Vote to Take Money from Train Station to Pay for a New Road Causes a Stir
Erin Baldassari reports from Union City in the Bay Area, where city and county officials are moving forward with a proposal that would take $75 million worth of funding for the Union City BART station to spend on a $320 million road project outside the station.
The Union City BART station is more than just a stop on two BART lines: "With a BART station and plans to connect passengers to Capitol Corridor, ACE trains and a future railroad that would cross the bay along the Dumbarton corridor," explains Baldassari in a post from February, "Union City’s transit station was supposed to be one of the Bay Area’s major railroad hubs."
"City officials say the new road is critical for the station — and the planned residential and office construction around it — to thrive," adds Baldassari. "The city’s railroad district, which surrounds the BART station, has been a hive of development, with about 1,700 apartment units recently constructed or planned within walking distance of the station and plans for 1.2 million square feet of office space."
The article includes more detail about the development plans for the neighborhood surrounding the Union City station, the proposed roadway project, and the political fallout from the proposed changes to the station plan.
Since that original article, Union City approved the transfer of funds (a move described by Melanie Curry as a betrayal of trust and a concern for supporters of Regional Measure 3) and the Alameda County Transportation Commission voted to fund the designs for the roadway project.