Yonah Freemark at The Transport Politic has set up a page where you can follow election night returns about the 20 biggest transit-related referenda to be voted on November 8 in the US. His summaries are good, always mentioning operating funds and local bus service, not just the big-ticket infrastructure.
The biggest are in the Seattle and Los Angeles regions, both of which are behind the curve on rapid transit development, given their size, density and growth rates. Both measures, which raise sales taxes, are close things. The Seattle-area measure covers a huge three-county region including exurban areas that vote against transit routinely. Los Angeles County has clear majorities for almost anything transit-related, but the measure requires 2/3.
Personally, I’ve never had so much of my own work, and that of my firm, at stake in one cycle of referenda.
Two plans that we worked on extensively are on the ballot, in Indianapolis and in Wake County (Raleigh area), North Carolina. Both are dramatic expansions of transit that create robust frequent transit networks in the denser parts of those cities, while Wake County’s also includes a commuter rail program.
In San Jose and Silicon Valley, in California, we are also in the midst of working on a network redesign to accompany the opening of BART next fall, and this design will be considerably more abundant, with less painful trade-offs, if Santa Clara County’s sales tax increment passes (also a close thing, as it needs 2/3).
We also did some work in Spokane, Washington, in the area of Board and stakeholder workshops, that helped lead to the Moving Forward plan on the ballot there.
As a consultant, I don’t make endorsements. But peruse Yonah’s list, and if you live in one of these places, please read up on these measures to make sure you have an informed view.
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