LettersGrowth impacts schools
Please help the community to understand the impacts of unmitigated growth. There is no one standing up for Pleasanton on this. My concern is not affordable housing, it is all of the housing that is forced upon the city without allowing for mitigation. The state school mitigation fee is grossly inadequate for all new construction. Residents should be concerned.
Low income housing does not allow Pleasanton to collect adequate fees to mitigate the need for more space in the schools. All Pleasanton schools are already overcrowded so any new growth will dramatically impact the quality of life for existing residents. Pleasanton Unified School District will be coming to the community for a bond as well as a parcel tax to pay for new growth. New growth does not have to be bad if it pays for itself, but this does not and will hurt Pleasanton.
Besides the new apartments being built in the Hacienda Business Park, there will be thousands of additional housing units built in what is now being discussed for the Eastside plan.
On high speed rail
With 43 grade crossings and many unprotected trackside station platforms, Caltrain tracks are far too dangerous for high speed trains. Better, safer and much less costly would be to have high speed rail Santa Clara via Mulford to Oakland and Sacramento, the route long used by Amtrak. Route Capitol Corridor trains this way also. Grade separate, multi-track and fence this UP line in stages.
Add an intermodal transfer station in Oakland, where BART crosses over the UP near I-880 and Seventh Street. (BART trains from there run every few minutes to eight San Francisco and the many other Peninsula and East Bay stations.)
Also, we should prioritize BART around the Bay, enlarging it or forming a new five-county agency to complete BART construction now under way to Berryessa in San Jose; re-do planning for extending that line further to Santa Clara; and plan to grade separate and convert Millbrae-Santa Clara Caltrain to BART.
A plan balanced among the five counties would also extend BART to the Golden Gate and Carquinez bridges, to Brentwood, and over the Altamont.
Adjusted for inflation and the five-county population, a bond issue like that for BART in 1962 per capita would raise about $16 billion today.
Robert S. Allen
BART Director (1974-88); Retired, SP (now UP) Western Division Engineering/Operations