Midweek Links: Get SMART

SMART was making news this week, what with TAM voting not to rescind last month’s approval of an $8 million bailout for the transit project.  MTC then voted to approve its own transfer of $33 million.  Sonoma had already contributed $3 million.  Larkspur officially approved of the project, votes raised my eyebrows.  When the original vote deadlocked at 7-7 on whether to approve the bailout, it was Larkspur Councilwoman Joan Lundstrom who switched her vote.  She was not at the second meeting, allowing her alternate, Larkspur Mayor Larry Chu, to sit in her place.  Despite his city’s official approval of the project, he voted to rescind.  In any case, RepealSMART would have none of it, suing the organization for violating open meeting laws and general nefariousness.  All the while, the SMART board reported that they were “fundamentally sound and on track” and continued its search for a new executive director.

Meanwhile, Corte Madera and San Rafael passed their budgets.  Turns out the San Rafael gas tax doesn’t always go to transportation.

Not all budgets are in yet, with a number of cities contemplating sales taxes to close gaps that keep coming up.

Novato gets a new bicycle lane to bypass a stretch where bikers shared 101 with vehicular traffic.

Not all vehicular safety news is good.  A boy was hit by a driver outside of a crosswalk in a Mill Valley shopping area.  Police blame the kid for crossing outside of a crosswalk, but there’s a problem: there aren’t any crosswalks there.

In other local drama, Novato has revised their list of sites to zone for affordable housing.  Looks like the churches are off the hook, but I still wonder why the city insists on building single-purpose affordable units.

From here on, the only thing shocking about San Rafael’s Pizza Orgasmica is going to be the name.  Its owner has given up a fight to keep its bright yellow, Brazil-inspired hue.  SFist calls San Rafael’s objections an “Orange County-mentality“.

TAM is considering high-occupancy toll, or HOT, lanes on 101.  Despite research that congestion pricing is the only way to keep down traffic, I can’t help but think the $66-120 million required to install might go to a better use like, say, transit.  At least it makes the $8 million SMART bailout look like the chump change it is.

Lastly, and as an offering for being a day late, I bring you meaty theory.  Free parking, that ubiquitous scourge of the suburbs and thing that exists all over Marin, is really a huge drain on our local, regional, and national economies.

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About David Edmondson
A native Marinite working in Washington, DC, I am fascinated by how one might apply smart-growth and urbanist thinking to the low-density towns of my home.

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