The “no” on Measure I information I’ve seen in the media gives an incomplete picture of the need for continued funding for the SMART train as an integral part of the North Bay transportation system. Discussion of funding SMART must address the role of greenhouse gasses produced by our transportation system in contributing to the climate crisis.
Although the State of California has been very successful in reducing carbon emissions in our electricity grid, transportation is a part of our economy in which we are making poor progress in reducing greenhouse gasses. In addition to reducing traffic, efficient mass transit like SMART has a much lower level of carbon pollution per passenger mile than driving cars. Reducing automobile use is crucial to staving off climate disaster, and public transit such as SMART will be essential in developing an economy that does not harm our planet’s climate.
Granted, there has been mismanagement at SMART, and those problems should be rooted out, but voting “no” on I is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Even though it does not serve Sonoma Valley, SMART is a crucial element in developing a climate-smart regional transportation system. Citizens of Sonoma County need to take action to address the climate emergency. We must develop a transportation system that does not require us to get into private CO2-spewing automobiles to get around, and SMART is an essential first step. Please vote “yes” on I in March.
— Matt Metzler, Sonoma