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Three years away?

  • A pedestrian walks along a well-worn path along the railroad tracks north of Piner Road, in Santa Rosa on Tuesday, November 26, 2013. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

EDITOR: It was with great disappointment that I read on the front page of Monday's paper ("Chugging along," Monday) that SMART's launch will be further delayed until late 2016. That's three years away.

The SMART right-of-way has long been in place and utilized for train traffic. There are no major engineering or construction challenges. The trains themselves are now being put together and will be delivered in late 2014. So, why the three-year delay? We are told it's "a complicated regulatory process, including obtaining permits to work on track in the wetlands."

This is another example of the dysfunction of our government on all levels. The article cited 15 state, regional and federal agencies that are part of the "regulatory process."

Is there no way to expedite this process? Each delay greatly increases project costs. What is the cost/benefit ratio of this regulatory process on an already existing right-of-way and voter approved rail line?

The regulatory process for SMART seems downright dumb — and costly.

VIC SUARD

Santa Rosa


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