeffery-Sailors – 449-7274

The Top Ten Reasons to Put BART on the Freeway

  1. We would not have to take 81 family homes of Livermore residents by eminent domain.*
  2. We would save the cost of moving numerous businesses along the “downtown” route.
  3. We would avoid 4 to 6 years of disruptive construction work on our city streets.
  4. A freeway route would keep more out-of-town traffic on the freeway and off 1ST and Vasco.
  5. The freeway route will attract the most BART riders.
  6. BART already owns the land for a station at Isabel
  7. BART already owns the land for a station at Greenville
  8. I580 needs some relief from congestion that BART can provide.
  9. $110 million has already been set aside to purchase right-of-way taken by the I580 carpool lane.
  10. The freeway route has a good cost to benefit ratio and is fundable.

It is important to note that the 12 mile Hayward to Dublin/Pleasanton extension was built for half a billion dollars.  The downtown route will cost just under $4 billion (in today’s dollars) for only 11 miles.  The downtown route is not likely to get funded and we will lose BART to Livermore if that route is selected.

The argument that the freeway stations have environmental issues does not show the true picture.  Most of stated environmental issues are self imposed ordinances by the city of Livermore……..the Scenic Corridor Ordinance, the Airport District boundaries, and the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).  A small adjustment to the UGB would give us the room needed for our freeway stations.  I think the voters would approve these minor changes to gain two BART stations and save 81 family homes!

###

*Comparative Summary of Key Environmental Considerations, pg 14 of city staff report.

Linda Jeffery Sailors
841 Chaucer Way
Livermore, CA 94551

(The City Council will be having a public hearing on this issue on April 26 @ 7 pm. )

Options for BART Route

Grassroots Issues has a video interview with local resident Valerie Raymond regarding the options for the Livermore BART route. Valerie shows and explains to host Barbara Hickman the nine BART route options as presented at a recent workshop in Livermore. She includes pros and cons of each route and justifies her own preference.

Public input sought on draft EIR for Livermore BART

Its great to hear that there’s some progress on Livermore BART. Information about the published draft EIR and public workshops is on available on the official BART to Livermore website. Please attend as many as you can and voice your opinion. This is your chance to influence where the Livermore BART station will be located. We are now on Facebook and Twitter. Click on the links to the left to join us on these social networking sites to discuss the draft EIR and all other matters related to Livermore BART. The Facebook page has a calendar for the upcoming public events related to Livermore BART.

Three workshops have been scheduled to take public input on a BART extension to Livermore. In addition, public hearings will be held to take comments on the programmatic environmental impact report.

The workshops will be held Nov. 12, Dec. 10 and Jan. 21, 2010. All are from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. They will be held at the Shrine Event Center, 170 Lindbergh Ave., Livermore.

The draft EIR for the Livermore BART extension will be released at a meeting of the Tri-Valley Rail Policy Group at 1 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Livermore library. There will also be a scoping presentation about the Tri-Valley link to the state high speed rail project at the meeting.

The first BART public EIR hearing is set for Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Ave., Livermore. A second hearing will be held at 6 p.m. on Dec. 2 at the Robert Livermore Community Center, 4444 East Avenue, Livermore.

The City of Livermore has been working with BART to study the possible future extension of BART into Livermore.

BART to Livermore scoping meeting for EIR

It is good to see some progress on the EIR (Environmental Impact Report) for BART to Livermore. A scoping meeting for the EIR is scheduled for this coming wednesday (June 18, 2008) from 6pm to 9pm at the Robert Livermore Community Center in the Larkspur room. A company hired by BART has setup a website for this purpose (barttolivermore.org). The full text of the meeting announcement is here. We encourage you to attend this meeting and comment.

To ensure that your comments are in the public record please send them before July 19, 2008. You can email them to info@barttolivermore.org
You may also fax comments to: 510-464-7673 or mail them to:

Mr. Malcolm Quint,
The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District,
300 Lakeside Drive, 16th floor,
Oakland, CA, 94612

Supervisor Haggerty’s Proposal

Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty has a proposal titled BART to Livermore and the I-580 Corridor Plan. Please share your thoughts on this.