What more can be said about the Central Subway? Conceived in some form at least 80 years ago, and put into motion by a vote of the people 20 years ago, the project seems like a done deal despite protests from some transit activists and NIMBYs alike.
One major concern is that the CS as currently planned is less than optimally designed, and way too expensive. Opponents point to the price tag of $1.58 billion for 1.7 miles of rail as ridiculously prohibitive.
Without disagreeing on those points, I'd like us all to pause, stand back and get a little perspective. Transbay Blog, in an unrelated post about the new bike lane on the Benicia-Martinez bridge, reminds us of the cost of that span: "$1.26 billion for 1.2 miles" of highway over the Carquinez Strait.
That fact elicits a number of reactions from me:
- Why must a transit project in downtown SF scrape for funding comparable to that which is thrown to readily at highway projects in BFE?
- Why are transit advocates spending time and energy on infighting?
- Where was the outrage at the cost of the B-M span?