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NA Letter: Sustainable Novato endorses SMART
Wednesday 1 Oct 2008, 10:54
Filed under: bicycle, Marin, Railroad, SMART, trails, transit

As a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing about a healthy environment, Sustainable Novato concluded that the SMART passenger train and pathway system is a sound and beneficial transportation alternative.

We recognize that SMART is one part of an integrated transportation system that must be established, and used, in the North Bay. SMART does not preclude us from supporting other carbon-reducing transportation approaches such as expanding Safe Routes to School, vehicle incentives for high MPG vehicles, car-sharing, flex-time and additional employer shuttles to transit. We will also work to encourage a fully integrated transit system of Golden Gate buses along with SMART’s train, bicycle and pedestrian pathway, and complementary shuttles.

We support SMART based on a number of factors.

Passengers who ride SMART instead of driving alone can reduce their carbon emissions by 70 percent for the trip. A SMART train rider’s commute will be at least three times more energy-efficient than drivers of single-occupancy vehicles, and SMART will conservatively reduce gasoline consumption by 1.5 million gallons per year (based on original forecast done when gas was $1.50 gallon). Additionally, 7,000 to 10,000 people a day are forecasted to use SMART’s bicycle and pedestrian pathway.

SMART will provide an important means for employers to reduce emissions generated by commuting cars, as may be required under future legislation. Homeowners will also benefit as property values increase when communities have passenger train service and the amenity of the bicycle-pedestrian pathway. Our local businesses will benefit from a whistlestop in downtown Novato, providing tourists and visitors an alternative to driving and parking when attending events such as the Art, Wine and Music Festival.

Sustainable Novato

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