Election 2016 Win: Santa Clara County Says YES to Measure B
UPDATE: We’re excited that Measure B passed in the November 2016 election!
Measure B establishes a new ½ cent sales tax to improve transit, make streets safer for walking and biking, and fund other transportation investments across Santa Clara County.
If approved in the November 2016 election, Measure B is expected to raise up to $6.5 billion over 30 years. The measure was drafted and placed on the ballot by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).
Measure B has the opportunity to make Santa Clara County a healthier, more sustainable place to live and work, with more transportation choices for all residents. It should also significantly expand opportunities for transit-oriented development in the South Bay, allowing more residents to live close to jobs and transit rather than face grueling commutes to the edge of the region.
Among the measure’s major investments is the extension of BART into the heart of Santa Clara County, adding four new stations, including a stop at Diridon Station in downtown San Jose. The new Diridon Station is envisioned to become the “Grand Central Station of the West Coast” with High Speed Rail, BART, Caltrain, light rail, and local bus service converging to form the center of a new walkable transit-oriented neighborhood with homes for residents across the income spectrum.
The measure also includes smart investments in Caltrain, local bus service, bike infrastructure, and repairs to local streets and roads. We’re particularly pleased that the measure includes transportation programs that serve seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income residents.
There’s also funding in the measure for highways and expressways. It will take careful attention to see that those funds are spent in ways that maximize environmental and social equity outcomes and don’t encourage new sprawl development.
If Measure B passes, there will be much work to be done to shape the individual transportation projects that receive funding. To ensure that Santa Clara County gets the most out of its investments, we encourage VTA to:
- Adopt a strong “Complete Streets” policy so that all road investments help make our streets safe for walking, biking, and transit;
- Design and prioritize its transportation investments to encourage sustainable, equitable development rather than sprawl; and
- Prioritize reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled in all spending categories.
Measure B is supported by a broad coalition of civic, environmental, business, and labor organizations. It requires a 2/3 majority to pass.
Greenbelt Alliance urges everyone in Santa Clara County to vote YES on Measure B.