Action Alert Your Voice Needed as SMART Weighs Spending Plan

SMART’s Board of Directors will meet tomorrow (Wednesday, 10/16) to discuss a March 2020 ballot measure and the associated spending plan. Much to our dismay, the plan does not include guaranteed funding for the bicycle and pedestrian pathway. Language included in the 2008 plan that required SMART to prioritize additional funding for the pathway has been removed. Join us today in telling SMART’s Directors that their current approach to the pathway–which has delivered just two miles in Marin since 2010–isn’t good enough.

Nearly seven miles of pathway remain unbuilt between San Rafael and Novato. If they stay the course, it will be several years–decades even–before the promised pathway is complete.

It’s an outcome that the Board wouldn’t find acceptable for rail–so why are they so complacent when it comes to the pathway?

For months, we’ve asked SMART to demonstrate commitment to the pathway by providing a funding plan and timeline for its delivery. They haven’t done so, and instead say they will continue to rely on grant funding–which is highly competitive and thus, unreliable–to build the pathway. It’s the same formula that has resulted in slow, piecemeal delivery of the pathway in Marin County, where SMART has built four short segments totaling just two miles since 2010.

SMART Directors need to hear from you now. Please take five minutes today to email SMART’s Directors by filling out the form below.

to submit comments

Compose your message in the form below using our talking points. Your submission will be sent directly to SMART’s Board of Directors.

talking points

As always, please make your message as personal as possible. We encourage you to address the following points:

  1. If you voted for SMART in 2008, say so and why. (“I voted for SMART in 2008 because I believed in the vision for a rail and pathway system that would connect our communities and provide healthy, sustainable alternatives to driving.”)

  2. Say why the pathway matters to you. (“The SMART pathway would provide the only safe, car-free route between San Rafael and Novato. When complete, it will enable me and others to ride without fear or danger of traffic. Like the train, it’s a key piece of our transportation system.”)

  3. Tell the Directors about your disappointment in SMART’s slow delivery of the pathway. (“When I voted for SMART, I expected to see the pathway built alongside the train within a decade. Over ten years later, the pathway is far from complete, with no certain future or timeline. As a SMART Director, I hope you share my frustration with this slow progress and trust you will do everything you can to fulfill SMART’s commitment to the pathway.”

  4. Urge the Board to prioritize the completion of the pathway in a timely manner. (“I urge you to do everything you can to accelerate this project. Every day that the pathway remains unbuilt, people in the North Bay are forced to walk or bike out of their way and on dangerous roads.”)

message form

TO call your representative on the smart board

Larkspur: Dan Hillmer – (415) 485-3074

San Rafael: Gary Phillips – (415) 485-3074 / Damon Connolly – (415) 473-7335

Novato: Eric Lucan – (415) 272-3265 / Judy Arnold – (415) 473-7331

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