On the evening of June 2, the VTA Board of Directors will vote on whether or not to put a 1/2-cent, 30-year transportation sales tax on the November ballot in Santa Clara County. SVBC will be there to support the measure, as outlined in this VTA staff report.

Over the past three years, SVBC has been heavily involved in the process to develop the proposed measure, known as Envision Silicon Valley. We discussed the measure with our three Santa Clara County Local Teams, as well as our Policy Advisory Committee. We sent out two surveys on the issue, asking what kinds of bike and pedestrian projects our members and others would like to see in such a measure. And we’ve spent many hours in stakeholder meetings, committee meetings, public workshops, and one-on-one discussions with policymakers, advocacy groups, and community members.

We feel that the end result is a balanced measure that addresses the transportation and environmental challenges faced in Santa Clara County. Specific to the bicycle and pedestrian aspects of the proposal, we stand to win on two fronts:

  1. A specific funding category dedicated to bike and pedestrian projects and
  2. Additional funding in the form of Complete Streets requirements attached to the Local Roads, Expressways, and Highway Interchanges categories.

The first category, a proposed $250 million share, will improve the built environment for people on bikes and on foot in the form of new trails and safe connections across freeways and other barriers. The second will weave bicycle and pedestrian facilities throughout the roadway network, resulting in safe and comfortable active transportation options to billions of dollars worth of projects.

There were, of course, compromises made in the crafting of this proposal. There were many needs and desires for transportation improvements, and a finite amount of money. But the proposed measure will go a long way to upgrading and improving our existing transportation network while also creating new and improved options for getting around and through the county.

If you’d like to participate, you can share your thoughts in person (meeting details below) or email your feedback to board.secretary@vta.org

Meeting details:

VTA Board of Directors

June 2, 2016

5:30 PM

Board of Supervisors’ Chambers

County Government Center

70 West Hedding Street

San Jose, CA 95110