Key victories for public transportation, walking, biking, and affordable housing... but some races still undetermined
From the highest levels of government to local ballot measures, yesterday bodes well for bringing world-class public transportation and walkable communities to more places. But we’re still holding our breath on a couple important local races. Read on!
Obama’s reelection means potential progress on transportation policy
During the past four years, President Obama has championed key ways to transform our country’s transportation policy. The Obama administration created the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which ensures housing, transportation, and sustainability are planned for together, like they should be - and brings good public transportation and affordable housing to more places.
Obama has also been a big backer of high-speed rail. And he’s leveraged bipartisan support for public transportation, walking, biking and smart growth by making former Republican Congressman Ray LaHood the Secretary of Transportation, who declared “the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized."
When the federal transportation bill, MAP-21, expires in September 2014, it will be a pivotal moment that Obama could potentially use to further transform transportation. Read more on Obama’s track record with transportation and what his second term could mean.
Proposition 30 wins; 32 loses
Californians thankfully passed Proposition 30, Governor Brown’s tax plan to protect education and health services, by an 8% margin. If Prop 30 had failed, the resulting devastating cuts to the state budget would have put extreme stress on all state programs, including public transportation funding. Read more on this victory.
Thankfully 56% of voters said no to Proposition 32, which would have seriously weakened the voice of workers in elections while allowing Super-PACs and billionaires to continue to spend without limits.
Measure B1 in Alameda County is one point from passing; similar measure in Los Angeles also very close
Mail-in ballots could change the outcome once they’re tallied, but for now, Alameda County's Measure B1 garnered 65.5% of the vote, just short of the 66.6% needed to pass.
We endorsed Measure B1, which would renew, increase, and extend the countywide sales tax for transportation. Funds would restore bus service after major cuts in recent years; start a youth bus pass program; repair potholes; make unprecedented investments in pedestrian/bicycle safety and infrastructure; and support more transit-oriented development. Read the Tribune’s coverage of B1 results and the results so far for the similar L.A. transit tax measure.
Affordable housing measure in San Francisco passes
More than 64% of voters supported Proposition C, which will provide $1.2 billion for affordable housing over the next 30 years. This is critical since California eliminated its redevelopment agencies earlier this year.