Injunction stops work indefinitely on Niles Canyon Road project

I’ll get more online soon, but a judge today issued an injunction preventing Caltrans from starting the first of three safety projects scheduled for Niles Canyon Road.

He also allowed to stand a lawsuit challenging Caltrans’ environmental review of the project.

So the project, which was supposed to commence June 15, is now indefinitely delayed until that lawsuit runs its course.

The Alameda Creek Alliance filed the lawsuit seeking to stop the project.

They won on all counts today despite the fact that their attorney quoted an environmental assessment from one Vinton Bacon to the judge. Of all the enviromental wonks around here, I was surprised that the attorney would try to persuade the judge with the findings of a politician/technology worker.

Matt Artz


  1. Sorry to hear Vinnie Bacon was such a key player.

    Eliminating a hundred jobs for the sake of flexing his irrational kinship with trees should go over well in the next election.

  2. First, stopping that ill-conceived project didn’t cost 100 jobs. That statement is nothing more than just another one of Marty’s exaggerations, invented in his mind, existing nowhere else. Second, because Vinnie was someone who cared about this project, I’ve no doubt that his assessment was far more thorough than a disinterested party who won’t have to live with the results.
    Geeez, Marty, get a life.

  3. I think 100 jobs is a low estimate for a project this big. If you think it’s an exaggeration, then how many jobs is it exactly? Do you even care?

    Did Vinnie even look that up, because I can assure you he knows exactly how many trees have been cut.

  4. Marty,
    Would you please quite character assassination of Vinnie Bacon. It turns out He was not a major player in the Niles Canyon Protest, but you know that,

    you also know that Jeff Miller and others were the major players. You are a very clever deceitful , mean person.

    You have zero credibility, you lost that in all your lies and false character assassination’s.

    Everyone on this board has your number and it is not number # 1

    We all know that you have a website designed to character assassinate Vinnie. What is your problem Marty

  5. Why is making Highway 84 I.E. Niles canyon safer a ill-conceived project. They are cutting down trees that are just a few feet off the road people in Niles act like they are cutting down all the trees in the canyon. This project could possibly bring more people and money to this shit hole we call Niles. Now that the trees are cut you can actually see the creek. It would be different if you could use the canyon like in the old days but those days are gone and you can’t even stop along the creek.( MAKE 84 SAFER)

  6. The stretch of Hwy. 84 in that area is a twisting, turning road that no one in a hurry would ever knowingly use. It’s by far the slowest way to get to Niles so it’s a waste of time to try to say that it would bring more people and money to Niles. If we all used horse and buggy to get around, it would be a different story.

  7. If you add another lane and make it wider and take out the bad curves it will have more people using it there for more people more money and maybe just maybe Niles can be put back on the map. (MAKE 84 SAFER)

  8. I agree with Worby. I think many people rely (reluctantly) on 84 as their east-west corridor. I certainly do for visits to Stoneridge, downtown Pleasanton, or any eastbound trip for that matter.

    Regardless, I think my criticism of Vinnie is fair. He is a major player because according to Artz, he wrote the “environmental assessment” cited to the judge deciding the stop work order. I also think it’s fair to assume about 100 people may have lost their ability to earn income, if not at least on the short term because of this action, and it concerns me that this peril is not even addressed on the “Save Niles Canyon” website.

    Diverting the debate into a personal one may provide you with some justification to ignore what I write, but I think the above is tough to dispute directly without ad hominem attacks. Regardless, what I write is rarely disputed, instead is my ability to write it.

  9. Once again, as is habitual, Marty makes wild, exaggerated assertions with no basis and not even an attempt to prove it (100 jobs???). Then, even though he made a personal attack on Vinnie Bacon in the same wild post (#1 on this thread), he makes a blatant attempt to try to sound innocent of making personal attacks (#8).

    Marty: you made the assertion about “100 jobs,” therefore, it is incumbent on you to prove it. Prove it, Marty! If you can. If you can’t, quit making your wild assertions – and quit trying to make other people look guilty of your own transgressions.

  10. My lord, Eyesbright. How little common sense can you have and still function? How many people do you think it takes to build a highway? 10? 20? Perhaps 100?

    I think it was incumbent upon Bacon, Miller, Cates et al to prove their talking points at a time prior to taking action, but that certainly didn’t stop them. Why the high standard for me?

    Btw, strongly disagreeing with someone is far from insulting, unless that is your position being criticized. If you still think I was insulting Vinnie, ask him how many workers were scheduled to work in the canyon. Then ask him how many trees have been cut down. I can guarantee he has no idea how many workers are S.O.L., but can identify every tree down to each sapling that has been effected by this campaign.

  11. The notion that someone had a job “eliminated” sounds quite titillating until you consider that these same Cal Trans workers are likely, at this very moment, taking their water break on any one of myriad other projects elsewhere.

    But never mind that, jobs were “eliminated”.

    This mornings coverage by Artz confirms that the major stumbling block and reasoning for the stop order was Cal Trans’ inadequate public notification. . . . which has nothing to do with an assessment of environmental impact by Vinnie or anyone else and has everything to do with Cal Trans actions.

    But never mind that, Vinnie is the culprit.

  12. I doubt that Cal Trans would be hiring people specifically for this project, nor will 100 people lose their jobs because it has been stopped.

    As one who commuted to Pleasanton for a while, I used Niles Canyon when I was in the mood for a leisurely drive. However, if I needed to just “get there”, I took Mission Blvd. to 680. That’s worked for years and I’m not sure why, especially with Mission being repaved, it can’t continue to work rather than spending $80 million on the canyon project.

  13. Way to go to the Alameda Creek Alliance and Save Niles Canyon Groups for all of your hard work on this. It is easy to sit in your Barcalounger typing up criticisms and another to get off your cans and make stuff happen. Matt is out there tutoring – how many of you “George Will wannabes” do something outside of work to create the change you so passionately desire.

    Marty? – tell us all about all the hard work you are out there doing for the community….

    (oh yeah – lobbying for profit in front of council work does not count)

    Thanks you Jeff, Bruce, Vinnie and all of you for making this happen.

  14. Dan, I’m betting I’ve built more trails in the past year than you’ve built in your entire life. And there’s more advocacy, etc but considering the fierceness of the Niles collective, I’d rather keep some anonymity.

    By the way, trail building results in something tangible. What exactly has been accomplished here, besides a reason to back-pat at the next LEAF fundraiser?

  15. Cal-Trans made a unilateral decision to use flawed data to misrepresent a project. They violated the law in blatant disregard of environmental impacts. They fail to consider projects in their entirety. In the private sector they would no longer be in business.

    Local politicians who support this project do so at the behest of their own agendas; intentionally ignoring the consequences of Cal-Trans actions.

    Cal-Trans thought they were so big and powerful that no one or nothing could stop them. Hopefully this decision can transfer over to another ill-conceived project at Richardson Grove on Highway 101 where Cal-Trans is blasting through old-growth redwood forests.

    Kudos to the attorney and those who brought this action before Judge Roesch.

  16. Can any of you answer the question WHY IS THIS A BAD PROJECT? Because it will save lives.
    And don’t cry about the trees because most of the trees that they are cutting are to close to the roadway and are unsafe.
    If we are going to keep this road open Cal Trans has a legal obligation to make the roadway safe for usage. Please can anybody explain why this is bad?

  17. Marty: as usual, instead of even trying to come up with proof for your wildly exaggerated assertions, you start side-stepping, trying to divert attention (look over there!) from the fact that you have nothing, no proof, no facts, nothing.
    It’s exactly what I expected. You’re so predictable.

  18. Ah… the mask.

    Again, I love the debate but that that Marty-anonymity affects your credibility.

    Here is a great quote on why:

    “It’s not fair that the accused is not protected from adverse publicity whilst the accuser is guaranteed anonymity, whatever the verdict.”

    Good job on the trails – we appreciate it.

  19. Ok, what’s predictable is this has turned into a bash Marty thread. Fair enough.

    Eyesbright, may I remind you that every talking point presented by opponents (sans preservation) is “nothing, no proof, no facts, nothing” as well. We’re all stating our opinion here.

  20. MAKE 84 SAFER #19 This is a joke.
    If you guys can’t come up with a better reason Cal Trans will win in the end.
    Cal Trans has an obligation to make our highways safe for travel for all.
    I know lets close the canyon and it will save alot of money and everybody from that part of town can go all the way to mission or take 880 to 580. You know all you Niles people would cry if they did that.
    You just can’t win with these people they will cry if you hung them with new rope.

  21. Worble, they can’t answer the question because they don’t for know for certain themselves.

    And why would West, Eyes and Dan go through the trouble of stating their case when they can simply attack ad hominem?

  22. “It’s not fair that the accused is not protected from adverse publicity whilst the accuser is guaranteed anonymity, whatever the verdict.”

  23. If I might plagiarize from one of the many organizations against this (CCCR):

    Caltrans has failed to demonstrate that Build Alternative 1 is the least damaging feasible


    Caltrans has failed to demonstrate the project as proposed will accomplish the project purpose.

    The DEIR/EA raises the question of whether the project as proposed will result in an increase traffic collisions

    and fatalities.

    The DEIR/EA has not adequately identified, described, or mitigated the negative impacts of the proposed project

    on the environment.

    The DEIR/EA improperly and illegally defers mitigation of significant impacts and in doing

    so thwarts the public’s right to review and comment on the adequacy of the mitigation. The DEIR/EA is fraught

    with determinations that impacts will be less than significant without providing thresholds or documentation

    that illuminate how these determinations have been reached. CEQA requires that determinations of

    “significance” must be based on “substantial evidence.” And thresholds of significance must be protective of

    the environment and not arbitrarily determined.

    Okay boys.

    Have at it: proceed with the flatulence from the BarcaLougers

  24. Even if you cared nothing about the destruction to this scenic highway and the environment, etc., CalTrans did a really shoddy job of their justification for spending $80 Million taxpayer dollars. Here are some figures:

    Save Niles Canyon reviewed safety data Caltrans used to justify the road widening, premised on a need for
    safety upgrade due to high numbers of fatal accidents. Caltrans cited 13 fatalities in the canyon the past
    decade, but several of the incidents cited were outside the canyon or project area.
    The majority involved driving under the influence as a major or contributing cause of the accident, unlikely to be prevented by road widening.
    Save Niles Canyon concluded that Niles Canyon Road is statistically safer than the average state road, there
    is no safety justification for road widening, and the project may actually make the canyon more dangerous
    for drivers and cyclists.
    There are less destructive alternatives Caltrans has not evaluated such as installing flashing lights, radar speed signs, median barriers, and rumble strips, focusing on localized problem areas, trimming or removing selected trees, or other measures within the existing roadway.

    This Caltrans boondoggle is a case of government bureaucrats trying to shove this down our collective throats – using our own tax money!

  25. This Caltrans boondoggle is a case of government bureaucrats…

    I know, Eyesbright. There’s a tangential caveat to this project that has to do with government bureaucracy and waste. Has any member of “Save Niles Canyon” campaigned against government waste before? Where do they stand on Obama’s frivolous “shovel ready” spending of 2009, or the jobs programs now being floated by the admin? I’m sure they’re all fierce opponents of government spending and have all written letters to Obama in favor of financial restraint.

    And, the safety analysis is garbage as long as it’s performed by members of the opposition group. This is similar to the garbage polling done by the “Save Coyote Hills” people months before losing 2 to 1 in an actual election.

    Though, in the end I think we agree on more than you think. I want Niles canyon to remain the jewel that it is, and like you I want it to be safe. I’m not saying Caltrans is the final arbiter of what is a safe road or not, but I am reluctant put that onus on a handful of agenda-driven environmental zealots.

  26. Wow!!!! Very well done Marty I have to agree with you.

  27. And, similarly, since Marty has never indicated anything *except* total disdain and personal disrespect for those who oppose any sort of development, the expressed hope for the canyon to “..remain the jewel that it is..” can only be interpreted as completely disengenuous against a well-established history.

    Marty has, as equally as any faction herein, made extremely clear his/her/its agenda-driven pro-development-at-any-cost zealousness as well as his/her/its highly personalized disdain for V. Bacon.

    I’m not saying that V. Bacon or even the Alameda Creek folks are the final arbiter of what is or is not in the best interest of this environ. But, based on his/her/its past behaviors, I am more than reluctant to put any credence whatsoever into a singular and obviously agenda-driven pie hole – the motives of which have been called into question on copious occasion.

  28. LMFAO –

    So funny, Marty.
    Thanks for the entertainment.

  29. 80 million bucks to make Niles Canyon safer = waste of taxpayer money

    Vinnie Bacon for City Council = waste of your vote

    Government subsidized cricket fields = waste of taxpayer money

    Phoney outrage from the Fremont Citizens Network = predictable

    A professional sports franchise in your city = jobs, tax revenue & civic pride!

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