Important Transportation Measure Goes Before Voters

Alameda County voters go to the polls June 8 with an opportunity to continue Measure B, a half-cent sales tax which has paid for many of the county's transportation improvements over the last decade. Due to recent changes in state law, a two-thirds majority is now required for passage of the measure.

Measure B will benefit not only the local community but also Alameda County as a whole, through widening of major freeways, creating reliever routes, and making alternative transportation options more attractive by providing BART links, increased ferry service, transit hubs, and rail service. Measure B creates no new taxes, but rather continues an existing one.

A review of projects funded by current Measure B financing reveals an impressive track record of transportation goals set and achieved due to the measure. In all, over $1.5 billion in transportation improvements has been funded by Measure B since its approval in 1986, including the Dublin/Pleasanton BART extension, the 580/680 interchange, improvements to Route 84, I-880, Highway 238, and more.

The Measure B reauthorization would fund four programs and 26 capital projects which have been identified in a new Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP). This plan, which was created in over 18 months of discussions with transit authorities, traffic engineers, and broad-based citizen groups, allocates funds throughout Alameda County based on population.

The 26 capital projects include: a new carpool lane on I-680; a new Isabel/I-580 interchange; an eastbound auxiliary lane on I-580 from Santa Rita to Airway; the Route 84 expressway in Livermore; the Iron Horse Trail in Dublin; and the BART/Rail Warm Springs Extension.

The TEP also identifies several ongoing programs which would receive funds. Programs proposed under a reauthorized Measure B include: increased funds for local road improvements for all the cities and the county; operating funds for Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority, the Altamont Commuter Express, Union City Transit, AC Transit, and the Alameda-Oakland Ferries; paratransit funds for ADA-mandated services; and funds for pedestrian and bicycle projects and open space preservation.

Voters must be registered by May 4 to participate in the upcoming election.

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