Bay Area Briefs

Tuesday October 22, 2002

Citations issued in  

crosswalk sting operation 

PETALUMA โ€” Petaluma police said today they issued 67 citations during a five-hour period Thursday to motorists who failed to stop for an officer dressed in civilian clothing posing as a pedestrian. 

Rohnert Park officers assisted Petaluma police by stopping motorists during the "crosswalk sting operation'' at seven separate  

intersections, Petaluma Sgt. Tim Lyons said. 

Lyons said the sting was in response to recent citizen complaints and collisions involving pedestrians. A majority of the citations were issued  

at East Washington and Baylis streets, Lyons said. 

Petaluma police consider the number of violations excessive and plan to repeat the crosswalk sting operation again, Lyons said. 


Caltrain rolls out Baby Bullet 

SAN FRANCISCO โ€” Caltrain is expected to inaugurate Japanese-style Baby Bullet trains this week. 

Five of the 17 Baby Bullet cars will go into service Oct. 22, making one midday round trip. Caltrain will run the cars with its current fleet of locomotives until six new Baby Bullet engines arrive early next year. 

Express train schedules will not be implemented until bypass tracks, signal work and other improvements be completed in mid-2004. 

The express trains will be able to skip some stations and pass slower trains on the new tracks. Though they can reach 95 mph, the speed limit along the corridor is 79 mph, and the new trains typically will go about 70 mph. Current trains must stop too frequently to go 70 mph for an extended stretch. 

Built by Bombardier Corp., the Baby Bullet trains have a new color scheme and new design. The express trains will cost $55 million; it will cost an additional $110 million for the upgraded track, new signals, and other improvements, Caltrain said. 

As many as 10 million passengers ride Caltrains annually. The 77-mile system runs through Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Mateo counties. 


Transit district wants property taxes raised for seismic work 

SAN FRANCISCO โ€” The transit district is asking voters in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties to pass a $1.05 billion bond measure that would raise property taxes to pay for seismic work for the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. 

BART officials and seismic safety experts warn that a major temblor could damage the transit system so severely it could take nearly two years to completely recover. 

Measure BB is one of three transportation tax issues facing voters in the Bay Area on Nov. 5. 

Bolstering BART by passing Measure BB would cost property owners an average of $7.80 per $100,000 of assessed property values each year for the next 40 years. 

Measure BB opponents object to forcing property owners to pay the price. They say BART riders should foot the bill with higher fares.