San Francisco – Nov. 5, 2014 – The mid-term elections brought good news for state and local transportation initiatives. Major new transportation tax measures were approved in Seattle, Atlanta (Clayton County), Rhode Island, Fairfax County, and Alameda and San Francisco counties.
At Nelson\Nygaard, we are celebrating the passage of Measure BB in Alameda County, CA. This measure, which we drafted along with public and policymakers of the Alameda County Transportation Commission, focuses on programmatic capital spending, ensuring that the best projects will be funded as well as providing operating funds for transit and paratransit in unprecedented amounts. Principal and Founder Bonnie Nelson says, “Residents of Alameda County have shown that they understand the value of a balanced transportation system that focuses on the joint goals of mobility, economic vitality, and public health.”
Rhode Island’s approval of a $35 million transportation bond measure is another victory for Nelson\Nygaard. Boston staff worked with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority and Department of Transportation to develop a vision for the way transit works in downtown Providence, components of which depend on this funding. “We proposed improvements to bus circulation, transit emphasis corridors for easy travel within downtown, and two additional transit centers to enhance connections between buses and the MBTA/Amtrak,” says Associate Alex Lew. “Although there is still a lot on the road ahead, the approval of Measure 6 is a big step forward for better transit service in the state of Rhode Island.”
In Seattle, proposition 1 passed, a sales tax and car registration fee to expand transit service, a huge win. “These new funds will benefit Seattleites in a significant way,” says Principal Tim Payne. “Working through the blueprint laid down in the Seattle Transit Master Plan, a Nelson\Nygaard project, we look forward to helping prioritize investments in service that ensure the greatest results for what is rapidly turning into one of the most transitable cities in North America.”
Other important wins:
San Francisco residents voted to support Proposition A, a $500 million bond measure to be used for redesigned streets, more bike and transit-only lanes, updated traffic signals, improved maintenance facilities, and new elevators and escalators at Metro stations. They also defeated a pro-car measure that was partially an attack on SFpark.
Residents of Clayton County, Georgia voted in a sales tax to join with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. The county had been without transit since a 2010 budget crisis. “It is very good news that Clayton County passed its measure,” says Randy Farwell. “This is the last core county in the region to agree to join MARTA.”
In Fairfax County, the Transportation Bond Referendum passed. “Congratulations to Director Tom Biesiadny and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation staff for the visionary work in anticipating and planning for a multimodal future for the county,” says Principal Karina Ricks. “These funds will help them implement that vision.”