(Knight Foundation/Wikimedia Commons)

The San Francisco Bay Area is expected to grow with 2.1 million people by 2040. Plan Bay Area, a regional transportation and housing plan to accommodate this growth while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, was approved Friday by the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. We’ll discuss the plan, and hear from critics who fear the plan will lessen their local autonomy and erode the small town character of their neighborhoods.

Guests:
Ken Kirkey, planning director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Angela Hart, writer for SF Public Press
Stephanie Reyes, senior program director of Greenbelt Alliance
Tom Rubin, mass transit consultant in Oakland; served as controller-treasurer of the Southern California Rapid Transit District from 1989 until 1993
Bob Silvestri, Author of "The Best Laid Plans: Our Planning and Affordable Housing Challenges in Marin"; resident of Mill Valley

  • EBTP Leader

    Thank you so much for covering this topic. However, it’s a bit late since it has already passed. This plan will displace hundreds of thousands of people currently living in low income housing and will displace existing businesses in order to build “New” stack and pack housing??? How is that helping those that will lose their houses and businesses? This is NOT about helping people. This is about BIG developers and BIG government making $$$$!!!

    • Why on earth would they put such an import decision on KQED before it got passed? This was never about choice or voting, it was about telling the serfs what their leaders want to impose on them.

      We might want to converge with Action and Resistance against this plan in progress.

      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Plan-One-Bay-Area-Action-and-Resistance/497792203636379

      • Ehkzu

        You imply that this is a leftist Big Government plot. In doing so you fail to acknowledge the immense, silent (to the public) presence of millionaire developers.

        This scheme represents the collusion of Left and Right against the rest of us.

        • I actually agree with what you said here. If I implied somewhere it was a “left cover” operation only, then I need to change that information. Agenda 21 is not a “left” only thing, it is an oligarchy we have here in the United States (which is delegated from the United Nations), which includes both parties of the “elected” and the complicit multi-national corporations who have no actual home.

          They both work together for the command and control position to run Empire, Inc.

          • Charles

            Look at the money trail and to whom it leads.

        • Charles

          I have good word heard that Home Depot stands to make a bundle — thanks to the efforts of rat supervisor Weiner.

    • thucy

      Forum Producers:
      Listener Barb F’s comment was buried near the bottom, but I think you should correct your description of Tom Rubin to reflect the Koch-Brothers info she put forward, which I quote directly from her comment:

      “I’d also note that Tom Rubin (above), is listed as a policy study author at the Reason Foundation, a libertarian “think tank” with a specific advocacy
      point-of-view. It is not clear to me from his bio that Mr. Rubin has a background in transportation or land use planning.
      http://reason.org/authors/stud

      “The Reason Foundation appears by its own description to be an advocacy group, rather than
      an objective research institution. “Reason Foundation’s nonpartisan public policy research PROMOTES choice, competition, and a dynamic market economy. ”
      [my emphasis] http://reason.org/about/

      “Source Watch indicates that the
      Reason Foundation is funded partly by the Koch Family Foundation and that David
      Koch is a trustee. “Dr. Adrian Moore, Vice President of Public Policy of the
      Reason Foundation, is an Advisor to the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Commerce, Insurance & Economic Development Task
      Force.[6] Reason Foundation representatives
      have also advised ALEC Task Forces on issues such as state budgets [7], and health reform[8 http://www.sourcewatch.org/ind…”

  • frenchjr25

    They have done an extremely poor job of letting the public know about this. By not letting us know about this they guaranteed that we can’t speak up and have our say. Simply posting notices of meetings online is not enough. They have violated basic tenents of democracy.

  • jurgispilis

    Why should residential housing be permitted to be an instrument of investment? Only allow investors to purchase rental real estate or commercial real estate. In the case of single-family housing, require that the owner must live n the property. Speculation increases the price of housing. Eliminate the speculation aspect of “residential” housing, and it will become more affordable.

    • TrainedHistorian

      Sympathetic sentiment perhaps, but the chance that the US would ever take the investment/profit motive out of single-family housing is exactly zero. It goes against the basic philosophy of our legal and political tradition.. Also, too many people today, especially the so-called middle class, benefit from it: the number one investment most Americans have is their home, not stock market and the like. They rely on the idea that they can sell their own home for a bit more than they bought it for.

      If your concern is housing prices, the most effective way to moderate them is to keep population growth within moderate limits. The fact that housing prices have so far outstripped wage growth for some thirty years in the US is a sign that our population growth rate is too high relative to our overall economic growth rate. But moderating population growth would require enforcing limits on immigration, which is currently not popular with many political interests today. Hence their vociferous attempt to smear with the term “racist” anyone who points out that rapid population growth has costs, particularly to those of more modest means.

  • Ehkzu

    “The Bay Area is going to grow”

    This is the Big Lie that the rest of the New Urbanism’s fallacies rest on. Places only grow if government lets them. The tiny town of Bolinas isn’t growing because the water board won’t issue new water permits. Population growth isn’t a force of nature–it’s a result of policies–in this case policies designed to create profit for developers and jobs for construction trade unions.

    But in this case it also suits the ideology of leftists who want to shoehorn cheap housing into the area.

    However, we’re running out of sources of additional water for this imagined growth, unless we’re willing to start drinking processed toilet water. And even if we do, we’ll eventually run out of that as well. Infinite growth is the philosophy of cancer.

    So the only way the state government’s “stack & pack” scheme for our transit corridors would work is if the total population for communities was not allowed to rise.

    The state government could do this, just as it’s now mandating added growth. It could also apply pressure to affluent communities like Atherton and Hillborough to add housing and jobs instead of focusing exclusively on towns like Palo Alto that are already built out. What do you think are the odds of that happening? Ditto pressuring bedroom communities from San Martin to Pleasanton to add density and jobs?

    The moral posturing of Plan Bay Area’s proponents is appalling.

    • TrainedHistorian

      Population in the US is growing entirely due to immigration from other countries where fertility is still above replacement. (More than 2 children per woman). Native-born Americans themselves stopped having more than 2 children per woman over 40 years ago. . They are therefore not the ones causing the population growth in this country any more. .

      It feels good to many to say we should make every “human being” legal, but effectively unlimited population growth here does have environmental costs, and drives up housing prices, and depresses wages, which benefits landowners at the expense of renters. But hardly any public voices today dares do anything but laud the benefits of immigration, without being honest about the costs, and how the costs disproportionately weigh on renters and lower-income workers.

  • EBTP Leader

    This plan will not reduce Green House Gas emissions! The developers will get CEQA waivers!!! They do NOT have to do ANY GHG analysis. In fact creating high density housing in cities where there is NO transportation will increase GHGs, traffic and pollution!
    ABAG and MTC has spent over 2 decades planning this with a handful of NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) and builders with virtually NO public input! This was NOT just some bill dreamed up by legislators!

  • Kurt thialfad

    Is there a limit to the population size of California, based on fresh water supply, need for open space, need for farmland, gridlock, and seismic concerns? California now is about 40 million – more than the population size of a Canada.

    What number would that population limit be? 100 million?

    • Ehkzu

      We’re already butting up against our clean water supplies’ limits. Of course we could grow tremendously by cutting off water to California’s farmers, and by starting to drink reprocessed toilet water, and by taking the Sacramento River’s water, turning it into a trickle.

      I’d love to hear which of these alternatives the self-satisfied proponents of the Manhattanization of the Bay Area plan for us.

  • Sharon

    Your guests in favor of Plan Bay Area are misleading the public. If they had read the numerous comment letters on Plan Bay Area’s Environmental Report, they would know that it was
    demonstrated, with expert evidence, that the land use, development and transit provisions of Plan Bay Area, if implemented, would reduce green house gas emissions by less than 1%, yet would cost 100s of billions of dollars and would
    cause multiple significant unavoidable adverse environmental impacts, resulting in increased risk of severe environmental harm and serious jeopardy of public health and safety. In addition, rather than reducing the combined housing and transportation costs for low and lower-middle income households, implementation of the plan (as stated in its Environmental Impact Report) would increase these costs from 67% to 69% of low and lower-middle incomes. Moreover, the plan reduces local control (through a carrot and stick approach), promotes unfunded
    mandates, and furthers CEQA exemptions and streamlining.

    The Plan Bay Area’s Environmental Impact Report demonstrates that implementation of Plan Bay Area would cause 39 significant unavoidable adverse environmental impacts, resulting
    in severe environmental harm and serious illness, injury, and loss of life. The severity, magnitude and number of these impacts are astonishing. They include, but are not limited to,
    impacts from:

    -Insufficient water supply;

    -Inundation from sea level rise;

    -Exposure to hazardous materials;

    Inadequate wastewater treatment capacity;

    -A net increase in Sensitive Receptors located in Transit Priority Project corridors where there are high concentrations of cancer causing Toxic Air Contaminants and fine particulate matter emissions;

    -Direct removal, filling or hydrological interruption of habitat; and

    -Interference with the movement of native resident or migratory fish or wildlife species.

    How Plan Bay Area Reduces Local Control:

    **As you read the below two paragraphs, please remember that Plan Bay Area is the Bay Area’s Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) and the SCS is mandated by Senate Bill 375.

    SB 375 does not supersede local laws and local governments are explicitly not required to update their general plans in accordance with the law’s centerpiece, the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). However, SB 375 uses incentives (I.e. transportation funding, etc.) and penalties (I.e. court sanctions; accelerated Housing Element update cycles, etc.) to entice local jurisdictions to follow the law.

    Moreover, under the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) state law, a local government is still required to amend its Housing Element and rezone its land in order to accommodate the quantity of housing it was assigned under the RHNA
    — and SB 375 requires that the RHNA be consistent with the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). In that sense, local governments will still be called upon to implement major aspects of the SCS (via RHNA), whether or not they want to.

  • EBTP Leader

    Local governments are being extorted to adopt this plan!!! Small towns without transportation are being forced to build high density housing! This will destroy the towns and increase ghgs, traffic and congestion!!!

  • Erin Gil

    Good conversation, would like to hear more about the sustainable problem with current public transportation modes as well as the lack of use of general accounting practices in government. Look forward to solving these issues.

  • EBTP Leader

    This plan is a TOP Down plan! Money and power are being held over the heads of local towns! ABAG has 82 unelected planners dictating how and where the people of all 9 Bay Area counties will live!
    This is NOT a bottom up plan!!! My town is over 7 miles from the nearest BART station!!!

  • Heather Whittington

    I live in a PDA in Walnut Creek. I just learned a few weeks ago that the CIty is considering tearing down all of the garden-style apartment complexes on my block to build high density housing. If this happens, several hundered neighbors and I will be displaced. THe ONe Bay Area Plan states that one of its goals is to provide low income housing. HOwever, in Walnut Creek, all of the new high density housing that has been built over the past few years is not “low income.” For example, a one-bedroom apartment in my complex rents for $1,400 per month. A one-bedroom apartment in a high density complex that was built across the street rents for $2,600 per month! The One Bay Area Plan is going to displace thousands of people such as myself, to make way for high density housing that will NOT be affordable to people such as myself.
    Further, I was at the MTC/ABAG meeting Thursday night. There was extensive public comment on “the plan” and 3/4ths of those commenting were AGAINST implimentation of the plan, yet it was voted through. At a MINIMUM, the citizens of the Bay Area deserve to have a vote on this plan. This plan is not well thought out and will produce a variety of unintended consequences.

    • Ehkzu

      Plan Bay Area’s backers–powerful developers, construction trade unions, and leftist ideologies–don’t dare put it to a vote by the people who actually live here. Does anyone seriously believe that it wouldn’t be voted down by a huge majority?

    • TrainedHistorian

      No plan can do away the laws of supply and demand. So long as population grows, housing prices will rise. And population in the US is growing entirely due to immigration from other countries, especially where fertility is still above replacement. (More than 2 children per woman). Native-born Americans themselves stopped having more than 2 children per woman over 40 years ago. . They are therefore not the ones causing the net population growth in this country any more. .

      It feels good to politicians to say that every “human being” in the US should be legal, but effectively unlimited population growth here does drive up housing prices, and depresses wages, which benefits landowners at the expense of renters. If your issue is the price of housing (as opposed to traffic congestion) you cannot be for unlimited immigration (which we effectively have, due to unwillingness to enforce immigration laws).

  • EBTP Leader

    ABAG has over 82 unelected planners making more than $11 million dollars per year!!! MTC planners make over $27 million.
    MTC can’t fix the bolts on the Bay Bridge, but they are now going to dictate where we all live???

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Isn’t there a city in Oregon that limits new residents moving there? What of Zero Population Growth? Let’s fully examine all options, please.

    • Barb F

      Perhaps you are thinking of the greenline around Portland which is to contain development and limit sprawl onto farmland and open space. I know of no mechanism for capping population in a given location. For one thing, much of the population growth is from people having kids and living longer.

  • TrainedHistorian

    An easy way to take traffic off Bay Area road: regional funding for school buses! Takes drivers off the road, and unlike with so-called “public transit” school buses are actually USED by the wealthy and middle class, making them much more efficient than so-called public transit. Only one Bay Area city I’ve ever lived in funded school buses.

    (In contrast, every city in the Midwest where I once lived, provided school buses, despite being much poorer than Bay Area).

  • Chomsky_P

    Why not let people (developers) build what is most desirable? More housing means cheaper housing, regardless of whether it is “affordable” or not. It makes more sense to me to lessen rather than increase zoning restrictions, and to lessen rather than increase red tape for developers

  • Ehkzu

    An hour passed on the air without one word about where the drinking water for all these millions more people is going to come from.

    Not an important issue? Dr. Krasny has fallen short in failing to bring this up, and this scheme’s proponents in sweeping this under the rug.

  • Thomas Gonzales

    I was disappointed that here was no voice of young people on this show, given the long range nature of the plan. The reality is that young people like myself would live in more urban areas and higher density housing if it there were more affordable options, especially in safer areas with better schools. My guess is that none of the people complaining about dense development have tried looking for housing right now because there are very few areas that are not low-density, car-dependent. Those locations that are denser and accessible by transit are either incredibly expensive or unsafe.

    It was expressed that there is no demand for apartment buildings, but most local jurisdictions limit dense construction and add costs through the development process through intense opposition. Also, the insinuation that the plan is aimed at making developers rich is pointless. Real estate development folks just respond to the local land regulations and prices that people are paying, and try to create value for their investors. Whether they build single family homes or apartment buildings, they have to make money or they can’t make a deal. And as long as people want to keep moving to the Bay Area, they will keep trying to build because there is high prices people are willing to pay. The real interesting question is what happens when we begin locally crowdfund real estate? No more blaming “they” for doing something to our towns.

  • AlScotch

    Planners want to herd millions into densely
    packed urban corridors. It won’t save the planet and will make traffic even
    worse.
    Transit would increase its share of travel to a measly 4% from its
    current tiny 2%.
    Unaffordable housing could become even more unaffordable.
    Additional households in the future will continue to use their cars for
    most trips.
    It is better
    to raise children with backyards than on condominium balconies.
    http://populationalert.org/GlobalWarming/CAs_War_on_Suburbia.htm

    • Barb F

      While some might choose–and might be able to afford– single family homes, others might prefer to live closer to their jobs and live in multi-family homes. Avoiding long commutes, parents would have more time to spend with their children. Looks to me like a trade-off that should be left to individual families–private backyard or significantly more time with family?
      This plan is really about providing more housing and transportation options. Compact, walkable neighborhoods well-served by transit, for those who choose them, are confined to specified locations near transit. Single-family neighborhoods outside the PDA’s remain as they are.

  • MarinMom

    This plan leaves local communities to “mitigate” damages to their public schools, environment, and public services. So, basically- locals pay for the consequences of this poorly conceived plan. It is about money for developers, and political power grabs for politicians. The bullying that is going on in Marin County to Plan Bay Area opponents has become absolutely outrageous. Paid transportation consultants, housing activists, and special interest groups are literally trolling our online community discussion groups and online newspaper comments sections with attempts at character assassination- using unfounded and hateful labels of racism, elitism, and other inflammatory terms. It is absolutely disgusting to treat school and community volunteers, mothers, nurses, therapists, teachers, and social workers ( to name just a few members of our neighborhoods ) who care about their communities in this manner. Many of us have devoted our professional and personal lives to helping people. Many of us are from mixed heritage or mixed family backgrounds. We are Democrats, Independents, And Republicans. To try to label and harass people in this way is just shameful. Is this our new standard in American politics- fear and intimidation tactics to get you to comply with the “Plan”?

  • AlScotch

    Though “Plan Bay Area” is constantly telling us that local governments will not be forced to accept regional dictates – it will be open day for apartment developers to sue local governments if we don’t. http://marininfo.org/Bay/MapofPlanBayArea.htm

    SB375 (greenhouse gas emission targets)
    contains 2 private courses of legal action:
    1. A lawsuit can be brought to require a local government to change their plans.
    2. Suing to allow development when zoning does not meet the Plan.
    ( see debate http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOE7Hyd5B40&feature=youtu.be at 0:49 )
    The burden of proof falls to the city.

    So local governments are compelled to select Planned
    Development Areas near mass transit and only develop compact,
    high-density, mixed-use housing else be sued and not receive any of the $57 billion.

    • Charles

      Sounds like a good idea. Sign me up. I’ll support this motion for sure!

  • AlScotch

    When every home will have Solar Panels and a Wind Turbine on its roof and.
    Battery ENERGY DENSITY will be 10 times more than it is today.
    We will all be charging our electric car every night and driving for free on renewable energy.
    It is then we will see what a misguided Plan this was. The Planners have zero vision of this today.

    Water will be stored and re-processed for reuse and for (not so greywater) irrigation.
    Some previously un-processable waste will be locally processed and put back into the ground (remember – with excess energy all things are possible). We will no longer be wasting so much water to “flush it” to sewage treatment.
    Solar panels and wind turbines on the roof of a multi-family apartment building can never be enough to meet the needs of the multi-families below and will not be ENERGY COST EFFICIENT.
    To maximize CARBON SEQUESTRATION and WATER RECYCLING & STORAGE, — Affordable Housing needs to be
    MANUFACTURED (cheap) single-family housing — otherwise building multi-family now, will create energy slums – a liability — as living with your own energy producing roof and conserving garden will be, — not only be cheaper, — but a source of income.
    http://populationalert.org/GlobalWarming/wind_solar.htm

  • AlScotch

    SB628 multi-million dollar 30-year Bonds for Transit and TOD without the usually required taxpayer vote !
    http://marininfo.org/Bay/SB628_Transit_Financing_without_vote.htm

    Propositions to create a SPECIAL TAX (that used to need a 2/3 majority) may pass with only a 55% majority
    http://marininfo.org/SMART/ca_constitutional_amendment_SCA11.htm

    Let me begin by stating that I am a liberal Democrat but one thing I have been dead against is over extensive transit spending, especially on RAIL transit. But even if transit expenditure and associated TRANSIT ORIENTATED DEVELOPMENT (TOD) around it was the most proven cost effective spending possible ( which of course it isn’t) but even if it was the most justifiable of all government spending – I would still be totally against a government Bill that denied the vote of the taxpayer for or against it. And that is what they are trying to do right now in California SB628. They would be able to create multi-million dollar 30-year Bonds for transit and TOD without the usually required vote.

  • AlScotch

    Unfortunately the damning and detailed arguments against the PLAN by Tom Rubin and Wendell Cox http://populationalert.org/GlobalWarming/CAs_War_on_Suburbia.htm have never been answered !

    Why not ask the PLANNERS to do so in writing?

    The retort by one “planner” to Rubin’s arguments “just look out the window at all the cranes” is typical of the nonsense — trying to justify this misguided PLAN.

    And another “PLANNER” said that the PLAN was “about INFIL” when instead INFIL is sacrificed for stack-up development next to freeways, ONLY, — clearly shows how ignorant these planners are in the true sense of the word.
    http://marininfo.org/Bay/MapofPlanBayArea.htm

    • AlScotch

      A
      Transportation Expert (Wendell Cox) on Plan Bay Area:
      (enable bookmarks – click icon on the left)

      “Between 1985 and 2010, transit service levels were
      increased 46 percent in the Bay Area. However, ridership declined ”
      “Plan should be withdrawn, since the No Project
      Alternative (essentially “doing nothing”) achieves the required greenhouse
      gas (GHG) emissions reduction objectives.”
      “does not consider strategies that would materially
      improve mobility for low income households.”
      “does not apply cost effectiveness”
      “would
      result in only two
      percent less driving volume than in the No Project Alternative. Travel by
      passenger vehicles would increase 18 percent”

      “negative health impacts ”
      “inhibiting economic growth “

  • Frank Yeh

    Has any planning official ever considered tolling the freeways? Pricing the freeways would affect driver behavior and housing location choices. A primary cause of sprawl and people living far from their jobs is the fact that the public do not pay for freeways directly and has no idea about the cost of building and maintaining freeways, and choose to live in a far suburb. Although there’s the gas sales tax, the amount collected cover much less than needed, due to the tax formula based on number of gallons of gas used. However, improved engine efficiency on regular cars, hybrids, and electrics reduce the gas and therefore gas tax revenue available for greater distance driven on the freeways, which still endure the wear and tear. The lack of pricing mechanism on freeways is a main reason why current housing/real estate prices do not truly reflect the actual value of its proximity to jobs and other amenities. The lack of parking fees in suburban parking facilities also skews the actual cost of driving lower.

    If planning officials have the guts to propose and implement tolling the freeways by replacing the gas tax with toll fees directly on the freeways, then drivers will realize the actual cost of using “free”ways, and reevaluate about choosing a far-flung house in the suburb/exurbs. The direct toll/user fee would be the most equitable way to collect needed maintenance revenue as well as to improve other transportation infrastructure like improving transit service. I encourage officials to contact me if you have more questions, since I am a transportation consultant and have many other relevant info and experience.

  • Barb F

    I’d also note that Tom Rubin (above), is listed as a policy study author at
    the Reason Foundation, a libertarian “think tank” with a specific advocacy
    point-of-view. It is not clear to me from his bio that Mr. Rubin has a
    background in transportation or land use planning.
    http://reason.org/authors/studies/thomas-a-rubin#listing

    The Reason
    Foundation appears by its own description to be an advocacy group, rather than
    an objective research institution. “Reason Foundation’s nonpartisan public
    policy research PROMOTES choice, competition, and a dynamic market economy. ”
    [my emphasis] http://reason.org/about/

    Source Watch indicates that the
    Reason Foundation is funded partly by the Koch Family Foundation and that David
    Koch is a trustee. “Dr. Adrian Moore, Vice President of Public Policy of the
    Reason Foundation, is an Advisor to the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Commerce, Insurance & Economic Development Task
    Force.[6] Reason Foundation representatives
    have also advised ALEC Task Forces on issues such as state budgets [7], and health reform[8 http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Reason_Foundation

    • 912CalGal

      Hey Barb,

      Greenbelt Alliance promotes anti-free market policies. They steal private property in the name of “preserving open space” which is why housing is so unaffordable in the Bay Area. Kinsey from MTC promotes top down government central planning by unelected bureaucrats. What were you saying about bias??

      • Barb F

        My only request was that the organization and the point-of-view be identified, so listeners can better evaluate the speakers’ comments. At the start of the program Tom Rubin’s Liberty Foundation was not identified.
        Greenbelt is an advocacy group with a different perspective than Reason Foundation. Both are free to express their points-of-view and build support for their ideas.
        Greenbelt, of course, does not steal property. MTC worked with all-comers of all persuasions–even those attempting to disrupt the meetings–for 2-3 years to develop the plan.

  • 912CalGal

    This was a complete WHITEWASH job. The focus was on the Plan’s advocates. The opposition was given little time to counter the inaccurate statements made by the advocates. They failed to discuss the shakedown aspects of this Plan. The cities are required to determine PDAs, their only option is where it is put. They are required to take additional population with no funding of the additional costs. Greenbelt Alliance is one of the organizations causing housing to be unaffordable by putting so much land in to “open space”. People prefer single family homes which is why they buy in Stockton. Wouldn’t it be better to have people and homes closer in so that we don’t force them to go to Stockton? Finally, the reason we have traffic problems on the freeways is the MTC is making a concerted effort to fund mass transit and neglect the roads. For the next 25 years, the money for roads will be funded at the 2005 level.
    This entire plan is nothing more than social engineering by elite bureaucrats, politicians and stakeholder who want to tell citizens where and how to live. What ever happened to the free market? The arrogance of a handful of people thinking that they can predict the future and make decisions for the rest of us is truly astounding.

  • zamiatin

    As a long-time listener and supporter of KQED, I was shocked at the one-dimensional approach to this important topic. The program was a one-hour infomercial for Plan Bay Area. Anyone who asked tough questions was quickly yanked off the air.

    By the way, I do not know Tom Rubin but I read the 82-page comment letter that he submitted to the MTC discussing the plan and the EIR. Apparently the MTC ignored this comprehensive and articulate letter, probably because he also asked a lot of hard questions regarding the plan’s assumptions. His arguments were buttressed by pages of data. I can only guess why some posters here feel the need to impugn his reputation, given his impressive credentials and decades of transportation experience. I would much rather focus on the content of his arguments.

    KQED, even though the plan was approved, the process is far from complete. I hope you will reprise this discussion and give equal time to Bob Silvestri and other community leaders who can provide a cogent and rather alarming description of Plan Bay Area’s origins and its probable trajectory.

  • sebra leaves

    All laws can be repealed. If it is the wish of the people to change the plan, they can do so at the ballot box. This plan was hatched in Washington and sold to Sacramento. This is a plan that has insufficient funding and is dependent on the taxpayers agreeing to pay more taxes and accept more debt. You stop it by cutting off the funds and elect officials who don’t support it. Just say no.

    • Charles

      As I understand, we voted to have these funds set aside for this express purpose — without really knowing all the facts — more than ten years ago. Too late.

  • Fran Hulse

    As a resident of a small, mixed income area of Marin County, and as a supporter of any and all efforts to protect and/or improve our environment, I have to say I am very disappointed with the Plan Bay Area discussion on Forum. I feel the discussion was very one-sided in presenting the best aspects of the Plan, without addressing the real drawbacks which, in my opinion, are all in the fine print….and only known to members of each community affected by the plan.

    While the general description of the plan “sounds” great to anyone who hears it, and while it may “work” for some urban centers, this plan has silenced those in already burdened Marin neighborhoods who are against this plan, painting ALL of us as “cranky, white Marinites”, “NIMBY-ists” and even “racists.” This is so unfair to those of us who have legitimate concerns about the Plan because in certain areas, most notably ours (Tam Valley/Almonte), a flood area (!) where high density housing poses a real threat to the already choking traffic congestion, crowded schools, air quality and fragile marshlands. Much of the High Density housing would take place in the hub that used to be reserved for services. Already, we have lost our supermarket and have to drive to buy food. Now the new population coming into that service area will ALSO have to drive to get their food and services. In our case, displacing our service area with more housing would only serve to create more traffic and congestion and pollution, the very problem the plan purports to address! We’ve heard that ours would be considered a “mixed use” area. But there are no guaranties that this will lead to needed shops and services nearby. And most of us know, when it comes to real estate, it’s all about the money, not creating a welcoming environment for the community. It’s not the “idea” any of us is fighting. We want teachers and policemen and firemen to have homes in our towns….But the Plan should look carefully at the details to make sure we don’t destroy what is best about living in our state. We can make room for more folks, but we can’t destroy our environment, services and quality of life in the process.

  • christian goode

    As a resident of a small, mixed income area of Marin County, and as a
    supporter of any and all efforts to protect and/or improve our
    environment, I have to say I am very disappointed with the Plan Bay Area
    discussion on Forum. I feel the discussion was very one-sided in
    presenting the best aspects of the Plan, without addressing the real
    drawbacks which, in my opinion, are all in the fine print….and only
    known to members of each community affected by the plan.

    While
    the general description of the plan “sounds” great to anyone who hears
    it, and while it may “work” for some urban centers, this plan has
    silenced those in already burdened Marin neighborhoods who are against
    this plan, painting ALL of us as “cranky, white Marinites”, “NIMBY-ists”
    and even “racists.” This is so unfair to those of us who have
    legitimate concerns about the Plan because in certain areas, most
    notably ours (Tam Valley/Almonte), a flood area (!) where high density
    housing poses a real threat to the already choking traffic congestion,
    crowded schools, air quality and fragile marshlands. Much of the High
    Density housing would take place in the hub that used to be reserved for
    services. Already, we have lost our supermarket and have to drive to
    buy food. Now the new population coming into that service area will ALSO
    have to drive to get their food and services. In our case, displacing
    our service area with more housing would only serve to create more
    traffic and congestion and pollution, the very problem the plan purports
    to address! We’ve heard that ours would be considered a “mixed use”
    area. But there are no guaranties that this will lead to needed shops
    and services nearby. And most of us know, when it comes to real estate,
    it’s all about the money, not creating a welcoming environment for the
    community. It’s not the “idea” any of us is fighting. We want teachers
    and policemen and firemen to have homes in our towns….But the Plan
    should look carefully at the details to make sure we don’t destroy what
    is best about living in our state. We can make room for more folks, but
    we can’t destroy our environment, services and quality of life in the
    process.

  • Charles

    For anyone trying to get a well-rounded, objective view of what the One Bay Area Plan is, particularly if one had never heard anything about it before, this KQED forum was NOT the place to be or to hear anything truthful about the Plan.

    Why was so much space and time given to Stephanie Reyes of the Greenbelt Alliance? She talked like the Communist she is and wouldn’t even answer questions truthfully; she gave out ideological responses that weren’t even responsive to the questions.

    The whole program was stacked in favor of the Plan from the outset with no skepticism about its value. That’s poor investigation and poor journalism.

    What never got discussed on this forum — and it’s the main reason why this Plan is evil — yes, evil — is that it is a land-grab project where private homeowners will lose their homes and their property by fiat AND the entire Plan is without a single citizen’s vote of approval. This is not representative government; this is not legislation based on the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. This is global governance instituted by a Communist Agenda, and KQED allowed the Communists to keep the secret going by never exposing it.

    Shame on KQED for being so un-American!

  • Jjule

    So much for ever supporting you

    YOU LIED, THIS PLAN IS A DISGUSTING PLAN
    MAJORITY OF PEOPLE DO NOT WANT IT
    SUSTAINABLE LIVING COMPOUNDS ARE NOT HEALTHY

    I’M ASHAMED OF YOU KQED, YOU DID NOT COVER WHAT THE TRUTH IS
    SHAME ON YOU

    FOREVER APPALLED, AND NEVER TO SUPPORT, WILL PASS THIS TO FRIENDS,
    YOU KNOW HOW DANGEROUS WORD OF MOUTH IS, W PROOF
    ZERO DONATIONS MAY BE YOUR FUTURE

  • Charles

    Before the forum ever started, the technicians should have started playing “Gimme More” by Britney Spears. That would have announced what Stephanie Reyes and the whole broadcast was about. It’s a gimme, gimme, gimme grab for other peoples’ property, other people’s money, and control over other people’s lives.

    And KQED is a gimme kind of organization as well, so it stands to reason perfectly it would NEVER by questioning and skepticism bite the underhanded hand that feeds its propaganda.

  • Charles

    Or maybe Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed would have been a good intro to this Communist-friendly forum for the One Bay Area Plan. After all, it’s the taxpayers who are going to bleed all the way — for the benefit of a small, greedy few.

  • Charles

    Bye-bye U.S. Constitution. Bye-bye social contract. Bye-Bye representative government. All hail, the New World Order and the new scientific totalitarian global governance of the unelected over the dumbed-down many! San Francisco obviously is seeking to please the United Nations and Agenda 21 in order to become the first 21st Century Communitarian (Communist) City in the Western world. No thanks to the supervisors (in particular, Mr. Weiner and Mr. Chiu) or the Mayor, spineless followers of money and prestige at the expense of individual liberty or the Bill of Rights.

  • Charles

    Thanks KQED for stifling debate and courting the anti-American nationalists in favor of those who wish to destroy California — and the rest of the U.S. should they have that chance.

  • 912CalGal

    Plan Bay Area is supported by stakeholder groups who stand to benefit greatly from ripping off hard working taxpayers. Here is a perfect example of the “Give Me”/Entitlement Culture that the politicians hope to appease:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3StLjE2Lzuc

    Plan Bay Area puts us on the path to becoming DETROIT

    http://capoliticalnews.com/2013/07/22/mimi-steel-san-francisco-regional-politburo-votes-to-become-detroit/

  • This plan will not have the desired effect. In fact, the social engineers will have been reponsible for an increase in poverty, in ghg emissions, in congestion, in time to work, and a decrease freedom of choice, quality of life, and economic prosperity.
    Keep fighting this at your local city council!! Show this report to your elected officials. It gives them facts on how smart growth strategies will be financially, economically, environmentally, and politically unsustainable!
    http://www.exurbiachronicles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Dimensions-of-Sustainability-Report-for-Elected-Officials.pdf

  • 1776notinvain

    Unelected people decide our future?

  • 1776notinvain

    How do unelected people get away with decide gour future?

  • 1776notinvain

    How do unelected people get away with deciding our future?

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