BART to Livermore EIR hearing 1/3

At the first of three environmental impact report (EIR) public hearing organized by BART a lot of people seemed afraid that a downtown station would change Livermore to the worse and increase crime. One teenage girl – clearly indoctrinated by mom – broke out in tears as she envisioned BART bringing muggers and rapists to Livermore.

Yet, a pure highway alignment along I-580 is something that i – and all urban planners and city officials i talked to – strongly dislike because it would mean to repeat the mistakes of (auto-centric) planning in the past. A BART station in downtown Livermore presents a unique opportunity to create a wonderful walkable community around downtown setting a textbook example for sustainable transit oriented planning in America. I already love what the City has done during the redevelopment efforts of the past few years that have converted downtown from a four-lane freeway to a welcoming and cute destination. But it is still a downtown on life-support. There is no sustainable traffic throughout the day to support the kind of business you expect to find in a healthy downtown: produce stalls, a delicatessen, a small grocery store, a bakery, a cheese store, or a butcher. Try to buy a carton of eggs or a loaf of bread in downtown. Impossible. Fortunately i got my three minutes of rallying support for a downtown Livermore station and my comments were picked up by reporters of the contra costa times, the independent news, and the pleasanton weekly.

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Oliver Doepner said,

    Hi Martin,

    I think it is great that you spoke up as a voice of reason during this public hearing. It is hard for me to understand the fears of some of the residents opposed to better public transportation to downtown Livermore.

    In Germany most people would see that as _increased_ value for the properties near the railway line because of better commuting options.

    I was impressed to see you cited in the various (online) newspapers.

    cheers :^)

  2. 2

    jeremy hugues said,

    Querido Martin,

    100% with you. It’s time to switch from the all car organisation especially in the bay area where the density of population enables many other choices.
    The criminality argument is ridiculous and a real enquiry should be done in all other places who have BART, and get to know what really changed.

    I love your garden farming that’s a great example that many will follow soon, maybe not for the good of our planet but because of money, quality and health.

    A très bientôt

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