Robust transit network needed before 280 goes 

As explored in your Thursday front-page story, replacing the northern end of I-280 with a surface boulevard could work. However, before rushing headlong into another single-purpose transportation “improvement,” San Francisco should engage in some serious analysis.

Removing highways is fine — provided the alternatives are in place. But are they? Could local streets could handle the traffic? Extending Caltrain would help; high-speed rail would not.

Here are some prerequisites for converting the end of I-280 to a surface boulevard: Caltrain should be extended to the Transbay Terminal. Underground moving pedestrian ramps should link the Transbay Terminal to Market Street and its subway. SamTrans should operate in highway bus-only lanes and its buses should be routed along both Mission and Market streets. Also, congestion pricing should be imposed as necessary.

Gerald Cauthen, Oakland

Death penalty won’t work

District Attorney George Gascón’s claim that he will consider the death penalty in certain cases was shocking to me. Has he not noticed that in California we have only had 13 executions in 33 years — leaving 720 inmates awaiting theirs? What this means is the death penalty doesn’t work in this state.

Pursuing and obtaining it depletes county and state coffers. And it traps victims’ family members in decades of painful appeals, only to see the perpetrator die of old age.

Nancy Oliveira, San Francisco

Yet another SF tax

Apparently Dennis Herrera doesn’t think it is expensive enough for working people to live in San Francisco. He wants a city income tax. I’m glad he came out with this news before we made the mistake of electing him mayor. No telling what other fees he might have in mind.

Tim Donnelly, San Francisco

Muni and due process

Did I read this correctly in your May 18 story about how the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is trying to speed up discipline against offending Muni drivers (it’s about time), but it wants to eliminate drivers’ rights to confront accusing customers? Did I miss something here?

I thought we lived in a country where the accused have due process rights, allowing them to face and cross-examine their accusers? Job discipline involves administrative, not criminal, proceedings. Even so, due process will surely apply to stop overreaching by an agency that is finally beginning to move in the right direction when it comes to firing dangerous drivers.

Ann Grogan, San Francisco

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