MTC approves $91 Million for the BART Warm Springs extension

Here’s my story on this in today’s paper. Thanks to Mike on Bike for bringing up good info. I’m no expert on the MTC.

For the first time the BART to Warm Springs project is fully funded, although some conditions apply.

the $91 million was loaned from the Dumbarton Rail Project, which, if it’s ever built, would run trains from Union City across the Bay to SF and SJ.

MTC vote was foregone conclusion, but good news for Fremont, bad news for Union City.


Fremont and VTA to get money for Grade Separations

UPDATE: Of more pressing matters here are some timeframes for completion of the current pahse of the I-880/Mission Boulevard Interchange Project.
New Carpool Lane on I-880 —- Could be operational in October
New Warren Avenue I-880 Overpass —- Could be completed and operational by the end of the year.

The state has awarded $19.6 million for grade separation projects at Warren Avenue and Kato Road. The grade separations, which are expected to ease traffic congestion and help extend BART to Santa Clara, are part of a $200 million infrastructure project in South Fremont.

The project, which is slated to start in 2010, includes widening Mission between I-880 and Warm Springs Boulevard, depressing Warren under the Union Pacific tracks, depressing Kato Road just north of the county line under railroad tracks, and reconfiguring a rail yard.

The project isn’t fully funded, but the grant should help. I’ll have a story about it in tomorrow’s Argus.


BART to San Jose news

Yay, Silicon Valley business leaders support raising taxes on individuals to bring BART to San Jose. I’ve lived with several city and transportation planners over the years. They all said BART to San Jose is going to be a HUGE waste of money and that expanding light rail, such as the ACE train, would be a much cheaper/better option.

Then again, some of them said my dishwashing method wastes water and that one shouldn’t bother flushing the toilet after one pees. Maybe they’re just natural born haters.

For more on a potential sales tax to fund the BART extension, click here.


Dumbarton Rail funding decision delayed to September

The MTC last month decided to postpone a vote on taking $91 million slated for Dumbarton Rail and giving it to the Warm Springs BART Extension. The Dumbarton Rail Committee voted to oppose the transfer. To no one’s surprise, Union City’s representative voted against the transfer and Fremont’s voted for it.

Yesterday, the Congestion Management Authority endorsed the transfer.


ACE Train strikes woman in Fremont

2nd Update: A witness to the train accident said it didn’t appear that the woman, Dina Burch, 40 of Fremont, threw herself in front of the train. Jennie Visitacion, who was returning home from her job in Stanford, said Burch appeared to be trying to cross the railroad tracks on which a freight train was stuck. As Burch was trying to walk around the fright train, Visitacion said, the ACE Train came and struck her.

Visitacion said that several people were walking across the tracks to get around the freight train, but that Burch crossed in a more dangerous section of track.

“We just thought she was trying to cross,” Visitacion said. “We were telling her to get out of the tracks.”

UPDATE:  The victim was rushed to Washington Hospital. She had a pulse, Fremont Battalion Chief Rich Dickinson said. He said the woman was in her late 30s. Witnesses told him that she threw herself in front of the train. The collision, which occured about two blocks west of Centerville Station stopped train traffic in Fremont for about two hours, an spokesman for ACE said.

A woman was struck  by an eastbound ACE Train shortly after 5 p.m. this afternoon at the Maple Street crossing, one block west of  Centerville Station, Fremont police said.

ACE Trains are stopped in Fremont while an inspector is at the collision scene. It is not known whether the woman intentionally placed herself in front of the train.

The crossing arms at the Maple Street crossing were functioning at the time of the collision, ACE spokesman Thomas  Reeves said. “We’re not sure what the trespasser was doing.”

ACE trains typically strike two or three individuals a year, which Reeves said was pretty good compared to competing systems.