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San Diego’s Transportation Funding Up In The Air After Tax Measure's Defeat

San Diego’s Transportation Funding Up In The Air
San Diego’s Transportation Funding Up In The Air GUESTS: Colin Parent, policy director, Circulate San Diego Nicole Capretz, executive director, Climate Action Campaign

Advocates of sending a measure a were hopeful but not overly optimistic about the chances of getting the two thirds approval they needed for voters. The sales tax proposed by Santaquin to paid for decades worth of highway and transportation projects in the region. The measure fell short eating only 50 per destiny 77 -- 57% of the vote. Joining me is Colin Parent, tranny -- trend eight. And Nicole Capretz is here. She opposed measure a. Welcome to the program. Thank you. Measure a full shore in San Diego but across the country many other cities from LA to Atlanta did approve local transit measures. What you think sending a voters were not convinced about measure a quick I think the big problem with San Diego and measure eight is lack of political consensus among the various organizations and leaders for how to move transportation forward. We've had opposition from left and the environmental community and also from the anti-tax fraud. That is a pretty powerful coalition. I want to ask you both without the money generated by the sales tax advocates of measure a said it would be impossible for the city of San Diego to meet the climate action goals by 2035 because there's no money for the public transit infrastructure. We need to reach those goals do you agree with that quick It is probably accurate in order to achieve the goals we are going to have to see improvements to transportation that is the transit and a lot of that will take money. Is not to say that the city cannot make contributions to the on its own but the big ticket items like new bus lines those are things that are going to have to be a part of the regional effort. Nicole, do you agree with that assessment that is impossible for the city of San Diego to reach the goals that you were so key and trying to get the city to adopt if measure a failed. So do you agree with that assessment? Guess. -- Yes. It revealed those results and we were trying to convey to the board at that time was we need to tweak this measure so we are giving the city of San Diego the investments and needs to hit the goals but the city is first out of the gate in adopting a climate plan so now we have other cities that will be in the same predicament so we are seeing let's slow down here and not put the carpet before the horse and identify a transportation system that serve the needs of all the community members and all the families in San Diego. So regional transportation planners now have to go back to square one and figure out a new way to pay for infrastructure and transit projects. What are some of the possible options? It's only been a week since election and we have it met to discuss where the coalition want to go but the good news is that we have a broad-based coalition that want to stick together and find solutions. We will evaluate all the options from the state level to the local level going back to Sendak. It was an example of what the options could be. The city of San Diego can have their same transportation measure. We can go to the state of California and look at reforming them in some way. There's a lot of options but we haven't had the opportunities to see what makes the most sense. We are in the process of doing that. It sounds like some of those options take a long time. What is the timeframe on getting another measure like measure eight or something like it to the voters so that San Diego can move forward on these transportation issues? Transportation planning takes a long time. These are decisions that are made on decking scales. In order for Sandag to do another ballot measure you want a presidential election and have high progressive turnout and then you also need to make sure that there's a good economy. Those things have to happen at the same time. The last time we had the opportunity was in 2000 for, which is when the ballot measure was passed. We may have 12 years to wait before there is an opportunity to do something on a regionwide level. Perhaps if there is a change in the threshold by which voters will approve revenue, you may see something happen in the near term if there is about measure that could be done on a sub regional measure within that jurisdiction's of MTS, maybe we can do something earlier. We have every reason to think it will be a decade before we see more investment for transit. I guess I would tell and set. I'm not as pessimistic on that front because I think don't forget there's a citizens initiative and to have the same threshold at least right now in the legal world. We will see how that shakes out. Also like I said we have the cities that will be under the gun to identify ways to reduce the carbon footprint at the Volvo modern transportation system that meets the needs of all the families. I think you will see a lot of motivation and prioritizing transportation in a way that we haven't seen before. Were hopping these things will galvanize in a way that we can bring the measure for sure. Most transportation projects rely on matching state and federal funds pick up what you think a Trump presidency will me for transportation funding in general? That is a great question. None of us really know how that is going to pan out. I believe that it is so hard to say but I believe he said the infrastructure is a priority. So potentially there would be still finding because there are jobs that can be created so it could be a possibility that will still have dollars to be able to take advantage of, but I don't know. Clearly Donald Trump is a leader. It is unclear whether or not an infrastructure proposal from that ministration is passed by Congress will have any dollars for it for public transportation. Will have money for highways? Sure. Is going to have it for the kind of projects that we need in our region? Who knows. I want to thank you both in taking part of this measure. I -- I have been speaking with Colin Parent , training and Nicole Capretz, executive director, Climate Action Campaign. Thank you so much.

Last week, San Diego County voters rejected the San Diego Association of Government's Measure A.

The half-cent sales tax increase would have paid for transportation, infrastructure and open-space projects in the region. But it fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass.


Conservatives and liberals were split over Measure A, which was expected to pay for a $200 billion transportation plan.

But now that it’s been defeated, where will the money to to pay for local roads and public transit come from? And what might a Trump presidency mean for U.S. transportation policy?

Newly elected La Mesa City Councilmember Colin Parent, policy director at the transportation advocacy group Circulate San Diego, and Nicole Capretz, executive director of the nonprofit Climate Action Campaign, join KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday.