I have been keeping my mouth shut for a long time while I see just the most object obvious corruption that is fleecing the residents of the Bay Area left and right.
These are no small scale money grabs. No sir. These are HUGE infrastructure schemes, involving no public input or consideration with life effecting results to all of us residents!
Now coming from SF I am quite familiar with the corrupt money grab by all of the city officials. The problem is… the amount of money and power that big tech has to play with just seems to be too much for our poor weak and tempted civil servants to resist. They seem just too taken by the shiny jingle of pay offs and the power of the people offering them without seeming to care about the systematic fleecing of our Bay Area and what the repercussions will be.
Ok. …Let’s start with these “Toll” lanes on Hwy 101 between Santa Clara county line and Hwy 380 for a moment.
Don’t be suckered or guilted into the argument that this is all for traffic congestion and/or to save our climate. That is complete bullshit. To start, congested traffic create way more pollution than moving traffic and if you want to eliminate traffic try adding a municipal bus service (which is not available now) or increase bike paths and car pool lots. Put back the single HOV lane instead.
It is definitely not to help eliminate congestion. I don’t care how you twist it but eliminating the majority of the public lanes of traffic is NOT going to allow better free flowing traffic for the bay. Only for the 1% that get to use the two 1% lanes will get that luxury.
There are a lot of issues that bring up huge red flags on in this scheme for me. To start, where was the bay wide public discussion to increase the cost of transportation for the most basic of things like work or commuting? How did this get slid by under the radar of public scrutiny and where was the public input for something like this? The whole scheme almost seems like it should be illegal (don’t we already pay for these roads) (don’t we have any say)!?
Another huge red flag is where is every single penny of this money going? It is shady as heck that they won’t even spell out the fee scale that they plan to charge. I guarantee that some of the MASSIVE revenue that will be collected will make a lot of people that are on certain boards (city payrolls, Caltrans etc) quite wealthy even if they can not admit that is where the money came from.
It has created such greed that they can not even give up enough funds that are collected to even out the field by setting up a program that exempts or at least helps low income and struggling families with these additional costs. I mean those that are making the least are barely hanging on in this economic region as it is! If you are about to be late to a min. Wage job because the traffic is backed up for miles, the choices you have are spending into your tiny wage to get to work in time or be late and be at risk of losing that job. These are never things the 1% have to even consider. They should! They are turning out to be TERRIBLE PHILANTHROPISTS!!
There is another real issue I have with this whole 1% bullshit toll lanes. It is the fact that even as a “carpool” of 3, you have to have a Fastrack transponder. This means that this government agency gets to track every single place we drive by having a transponder installed in our cars. What are they doing with all of our data? We don’t even get an option to opt out of tracking?!One would think just having 3 or more people in ones car would be enough to be able to travel on a carpool/toll lane but if those 3 people in that car don’t have. Fastrack transponder, they STILL can get a ticket!! Now that is some SERIOUS big brother.
The way I know in my soul that this is a backroom deal is because they gave up TWO lanes. Not one. One would not be enough to guarantee that Google gets its bus on time. And I don’t think city officials would be so audacious to think they could get away with 2 if it were not for someone else encouraging them to “Just go for it!!” Only big tech would have the balls to say “yeah…. You can get away with 2!! Just make sure you don’t tell them until it is already being built. Then there is nothing they can do about it at that point anyway.”
There are places in Palo Alto and Menlo Park that funnels the public down to just 2 lanes and in one place down to 1 (this is going from the standard 4)!! (Now the “toll” lane gets 2 and exit lanes get usually 1).
In my mind when the world reopens after the pandemic and the full scope of traffic enters the roadways again I really hope that this greed has gone too far and blows up in their faces! That the traffic will be SO RIDICULOUSLY BAD that a LOT of people would be so up in arms and speak out so loudly to create so much outrage that there are even some new recalls on the ballot! Maybe even have enough strength to get this overturned in legislature and force the corrupt entities that attempted this coup have to eat it all and be forced to have to pay huge sums of money back to the people, and give us back our roads!
I just saw that in Portland they are trying to require any potential toll lanes to be put on a ballot. They have learned from our messed up situation and are trying to preempt it now. Clearly they care more for their citizens than we do in the bay.
These 1% lanes will really hurt low income more than anyone else. Low income and small businesses. It almost looks like another maneuver to systematically white wash the Bay Area with only rich people. I wonder how many small businesses these toll lanes will put out of businesses. After the pandemic some of these businesses are just barely hanging on…. I saw it happen all over SF with the awful “red carpet” lanes. San Francisco, instead of properly fixing MUNI, which has always had a poor track record and never able to get it on time, was given half the major roads in SF. Grand idea! Let’s give the roads to the one agency SF is too lazy to fix. It is such a joke. I would like to know how many businesses were lost due to the red lanes since 2010. I bet more than we could imagine! Just ask the businesses on Mission st!
Issue number 2: The loss of public access to public waters of the bay.
Another thing that I have been slowly watching unfold are those new Facebook buildings that have recently been built by the airport in Burlingame between Peninsula and Anza aves…. There used to be public access, parking and fishing on this corner of the bay. Facebook “temporarily” moved the road while construction was underway. I had a feeling that they would just never put the road back the way it was that allowed public access and public street parking as well as access to a parking lot at the end. Now FB has that whole private corner to their disposal. Why was there no public discussion on any of this?? And the same is happening in Oyster Point with Genentech. They have eliminated so far 2 public accesses that I know of over there.
I will tell you why I think this is occurring and it doesn’t take Einstein to figure this out… but I know we would be very interested if we knew where a lot of $$ was and has been going…. It is all behind the scenes “arrangements”. I do not know for sure who or how much but I guarantee that there has been a ton of greasing going on between city employees and big tech.
Big tech knows how to manipulate anyone. Just look at what Uber did to get here. The taste of greed seems to be too much for these public servants that have been blinded by the idea of the ability to buy a house here. Now I know this is a pretty big accusation but what other conclusion can anyone with a brain expect to come to!? I also guarantee that being on a city council is not enough of a paycheck to EVER buy a house these days in the bay ANYWHERE!! Im telling you…FOLLOW THAT $$!!
I knew in 2010 when our worst mayor EVER Ed Lee sold SF out to a handful of the biggest tech firms in order to bring their headquarters here it was going to be bad. The beginning of the end. I just never knew how it was going to look in practicality. I don’t think we are even close to done with the huge corruption in the Bay Area but hopefully more of us will open our eyes and really look at where this money is truly going and expose as much of this corruption as we can. It may be too late but if we completely turn our backs to the selling of our region then we are allowing and helping it to happen.
YOUR VOTE IS THE ONLY THING THAT CAN GET THESE CRIMINALS OUT OF THE POSITION THEY HAVE THAT IS FLEECING US DRY. That and EXPOSING THE CORRUPTION!! Educate yourselves friends!! Don’t let yourself be sold on a false narrative just so that the richest can get more of what we have and are barely holding onto!!
AAH…It just makes me so mad!! The Bay Area was such a great place for the misfits and the creatives and the wanderers and the thinkers. Now it is all just about money and real estate and greed and breaking up of our communities. All to line their own pockets. We were so close to having a great utopian city and region and now big tech has taken over. We sold out totally and completely. Now lets just face it. Big tech owns the bay now. We all just pay taxes to help big tech with the infrastructure. It is beyond heartbreaking. But what can one do? I guess we can talk about it and use the power of our vote. I may not be able to stop any of this but at least I am on the record with my opinion. I have a feeling I am just one of many that feel this way! Some of us can still remember how good it used to be here!
It really sucks when seeing the Bay Area makes me sad day after day. May be time to high tail it out of here for good one day soon…. Just saying it may get too painful to watch us completely lose the bay to an entity.