TRANSPORTATION AND DEVELOPMENT | Plan Bay Area is likely the biggest local controversy you’ve never heard about.
The initiative led by four Bay Area government agencies aims to foster economic sustainability through conservation over the next few decades.
However, it is the specifics of the plan for high-density housing around transit centers, among other issues, that has attracted vociferous opposition at numerous public meetings over the past two years.
Although many of the opponents of Plan Bay Area are Tea Party supporters, it is an inclusive bunch that, on some occasions, attracts liberal voices and some from the Occupy movement.
They accuse the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) of faux transparency while actually controlling the discussion and public comments, in addition to institutional obfuscation. There is also an air of shadowy conspiracy attached to some against the plan.
However, who says liberals are funnier than conservatives? While opposition to Plan Bay Area has nearly been thwarted by MTC and ABAG, the hardy group has now turned to hard-nosed satire.
Below is a Simpsons-inspired video skewering Plan Bay Area. See, if you agree the goateed MTC character seems vaguely Canadian, eh?
Also, Chris Pareja, the former congressional candidate last year in the 15th District reels off a playful attack recently on Plan Bay Area using the acronym “WTF.”
Then, there’s the more serious fare:
P.S. Liberal politicians that preach “social justice” should be ashamed of fostering this farce, which harms lower income people and reduces options for them.
There's a fair bit of truth in the YouTube videos…
That ultra-conservative Brookings Institute has produced a number of reports highlighting how low-income families benefit from having a car, by not being reliant on limited transit schedules to get to work or find better paying jobs for one thing.
The push to build high-density, transit-oriented development comes from a need to satisfy campaign doners (i.e. big pocketed developers) with rules and regulations that provide more opportunities for building profitable units.
Be-damned if the model locks low-income people into their place on the bottom-rung of the socio economic ladder, and makes it even harder to rise out of it.
Who are these “Elites” you speak of? Are you referring to our democratically elected city and county government officials? Because if you are, it might be worth noting that elected office generally pays a whole lot less than whatever it is the residents of Danville and Orinda do (or don't do) for a living.
And by expecting that those two communities be exempted from he plan seems to me to be the absolute height of elitism.
It amuses me that people want to live in the one of the most population dense areas in the world and then complain about not having enough space. If you want open space there is plenty of it for about 2,500 miles east of the Rockies. Good luck finding a job there though.
It also might be worth noting that the majority of the population can no longer afford to purchase real estate because the market is still way over-valued and the living wage of the average American has not increased for over 20 years.
I'm just tired of people acting like because a proposed move in the right direction doesn't satisfy every need or solve every problem, that doing absolutely nothing is a good and viable alternative.
Its the same argument put forth by the Right on every issue. No gun legislation will ever stop all crime, so lets do nothing. We cant become energy independent and make a half a trillion dollars in profit overnight, so its not worth doing.
Just like when Obama announces 100,000 new jobs created in a month and the Right trashes the numbers as “not good enough”; then in the same breath accuse him of hating America because he wont allow the Keystone Pipeline, which would create a whopping10,000 jobs; and that somehow will solve all of our problems.
None of the arguments I heard at any of the meetings I attended were grounded in fact, reality, or truth. Everything was one massive conspiracy theory of state-forced labor and urban concentration camps. Classic Tea Party/Glen Beck/Alex Jones stuff.
Their whole defense consisted of, scientists are greedy liars who propagate the myth of global warming so they can get “rich” off of government research grants and then use the false data to help the evil government take your guns, enslave you, and make you eat Kale and Tofu for every meal. The second defense is that in the Bible, God gave man dominion over everything, so, therefore, whatever man does to the Earth is ok because only God will decide when the planet should end, and nothing we do or don't do will make any difference.
Just nonsensical arguments.
You are missing the point completely. Plan Bay Area is imposing development plans on all Bay Area communities in favor of densely built, multi-unit housing and mass transit – even in Danville, Orinda as examples. The resulting reduction in green house gas is estimated to be 1% and the cost and loss of local community control is in the multi-hundred billions to taxpayers. It is a poor plan forwarded by elitists in a one size fits all solution
Having witnessed a few town hall meetings, I can say that I did not see any objectors who weren't spouting some typical Tea Party nonsense.
Its the same tired, “Global Warming is a hoax!”, ridiculousness.
I don't understand how they think auto emissions are completely harmless to humans and the planet. I bet if they all went and sucked on a tailpipe for a few minutes they might revise their “facts”.
And here's another shocking news flash: we've had high-rise living units for quite some time. They're called apartments, condos, and hotels. And in poorer, less-cared-about neighborhoods, they are called “Projects”.
I also don't understand the logic that says: “America has a Constitution, I'm an American, so therefore, I have the God-given right to abuse and pollute the planet as much as I want”.
Again, serious discussion about real issues takes a backseat to politics and showmanship.