Sign the Petition: Stop the Oakland Airport Connector – Demand a Better Connector!

11 Aug

Disclosure: I am working on a part time, short term basis for TransForm on the Oakland Airport Connector campaign. However, the thoughts expressed in my posts on this subject are my own and should not be construed to be those of TransForm.

The fight to stop the Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) has not been easy, and as you can see from the list of posts at the bottom of this post, it has been a long one. But it’s not over yet. The Oakland Public Works Committee will be voting on the project on Tuesday, September 15th, and the issue will likely go to full Council after that. BART will also be voting on the project again in the coming months.

We’ve showed up at every meeting, generated hundreds of emails and phone calls, and expressed our concerns about the project to the press. But now it’s time for something much simpler. We’ve set up a petition asking BART, the Oakland City Council and the region’s transportation funding agencies to review the significant changes that have occurred in this project immediately and to halt movement forward until alternatives are studied.

Until September, this petition is the best way to voice our concern about the OAC so please do the following:

  1. Visit now and sign the petition.
  2. Send an email to your friends asking them to sign the petition.
  3. Post the link to Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or anywhere else you can think of to get the word out.

And if you need one more reason why you should oppose the OAC, I have one: It’s even slower than we had initially thought!

In its RFP, issued in April, BART had set the minimum speed for the OAC at 35 miles per hour, which is already really slow, and significantly slower than the initially proposed 45 mph. But on July 31st, BART released an addendum to their RFP that sets the minimum speed even lower, at 27 mph!

The speed limit on Hegenberger is 30 miles per hour, and while there are stop lights, at some points, traffic will be moving faster than the OAC. Then, on the airport road, the speed limit rises to 45 mph, which means that cars and buses will be speeding past the OAC. Even without considering the less seamless connection of the OAC (going upstairs at BART; going downstairs and across a parking lot at the airport), with these new lower speeds, I can’t imagine many scenarios in which the OAC would make the trip in less time than the current AirBART bus.

So if you don’t want our region to spend half a billion dollars for a slower trip to the airport, sign the petition and get all your friends to sign it too.

Previous posts on the Oakland Airport Connector:

6 Responses to “Sign the Petition: Stop the Oakland Airport Connector – Demand a Better Connector!”

  1. Gene August 11, 2009 at 9:02 am #

    Thanks for the info, Becks. I saw a Walk Oakland Bike Oakland post on Facebook about it, but I hadn’t heard about the reduced speed 😦

  2. Scott Lund August 11, 2009 at 11:04 am #

    Thanks for the information, but I am a little confused. You are comparing stated MINIMUM sustained cruising speeds of the trains against the MAXIMUM speeds of the roads.

    The maximum speed (or even the average speed) of the trains is not immediately clear to me from the proposal.

    Am I missing something?

    • Becks August 11, 2009 at 11:09 am #

      Scott – at this point, it’s difficult to know what the maximum speed or average speed is because we haven’t seen the bids from the four qualifying companies yet. Until we do, we won’t know. But it is possible that the average or maximum speed could be the same or not much greater than the minimum speed required by the RFP addendum, especially since some of the technologies being considered are incredibly slow.

      Also, keep in mind that a speed limit is not the maximum speed of the road. I’m not advocating this, but from my experience, many people exceed the speed limit on Hegenberger and the airport road.

  3. Eric August 11, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Words cannot express how fatigued I am of this project.

  4. das88 August 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    The alternative proposal of the fleet of Oaksterdam pedi-cabs is looking better and better all of the time.

  5. david vartanoff August 11, 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    ditto, but like the equally evil fourth bore (Calecott), this is where our transit money is wasted instead of where real ridership could be better served.

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