East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club Opposes RM3

The East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club held a debate on Regional Measure 3 Thursday night. Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin debated TRANSDEF President David Schonbrunn. TRANSDEF’s 10-minute argument segment starts at 7:.30. The official endorsement opposing RM3 came out Monday.

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Supervisor Canepa Opposes Toll Lanes

San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa published an opinion piece Toll lanes good for the rich, bad for the environment today. What’s especially significant about the piece is that he is saying that MTC’s priorities are heading in the wrong direction: If we are really serious about combating climate change, encouraging solo drivers to use toll lanes during peak commute hours is not the answer. … Toll lanes will not reduce traffic in the long term and will not reduce GHG emissions. The second largest expenditure allocation in Regional Measure 3 is $300 million dollars for “Bay Area Corridor Express Lanes,” the…

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Cupertino City Council Votes to Oppose RM3

In a highly unusual agenda item, the Cupertino City Council discussed the flaws in Regional Measure 3 and voted to oppose it. They will send a letter to other elected officials, informing them of their reasons for doing so. The item starts with public testimony on the measure, led off by TRANSDEF. Councilmember Steven Scharf offered a striking slide presentation. Vice-Mayor Rod Sinks presented a passionate and thorough recounting of the promises to Cupertino that have been broken by VTA. Councilmember Barry Chang urged the Council to take a leadership role in opposing the measure. Finally, the Council formulated its final…

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New Opinion Piece Opposes RM3

Zelda Bronstein, famous for her long-form reporting on MTC, had her opinion piece on RM3 published in Berkeleyside. Her best quote: Regional Measure 3 is bold all right: it’s a massive con that dedicates $4.5 billion to a hodgepodge of disconnected projects that will bring the Bay Area little traffic relief. The piece captures the highlights of comments made by elected officials opposed to the measure.

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Massachusetts Learns from Seattle

In an interesting article, representatives from Massachusetts visited Seattle and found useful lessons. The contrast between Seattle and California are instructive. One striking takeaway: Plan for growth. The Seattle area has enormous demand for housing, and, like Boston, struggles to ensure affordability. We learned that the State of Washington’s  Growth Management Act (in law since 1990) compels a forward-looking plan at every level of government, so that the region’s housing, transportation, land use and service delivery have a framework for success. Does that sound anything like the Bay Area? Lots of taxpayer money is going into transit projects that enable people to leave…

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South Bay Leaders Refuse to Follow the Pack

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Joe Simitian of Palo Alto and Mountain View Mayor Lenny Siegel were described in the Palo Alto Daily Post as not supporting Regional Measure 3. Mayor Siegel appears to have agreed with TRANSDEF’s position, expressed in a recent Mercury News opinion piece: Siegel said that the tech company lobbyist Guardino’s support of the measure shows that big employers are trying to “externalize their transportation costs” by passing them on to the general population.   “Some of us believe that the right way to pay for transit is to tax the employers bringing traffic…

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Key Congressman Opposes RM3

In an unexpected blow to the credibility of Regional Measure 3, a Congressman with long ties to transportation has written an opposition to the measure. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) rebukes Bay Area politicians and MTC in particular: Now is the time to stop this cycle of waste and frustration and to engage in serious and coordinated planning, because the Bay Area needs and deserves better. Without greater transparency and accountability, Regional Measure 3 would result in, at best, moderate improvements in the short run, but no meaningful solution in the long term. This criticism is especially significant, because of the depth…

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Why Driving Alone Produces Incurable Congestion

Different Modes Streetspace

An excellent article on the Heaven or Hell future of autonomous vehicles has a great chart that illustrates the choices for moving large numbers of people needing to travel at the same time. It is apparent from the images that when the numbers get high enough, there simply is no way to provide enough physical space for everyone wishing to travel alone. This is why the only convenient form of transportation from ever-increasing suburbanization has brought the Bay Area’s roads to a crisis point.  Regional Measure 3’s proposed expenditures have all been tried before: “Traffic is at an all-time high,” said Rebecca…

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Seattle Far Ahead of Bay Area in Protecting the Climate

Half of Seattle’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) come from passenger vehicles, similar to the Bay Area. However, Seattle is far more committed to acting on climate change than the Bay Area. In a far-reaching plan released recently, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan “announce[d] that the City will develop and release a strategy to address congestion and transportation emissions through pricing, coupled with investments in expanded transit and electrification in underserved communities.” This is strikingly important, as no other jurisdiction in the U.S. has considered using pricing as a tool to control climate emissions. As the plan states: Research suggests that the most effective…

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