White Paper: Anatomy of Ballot Measure – Analysis of the Transit Elements in SANDAG’s Proposed 2016 Ballot Measure Expenditure Plans
Today, Circulate San Diego is releasing a white paper analyzing the evolution of the transit and active transportation components of SANDAG's potential 2016 ballot measure.
This analysis was generated initially for internal purposes by Circulate San Diego staff and volunteers. The purpose of this memorandum is not for Circulate San Diego to speak in favor or against any ballot funding scenario. Instead, by publishing this information, it is our hope this analysis will help inform decisionmakers, advocates, the public, and the press. We aim to help develop a more broad understanding of SANDAG’s processes, priorities, and constraints.
Released with this document is an electronic appendix, which compares each of the various ballot expenditure plans side by side. Circulate San Diego also calculated the expected service dates for the various transit projects in each expenditure plan, based on the data SANDAG released.
Why transit advocates may not support a Quality of Life measure in 2016.
Part 5 of our series discusses why transit advocates may not support a Quality of Life measure in 2016.
As we begin, we should remind readers that Circulate San Diego is predisposed to support a Quality of Life measure. SANDAG is likely to include substantial funding in such a measure for transit operations, and may also fund bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure.
However, transit advocates including Circulate San Diego, may not support a 2016 measure if it does not have the effect of advancing transit and active transportation projects earlier than is contemplated by SANDAG’s recently-adopted Regional Plan. Advocates like Circulate San Diego opposed the 2015 Regional Plan. If the Quality of Life measure merely funds that plan, as-is, then it would not make much sense for transit advocates to support it. As discussed in the prior post, a Quality of Life measure has the ability to advance transit projects. So that means that advocates have a very reasonable case to require Quality of Life to advance transit, and would be wise to say “no” to Quality of Life if transit were not advanced.Read more
Quality of Life: How a Quality of Life measure can advance transit and active transportation projects
This is Part 4 of a series on a potential 2016 Quality of Life measure.
As discussed in the prior post, advocates for transit want any Quality of Life measure to advance the construction of transit and active transportation projects into periods earlier than are contemplated by SANDAG’s 2015 Regional Plan.
For many transit advocates, the primary objection to SANDAG’s regional planning efforts is the timeline in which transit and active transportation projects are scheduled to come online. They do not object to the transit projects planned, only the long wait to see them completed.
If the region adopts a Quality of Life measure, there are a variety of ways in which it might accelerate transit construction. This post reviews some of the options.Read more
Quality of Life: What to expect in a Quality of Life measure – Part B
This is Part 3 of a series of blog posts from Circulate San Diego about a potential 2016 Quality of Life measure.
The prior post covered a variety of likely uses from a region-wide Quality of Life measure. This post will review a number of other potential uses.Read more
Quality of Life: What to expect in a Quality of Life measure – Part A
This is Part 2 of a series of blog posts from Circulate San Diego about a potential 2016 Quality of Life measure.
It will be some time before SANDAG decides whether and how to move forward with a Quality of Life measure in 2016. However, there are some useful clues that can help advocates and the public understand what elements SANDAG is likely to include in a region-wide measure.
A Quality of Life measure is likely to generate approximately $26 billion over 40 years. SANDAG assumes in their 2015 regional plan that voters will approve a quarter cent sales tax, over 30 years, which would generate $10 billion. As explained below, SANDAG plans to spend that $10 billion on transit operations. However, SANDAG’s public board discussions and their recent polling have contemplated a half-cent sales tax over a 40-year period. Combined, that will mean a total of $26 billion raised over 40 years, and $16 billion in projects SANDAG can fund, above and beyond what their current Regional Plan already includes.
The below discussion outlines a variety of uses SANDAG may have for Quality of Life revenue. While estimated figures for each use are listed where available, the ultimate mix of projects and programs have not yet been finalized by the SANDAG board.Read more
Quality of Life: How San Diego funds transportation with self-help tax measures
This is Part 1 of a series of blog posts from Circulate San Diego about a potential 2016 Quality of Life measure.
The San Diego region already passed two tax measures to fund transportation and other expenditures. The first measure was titled “TrasNet,” and it was adopted in 1988. It included a half cent region-wide sales tax and provisions for a variety of projects that the tax measure would fund. The second measure was called the “TransNet Extension,” and it extended the original measure for 40 years, and it amended the list of projects to be completed. Around the office at Circulate San Diego, we like to call 1998’s TransNet as “TransNet 1.0,” and the 2004 Extension as “TransNet 2.0.”
There has been some talk about renaming a future tax measure often called Quality of Life to “Forward San Diego,” or with some other catchy or descriptive title. Regardless of how it’s captioned on the ballot, it might be useful to think of a new region-wide revenue measure as “TransNet 3.0.”Read more
Quality of Life – A blog series from Circulate San Diego
Today, Circulate San Diego will begin publishing series of posts from our Policy Counsel Colin Parent about the proposed Quality of Life measure in 2016.
“Quality of Life,” or “QoL” for short, is a region-wide sales tax measure being contemplated by SANDAG, the region’s transportation and land use planning agency, made up by the County of San Diego and the various cities within it.
This series is intended to provide some basic background information about how the region funds transportation programs, and how a new ballot measure could improve transportation choices into the future.Read more
Policy Letter: Final Comments Regarding 2015 Draft Regional Plan
Unfortunately, we must recommend that SANDAG Board members vote against adoption of the 2015 Draft Regional Plan in its current form because it does not adequately advance transit and active transportation projects.
Despite these differences, Circulate San Diego believes that the SANDAG Board can and should move forward with a region-wide Quality of Life revenue measure in 2016 that includes provisions and funding to advance transit and active transportation projects. [PDF]
Report: TransNet Today
On July 15, 2015, Circulate San Diego published "TransNet Today: Keeping faith with the voters while achieving the region's transportation goals."
This report makes the following findings:
(1) SANDAG’s Draft 2015 Regional Plan is inadequately designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote health, equity, and economic development.
(2) SANDAG must shift priorities toward transit and active transportation to maintain the region’s ability to compete for federal and state transportation funds.
(3) SANDAG has the flexibility to advance a number of transit and active transportation projects in the Regional Plan without needing to amend TransNet.
As SANDAG makes its plans to invest in the future of San Diego’s transportation system, it faces the same challenges that other regions throughout the state and the country are grappling with including maintaining rapidly aging infrastructure, serving the changing needs and preferences of residents, and addressing sustainability, health, the economy, and equity.
Read the report here.
Policy Letter: Comments on SANDAG's 2015 Draft Regional Plan
Summary of Letter:
Circulate San Diego is asking the SANDAG Board to make modest, valuable, and achievable changes to the 2015 Draft Regional Plan to improve transportation and land uses in the region. Our request is organized around five main ideas.
1. Circulate San Diego cannot support a Regional Plan that would prevent the region from reaching the GHG reduction goals in Governor’s Executive Order S-3-05.
2. Circulate San Diego is not asking TransNet to be amended.
3. For San Diego to remain competitive with State and Federal funding, it must accelerate early transit and active transportation projects.
4. SANDAG has a variety of mechanisms available to pay for the advancement of transit and active transportation.
5. Circulate San Diego would support a Regional Plan that advances key projects that benefit the region.