Chronicle endorses J

The San Francisco Chronicle printed its endorsement of Measure J on January 29. While TRANSDEF was disappointed, we were pleased that the newspaper gave serious coverage to our rationale to oppose the tax: to avoid creating institutional momentum for decades of further sprawl development that will result in impassable highways. We believe that future development needs to be within walking distance of frequent transit, a model that doesn’t work in widely dispersed neighborhoods.

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TRANSDEF debates Measure J on TV

TRANSDEF’s President David Schonbrunn debated Newell Arnerich, a member of the CCTA Board and Danville City Councilmember on Contra Costa TV.  The highlight of the debate was the discussion of suburban sprawl at 18:00, culminating with a take-down of Contra Costa’s vaunted linkage of transportation and land use. The subject came up again, with a particularly good discussion of sprawl at 29:00, peaking at 31:00, with TRANSDEF’s statement that “Single-story ranch homes–that’s obsolete, in terms of new construction.” Moderator: “But people like that! That’s why they move here.” TRANSDEF’s response: “They may like all kinds of things, but when you…

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East Bay Times Editorial: Vote No on Measure J

In a strikingly comprehensive editorial, the East Bay Times described the flaws of Measure J and recommended voters say No. Here is a list of those flaws, as articulated by the Times: The ballot language doesn’t mention that Measure J would double the existing transportation sales tax. Measure J is not the promised “transformative plan.” We cannot pave our way out of the congestion crisis. Allocating nearly 20% of tax proceeds for local road maintenance bought support from local government, but duplicates existing funding. Asking county voters to pay for BART improvements makes no sense when BART has its own…

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Environmental debate at Sierra Club

TRANSDEF was invited to present the opposition position on Measure J at an endorsement meeting of the Sierra Club’s West Contra Costa Group. The text of the presentation captures the environmental reasons to oppose CCTA’s tax measure. Here’s the audio of that presentation:            

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TRANSDEF files demand letter with Contra Costa government

After discovering an intentional weakening of the so-called Impartial Analysis of Measure J by Contra Costa County Counsel, TRANSDEF submitted letters yesterday to the Board of Supervisors, the Acting Registrar of Voters and County Counsel, demanding changes to the Impartial Analysis. These letters speak for themselves. The letter to the Board of Supervisors is especially worth reading.      

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FPPC opens investigation of MTC

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) announced that it has opened an investigation into TRANSDEF‘s allegations that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and BATA, its alter ego, illegally expended public resources to promote passage of Regional Measure 3 (RM3). While similar alleged conduct by AC Transit will also be investigated, no other parties were named by FPPC. See Marin IJ press coverage. The same article appeared on the East Bay Times site. Further details on the TRANSDEF complaint are available here: MTC Caught Red-Handed in Regional Measure 3 Campaign Violations.

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TRANSDEF’s first thoughts on the Megameasure

TRANSDEF had a complicated reaction to the announcement of the proposed Megameasure. (All quotes referred to are contained in that post.) Service considerations We like the focus on world-class transit, but don’t trust that the sponsors of the measure mean the same thing we do. They have no prior history of supporting the cost-effective transit we support. To our knowledge, they have only supported the expensive brands of transit: BART and high-speed rail. Because the fundamental transportation problem of the Bay Area is too many cars on the roads, a solution viable for the long term must facilitate car-free living. That means…

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