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Voters should decide on One Bay Area plan

July 19, 2013

By JOYCE LOEHNER : napavalleyregister – excerpt

When does “planning” cross the line into infringement of liberties?

Probably when you are not paying attention (i.e. you are busy working to support yourself and your family) or have not been informed of those plans. Most of us are in this category — we go about our daily lives and then we learn about plans in the making which have been going on for a long time…

This plan encompasses the entire nine-county Bay Area and essentially has as its aim the incorporation of mass transit, the settlement of people into condensed housing near mass transit and the demise of driving your automobile. It also disregards private property rights by having private property designated for conservationist purposes, with stakeholders who do not own the property, but who want to control what owners do with their property.

Do we in Napa want to lose our private property rights? That is what Plan Bay Area is proposing for us — with no vote and no input from citizens. This might even be considered a loss of liberty by some who take the Constitution seriously as a document that protects us.

What is the status of roads in Napa? Are you concerned with road repair? Are our roads deteriorating? If you think you have problems now, just wait for Plan Bay Area. Plan Bay Area allows for no change in funds for roads for 25 years. Plus, if you read the fine print, a lot of “road” money is going for bike and walking trails. The increase in funding is all going to transit. Within transit, most of the funds are earmarked for the least effective forms of transit such as light rail, heavy rail and commuter rail, which contribute more to greenhouse gases during their construction than building roads. Combine these efforts with further efforts to restrict driving, such as forcing HOT and HOV lanes and severely restricting parking, and what do you have? A concerted effort to force people into mass transit because driving has been made so painful. This is not congestion management, this is congestion creation. Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty says “this thing (Plan Bay Area) screws the suburbs and the rural areas. If you are in an urban area, be happy. You’re getting it all.”.

On July 18, the Association of Bay Area Governments’ executive board in Oakland will take a final vote on this plan. The bureaucrats who run this organization will determine how all nine counties will run with regard to transit, property rights, personal driving, where you will live and in what type of housing.

None of this has been put to a vote of the citizenry, we the taxpayers who will shoulder the financial burden... (more)

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