Coalition forms to support Bay Area traffic relief measure

in Community/Infrastructure

The Bay Area’s major urban planning organizations are throwing their support behind a planned June ballot measure that aims to increase bridge tolls to fund significant traffic relief projects, such as the proposed project to run commuter trains across the Dumbarton Bridge, as well as BART expansion.

Announced Thursday, the new coalition featuring the Bay Area Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) launched a campaign to promote Regional Measure 3 (RM3) as integral to the Bay Area’s transportation future.

RM3 is a response to worsening traffic Bay Area-wide, where congestion has increased by 80-percent since 2010, according to an MTC report released last fall.

RM3 seeks to gradually increase bridge tolls by $3 by 2025 for all Bay Area bridges except for the Golden Gate Bridge. The measure would raise $4.5 billion in investments that would “clear highway bottlenecks, expand and modernize BART, bus and ferry transit services, and dramatically improve connections between buses, trains and bikes,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council.

On Jan. 24, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is scheduled to vote on whether to ask supervisors of Bay Area counties to place RM3 on the June ballot.

Carl Guardino, CEO of Silicon Valley Leadership Group, applauded the MTC’s push for the June ballot measure, calling traffic congestion a regional problem requiring regional solutions.

SPUR President and CEO Gabriel Metcalf agreed projects funded by the new revenue would fundamentally improve the way people get around the Bay Area.

To see a list of projects that funded by RM3, click here.