A small minority of outspoken people to fund the SMART train and path for pedestrians and cyclists. Some are especially incensed over the path. This is odd, because a sidewalk is hardly a radical concept.
Neither is a train. Logically, these critics should also be outraged over the chance to provide efficient public transit along the 101 corridor for everyone—including youth and elders who do not drive, and people who cannot afford a car. They should be outraged about the chance to reduce car traffic and car crashes, curtail large ugly parking lots, and improve air quality. But logic is not their strong suit.
Clay Mitchell of the "Repeal SMART" campaign protests that "Taxpayer money is being spent at an alarming rate." But "alarming" is a relative concept. Large public works projects are expensive. Their cost is usually justified on the basis of public need.
Compare the SMART project's estimated $380 million cost with the $921 million for six recent and pending improvements to Highway 101 in Marin and Sonoma. Of that total, $154 million is either already spent or already funded, while the rest—$767 million—awaits funding.
SMART has already presented a sound, balanced budget. Let’s get moving.
-Elisabeth from Mill Valley