As the population in San Diego County continues to grow, there is an urgency to ensure that this growth is properly planned, economically practical and does not harm our quality of life. Voting yes on Measure A will give voters the ability to improve the quality of life for San Diego County residents, including its people and wildlife.

Supporting Measure A will raise an estimated $18 billion for both the infrastructure enhancements the region needs – including road repair, public transit improvement and traffic congestion relief – and for the preservation and conservation of natural areas that make San Diego County so special.

Commentary - in-story logoMeasure A will place $2 billion directly into the protection of lands that are important for nature. I work with The Nature Conservancy, and for over 20 years the organization has worked with the county, the state and many other agencies and groups to establish a network of nature reserves in San Diego County. With the support of San Diego residents, the conservancy and its partners have permanently protected natural areas that are important for wildlife, recreation and for maintaining the scenic quality of San Diego County. A lot has been achieved, but more work is needed.

Measure A will continue to invest in protecting San Diego County’s natural areas. It will provide funding to manage and protect areas against wildfires, helping to reduce the loss of life and property, and it will help protect the water quality of our rivers, oceans and groundwater by ensuring the proper treatment of toxic runoff from our roadways.

As I look around our communities, I see that multiple improvements are needed. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding, these improvements are never realized. SANDAG estimates Measure A will direct $18 billion into planning and implementation of beneficial projects for San Diego communities.

A transparent process to use the funds will give the public the opportunity to see how Measure A projects will be implemented. Every project will be clearly listed online, and an independent citizen advisory team will be assembled to ensure all funds are spent responsibly. Annual independent audits of the spending will also be openly posted online.

We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

With the combined investments in infrastructure projects and nature, Measure A’s initiatives will meet the needs of people, plants and animals so that San Diego County continues to function as a healthy and livable community.

Measure A will help make San Diego County a place where people and wildlife thrive. When open space is protected, then urban growth happens in places that maintain the quality of life San Diego residents value. Housing and jobs are located where they are needed and where they are supported by much-needed transit and infrastructure, in turn, decreasing greenhouse gases.

Investing in habitat protection, transit, traffic congestion relief and water quality will aid in improving our community, our environment and our air quality. All residents in San Diego County are a part of an environmental system. Our jobs, quality of life and the environment are connected.

Cara Lacey is the project director for the Connected Lands Program with The Nature Conservancy. Lacey’s commentary has been edited for style and clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us what to check out here.

    This article relates to: 2016 Elections, Opinion, SANDAG

    Written by Opinion

    Op-eds and Letters to the Editor on the issues that matter in San Diego. Have something to say? Submit a commentary.

    Walt Brewer
    Walt Brewer subscribermember

    Measure A spends about $8 billion to help install a $40billion mass transit overlay of the region's landscape with bus and trolley lines. It uses neatly 50% of capital funds, but absorbs less than 10% of travel growth. Thus the long range $203 billion Regional  Plan does not improve time getting to work as fuel waste  congestion continues.

    Just a one mpg improvement in motor vehicles saves as much fuel as the added mass transit uses. They save 2.5 million gallons of fuel daily; 60 times mass transit saving.

    How is all this mass transit spending helping the environment?

    Vote NO on Measure A.

    barb graham
    barb graham subscriber

    Prop A reminds me of throwing spaghetti pasta at a wall. It has no focus, mentions a bunch of vague benefits, and offers nothing tangible.

    You want to protect our dwindling natural habitats, write a law specifically dealing with that. This thing is all over the place. 

    I won't be voting for it.

    Mark Giffin
    Mark Giffin subscribermember

    I will be voting no on A. Space preservation has nothing to do with infrastructure. It is should be a separate stand alone initiative.

    the other reason for my no vote is the heavy weight on public transit projects and the under weight on highway improvements. they are backwards imho

    From the VOSD ultimate guide the appropriations are as follows...

    "The measure would raise about $18.2 billion over the next 40 years. Roughly 42 percent of that would go to public transit projects; 14 percent to highway improvements; 30 percent to individual cities to spend on local infrastructure; 11 percent to open space preservation and 3 percent to walking and biking projects."

    John H Borja
    John H Borja subscriber

    Measure will NOT improve the quality of life in San Diego. What ever expenditure of money is anticipated will not nearly improve the amount of mass transit.  Widening freeways will only beckon even more traffic and rush hour traffic gridlock will not be abated. All you have to do is travel the I-405 between Irvine and I-10 and your own eyes will see that more freeway space is not the answer. 

      Also, there is a civil rights issue at stake. Measure "A" is targeting low income neighborhoods along I-5 from Logan Heights to San Ysidro with neighborhood destruction.

    The highway people already did that in Barrio Logan and City Heights by eminent domain. 

    Would the people of Rancho Santa Fe agree to 12 lanes of traffic that cut through their 4 million dollar homes and into Fairbanks Ranch? I think....NOT!

        First we have to stop extremely poor planning like in Chula Vista that did not provide for mass transit. How can Chula Vista pump for a major university when it can't handle the parking and the traffic for little ole Southwestern College?

        No, Measure "A" will not adequately address the quality of life of about 1 million people. Do we need more parks? Of course!

    But, do we need more highways and parking lots to get to the parks?  No!