VTA board to discuss ballot measure allocations on Friday morning

On Friday morning, the VTA board is holding an important workshop to discuss the spending plan for the transportation ballot measure being planned for November.

The staff report with proposed allocations is here.

Good news – there is a solid $1B package proposed for Caltrain improvements.  An issue in the details though:  the package adds more funding for grade separations but does not include any funding to for state of good repair, while trains have been breaking down on a regular basis.

Less good news for supporters of climate action and sustainable transportation- there is a 25% allocation for capacity expansion for highways and expressways, despite the fact that analysis shows that this spending does not relieve congestion and increases GHG and other pollution, according to this visualization of VTA’s analysis by TransForm. 

VMT visualization, VTA projects

Vehicle Hours Travelled (congestion relief)

With the $1.5B allocation for freeways and expressways, there is only $250M allocated for bike/ped improvements and $450M for bus network improvements, despite the fact that VTA and new Jarrett Walker research shows that more is needed to beef up a frequent network to improve ridership without cutting lifeline coverage.

Also high-performing light rail projects are left out, including a well-rated improvement to the Great America heavy/light rail station serving major development in Santa Clara.  Instead, the BART project is proposed to be extended past San Jose Diridon to Santa Clara, including a redundant station next to Caltrain, in an area where the city just killed a housing/mixed use transit oriented development

To support Caltrain as part of a robust package of sustainable transportation improvements in the upcoming VTA ballot measure, sign this petition.  Friends of Caltrain is joining an alliance of sustainable transportation and climate-focused groups to bring our counties in line with the region, state, and planet supporting climate-friendly transportation investments.

Can you make Friday morning’s board workshop? It’s at 9am at VTA HQ, 3111 North First Street. It’s important to have a strong presence for sustainable transportation. If so, let me know to help coordinate:    adina.levin@friendsofcaltrain.com  Or you can watch the meeting with live video, here.