San Mateo Measure W going down to the wire

See updates, below. San Mateo County’s additional transportation sales tax, Measure W, failed to get a 2/3 majority vote on election night. As the mail-in ballots are slowly tallied, the percentage is creeping slowly towards 66.67%. As of November 25, the count was at 66.55% yes, with approximately 13,000 ballots left to count. TRANSDEF has taken an Oppose position, and has been helping its allies in San Mateo County. Excellent coverage in the local press: Daily Post Measure W Editorial Daily Journal Article As of Tuesday, November 27, the margin had shifted significantly to 66.87% Yes votes. Concerns have been…

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Kids’ safety held hostage in Measure AA money grab

In a great post today, CO$T’s Mimi Willard shows just how far TAM is willing to go to to scare voters into passing Measure AA. TRANSDEF has seen similar hostage-taking in other measures. It is a frequent tactic of agencies seeking more funding. Often, the claim is that underprivileged people would be hurt if the measure doesn’t pass. The implicit threat is that “If you don’t care enough about these people to protect them, we won’t protect them either.” Of course, what does that say about the priorities of the decision makers? It says, “We’re going to do just what…

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Measure AA: TAM could care less about climate change

Climate change is sending increasingly strong messages–through catastrophic floods, droughts, and wildfires–that human societies must shift their priorities if they are to survive beyond the next few generations. Unfortunately, transportation professionals–including the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM)–still haven’t accepted the responsibility of reducing the impact of transportation on climate change. Climate change is caused primarily by the greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted from the burning of fossil fuels. Motor vehicles are the biggest source of GHGs in California, in the Bay Area, and in Marin. Because driving keeps increasing, GHG emissions keep increasing, even while the State is working hard to…

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We don’t have much time left to fix transportation

Environmentalist Ed Mainland of Novato, CA speaks out: Controversy has swirled around Marin’s Measure AA. Many proponents of Measure AA seem oblivious to TAM’s dismal track record and substantive arguments pro and con around TAM’s funding plan. Proponents point to the plan’s funding of transit, EVs, and Safe Routes to Schools. Others call the plan conventional, status quo, wedded to car culture, and lacking in real understanding of what is at stake. Several things Marinites may wish to keep in mind: 1. A local climate activist recently compared TAM’s plan to Los Angeles’ plan and found TAM’s, by comparison, to…

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Trump Administration acknowledges climate change

In a shocking new policy position, the Trump Administration claims there’s no point in higher efficiency standards for new cars and trucks for reducing GHGs. There’s nothing new in that. They offered a completely new reason, however: because the reductions won’t make a significant difference in a world that clings to fossil fuels. Of course, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. NHTSA has put out a draft Environmental Impact Statement for its proposed CAFE standard that projects that in 2100, there will be 708 ppm CO2, 3.8 meters of sea level rise and 4 degrees C global temperature rise. It is already…

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Marin’s Measure AA

The Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) has placed Measure AA, a 0.5 % sales tax for transportation on the November ballot. The measure would replace the existing Measure A that voters approved in 2004. Measure AA would run for 30 years before the voters would be asked to approve a subsequent measure. Marin is facing a transportation crisis: traffic congestion keeps getting worse while greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles keep getting higher. TRANSDEF opposes Measure AA because the measure doesn’t even acknowledge there is a crisis. Instead, the measure offers a Business as Usual collection of the programs and projects of the…

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One Win, One Loss

One Win, One Loss 11/10/16 Filed in: Transportation Planning The sales tax measure for Santa Clara County passed, while the one for Contra Costa County failed. TRANSDEF’s ballot arguments were printed in the Contra Costa Voters’ Guide, so we helped defeat an ill-conceived measure. Tags: VTA, Contra Costa, Tax

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TRANSDEF Opposes VTA Sales Tax Measure B

TRANSDEF Opposes VTA Sales Tax Measure B 09/04/16 Filed in: Climate Change | Transportation Planning The TRANSDEF Board has voted to formally oppose the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA’s) transportation sales tax measure. We have No Confidence in VTA. Check out the websites of our allies Sierra Club and BayRail Alliance! Measure B would double VTA’s sales tax. This is intolerable, when the Measure fails in three distinct policy areas: BART to San Jose and Santa Clara is a horribly wasteful and ineffective response to the commuting challenges of Santa Clara County residents. The continued funding of highways is…

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TRANSDEF Opposes CCTA Sales Tax Measure X

TRANSDEF Opposes CCTA Sales Tax Measure X 09/04/16 Filed in: Transportation Planning | Climate Change The TRANSDEF Board has voted to formally oppose Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s (CCTA’s) transportation sales tax measure. Our ballot arguments were selected to be the Oppose position in the Voter Guide. Our campaign website was posted today. Tags: Contra Costa, Highway Widening, Tax, Congestion

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Opponents of BB Hold Press Conference

Opponents of BB Hold Press Conference 10/14/14 Filed in: Climate Change | Transportation Planning Opponents of Alameda County’s Measure BB transportation sales tax held a press conference today at the Asian Cultural Center in Oakland. It was covered by three TV crews and print press, including the Chinese language press. TRANSDEF’s President made these remarks: The Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) has engaged in flagrant greenwashing. They call this an environmentally sustainable plan. It is true that our environmental colleagues have endorsed this measure. However they didn’t look closely enough at its long-term consequences, because they were overly focused on…

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