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It’s high-stakes campaign time, and you’re inundated with conflicting ballot arguments. Measure A is no exception. These are the progressive, environmental, verifiable facts about Measure A, the San Diego Association of Governments’ proposal to levy a half-cent sales tax to fund transportation, infrastructure and open-space projects across the county.
Measure A would fund the most progressive transportation plan in the state of California in reducing greenhouse gases, significantly exceeding state targets into 2020 and 2035.
Fully 42 percent of the measure’s funds will be spent to advance transit in the region. In contrast, 3 percent of the measure would be spent on general purpose lanes – by any progressive measure, this is a significant shift toward getting people out of their cars and into transit alternatives. The signature project of Measure A is a new $4.4 billion transit line from San Ysidro to Kearny Mesa – getting residents who live south of I-8 to job centers and providing huge relief to the nightmare I-805 commute.
On day one, the funding would increase frequency on existing transit lines, reducing the wait time between cars for the commuters already using the system. Additionally, the measure would add new rail stops at Camp Pendleton and Del Mar Fairgrounds and Bus Rapid Transit lanes connecting commuters all over the county to job centers. BRT is a critical, functional gear in the overall transit system.
A whopping $540 million would be invested in bike and pedestrian improvements, including bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks and projects such as underpasses that separate trains and trolleys from bike and pedestrian crossings.
Measure A would provide $2 billion in funding for science-based conservation for the region. No regional funding measure in the country would provide this level of conservation funding.
This funding would be also be used to protect over 100 sensitive plants and animals and their habitats in the San Diego region. It would protect species in dire need of this funding like the golden eagle, quino checkerspot butterfly, coastal cactus wren, Hermes copper butterfly and western pond turtle.
A no vote on Measure A will ensure more congestion, increased greenhouse gases and climate impacts, plus no new transit or habitat funding.
A yes vote on Measure A quantifiably ensures a best-in-state reduction in climate change impacts, creates much-needed new transit and unprecedented conservation funding.
Michael Beck is the director of the Endangered Habitats League. Beck’s commentary has been edited for style and clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us what to check out here.