Midterm Election Wins for Bikes, Peds & Transit

Good news! The June 5th midterm election results will translate into significant funding for biking, walking and public transit throughout the Bay Area and state; thanks to all of you who got out there and voted!

Regional Measure 3, which will increase bridge tolls in the Bay Area to raise $4.45 billion for transportation, won by almost 54 percent. While the measure was not perfect with its heavy emphasis on highway expansion and improvements, RM3 will bring $150 million regionally for Safe Routes to Transit and Bay Trail projects, $100 million for North Bay Transit Access Improvements, and $40 million to SMART for its extension to Windsor and Healdsburg.  Additionally, RM3 will support BART, Caltrain, AC Transit and Muni fleet improvements, improvements to the regional Clipper fare payment system, upgrades to ferries and ferry terminals, and will provide operating funds for express buses. Click here for a complete list of RM3 funded projects.

Proposition 68, the first parks and water bond on a statewide ballot in more than 10 years, won by almost 58 percent. Prop. 68 allocates $4.1 billion for a broad mix of parks and water projects, including biking and walking trails and improved resilience to climate change.

Proposition 69, which restricts money from the recently-enacted S.B. 1 gas tax increase to be set aside strictly for transportation purposes, passed by a whopping 81 percent. Hopefully, the measure’s passage will help deflate the current effort to repeal the gas tax, which will be on the November ballot. S.B. 1 provides significant funding for roadway improvements and will go a long way in getting many of Sonoma County’s deteriorating roads repaved, in addition to supporting other transportation improvements needed.

Proposition 70‘s failure is good news. It means that cap-and-trade funds will not be held hostage in the future. Prop. 70 would have amended the state constitution to require a two-thirds vote by the legislature when deciding how to spend cap-and-trade funds six years from now. This currently only requires a majority vote. Right now, sixty percent of cap-and-trade’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund goes for high-speed rail, transit, and the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program. The rest is “discretionary,” which means every year the legislature decides which programs to fund.