My family has lived in Sonoma and Marin Counties for over 100 years. We commute daily, within and across county lines, or to our jobs in San Francisco. We understand that a “No” vote on Measure I—a vote against the SMART train—directly punishes the thousands of riders who have regained some sanity by not being in the car three hours a day.
Teachers and students who get to school on time without the stress of getting caught in traffic are of particular interest to me as an employer, but also nurses, lawyers, technicians, people who care for our elders, Marin Subaru employees . . . I could go on, but everyone knows someone who has directly or indirectly benefited from the train. If you think you don’t, you’re not paying attention to the workforce that our region depends on.
I have wondered why a rich land developer would commit a million dollars to kill the train. Are they truly worried about all of our tax burden as they claim? I mean, even if they were concerned about the additional cost of a new Range Rover, we’re talking $250.
No, I believe that opposing public transportation and extending a tax to support it is actually the latest incarnation of red-lining. If political will ever prevails and affordable housing is required to be located near transit lanes, developers who depend on scarcity of real estate inventory and megamansions for their profits and wealth would be highly motivated to eliminate the trigger—the train.
I want no part of this attitude and behavior in the counties I’ve lived and worked in all my life. We are already facing unprecedented tragedies, such as wildfires, that are directly attributable to climate change. Will we willfully snub the SMART solution to both challenges—adequate housing and green transportation—to save a quarter on every $100 we spend?
I would rather be able to say to my grandchildren, “I did something. I rode SMART. I voted YES on Measure I.”