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October 5, 2010 > Letter to the editor: Another major transportation project off the radar

Letter to the editor: Another major transportation project off the radar

At the Fremont City Council Meeting of September 21, 2010, the topic of planned "safety" changes to Niles Canyon Road was on the agenda. This was Part Two of a Caltrans three-part road-alteration plan which, upon review, received severe criticism from the citizenry at both ends (Fremont & Sunol) of the road. Unfortunately, the public comment element of Part One of the project had already been completed with no apparent input from the citizens or leaders of Fremont. Why not? Because they had not been properly informed. It was off the radar!

This letter is to alert Fremont citizens to another transportation project which will impact a number of city neighborhoods. The opportunity to comment is, however, still available.

The project is being proposed by the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) which operates inter-city passenger trains in eight northern California counties. The project is called the Capitol Corridor Service Expansion Program and is described in a 199-page document titled Capitol Corridor Program Environmental Assessment (CCEA) dated August 2010. Remember seeing it mentioned in the newspaper? TV? Radio? Probably not because about the only place you would have seen it is if you routinely check the Capitol Corridor webpage and drill down into the News section. That's where an announcement was placed on August 6. The Public Meeting was held in late August and only one person attended. Surprised?

However, the CCJPA has decided to extend the public comment period until October 29 and another public meeting has been scheduled for October 26.

Why should you care? Because of 11 rail projects described in the CCEA, four directly involve Fremont. Fremont neighborhoods in Niles (Hacienda Gardens, Rancho Arroyo), Centerville (Riverwalk) and the Mission, as well as some other neighborhoods, would be impacted by the projects. Some of the adverse impacts were discussed previously when the Union City Intermodal Station project was reviewed in 2005. At that time 90 percent of the citizens submitting comments about adverse impacts to their community were from Fremont.

As a Fremont resident, who has followed major transportation projects which may, or will, impact our city and its residents, I encourage you to read and evaluate the CCEA and other transportation-related initiatives which are swirling about.

Notwithstanding your point of view - for or against it - pick up your civic baton and tell Government what you think! The Fremont citizens, who care about Niles Canyon Road, recently did and I feel they will be heard.

View the Capitol Corridor Program Environmental Assessment at www.CapitolCorridor.org/program_NEPA_EA.

View additional information and Insight into the Capitol Corridor Project at ww.NilesUnity.com.

Michael (Mike) Dubinsky
Fremont




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