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Friday, November 7, 2014

Cyclists Won in This Election

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 11:22 AM

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Across most of the nation, transportation initiatives and ballot measures didn’t fare all that well. Here in San Francisco, we bucked that trend and voted for every pro-transportation and pro-bike ballot measure.

In fact, every candidate that the San Francisco Bike Coalition endorsed won their election.

Now that the election is over and the votes are counted, we're going to soon see what all these results mean for us — sans campaign mailers. In San Francisco, Propositions A and B both passed, and Proposition L (that bogus transportation balance thing) was rejected. In Alameda County Proposition BB passed ( voters even chose higher taxes to pay for improved public transportation, bike and pedestrian infrastructure.)

Here's what you can expect now:


We did indeed vote this way.
  • We did indeed vote this way.

More Money, Fewer Problems?

Legislation is is a funny thing: typically, when you get something you’ve got to give something. But San Francisco’s Proposition A lets the city borrow $500 million to address “crucial infrastructure projects without raising any taxes. That means we're maxing out the city's credit cards to do the following:
• improve Muni reliability and accessibility;
• improve the conditions of streets; and
• make the roads safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.
Remember things like the NACTO guidelines on how to make safe streets for cyclists and pedestrians? This is the money that will pay for some of those changes. The city will use these funds to construct things like separated bikeways, cur bulb-outs, raised crosswalks, bicycle parking, and other people friendly infrastructure project.

click image Image of someone who didn't know transportation funding wasn't linked to population growth in the past. - ALEX E. PROIMOS
  • Alex E. Proimos
  • Image of someone who didn't know transportation funding wasn't linked to population growth in the past.

More People, More Money?

That we had to pass a ballot measure in the city of San Francisco to link transportation funding to population growth seems worthy of a face palm gif. But, sure enough, we did, and the ballot measure passed. Now the city will link the base amount of funding provided to the SFMTA to the amount of people that are in the city. This measure also requires a 75 percent increase in funding to improve Muni, thanks to population increases. The remaining 25 percent would go to safety — because it really needs to.

What you'll get for that: bulb-outs, bike lanes, crosswalks, and more.

click to enlarge This brand new bike lane on Broadway in Oakland is an example of what you can expect in everyone's future thanks to these ballot measures.
  • This brand new bike lane on Broadway in Oakland is an example of what you can expect in everyone's future thanks to these ballot measures.

BART, Bikes, and the County Across the Bay

Measure BB is one of the most interesting wins for bikes and transportation because it actually asks voters to vote for higher taxes in order to invest in better BART and better bike infrastructure. Sure enough, in Alameda County, most people appear to be just fine with a half-percent increase to their sales tax, especially if that means BART might suck less and cyclists get a few more bike lanes.

The rest of the money will go toward fixing roads, improving highways, and increasing bicycle and pedestrian safety. That no doubt means more money to invest in bike lanes, pedestrian-friendly features, and better tarmac, all for about a penny every time we buy something in Alameda County.

So What Does the Future Hold?

Lot of new construction. 

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About The Author

Leif Haven

Leif Haven

Bio:
Leif Haven is a writer and cyclist living in the Bay Area. He can be spotted dragging himself up a hill — literally and metaphorically.

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