Brakelights come on as Highway 101 southbound traffic grinds to a halt during commute hours on Thursday morning, Nov. 14, 2013, in Novato, Calif. Economic recovery may be adding cars to the roads. (Frankie Frost/Marin Independent Journal) Frankie Frost
Traffic is getting worse. A lot worse. We all know the economy is getting better in the area, thank goodness, but did we ever stop and think that the economy getting better means traffic will get EVEN WORSE.
A recent article in the Marin News touts just that theory. The article says commutes that took 30 minutes a year ago are taking twice that now. An hour to get to work, yikes. Californians spend nearly “62 hours a year in traffic” almost twice the national average.
So why are we going to spend money and time on this Green Rail when we should be spending money on expanding BART service, encouraging carpooling (65% of people still drive by themselves), and cleaning up the suburban traffic into San Fran instead of helping get their trash out.
On Friday BART went down. The trains worked fine… but the computers stopped working and, therefore, BART stopped working.
BART blamed a network server upgrade for the computer problem, which also delayed hundreds of passengers on Thursday night.
The planned upgrade was implemented on Thursday, but it later began affecting the performance of the computer system used to monitor train service, Trost said. The system eventually went offline. (source)
Why would we want a new train clogging up our lines when we can’t even get our current trains working. Now I’m not saying that the “green train” will share the lines with BART but I am saying if we can’t even get our BART trains to run smoothly, why would Oakland want to risk adding more rail nightmares to our area. Imagine if the “green train” went out and trains full of trash just sat there…
Winds blowing that stench towards our homes and houses.
There are over 10,000 illegal dumpings reported each year in Oakland. Take a look at this map:
All the blue dots are illegal dumpings in Oakland.
Ok so that’s one problem, here’s another: graffiti. The ContraCosta Times had an article about graffiti earlier in October. And there was this story on KGO in February.
Oakland has enough problems with trash: illegal dumping, buildings defaced with paint, blight, homelessness, the list goes on. The last thing we need is more trash in Oakland. We must stop this switching station and keep San Francisco’s trash out of Oakland and work on cleaning up our city not adding trash to it.
There was an article in the Sacremento Bee today about artists who take trash and turn it into art. ( http://www.sacbee.com/2013/10/20/5835578/san-francisco-artists-turn-trash.html#storylink=cpy).
If there is a place for an artist to find treasure in the trash, it is the public disposal and recycling area operated by Recology, the company that handles trashing, collecting, recycling and composting in San Francisco and more than 100 other communities. The company opens its dump at the southern edge of the city to local artists chosen as part of its Artist in Residence program.
Is Recology going to pay artists to clean up the air from the diesel pollution? How about the 5600 tons of waste that San Francisco produces and are going to ship THROUGH Oakland?
Maybe Recology should spend more time cleaning up its own trash rather than spending it on “Artist in Residence” programs and “Green Trains” that are going to dump on Oakland.
Last week we talked to Brooke Levin, Interim Director of Oakland Public Works, about the proposed switching station here in Oakland. This is what she told us: ”That is not a good idea. I don’t see that project [the switching station for Green Rail] moving forward. You’d have to call Recology to get the status of the project.” Also, “there’s no proposed BART station there”
The front desk lady had never heard of the green rail switching station in Oakland either. Is Recology trying to sneak this project in without the proper authorities signing off? Is Recology trying to Dump on Oakland? We think so.
According to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment diesel contains more than 40 toxic air contaminants:
“Diesel exhaust is produced when an engine burns diesel fuel. It is a complex mixture of thousands of gases and fine particles (commonly known as soot) that contains more than 40 toxic air contaminants. These include many known or suspected cancer-causing substances, such as benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde. It also contains other harmful pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (a component of urban smog).”
“Diesel exhaust and many individual substances contained in it (including arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde and nickel) have the potential to contribute to mutations in cells that can lead to cancer. In fact, long-term exposure to diesel exhaust particles poses the highest cancer risk of any toxic air contaminant evaluated by OEHHA. ARB estimates that about 70 percent of the cancer risk that the average Californian faces from breathing toxic air pollutants stems from diesel exhaust particles.”
This proposed switching station will bring HUNDREDS of diesel fueled trucks across the bridge into Oakland. The trucks will then sit idling, spewing diesel exhaust into the air.
Oakland is going to be used as a trading post for San Francisco’s trash. Here are the highlights from the Final Scoping Plan, including maps of how this is going to affect Oakland, even though NONE of our trash is getting transported.
When Recology and San Francisco start shipping San Fran’s trash to Yuba County they will be trucking an additional 1000 tons of trash DAILY from San Francisco to Yuba county. That’s MORE THAN DOUBLE the current amount of waste. That means more than 2xs as many trucks, as many accidents, as much pollution.
Here are some highlights from the article below:
- The department [Department of Environment] hopes that by 2015 San Francisco’s trash will be trucked to Oakland, loaded onto rail cars and rolled 130 miles to a 236-acre landfill in unincorporated Yuba County, just outside of Wheatland.
- San Francisco generates 5,600 tons of waste each day
- Trash would be collected in San Francisco and trucked to an undetermined location in Oakland where it would be stored in specially designed containers before being loaded onto a 45-car freight train. At least three times per week, that train would travel to the landfill in Yuba County, where the containers would be dumped and then returned to the Bay Area.
The train is going to sit in Oakland, filled with trash, for several days before traveling to the landfill. TRASH IS JUST GOING TO SIT THERE.