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How Did Transit and Transportation Ballot Measures Fare in California?

Car-Free JFK in San Francisco was a major victory Tuesday for livable streets advocates everywhere. Image: Walk SF

While control of the federal, state and local governments were all on the ballot Tuesday, there were also a series of statewide, countywide and local ballot measures that will control how the state grows and whether or not it has even a chance to live up to its promise to lead the country on fighting Climate Change. Here's a quick breakdown of the major ballot propositions and where they stand. Streetsblog will update this post as more results come in. Several measures updated Sunday November 13.

Proposition 30
Status: It's going to lose. Currently down 59-41.
Where: Statewide
Who Endorsed: Coalition for Clean Air, Move L.A., Active SGV, California Democratic Party
Who Opposed: Gavin Newsom, California Teachers Association, California Chamber of Commerce
What Would It Do: Via Calmatters: Prop. 30 would impose a 1.75% personal income tax increase on the top-earning Californians — for the share of their income above $2 million — per year to fund a suite of climate programs. The goal is to clean up the state’s dirty air and help meet ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets. Most of the money — about 80% — would go towards rebates for people buying zero-emission cars and to build more charging stations. Half of that funding will go to low- and middle-income residents, who are disproportionately affected by poor air quality and heavy pollution.

Proposition I/J 
Status: Car-free, JFK Promenade wins! (I Fails, J Wins!)
Where: San Francisco
Who Supported I: Dow Chemical Heiress Dede Wilson/de Young Museum
Who Supported J: Streetsblog San Francisco, Mayor London Breed, San Francisco Bike Coalition
What Would It Do: Via Streetsblog San Francisco: Prop I reverses the Board of Supervisors vote and returns cars to JFK and the Great Highway. Prop I is countered by Prop J, which reaffirms the JFK Promenade as a recreational space.

Prop L
Status: L wins!
Where: San Francisco
Who Endorsed: San Francisco Transit Riders, San Francisco Democratic Party, the Sierra Club
Who Opposed: Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods,
What Would It Do: Via Streetsblog San Francisco: Prop L maintains the same tax that brought new Muni buses, improved BART stations, eliminated private vehicles from Market Street, and created bus-only lanes, crosswalk improvements, and protected bike routes. If passed, the sales tax would work to make streets safer by calming traffic, expanding the bike network, investing in the Safe Routes to Schools Program, and extending the city’s Paratransit program for seniors and people with disabilities. It would electrify Muni’s bus fleet, increase rider capacity, and support community-led planning efforts to prioritize those that most rely on walking, biking, and transit but lack adequate infrastructure to make that dependence efficient or safe.

United to House L.A. - Measure ULA
Status: Appears to have passed (Ballots still to count, but, as of Sunday 11/13, ULA lead has grown to nine percent: 54.8 percent to 45.2 percent. Needs majority to pass.)
Where: City of Los Angeles
Who Endorsed: Streetsblog L.A., United Way, Move L.A.
Who Opposed: Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Los Angeles County Business Federation
What Would It Do: Via Streetsblog Los Angeles: United to House L.A. (Measure ULA) would enact a new tax on the sale of high value property in L.A. City. According to proponents’ initiative overview, 97 percent of recent property sales were not valuable enough for the new assessment to apply. Properties selling for $5-10 million dollars would be taxed once at 4 percent. Properties selling for more than $10 million would be taxed once at 5 percent. Proponents estimate that this would generate $8 billion over 10 years, which they term “the largest long-term housing funding ever considered in the city of Los Angeles.”

Measure U
Status: It passed. 70 percent yes so far, only needs a majority.
Where: City of Oakland
Who Endorsed: Streetsblog SF, Bike Oakland, Walk Oakland, SPUR
Who Opposed: Oakland Tribune
What Would It Do: Via Streetsblog SF : Measure U, which will issue bonds to raise $850 million, including almost $300 million to continue repaving and repairing Oakland streets.

Measure C
Status: Likely to fail. It has roughly 60 percent of the vote, but needs 2/3 to pass.
Where: Fresno County
Who Endorsed: Fresno Chamber of Commerce, California Association of Realtors
Who Opposed: NRDC, Fresno County Republican Party Fresno County Democratic Central Committee
What Would It Do: Via Streetsblog California : Measure C seeks to renew the county’s half-cent transportation tax five years before it is set to expire. The measure, put on the ballot by the Fresno Council of Governments, drastically changes the shares of funding going to roads vs. transit, cutting transit funds by almost forty percent. The City of Fresno objected vehemently to this change, as it would cause deep cuts in transit service. Fresno COG claimed that area residents want the money to be spent on fixing highways.

Measure A
Status: Appears to have failed. As of Sunday 11/13, approval is only at 46 percent, below the simple majority required to pass.
Where: Sacramento County
Who Endorsed: Darrell Steinberg, California Alliance for Jobs and Cordova Hills Development Corp.
Who Opposed: Sacramento Taxpayers Association, Coalition for Clean Air
What Would It Do: Via Streetsblog California: Measure A, the “Roads and Air Quality Sales Tax Initiative,” is a half-cent sales tax its backers say will “improve roads and air quality,” but which the Sacramento Council of Governments says will dramatically increase air pollution, violate state climate laws, and jeopardize the region’s ability to access other state and federal funding.

Measure T
Status: Likely to fail. It has a clear majority (54 percent) but that's well short of the 2/3 it needs to pass.
Where: Madera County
Who Endorsed: California Alliance for Jobs, Madera County Chamber of Commerce, Madera County Democratic Party
Who Opposed: Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability
What Would It Do: Via Streetsblog California: Renewing Measure T would put 62.5 percent of the funding raised towards community and neighborhood streets and roads, including pothole repair and repaving, and “eliminating bottlenecks … caused by inconsistent growth patterns, additional lanes, bridge improvements, and operational improvements.” 25 percent would go towards major county routes and arterials, including highway interchanges. Four percent would go to transit services, and four percent would be set aside for Safe Routes to Schools improvements.

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