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Published June 20, 2006
Volume 14, Number 6



Port to Port Coalition Seeks Support for Transportation Infrastructure Improvements


The Port to Port Coalition, a new organization consisting of political, business, and community leaders with an interest in the transportation infrastructure between the Port of Oakland on the west and the Port of Stockton on the east, is seeking support from local businesses. The group’s goal is to ensure that the region is not overlooked as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other elected officials seek to identify the specific projects to be funded by a ballot measure which would allocate over $30 billion to statewide infrastructure improvements.

Consisting of I-880, I-238, and I-580, the Port to Port Corridor plays a large role in the transportation of goods in the area, and a significant portion of the region’s economy depends on the need to quickly move these items from one port to the other. Unfortunately, this rapid movement is not always possible currently. The morning commute on westbound 580 is ranked as the second worst in the Bay Area, while the eastbound evening commute is rated the third most congested. Traffic congestion and decreased mobility in the region are the problems that the group is working to solve.

The formation of the new coalition grew out of April’s Tri-Valley Transportation Forum, an event which resulted from a collaboration of the Tri-Valley Business Council, Assemblyman Guy Houston, Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, and the Economic Development Alliance for Business. The goal of that event was to bring people together to help determine priorities and to advocate that the region receive its fair share of transportation improvement funds. With the two elected officials joining with the Business Council to create the Port to Port Coalition, however, they have achieved much more.

The Coalition is already reporting success in some aspects of their work. “After the forum, the Port to Port Coalition was established and began to express our needs to the governor and legislative leaders,” reported Assemblyman Houston to his constituents. “Our collective efforts helped to secure funding that is dedicated to easing traffic congestion for trade corridors like the Port to Port Corridor. A formal application will need to be made to receive this funding, but all indications look very good.”

According to Houston, the bond money could help fund a number of improvements along I-580. Beyond the upcoming bond measure, the Coalition also sees itself as a key contributor and partner in addressing a number of local and regional traffic issues. In the Tri-Valley alone, Coalition support has a great opportunity to further the objectives of local planning efforts on I-580, I-680, and Highway 84 being examined under the Triangle Study. Houston cautions that the Coalition must continue to grow, however, if it is to be effective.

To that end, any individual or business who would like to add their voice to the Port to Port Coalition is invited to do so by contacting Tom O’Malley, president of the Tri-Valley Business Council, at (925) 890-1892. The organization’s web site is at www.trivalley.org.

 

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