Thursday, October 16, 2008

Measure AAARRRR

It doesn't look very good down there. Given California needs 66% of the vote on these types of measures (dumbest rules ever) everyone pretty much has to be on board except for the always wacko. What happens then is one constituency can hold the whole process hostage to get what they want. That is what happens in the state legislature all the time for the budget. A few people get to hold the rest of the state hostage. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. If this goes down, I don't see a replay in a year like Seattle. And it will be a long time to wait and much more expensive for important projects like the Subway to the Sea.

10 comments:

295bus said...

Isn't it a little nuts that it takes a 2/3 vote get a new tax but just 50% to sell bonds?

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Yeah the whole system is a little nuts. All of these measures make my head hurt.

arcady said...

What they seem to be forgetting is that each transit trip has not just an origin but also a destination, and that many of the destinations just so happen to be in places like Wilshire Blvd and Downtown LA. It's not enough to just have a rail line in your community, it has to actually go somewhere meaningful too, and Measure R would do a lot to improve the network in that respect. And besides, the MTA will realize sooner or later that they have nowhere to put their light rail trains, and that they have to build the Gold Line extension just for the yard in Irwindale that it includes.

Jon said...

the 2/3rd majority killed sonoma marin SMART rail in 2006, i believe it got approval in the low to mid 60%. its on the ballot again this year. (i might add marin is just like berkeley in thinking they are so socially conscious and green and yet anti-transit).

has anyone seen recent polls for some of the key ballot measures effecting transit? i'm wondering about CA HSR in particular and also SMART rail

this page lists the measures:
http://www.cfte.org/success/2006BallotMeasures.asp
(dont mind the 2006 in the url, its all about 2008)

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Yeah I remember Smart. That was the dumbest thing I ever heard when I first found out it lost with 62% of the vote. Insane! I'm going to be liveblogging all the transit results on election night that are on that list Jon. Stay tuned.

arcady said...

SMART was an interesting proposal, but I can see why it didn't get enough support in Marin, given that it would probably mostly end up taking Sonoma residents to jobs in Marin, and not Marin residents to jobs in SF. It would go well with an electric rail system, probably some kind of light rail, from San Rafael along the existing right of way to Sausalito, and over the bridge into SF. Incidentally, Marin actually did have such a system until I think the 30s or 40s, with third-rail electric trains running to the ferry at Sausalito.

Jon said...

the smart line would allow for a transfer to the larkspur ferry which goes straight into the ferry building in SF. i imagine it would be somewhat like the hoboken terminal in NJ as a big ferry and train transfer. having the rail line go any further south would be difficult and expensive especially if it went across the golden gate.

i've seen old videos of the old northwestern pacific interurban system and its sad to see such an extensive and well built system live such a short life, it was definitely ahead of its time.

arcady said...

Both SMART and the PE were in a way ahead of their time: the populations (and densities) of both areas have increased significantly since then, while the populations in the traditional transit cities like NYC or Chicago have stayed flat or decreased.

Jon said...

Correction to my post about Larkspur... there would be a free shuttle bus between the station and ferry in Larkspur (a negative) but it does also look to be a fairly easy walk, walk thru the ferry parking lot and across a major street (a positive). But nothing like the seamless transfer in Hoboken or the old Oakland Mole. As a side note this is where there is/was a noted wooden trestle that remained until fairly recently, it featured prominently into the ending of the movie "Dirty Harry". Hopefully if this thing passes, the Larkspur station will be built somewhat temporarily so that it can be extended about a block length or two into the ferry terminal parking lot in the future. As far as I am concerned this is a critical connection that must be easy and seamless and with it I believe it will attract many more passengers particularly those occassional Marin or Sonoma riders using it for a day trip into SF or sightseers in SF going on a day trip through Marin and Sonoma.

Jon said...

I finf it odd that so few new transit lines have been built in the traditional transit cities of NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco. New lines would be so effective in any of these cities and yet the new lines seem to be built in every other region in the country especially the emerging sunbelt cities.