Bay Area League of Women Voters support Caltrain SF extension

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[letterhead: League of Women Voters of the Bay Area]

June 17, 1997

The Honorable Michael Yaki, Chair
Economic Development, Transportation and Technology Committee
Board of Supervisors
City and County of San Francisco
401 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

RE: Caltrain Downtown Extension DEIS/DEIR

Dear Supervisor Yaki:

We strongly urge you to endorse the completion of a Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS) for the CalTrain Extension Project. As the San Mateo County and Santa Clara County Leagues of Women Voters said in their comments on the DEIS/DEIR, "there should be a regional transportation and transit network with good feeder services, integrated with land use, which is efficient, safe, convenient, and cost effective. The CalTrain Commuter Service and Downtown Extension are important parts of the regional transit network."

Without an interconnected transit system, continuing congestion will choke economic growth in the entire region. Presently, there is a major disconnect at our transportation hub. The extension of CalTrain downtown is essential for the creation of a world-class transit center serving the whole Bay Area. But there are even special ways it will particularly benefit San Francisco.

The public needs more time to focus on this issue which in the two months it has been before them was largely drowned out by the recent high decibel stadium/mall campaign. In fact, with its successful passage, the ability to move large crowds efficiently is even more imperative.

You must not let this project which has been so many years in the making be prematurely shelved. As BART, or any agency that is planning for a better future, knows, funding does not come easily. But when political will exists to respond to a public need, a way can be found to provide the financial solution.

Sincerely,

Jean Matsuura
President

Joyce Roy
Director of Transportation


The following letter was sent to Mabel Teng on the S.F. Board of Supervisors. Similar letters were sent to Supervisors Michael Yaki, Susan Leal and Jose Medina.

7/20/97

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF THE BAY AREA
500 St. Mary's Road, Suite 14
Lafayette, CA 94549
Tel. (510) 283-7093

Dear Supervisor Teng:

The League of Women Voters of the Bay Area, an inter-League organization of twenty-one local Leagues in the nine Bay Area counties, urges you to vote to override Mayor Brown's veto of your Board of Supervisor's support for the completion of the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS) for the CalTrain Extension Project. Its completion, this small step, will allow you and the public to truly evaluate the feasibility of the project.

We see the CalTrain Downtown Extension as much more than one transit system extending its line by 1.2 miles. We see it as the first big step toward the creation of a regional transit hub, or, as it has been called in a SPUR report - Bay Area Transportation Terminal (BATT). It could be an intermodel station with CalTrains, SamTrans, Muni, and the Golden Gate, AC Transit, and Greyhound bus lines in a facility located at the present Transbay Terminal and connected through an underground pedestrian passage to BART and Muni Metro at the Embarcadero Station. Ridership on all the systems would significantly increase. Good connections would make it possible for people to conveniently travel between the East Bay and San Mateo County, and between San Mateo County and Marin via public transit.

We understand that you, like the League of Women Voters, are very actively concerned about air quality and are aware that improvement of air quality is dependent upon decrease in the use of fossil fuels. An editorial in today's (July 20) Examiner points to the role of the downtown terminal as an " 'important element' in the [Bay Area Air Quality] district's plan for attaining a state ozone standard. If the proposal is killed, more painful clean air steps might be ordered."

Can the Bay Area continue to grow in population and economically as an urban center without a convenient interconnected public transit system linking the parts at a transportation hub? Does the very city that would benefit the most, want to pull the plug? Unless the Bay Area wants to drown in pollution and congestion, viable alternatives to the automobile must be available to its citizens. We hope you are on board.

Sincerely,

Joyce Roy
Director of Transportation


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Last updated: July 22, 1997


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