Post-election counting widens RM3 margin

The votes counted after Election day have swung more in support of Regional Measure 3. Recent reports from all counties other than Sonoma (shown in yellow) have updated their election night results. The margin of victory has widened to 10 points. This margin came entirely from Santa Clara and San Franciso Counties, neither of which uses bridges much.

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Election night results for RM3

With 100% of precincts reporting, Regional Measure 3 won by a margin of 7 points: 53.66% to 46.34%. The most striking number, other than the much lower-than-predicted margin of victory, is that Santa Clara and San Francisco Counties together provided 130% of the winning vote margin. Without those two counties, the measure to impose higher bridge tolls would have failed. The fact that these two counties have low levels of bridge use suggests that serious constitutional violations have occurred. We are investigating remedies.

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RM3’s claim of reduced traffic is misleading

Was the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) lying to the public when it wrote the ballot language for Regional Measure 3? The measure’s principal claim is that it will “reduce auto and truck traffic.” A leading opponent of Regional Measure 3, TRANSDEF, with deep familiarity with MTC’s planning documents, knew that MTC’s Regional Transportation Plan for 2040 projected a 44% increase in hours of congestion delay and a 21% increase in driving. These figures suggest that claims of traffic reduction were knowingly false. TRANSDEF filed a Public Records Act request on May 9, 2018 asking for: Any studies or analysis demonstrating…

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TRANSDEF on KSRO Radio

TRANSDEF’s David Schonbrunn was on Santa Rosa radio station KSRO to talk about Regional Measure 3. Leading off the segment was a discussion with Jake Mackenzie, a Rohnert Park Councilman and the current chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (the MTC in OccupyMTC). In his segment (the lower of the two audio players on the KSRO page), Schonbrunn addressed sprawl growth, Sonoma’s big climate and congestion challenge for the future, and urged a shift of future development to sites near good transit service.

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KPIX Poll Shows Bridge Toll Hike Measure Facing Uphill Battle

A news story on KPIX-TV showed an RM3 commercial in the background, while delivering poll results: According to the exclusive KPIX 5 Survey USA Poll, 40 percent of Bay Area voters support the plan, while 34 percent are against it. Another 26 percent respondents said they weren’t sure. That support is a lot softer than earlier polling, which had made MTC confident enough to try pushing the toll hikes. Host Phil Matier pointed out the overt contradiction between the claim that the measure’s added public transit will reduce traffic and real-world experience: An interesting pitch, considering the poll shows that after all…

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Marin Independent Journal Publishes TRANSDEF Opinion Piece

Today’s Marin Independent Journal published TRANSDEF’s piece explaining how suburban development leads to solo driving, which leads to congestion. This problem is the result of our governance structure: Suburbanization is a piecemeal process, governed by local government. What’s been missed for the past 80 years is the cumulative effect of many thousands of subdivisions in dozens of jurisdictions on the region’s transportation network. That kind of analysis requires regional governance with the power and will to enforce consequences on development that has negative impacts on the region. The editorials opposing Regional Measure 3 by the Mountain View Voice and Palo…

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Mountain View Voice Opposes RM3

The Mountain View Voice published a strong editorial yesterday opposing Regional Measure 3. Its key statement: RM3’s toll increases, along with the implementation of inflation escalators, ask for too much and attempt to leverage the public’s frustration over bad traffic to disproportionately penalize bridge commuters, a small fraction of voters and therefore an easy target. Bay Area business leaders and their advocacy organizations such as Silicon Valley Leadership Group need to work more on the root cause of our transportation problems — the continued approvals of new commercial development on the Peninsula without the housing needed to accommodate the employees. The…

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Press Democrat Publishes TRANSDEF Opinion Piece

Today’s Press Democrat carries an opinion piece by TRANSDEF that characterizes Sonoma County’s push for highway widening as no longer appropriate: What the supporters of Regional Measure 3 on the June 5 ballot are missing is that the world has changed in two critical ways. Highway widening, the go-to solution of the past, is now recognized as only a short-term fix. … More than 60 percent of Sonoma County’s greenhouse gases come from motor vehicles. Instead, it suggests that the Sonoma County Transportation Authority needs to make shared travel its top priority, replacing solo driving as the default commute mode.

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Peninsula Papers Call RM3 Unfair

In editorial positions that strikingly diverge from the larger newspapers, the San Mateo Daily Journal and Palo Alto Daily Post came out with editorials yesterday opposed to Regional Measure 3.  The Daily Journal captured the heart of the equity issue: A small group of commuters should not be burdened with the cost of transportation improvements that only have a rough connection to the bridges they cross. The rationale reveals a certain amount of creep from the original intent of the tolls, and also a political tactic to get those who do not use the bridges to stick the cost of congestion relief…

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