The passage of Measure Q in 2008 promised a 70-mile train route with and accompanying bicycle/pedestrian path alongside. To date, the SMART train has been running for one year on 45 miles of track…but only 16 miles of pathway is complete. [See Sunday’s Press Democrat article about the history of the path.]
Along with our colleagues from the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, we have been striving to hold SMART accountable to this promise. Please join us by signing the letter below. We will be attending the April 3, 2109 SMART Board meeting and will deliver your signatures and comments!
Dear SMART Directors:
When the cycling community voted for Measure Q in 2008, we were promised a 70-mile train route with an accompanying bicycle/pedestrian path alongside. To date, the SMART train has been running for one year on 45 miles of track…but only 16 miles of pathway is complete. We are frustrated by the slow, fragmented manner in which the pathway project has been approached. The disconnected sections limit the utility of what could ultimately be a wonderful “bicycle highway” allowing safe cycle commuting along the corridor.
Furthermore, our repeated requests to staff for information regarding the amount of Measure Q revenues spent on the pathway have gone unfulfilled. This lack of transparency is inappropriate for a public agency.There also does not appear to be any coherent strategic plan for the completion of the pathway.
We ask that you direct staff to
- Disclose the amount and percentage of Measure Q funds that have been spent on the pathway to date.
- Provide the public with a strategic plan for building out the pathway, including timelines and funding sources.
We also recommend that when extending the line north (Windsor, Healdsburg, Cloverdale), the pathway be built out simultaneously with the rail line. As existing gaps are filled, priority should be given to segments where existing bicycle/pedestrian access is currently unsafe or nonexistent (such as Steele Lane to Guerneville Road and Southpoint to Corona).