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How’d They Fare? Transportation Ballot Measures

This blog is cross-posted from the Advocacy Advance site, and is written by Brighid O’Keane.

Voters flocked to the polls on Tuesday and we saw many changes in State Houses and Congress. But what did November 4th mean for biking and walking? Advocacy Advance tracks and supports campaigns to win public funding for active transportation. Here is an update to highly-anticipated transportation ballot measures that open up funding for local walking and biking projects.

Alameda County, CA

After falling just 700 votes short of the two-thirds majority required for passage for Measure B in 2012, Bike East Bay and parters returned to the ballot on Tuesday and won! Measure BB, which passsed 70%-30%, increases the transportation sales tax from half a cent to a full penny on the dollar and will provide $1 billion for walking and biking over thirty years.

San Francisco, CA

Across the Bay, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition celebrates a “sweep for safe streets.” Proposition A, a $500 million bond for transit passed. Proposition L, an anti-bike/ped, anti-transit effort to prioritize private auto trips, failed. Proposition B passed, which will provide a $23 million budget boost for transportation and dedicate 25% – at least $5 million – for bicycle and pedestrian safety projects.

Greenville County, SC

After a successful poll in 2013 showed public agreement that elected officials should support funding for a variety of transportation types, the Greenville County Council voted to include bicycle, pedestrian, and transit improvements in the one-penny sales tax. Unfortunately, despite educational efforts by Bike Walk Greenville and Upstate Forever, the multi-modal measure, which would have provided $47.6 million over 8 years for walking and biking, failed on Tuesday.

Austin, TX

Voters turned down “urban rail” transportation bond in Austin. Bike Austin endorsed Proposition 1, which would have provided first and last mile connections to a key transportation corridor.

State of Massachusetts

Ballot Question 1 passed in Massachusetts, which is a loss for active transportation. Question 1 repeals a provision in a law passed in 2013 that would increase the gas tax annually to match the growth in the consumer price index for the use of transportation projects. The passing of Q1 will eliminate a projected $1 billion over the next ten years to spend on transportation projects across the state to keep our roads, bridges, and public transportation safe. 

Alachua County and City of Gainesville, FL

A one cent sales tax for eight years to fund transportation failed on Tuesday. Five percent of city revenue plus 5% of county revenue, totalling $3 million annually, would have been dedicated to walking and biking projects. This is the second attempt at a transportation funding measure, after a roads only measure failed in 2012.  

Fairfax County, VA

Voters approved a bond for bicycle, pedestrian, and road improvements in Tyson’s Corner along the new Silver line. Out of the $100 million bond, $84 million is dedicated to sidewalks and bicycle infrastrucure.

Cobb County, GA

Fifty-three percent of voters approved a renewal to the one cent sales tax for transportation projects, including $35 million for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

There were some wins and some losses at the polls this week, but advocates for active transportation can celebrate over $1,124,000,000 in local biking and walking investments won at the ballot box. 

Looking towards your next election? Apply for an Advocacy Advance Rapid Response Grant to support your campaign!

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