Transportation Funding: Local and Regional Government Picking Up Where State Left Off

  • by BPC Staff
  • on August 11, 2016

Earlier this year, state transportation officials announced a 38% ($754 million) funding cut to transportation projects over a course of five years – the deepest reduction California has seen in two decades. With numerous Bay Area projects on the line, ranging from bike lanes to highways, officials say it is now up to local and regional governments to “pick up the slack” where state funding is not available. One Bay Area county is meeting this challenge with a proposed half-cent sales tax, revenues of which will go to road and transit projects. On Tuesday, August 9th, Contra Costa County supervisors officially approved putting the currently unnamed measure on the November ballot. If it passes, the measure is expected to generate an estimated $2.9 billion over 30 years. Under the Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s Transportation Expenditure Plan, the tax would go to cover projects such as the widening of Highway 4 in the Brentwood-Oakley area, bringing a BART station to Brentwood, and implementing various pedestrian and bicycle-oriented projects.


BART plans to extend service farther east (Source: Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART))

While some elected officials anticipate challenges in passing the measure come November, many agree that it is critical local and regional government remain attentive to the state’s transportation funding crisis. Many projects outside of Contra Costa County have experienced stalls in construction or are simply left in the planning stages. For instance, the proposal to build a pathway for pedestrians and cyclists on the western span of the Bay Bridge remains elusive despite strong support form pedestrian and bike advocates. Even after the release of several design options by the Bay Area Toll Authority, supporters are left waiting and wondering if the estimated 10-year, $300 million project will see the light of day.

Bicycle and pedestrian pathway on eastern span of Bay Bridge (Source: California Department of Transportation)

At Bay Planning Coalition, we work to stay up to date with new and existing policy in transportation activities and policy. Our mission is to ensure the San Francisco Bay Region’s continued economic vitality by advocating for the effective movement of goods, and of people, so that all members of the community are able to benefit from a thriving economy.

“The Bay Planning Coalition is a non-profit organization well known for its advocacy and credibility in the San Francisco Bay Area corporate and environmental community. When we speak about an issue, legislators and regulators listen.” – John A. Coleman, CEO


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