What kind of place will Silicon Valley be in 20 years? Will our region still be a hub for innovation? Will people of all income levels have better access to great transit? Will our streets be safer and more welcoming for people who walk and bike?
This year, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is considering a ballot measure in 2016 that could offer a monumental opportunity to make sure the answer to these questions is “yes.”
The measure could raise billions of transportation dollars over the next several decades, money that would have an incredible impact on the future of the Silicon Valley. But whether this funding goes towards improving our transportation choices, connecting more of us to opportunity, reducing our cost of living, and cutting our carbon emissions depends on what VTA decides to spend the money on.
That’s where you come in. Take our survey now, and make your voice heard through Envision Silicon Valley.
Last year we fought for the community’s right to shape this important transportation funding measure. Thanks to TransForm's advocacy with the recently-formed Transit Justice Alliance* and leadership from the VTA Board of Directors, the VTA created a formal public process to develop the measure, now known as Envision Silicon Valley.
And when the goals for Envision Silicon Valley were proposed last month, TJA members advocated for stronger language related to health, access, equity, and environmental sustainability. Suleima Ochoa, a student and member of TRANSITion at De Anza College, told VTA board members: “I drive for about an hour every day, four days a week to go to college, but I would love to be able to use public transit as my primary method of transportation. I envision a transportation system that provides less privileged families across the Bay Area with more viable options in accessing their daily needs.”
After hearing from Suleima and other Silicon Valley residents and commuters, the VTA Board approved the Envision Silicon Valley Goals, including language to promote equity and access, ridership, safety, health, and sustainability.
These Envision Silicon Valley meetings are your opportunity to share your input on what Santa Clara County should prioritize funding in the future with its sale tax revenue.
Moving forward in 2015, several important decisions will be made, and we need you to get involved in making sure those decisions are good ones.
In July and August, VTA will develop and adopt more specific performance metrics to measure the impact of various transportation projects and programs, which will in turn guide what projects and programs are incorporated into the funding measure. VTA and the TJA will also host community workshops in August and September to solicit input on community needs and preferences, including what projects and programs should be funded by the 2016 measure. Click here for a full calendar of the Envision Silicon Valley process.
If you care about improving transportation options and how your tax dollars are spent in Santa Clara County, it’s absolutely critical that you get involved and make your perspective heard!
- Come to an Envision Silicon Valley community meeting - attend one of the Envision Silicon community meetings below to share your perspective. Don’t forget to reserve your place! Para ver el volante en español haga clic aquí.
For more information, contact Chris Lepe, TransForm’s Silicon Valley Senior Community Planner.
*The Transit Justice Alliance (TJA) is a coalition dedicated to ensuring that VTA’s funding measure promotes the health, environmental sustainability, and social justice in the region. Convened by Working Partnerships USA, its members include TransForm, California Walks, Greenbelt Alliance, People Acting in Community Together, Public Advocates, Sacred Heart Community Service, Friends of Caltrain, and Urban Habitat.