Successor to the Public Transportation & Smart Growth group. The new name is designed to include cyclists and pedestrians as well as mass transit users/enthusiasts. Also, the slightly dated phrase ”Smart Growth” has been replaced by the more contemporary ”New Urbanism”.
On the Ballot 2016 (transit)
On the Ballot 2016 (transit)
(The Transport Politic) This year’s U.S. election has overwhelmingly focused on the dynamics between the two presidential candidates, and for good reason: As I documented earlier this year, the policy differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on infrastructure are substantial. Control of the presidency and the U.S. Congress could dramatically alter the availability of funds for public transportation and active transportation projects; it is worth emphasizing that the Republican Party has repeatedly argued for the elimination of federal funding for transit, bike, and pedestrian programs while maintaining federal support for highways. At the state level, party control matters for transit as well; North Carolina’s GOP, for example, cut off most funding for light rail last year through a legislative maneuver.
But more is at stake, thanks to dozens of referenda offering voters the opportunity to support billions of dollars in new expenditures on public transportation. The largest referenda are Los Angeles’ Measure M, which would raise $120 billion for a huge expansion of that county’s transit network, and Seattle’s Sound Transit 3, which would fund one of the nation’s most extensive light rail networks. Many other metropolitan areas have smaller plans under review, from Raleigh to Atlanta.
Based on recent elections, we can expect between 70 and 80 percent of these referenda to pass.
In this post, I profile the most significant referenda for public transportation investments. Interestingly, though the majority of measures described here allocate more than half of their proposed revenues to transit, the argument put forward by many of the referenda supporters has been that these projects will address traffic congestion. As Laura Nelson documented in the L.A. Times, the traffic-reduction benefit of transit investments is limited at best, and often takes decades to be realized. Nonetheless, what many of the referenda will do is fund improved local bus services and new fixed-guideway projects, whether BRT or light rail.
For transit supporters, the real question is whether to support referenda that–even as they expand funding for transit significantly–nevertheless also invest in considerable highway expansion. Is it worth voting for new light rail lines if that also means voting for new highway capacity? In places like San Diego, for example, Measure A would pay for better transit, but also more road funding, and that’s provoked some in the environmental movement to oppose the measure; a similar dynamic is at play in Charleston. On the other hand, referenda in Detroit and Indianapolis fund transit alone. ………………(more)Herman4747, NYC_SKP, nxylas and 2 othersformercia, Demeter like this
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