Update: On March 3, Contra Costa County voters rejected Measure J, choosing not to support this ballot measure, which would have provided funding for the county’s transportation system.
Greenbelt Alliance endorsed Measure J to reduce traffic congestion and improve the transportation system in Contra Costa County. Measure J was on the March 2020 ballot and Greenbelt Alliance along with a coalition of partners (see the San Francisco Chronicle’s endorsement here) encouraged residents across the county to vote yes.
Measure J, initially proposed by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), included a ½ cent sales tax, which would have generated $103 million annually to fund the county’s transportation system. Greenbelt Alliance was deeply engaged in the creation of Measure J, along with a coalition of partner organizations, including Save Mount Diablo, TransForm, Bike East Bay, Save the Bay, Monument Impact, grassroots climate change organizations, and transit operators. After several meetings, our hard-fought advocacy efforts resulted in the CCTA including the majority of our demands in Measure J, a ballot measure that would have not only improved the transportation system, but that also supported a climate-smart vision for the county.
Measure J Would Have Meant Smart Growth & Open Space Wins
If passed in the March 2020 election, Measure J’s Transportation Expenditure Plan would have incorporated wins around climate-smart and inclusive development. These wins include:
- Improved walking and biking options on streets and trails.
- Reduced number of cars on the road, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
- Provided safe, accessible, and inclusive transportation options for children, seniors, veterans, and people who are disabled.
- Supported infill development within existing urban areas near transit.
In 2016, a similar measure was rejected by Contra Costa County voters because it missed the mark in key areas. With significant updates, Measure J included the demands Greenbelt Alliance and a coalition of environmental organizations made as well as the community’s input. This was an exciting opportunity for Contra Costa County to continue to lead the Bay Area on smart transit-oriented development. Unfortunately, Measure J did not pass.
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Photo: Thomas Hawk via Flickr