Voters weigh in on transportation issues

By Keith Goble
state legislative editor


On Nov. 2, voters in several states had their say on various transportation-related initiatives. Here is a state-by-state breakdown of how some of those initiatives fared on Election Day.


Amendment 3: Statewide
Sought to amend state Constitution to allow $1 billion during the next decade to be rerouted from a state savings account for roads and bridges. The state’s 67 counties and their cities would have divided $25 million annually. Another $75 million each year would have been routed to ALDOT...FAILED


Proposition 400: Tucson
Asked whether to increase the city sales tax by one-half percent. The estimated $40 million earned annually would have applied toward core services, such as police, fire, transportation, transit and parks and recreation...FAILED


Proposition 21: Statewide
Would have applied $18 a year vehicle license fee increase to raise about $500 million annually for state parks. Vehicles excluded from the surcharge would have included large trucks. About $130 million the state now spends on state parks would have been rerouted to the state’s general fund...FAILED

Proposition 22: Statewide
Prohibits the state from taking or borrowing local government and transportation funds under any circumstances. Among the funds that will be off-limits to the state are fuel taxes dedicated to transportation and transit improvements, local government property taxes for public safety, and the portion of the diesel tax dedicated to public transit...APPROVED

Proposition 23: Statewide
Sought to suspend a law that allows CARB to create many new regulations, including several trucking regulations aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions, such as the state’s drayage rule, and truck retrofit rule.
Implementation of the law would have been tied to California’s unemployment rate. The emissions requirement would have been suspended until the unemployment rate is 5.5 percent or less for a full year...FAILED

Measure K: Anaheim
Prohibits the Anaheim City Council from enacting an ordinance to permit or authorize any red-light camera or other automated traffic enforcement system. Voters would have to decide whether to change the rule...APPROVED

Measure F: Alameda County
Increases vehicle registration fee by $10 to raise about $11 million each year with 60 percent of the county’s revenue earmarked for roads.   
Another 25 percent will be used for congestion relief work. Another 10 percent will help make technology improvements at traffic signals. The rest of the money will be used on projects that include crosswalks, sidewalks and lighting...APPROVED

Measure O: Contra Costa County
Called for increasing vehicle registration fee by $10. Slightly more than 70 percent of the estimated $8.5 million per year generated by the fee would have been used on roads...FAILED

Measure B: Marin County
Increases vehicle registration fee by $10. Roads will get 40 percent of the anticipated $2 million a year in revenue, transit will get 35 percent, and another 25 percent will be used to address projects related to climate change and pollution...APPROVED

Measure AA: San Francisco County
Authorizes vehicle registration fee to increase $10. The estimated $5 million a year will be used for congestion mitigation, street and road repairs, and to improve transit and pedestrian and biking routes...APPROVED

Measure M: San Mateo County
Increases vehicle registration fee by $10. Projected to raise about $7 million a year, the revenue will be split between cities and the county. Allowable uses of the funds for cities are roadwork and transit...APPROVED

Measure B: Santa Clara County
Increases vehicle registration fee by $10. About 80 percent of the estimated $14 million generated will go for roads. Another 15 percent will be designated for other transportation-related projects...APPROVED

Measure W: Sonoma County
Sought to increase vehicle registration fee by $10 in order to raise another $5 million annually for transportation. The biggest benefactor of the increase would have been local bus systems – 60 percent of revenue. Another 23 percent would have been put to roads...FAILED


Amendment 61: Statewide
Called for local governments to get voter approval to borrow, require debt to be repaid within 10 years, and prohibit borrowing by the state government...FAILED  

Proposition 101: Statewide
Sought to lower the state income tax, reduce vehicle registration fees to $10, reduce vehicle sales taxes and eliminate all taxes and fees on phones except for 911 service...FAILED

Referendum 2D: Snowmass Village
Authorizes a mill levy to raise $357,000 annually for five years. The tax will pay for transportation services and equipment. The tax replaces a 0.81 mill levy that ends this year. The levy funds two retiring bonds for roads and operational facilities...APPROVED


Referendum 1: Hillsborough County
Would have raised the sales tax by a penny to boost light rail and other transportation projects. Forty-three percent would have been used to create a light rail system originating in downtown Tampa. Another 32 percent would have gone toward expanding bus service in the area. The remaining 25 percent would have been applied to road improvements...FAILED

Referendum 2: Osceola County
Sought to increase the sales tax by 1 percent for 15 years to raise an estimated $30 million a year that would have gone into a specific fund for road and bridge improvements...FAILED

Referendum 1: Polk County
Called for authorizing a half-cent sales tax to benefit mass transit. The estimated $30 million a year generated would have funded a unified and countywide public bus system operated by the Polk Transit Authority. The new authority would have absorbed transit operations in Lakeland and Winter Haven. Approval of the referendum would have eliminated a half-mill property tax to support transit...FAILED


Amendment 2: Statewide
Asked voters about imposing a $10 fee on “certain passenger motor vehicle registrations” to benefit the state’s 16 trauma care centers. In addition, other hospitals would have been able to upgrade to trauma centers. The fee
was projected to generate $80 million

Amendment 3: Statewide
Intent on reducing long-term construction costs, it allows GDOT to pay for projects as they are under construction. Amends state Constitution to allow GDOT to enter into multiyear construction contracts for long-term transportation projects. The contract must provide for termination if funds in subsequent years are not available and contracts would be limited to 10 years...APPROVED


Issue 56: Garfield Heights
Changes the city charter to prohibit use of red-light cameras and speed cameras to enforce traffic laws...APPROVED


Question 26-119: Portland Metro Area-Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties. Sought to authorize a $125 million bond for TriMet. Some of the funding would have gone to purchasing new buses to replace older models. It would also have replaced a bond levy that expires next year...FAILED


Rhode Island
Question 3: Statewide
Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds to match federal funds to improve roads, bridges and transit buses. As much as $80 million can be used for road work. The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority can use up to $4.7 million to buy and rehabilitate buses...APPROVED


South Carolina
Question 1: Horry County
The nonbinding referendum asked voters if they support the county continuing to fund mass transit.
It is solely an advisory question, which does not require the council to act...APPROVED

Question 1: Richland County
Sought to authorize a penny sales-tax increase for transportation improvements. It was estimated to bring in more than a billion dollars over 25 years to sustain and improve bus, road, bicycle and pedestrian routes in the county. At $627 million, roads would have received the biggest portion of funds. Transit projects would have received $337 million while other projects would have gotten the rest...FAILED


Proposition 1: Austin
Authorizes a $90 million transportation bond. Road and street projects will get 57 percent of the funds. Alternative transportation projects, such as sidewalks and bike lanes, will get 43 percent. Approval allows distribution of $100,000 to design a solution to relieve congestion on the Mopac Expressway...APPROVED

Proposition 1: Baytown
Prohibits use of traffic cameras
to issue tickets for a traffic violation without a police witness...APPROVED

Proposition 3: Houston
Sought to allow the city to continue
to use traffic cameras to punish
drivers for speeding and running
red lights...FAILED

Proposition 1: Richland Hills
Asked voters whether they wanted to stay in the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, also known as “the T.” The T services Tarrant County and the North Central Texas region. Breaking from the T would have freed up a half-cent sales tax for other needs...APPROVED


Proposition 1: Bellingham
Raises the sales tax by up to 0.2 percent for annual street repaving; building sidewalks, crosswalks and bike lanes; and contracting with the Whatcom Transportation Authority to buy extra bus service. The tax, which will be in effect for 10 years, is estimated to generate $3.8 million annually...APPROVED

Proposition 1: Mukilteo
Requires a two-thirds majority
of the City Council and a majority of voters to authorize any future use of automated traffic cameras. Fines would also be limited to $20, the amount of the least-expensive parking