Who’s paying for the Yes on RM3 Campaign?

The Mercury News published a report on the large contributors to the Yes on RM3 campaign. What’s so interesting about this measure’s sponsors is they’re not the usual group that typically bankrolls transportation funding measures. Usually, it’s contractors seeking to make money on the public projects funded by the measure. This year, however, high-tech firms are leading the charge to charge the public more for using the bridges. Is this public-spirited? Or is it an attempt to distract the public from connecting the dots between the big increase in congestion and the high-tech economic boom? If the public is told, through…

Continue reading

KPIX Poll Shows Bridge Toll Hike Measure Facing Uphill Battle

A news story on KPIX-TV showed an RM3 commercial in the background, while delivering poll results: According to the exclusive KPIX 5 Survey USA Poll, 40 percent of Bay Area voters support the plan, while 34 percent are against it. Another 26 percent respondents said they weren’t sure. That support is a lot softer than earlier polling, which had made MTC confident enough to try pushing the toll hikes. Host Phil Matier pointed out the overt contradiction between the claim that the measure’s added public transit will reduce traffic and real-world experience: An interesting pitch, considering the poll shows that after all…

Continue reading

Democrats in Solano Oppose RM3

A letter to the Vallejo Times-Herald announced that “The United Democrats of Southern Solano County voted to oppose Regional Measure 3.” This suggests a significant class division between elected and rank-and-file Democrats.

Continue reading

Marin Independent Journal Publishes TRANSDEF Opinion Piece

Today’s Marin Independent Journal published  TRANSDEF’s opinion piece explaining how suburban development leads to solo driving, which leads to congestion. This problem is the result of our governance structure: Suburbanization is a piecemeal process, governed by local government. What’s been missed for the past 80 years is the cumulative effect of many thousands of subdivisions in dozens of jurisdictions on the region’s transportation network. That kind of analysis requires regional governance with the power and will to enforce consequences on development that has negative impacts on the region. The editorials opposing Regional Measure 3 by the Mountain View Voice and Palo…

Continue reading

Mountain View Voice Opposes RM3

The Mountain View Voice published a strong editorial yesterday opposing Regional Measure 3. Its key statement: RM3’s toll increases, along with the implementation of inflation escalators, ask for too much and attempt to leverage the public’s frustration over bad traffic to disproportionately penalize bridge commuters, a small fraction of voters and therefore an easy target. Bay Area business leaders and their advocacy organizations such as Silicon Valley Leadership Group need to work more on the root cause of our transportation problems — the continued approvals of new commercial development on the Peninsula without the housing needed to accommodate the employees. The…

Continue reading

Peninsula Papers Call RM3 Unfair

In editorial positions that strikingly diverge from the larger newspapers, the San Mateo Daily Journal and Palo Alto Daily Post came out with editorials yesterday opposed to Regional Measure 3.  The Daily Journal captured the heart of the equity issue: A small group of commuters should not be burdened with the cost of transportation improvements that only have a rough connection to the bridges they cross. The rationale reveals a certain amount of creep from the original intent of the tolls, and also a political tactic to get those who do not use the bridges to stick the cost of congestion relief…

Continue reading

League of Women Voters Holds Debate on RM3

The debate at Berkeley City College on Tuesday, May 8 was sponsored by the League of Women Voters. On the Pro side were Dave Campbell of Bike East Bay and Josh Huber of the East Bay Leadership Council. On the Con side were David Schonbrunn of TRANSDEF and Joe Grcar, “a pissed off citizen.” The overall debate lasted 1 hour. Highlights: Opening Statement by Joe Grcar Money grab by Silicon Valley Business–Unfair RM3 is an unconstitutional tax Reduce congestion by eliminating Express Lanes and encouraging ridesharing Closing Statement by David Schonbrunn    

Continue reading

East Bay Times Publishes RM3 Pro-Con

TRANSDEF covered the Con side in the East Bay Times’ coverage of the arguments for and against Regional Measure 3. The arguments against the measure focused on the long-term failure of MTC’s transportation planning to produce any desirable results, leading to the expectation that plan for RM3 will similarly fail to improve transportation.

Continue reading