John Knox White 
Member since May 15, 2009


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Recent Comments

Re: “Liberal v. Liberal

What a strange comment. Bonta's supported by just about every Democratic and Labor organization in the region. Vague comments about him voting conservative are clearly meant to misguide, his record in Alameda is anything but.

Bonta successfully worked to ensure that Measure B1, which is on the ballot, better met the needs of Oakland and Alameda, and supported housing for all peole, even in the face of entrenched NIMBY minority. There's no recall happening in Alameda, it's a silly smoke screen to allow people like the commenter to try and make it seem real.

Bonta has shown himself adept at building broad coalitions that get things done and if elected, he'll be a strong voice for the 18th Assembly District and represent Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro well.

8 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by John Knox White on 10/18/2012 at 12:27 PM

Re: “BART Board Races Look Competitive

BART's financial problems, they have a surplus because they are offering less service, are a direct result of the expand at all cost mentality of past boards. The $7.5 Billion funding shortfall that Rebecca Saltzman discusses is not "her" number, it's MTC's number. MTC is the regional transportation funding agency for the Bay Area. BART's system is beginning to crumble, hundreds of thousands of riders are affected. Saltzman is the only candidate running who has a clear understanding of where BART is currently, and what is needed just to keep the system operating.

Saltzman's position on extensions is that BART needs to stop stealing from the existing system in order to expand service that is unable to cover its own costs. She is not anti-extension, she is anti-wasteful projects like the Oakland Airport connector that is costing us half-a-billion dollars for a system that will be less convenient than the current bus. She was pro-improving service to the airport, anti-goofy pet-projects. Saltzman has stated she'll support expanding service when it makes sense, but not at the continuing expense of the core, existing system.

Saltzman's experience working on transportation issues in the East Bay will make her a perfect BART Board member. Vote Saltzman for a strong BART.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by John Knox White on 10/18/2012 at 12:05 PM

Re: “Oakland Council Backs Airport Connector

It's nuanced, but I wanted to clarify that the council did not support the current project and demand additions to it. They voted to withold their support until the project met three conditions which includes BART funding and building an intermediate stop on Hegenberger with the first phase.

It will be interesting to see if BART is interested in Oakland's support or not.

Posted by John Knox White on 10/09/2009 at 10:32 AM

Re: “BART Makes Right Choice on Airport Tram

“The project will generate much-needed construction jobs for the area”

BART Director Dorothy Dugger acknowledged that no analysis had been done that shows that this project creates more jobs than spending the money on other needed bay area transportation projects. You could pay each of the estimated 200-300 workers generated by this project $250K each and still have $475 million left to create transportation projects that make sense. Jobs are very important, but can be generated by projects that will benefit a lot more riders.

“For years, most Oakland Airport customers have chosen to drive, “

Actually, BART’s own website shows that AirBART carries 9% of all OAK flyers, one of the highest percentages in the country, it’s a myth that nobody rides AirBART.

“That is, they'd have to drag their luggage out of BART, walk out onto the street, and then hoist their bags onto a bus.”

OAC riders will have to drag their luggage out of BART, lug their bags to a different platform and hoist their bags onto a small, rubber tired vehicle. It’s exactly the same amount of walking, lugging, hoisting and escalator riding. There is no difference.

“the transition will be essentially the same as changing trains.”

So would a properly designed bus transfer, there would be absolutely no difference.

“But nearly all of it will be spent on construction jobs”

This is patently untrue, most of the money will go to concrete and vehicles. BART estimates 200-300 jobs created, and because much of the manufacturing will be out of the area is unwilling to guess how many will be local. These jobs will come at the expense of hundreds, and likely thousands, of other jobs. The $70 million in stimulus money alone could save 500-600 jobs that are currently on the blocks at agencies around the area. This project merely trades over 500 well paying transit operations jobs for significantly smaller number of non-union construction jobs. (There is no PLA in place in this project)

“Opponents, by contrast, argued that an improved bus service might help the struggling Hegenberger business corridor. But it's hard to see how an improved airport shuttle would be a boon for local shopkeepers, unless the shuttle made stops on the way — which would then defeat its primary purpose of getting passengers to and from the airport as quickly as possible. “

The proposed OAC will, by BART’s own numbers, likely be slower than the current bus, including a proposed 30-second stop at Hegenberger and Pardee. This is not a faster technology that is being discussed.

If it actually get built, let's hope that transit advocates are wrong. However, we might remember that they were correct about the BART/SFO-Millbrae extension which has helped to deteriorate San Mateo County transit.

Posted by John Knox White on 05/15/2009 at 6:31 PM

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