Quick actions you can take now to protect transit/bike/ped funds from being used for a major roadway

On Monday March 12, Alameda County Transportation Commission Programs and Projects Committee will vote on whether to recommend repurposing  $163M in funding for Dumbarton Corridor transit, bicycle, pedestrian, and transit-oriented development investments for a 4-6 lane roadway expansion.   On Thursday March 22, ACTC will vote on whether to move ahead with the funds grab.  For more background on the story, click here.

Cannibalizing regional corridor transit funding to expand a roadway has the potential to erode voter confidence in upcoming votes for new funding, including the Regional Measure 3 bridge tolls, the battle to defeat a recall effort against the SB1 gas tax,  and the efforts to pass a San Mateo County transportation tax.

Take Action: Tell decision-makers they risk losing our trust as voters

Asking voters to pay for new funds to pay for transit, when the last transit money was used to build a roadway, is risking voters’ trust.  We are being asked to pour new money from SB1 gas taxes, RM3 bridge tolls, and new San Mateo County sales taxes into a bucket for transit funding to take cars off the road.  But at the same time, money is being drained out of the bucket a roadway project expected to increase the number of cars on the road.

  • If you are a San Mateo County voter, click  now to tell the Board of Supervisors and SamTrans board and tell them you want new Dumbarton funds to build on existing funds. Urge them to work with East Bay peers to use transit funds to implement Dumbarton corridor transit improvements instead of backfilling money used for roadways
  • If you are an Alameda County voter and don’t want the expenditure plan you voted for gutted, tell Alameda County Transportation Commissioners ASAP.  And if you are in or near Oakland at lunchtime, come if you can to the Alameda County Programs and Projects Committee, Monday March 12, Noon, 1111 Broadway, Suite 800, Oakland, and let us know if you can come, at friends@friendsofcaltrain.com.  The agenda is here.

This is why we can’t have nice things

Your voice is needed, because political leaders tend to be deferential to their colleagues in other cities making their own local decisions.

But the Dumbarton Corridor is one corridor – East and West are connected with a single traffic jam.  The corridor needs a coordinated strategy, with cities and agencies working together to speed bus service, carpools in the short term, while working to reinstate rail.

Treating a corridor transit system as a collection of independent fiefdoms is a recipe for underperformance.  It’s a big reason why we in the Bay Area don’t have good transit.  So write or call your representatives and demand that transit/bike/ped funds be used as you intended as a voter, and work together on fixing the Dumbarton corridor traffic jam by getting people good options to avoid driving in traffic.