There are several important measures that we will see on the ballots in November. Following the trend we’ve seen the last few years, several states are attempting to adopt measures to help fund transportation projects, knowing that current federal funding levels are too low to effectively grow and maintain infrastructure to keep up with economic and societal demands. Here are just a few of the important projects on the west coast that need your vote in November. A more comprehensive list can be found at http://t4america.org/maps-tools/state-policy-funding/2016-votes/
Sound Transit is looking to expand the regional light rail network throughout Seattle and the surrounding region with a bill called ST3. Sound Transit is looking to generate $27 billion over a 25-year period. The funds would come through a sales tax increase (0.5%), a vehicle excise tax increase (0.8%), and 0.25 mill property tax increase ($25 for every $100,000 or assessed property value). After 3 ½ years of discussion and voter input, this measure hits the ballot in November and would look to help manage the estimated 800,000 additional people expected to live in the region by 2040.
San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is proposing a $0.005 (half of one cent) sales tax increase for the next 40 years to generate $18 billion for important freeway and transit projects within the next 15 years (a major measure that is a legally binding goal). 42% of the new funds will go to transit projects and 24% will be allocated to cities for local projects. Some of the major projects include expanding trolley service, several freeway expansions, and a new trolley line that would run from San Ysidro border crossing to Kearney Mesa, branded the Purple Line.
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has voted to put a 30 year, $0.005 (half of one cent) tax measure on the November ballot. The money would be used for various projects including improving rapid transit options (BART and Caltrain), repairing potholes, and improving highway interchanges. The tax is expected to raise roughly $6.5 billion. It will need a 2/3 majority vote to be enacted, but in a region that has consistently showed a willingness to spend money on transportation solutions the VTA is hopeful the measure will be passed. Here is a breakdown of the projects the tax would fund:
- BART Phase II, $1.5 billion
- Bicycle/pedestrian program, $250 million
- Caltrain capacity improvements, $300 million
- Caltrain grade separations, $700 million
- County expressways, $750 million
- Highway interchanges, $750 million
- Local streets and roads, $1.2 billion
- SR 85 Corridor, $350 million
- Transit operations, $500 million
Now go enjoy the day