Plan Bay Area Marin County Great Debate

Hi Aubrey,

Have you heard further whether non-Marinites are welcome in this debate? My bean-counting mind is starting to feel uncomfortable with our approach with Plan Bay Area.

I attended the Commonwealth Club "Week to Week" today, and one of the panelists spoke about his own experience as a bike-to-work person. Also, I am listening to NPR's "All Things Considered" while I work; J.K. Denin of S.F. Business Times spoke about his article on San Francisco's construction boom -- mostly $3,500 one-bedroom spaces while the Housing Trust money has "not yet kicked in." Here is the article for those who subscribe to S.F. Business Times, which I do not

Since the Great Debate is focused on Marin, discussion on the San Francisco Housing Trust would not be appropriate. But if there is a similar plan in Marin, it might be interesting to know if the same apparent "not yet kicked in" funds might exist. The idea would be to go after specific parts of the Plan Bay Area (yes, including the fact that government is not the only entity that can improve a City).

I notice that Randall O'Toole (one of the Marin Debate panelists) wrote a book called "Gridlock". So, at least he sounds like he might be aware that the number of cars is getting out of hand; and he might have alternatives to the Plan Bay Area solution.


Hi Marcy! I sent off an email to the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce asking if folks outside of Marin could attend. I really would like to hear Randall O'Toole speak and I promised to behave (no signs or heckling) if I can attend--just want to sit and listen to a debate. I would probably fill out a card with a question for the debaters, but if they say no, that's OK with me too. If they say yes, I assume a few other well-behaved listeners would be welcome.

I am curious about the biking to work experience. I have nothing against biking to work per se, but I would never do it, and I find the whole idea totally unworkable if you don't live and work in the same city or if you have children you have to schelpp around. Not to mention getting around in stormy weather, which is hazardous enough as it is--you'd end at work looking like a big mess. Lastly the bigger companies probably have facilities for one to take a shower and change, but if you work for a small company, they most likely would not have such facilities, so we would probably need another government mandate to fix that problem.

Thanks for the link on the rental housing article. I couldn't read all of it because you have to subscribe to read beyond the first page. $3,500 a month for a one-bedroom apartment?! I'd move to Texas before I'd pay that.


Hi Aubrey,

You asked about what the Commonwealth Club Panelist had to say about biking to work. He is a journalist, and a biker whose interest led him to do research on the elasticity of bike lanes vis a vis increased bike ridership. He reported a substantial increase in bike ridership as a result of the bike lanes established so far. He noted that the current City plan calls for bike lanes in crucial cross-city corridors, such as Polk Street; as well as diversion of automobile traffic out of these corridors. His point is that there are a lot of young healthy people in San Francisco that would bike to work and to other appointments if biking were made safer. As for the non-bikers, there will still be car lanes and public transit.

The reason this journalist's discussion gave me pause is that, in my opinion, he was not speaking for or against Plan Bay Area; he was simply sharing with the audience his own personal experience and findings on biking to work.

I have been an advocate of working from home, telecommuting, and good public transit for many years because it has been always obvious to me that Mother Earth simply cannot bear the brunt of all the SUV's spewing stuff in the long and short commutes we take for granted.

In other words, Plan Bay Area is OK in my book in admitting there is a challenge of too darned many cars; but it is not at all OK in conflating that challenge with social engineering or the threat I see to private property (eminent domain is sure to come).

So, I was curious about what O'Toole might have to say on non-central planning; If the Chamber say it is OK for non-Marinites to attend, I am wondering if I could come with you.