At a legislative hearing chaired by Assemblyman Rich Gordon, testimony included a comment that the BART system was created by a single Board of Supervisors’ vote in Contra Costa County.
How many people are against BART today? You can’t find them. And why do Santa Clara County residents have to fork over billions of dollars to get BART to San Jose now? It’s because some morons in San Jose in the 1960s and their sheepish leaders voted against being included in the system.
It was a huge and costly mistake for the rest of us.
Every major project has Citizens Against Virtually Everything (CAVE) people fighting against it. They hold up every good project, they hurt our economy, our progress and cost us money.
But how many times can these people be wrong before they simply go away?
Who among us would remove the Golden Gate Bridge, HP Pavilion, the Metcalf Energy Center in Coyote Valley, the McEnery Convention Center, the Fairmont, AT&T Park in San Francisco, Highway 85 and 87 and don’t forget that “freeway to nowhere,” Interstate 5?
The most recent CAVE people hail from the peninsula, and more than a few are from San Jose—yes, the same lineage that voted against bringing BART to San Mateo and Santa Clara now oppose high-speed rail. To hear them whine, this fast, quiet, non-polluting train would split their towns, ruin their view and provide unmitigated disaster to their humble hamlets.
Really? Has anybody noticed the 19th-century diesel train that spews pollution, is loud and noisy, has heavy train stock, kills unstable kids and adults and runs an operating deficit that is currently in their backyard?
These same people hail that system and expect the rest of us to subsidize it indefinitely.
But the fight goes on, as Gov. Jerry Brown said in a recent Los Angeles Times article referring to the CAVE people mentality. “It is part of the reason we can’t get anything done in this state,” he said.
Brown didn’t add, but could have, that if voters had embraced this technology when he proposed it the first time he was governor, in 1974, we would be way ahead of the rest of the world. But the Governor is too polite to say, “I told you so.”
I, on the other hand, don’t suffer any such restraint.
Rich Robinson is a political consultant and author of “The Shadow Candidate”. He is currently under contract with the High-Speed Rail Authority.