The Thursday letter advocating connection of our nine Bay Area counties with BART and eliminating all other transit of similar scope is poor thinking. A crowded subway might work for a high-density urban core with relatively short commutes. It is not the carrier of choice for rides of 90 minutes or more.
Geographically, that’s how today‘s commute has increasingly evolved. It actually interlaces 20 counties, including Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, Merced, Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Yolo.
That’s the commute we ignore at our peril. BART’s high capital costs, discomforts and speed limitations make it a poor regional fit.
James W. Kelly
Preservation is valuable
As an architect in San Francisco for 30 years, I would like to comment on Ken Garcia’s Thursday column, “San Francisco commission’s power is not something to preserve.”
All construction projects balance myriad regulations — planning codes, zoning constraints, building codes, fire and exiting codes, engineering and energy codes, The Americans with Disabilities Act, and state and federal bond funding requirements. In other words, quality architecture necessitates creativity guided by societal guidelines that evolved for public safety and the public good.
Historic preservation applies only to a small number of all projects, evolving since the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. But it protects the fabric of historic resources, which especially in the case of San Francisco are valuable assets of our tourist economy and cultural heritage.
Insensitive code name
“Geronimo,” the code name for the mission to kill the al-Qaida leader, refers to an American Indian leader of the Chiricahua Apache Nation who resisted the Mexican and American attacks on his land and people during the 19th century, and was imprisoned by the U.S. in 1886.
The selection of this code name is insensitive to the history of the American Indian people in the U.S. And it is offensive to a people whose tribes were practically decimated by the newcomers and their descendants.
It is to be hoped that our children and future generations learn to have more respect for the American Indian people.