• $600 Million for Cycling in Alameda County, California Misses by 0.14%

    by  • November 18, 2012 • Bicycle Friendly Places • 0 Comments

    It needed 66.67% (2/3rds) to pass.  But it got 66.53%.

    A measure to double Alameda County‘s transportation sales tax to a full 1 cent and use the proceeds to fund a variety of transportation improvements, including over $600 million dollars dedicated to walking and bicycling,  came agonizingly close to passage, but ultimately failed at the polls by just a few hundred votes out of 600,000 votes cast.

    With all precincts and both provisional and mail-in ballots now counted, Measure B1 garnered 65.53% of the vote — just 0.14% short of the 66.67% or two-thirds majority needed to pass.

    The measure would have made the sales tax permanent and would have raised $7.8 billion over 30 years to boost spending on roads, freeways, public transit and transit-oriented developments.  Over $600 million of the revenue would have been specifically dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

    All that is left is for the Registrar’s Office to conduct their usual 1% validity check, and then certify the election, by Dec 3. County officials are weighing options for possibly requesting a full recount, or bringing the Measure back to voters in the next two years, with modifications to address some concerns.

    (Alameda County, California has a population (1.2 million) similar to Delaware (0.9 million).  In California, county governments play an important role in transportation.  That is not true in Delaware.)


    • Measure B1 Comes Up 0.14% Shy of Victory (East Bay Bicycle Coalition)


    James Wilson is the executive director of Bike Delaware. He is a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (by whom he was named the 2014 Professional of the Year, Nonprofit Sector), the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Delaware Bicycle Council. He is the co-chair of the policy committee of the Advisory Council on Walkability and Pedestrian Awareness and serves on the board of directors of the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance. He holds engineering degrees from Yale University and the University of Texas at Austin and is the only registered lobbyist for cycling and walking in Delaware. He helped create, and continues to lead Bike Delaware's participation in, the Walkable Bikeable Delaware campaign. During his tenure as Bike Delaware's executive director, Delaware advanced in the national Bicycle Friendly State rankings for five years in a row, farther and faster than any other state, ever.

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