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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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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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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