From Marin County Bicycle Coalition:
The SMART Board of Directors will be making critical decisions about the future of the SMART train and pathway which was approved by voters through Measure Q in 2008.
It is expected that this meeting will include decisions about a railcar purchase agreement, what will be built in the fist segment of the project, and an update of MTC’s review of SMART’s financial plan. The meeting agenda will be posted in the afternoon on December 10th at www.sonomamarintrain.org.
SMART announced on November 6th that they are facing a funding gap due to the recession and the cost increases related to the need to repair or replace major bridges on the line, so they will be phasing the project.
Your voice is urgently needed on December 15 to indicate:
- The Pathway is Essential: The SMART multi-use pathway must be built on every section where the train tracks are being laid, simultaneously. The SMART train and pathway has always been a system, and will help get people to and from stations (see more pathway points below).
- Moving Forward is Critical: The current economic environment for bonding and construction bids is better than it has been in years, so it’s important to keep moving forward, while at the same time ensuring that Sonoma, Marin and MTC’s concerns are addressed.
If you can attend the meeting to support the SMART train and pathway,
Here are some additional points about the pathway:
- The SMART multi-use pathway is a vital part of the system, providing a way to get to and from SMART stations, helping to increase ridership.
- The SMART multi-use pathway will help reduce traffic congestion and the need for automobile parking at and around stations, many of which have limited parking.
- The SMART multi-use pathway must be built proportionately with the train tracks as the train and pathway were designed as a system to provide alternatives to Highway 101.
- Many credit the pathway as being why SMART’s Measure Q received more than the necessary 2/3 vote to win in 2008.
- The SMART pathway only costs 1/7th of the overall train and pathway project, and is estimated in the EIR to carry more people than the SMART train, providing an immediate and important benefit to a wide array of voters 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
- The SMART train and pathway will help to boost business for the local economy in Sonoma and Marin Counties both during construction and while operating.