Voters say YES to bridge tolls, libraries, parks, and affordable housing

On last Tuesday’s primary election day, all of the ballot measures Bike East Bay endorsed passed and will improve our East Bay communities in the coming years. Thanks to your support, our transportation system, local libraries, parks and affordable housing will get a much-needed boost in the coming years.

RM3 to Fund Transportation Improvements

Bike East Bay endorsed Regional Measure 3, a bridge toll increase that focuses on transit funding and provides $150 million to walking and bicycling projects as part of our Safe Routes to Transit program. Voters gave a solid thumbs up, with 54% yes votes. Alameda, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties carried the win with higher percentages of “yes” votes, while Contra Costa showed only 44% support. As RM3 is an all-or-nothing Bay Area-wide measure, all bridge users will pay the toll increase and all communities will benefit from projects. Bike East Bay staff will meet soon with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to finalize details of how this money will be spent and expect to help award funding to the first round of projects by end of 2019.

Emeryville Voters Say Yes to Affordable Housing

In Emeryville, Measure C for affordable housing passed. This ambitious $50 million affordable housing parcel tax will allow more people to live closer to where they work, shortening their commutes and making their trips more walkable and bikeable.

Oakland Supports Public Libraries

In Oakland, libraries will receive an additional $10 million per year to fund after-school programs, thanks to voters giving Measure D strong support. We endorsed Measure D because Oakland’s libraries are super bike-friendly and host many free bike education opportunities and bike community-building programs, including Bike East Bay classes and events. “We get to continue promoting people over things and being a service to neighborhood kids in need of positive after-school activities,” says RB, Scraper Bike Team President and Oakland Library Aide working on Bikes to Books. “And we get to fix more flats!”

Proposition 68 for Parks 

Statewide, Proposition 68 passed, approving a comprehensive parks and open space bond. We expect Prop 68 to fund some bike infrastructure improvements, in addition to expanding open spaces and enhancing watersheds. Prop 68 is setting a new standard with its built-in focus on equity, committing to bringing green spaces to low-income and park-poor communities.

What’s Next

Bike East Bay is thrilled that parks, libraries, affordable housing, and transportation did well at the ballot box this June. Looking forward, the results of this election influence the upcoming election in November. Having both a Democrat and a Republican candidate in the governor’s race should increase turnout. Bike East Bay is concerned that this higher turnout will be a challenge for Senate Bill 1 (SB1), passed last year as a much-needed gas tax increase to fix crumbling roads and bridges, and doubling the Active Transportation Program for walking and bicycling. SB1 is facing a repeal vote this fall due to a push from conservatives in Southern California. Bike East Bay supports keeping SB1 alive, and takes no position on any candidates for office, including the governor’s race.