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On the Ballot 2016 (transit)

  • marmar (135 posts)
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    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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  • nxylas (284 posts)
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    1. Thanks for posting this

    A valuable guide.

    "Slavery followed, even voluntary slavery; the weak eagerly submitted to the strong, on condition that the latter aided them to subdue the still weaker. Then there were saints who came to these people, weeping, and talked to them of their pride, of their loss of harmony and due proportion, of their loss of shame. They were laughed at or pelted with stones." - Dostoevsky, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
  • NYC_SKP (88 posts)
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    2. Santa Cruz Measure D passed, Monterey Measure X still a draw.

    Our two local counties joined four others in the state in efforts to pass a local transportation sales tax measure.

    Both need supermajority 2/3 voter approval.  Santa Cruz squeaked it in, but Monterey is still a draw with 66.95% in favor but ballots still uncounted.

    Both counties aim to bring coastal rail transit back, tie this to existing Caltrain and Amtrak service, but there’s an anti-transit demographic, mostly entitled silicon valley workers insisting that self-driving Teslas are better and we should just add more lanes everywhere.

    I’m as active against them as I can be.