Coliseum to be transportation hub?
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| By chris_d on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 04:20 pm:|
Most interesting part of the story:
"For the first time, people will be able to take Amtrak directly to the Coliseum stadium from as far away as San Jose or Sacramento.''
CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON $6.6 MILLION AMTRAK/BART
Construction will soon begin on a $6.6 million Oakland train station that will connect all Capitol Corridor Amtrak riders directly to BART
for the first time in the city's history.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Oakland Coliseum Intercity Train Station was held at 73rd Avenue near San Leandro Street today, and represents the culmination of five years of planning, according to city officials.
California Department of Transportation Director Jeff Morales expressed excitement about the new project's ability to further reduce
traffic congestion in Oakland, and said "The groundbreaking today is the latest example of a smart, relatively smallinvestment that will pay huge dividends.''
"For the first time, people will be able to take Amtrak directly to the Coliseum stadium from as far away as San Jose or Sacramento,'' Morales
Officials expect construction on the new station to be complete by summer 2004.
Today's event occurred in tandem with the release of a Caltrans report showing that traffic congestion in the Bay Area has decreased for the
second consecutive year.
According to the report, overall traffic decreased by 5 percent from 2001 to 2002, with an even greater decrease in certain areas.
New lanes on U.S. Highway 101 in San Mateo have cut traffic by 40 percent, and improvements near Milpitas have yielded almost an 85 percent
reduction in that area, Morales said.
Morales said about $4 billion in transportation projects are currently under way in the Bay Area.
Full text of the Highway Congestion Monitoring report is available on the Department of Transportation's Web site at www.dot.ca.gov/dist4.
| By kevink on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 04:25 pm:|
That article is trying to give credit to constuction efforts for relieving traffic!
I gaurantee you that 95% of the reason traffic has decreased is because of the layoffs. Opening of new lanes would barely be noticeable if the economy was booming like before.
Regarding Amtrak I would love to take it to the games from down here in the south bay but I'm afraid it would probably cost $40 round trip.
| By grundler on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 04:33 pm:|
I would take it from Davis on occasion...
| By eyleenn on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 10:08 pm:|
Kevink, no doubt you're right. There are simply fewer people working.
It will be interesting to see what the fare will be from Sac or San Jose to the Coli.
| By chris_d on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 09:36 pm:|
A longer article from the Oakland Tribune:
Amtrak station at Coliseum under way
Construction expected to be finished next spring
By Josh Richman, STAFF WRITER
The long-awaited construction of an Amtrak station at the Oakland Coliseum began Wed-nesday, even as Gov. Gray Davis announced the Bay Area's traffic congestion decreased in 2002 for the second consecutive year.
The new Amtrak station will let intercity rail passengers transfer more easily to BART and have better access to the Oakland Coliseum, Oakland Arena and Oakland International Airport. The $6 million project is expected to be finished next spring, Caltrans director Jeff Morales said.
"By the time the A's are defending their title next season, people will be able to ride the train directly to the game," he said. "For people who are coming from the Sacramento area to a Raiders or A's game, there will be no reason to do anything other than take the train."
Morales called this $6 million project -- part of the almost $600 million the Davis administration has provided for intercity rail projects since 1999 -- "a relatively small investment that will bring some big dividends ... It's good for the people who can ride the train and it's good for the people on the road who don't have to share it."
Davis, in Oakland on Wed-nesday for the station's groundbreaking ceremony, also heralded Caltrans' annual Highway Congestion Monitoring report, which found overall congestion in nine Bay Area counties decreased 5 percent in 2002. This follows a 12 percent decrease in 2001.
The governor credited the trend to transportation infrastructure improvements, noting that more than 600 projects worth more than $9 billion are under way to improve highways, rail and transit systems while creating jobs.
But Morales acknowledged some of the reduced traffic congestion can be credited to loss of local jobs as the Silicon Valley's economy tanked.
"We're not claiming to have cured the common cold here -- clearly the economy has had an impact, there's no denying that," he said. "But there's also an absolute correlation between these projects being completed and some of the (congestion) improvements.
"As those jobs come back, and they're going to ... the region is going to be better able to handle that growth because of the improvements that we're getting in today."
The Caltrans report showed the biggest traffic reductions were along routes leading into Silicon Valley -- Santa Clara County's traffic delays fell 15 percent in 2002, part of an almost 40 percent decrease in the past two years.
The study found the Bay Area's worst congestion of 2002 was during the morning commute on westbound Interstate 80 from Contra Costa County's Willow Avenue to the Bay Bridge metering lights.
Second-worst was the morn-ing commute on southbound Interstate 880 from Thornton Avenue on the Fremont/Newark border to north of Milpitas' Dixon Landing Road. Both held the same rankings in 2001.
Third-worst in 2002, up from fifth place in 2001, was the evening commute on eastbound Interstate 580 from Hopyard Road on the Pleasanton/Dublin border to west of Livermore's El Charro Road.
And fourth-worst in 2002 -- the same ranking as 2001 -- was the evening commute on Interstate 80 and Highway 101 in San Francisco, from Army Street headed toward the Bay Bridge.
Caltrans last year increased use of the Fastrak electronic toll collection system at Bay Area toll bridges; added an auxiliary lane on southbound Route 680 through Fremont to help reduce the Sunol grade's congestion 58 percent; added auxiliary lanes on northbound and southbound Highway 101 in San Mateo County, aiding congestion reduction of about 60 percent; and improved the 237/880 interchange in Santa Clara County, contributing to a 94 percent reduction in congestion on eastbound Route 237.