Editor, Santa Barbara News Press
On June 15th the board of supervisors approved a budget for measure D transportation funds which included no funding for alternative transportation.
I voted for Measure D only because about a third of the description in the ballot described how it would fund alternative transportation projects. Specifically listed were bike projects.
At that it was still a difficult call; would my family come out ahead if both bike paths and, for example, wider freeway interchanges were constructed? Most car-oriented "improvements" are car magnets which help fuel Santa Barbara's transportation death spiral (four hundred percent traffic increase with twenty percent population increase), a spiral which is dragging everything else down with it.
Needless to say, I am feeling I've been had. If some motorist runs over my bicycle, 100% of the sales tax on the replacement will go towards speeding up their drive?
Meanwhile, there are many urgently needed bicycle projects in the Goleta Transportation Improvement Plan and in other County plans that have no funding. Measure D was pitched as a funding source for alternative transportation and this promise should be honored.
Bicycle freeway crossings, for example the Ellwood Pedestrian/Bicycle crossing should be first in line for those Measure D funds, as there is no other funding source on the horizon, and these are desperately needed to mitigate the car-magnet projects, including the Measure D-funded ones which I feel tricked into voting for.
A commitment should be entered into which guarantees a minimum percentage of Measure D funding will go to bike, pedestrian and transit projects. 30% was the impression the "bait and switch" ballot language implied...check it out.
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