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SANDAG Board Puts Measure on November 2016 Ballot

San Diego County CA— Elected officials countywide who make up the SANDAG Board of Directors voted, on Friday, to place a countywide measure on the November 2016 ballot to raise funds to repair roads, relieve highway congestion, improve transit and bike/pedestrian networks, conserve open space, and manage land to reduce wildfire risk.

The “San Diego County Road Repair, Transit, Traffic Relief, Safety and Water Quality Measure” is expected to generate $18 billion in dedicated local revenue.

“What we approved today will benefit not just this generation but our children and our grandchildren,” said SANDAG Chair and County Board of Supervisors Chair Ron Roberts. “If we are going to prosper as a region and maintain our quality of life, we need to invest in our infrastructure, our mobility, and our environment with a dedicated source of local revenue – money that Sacramento can’t take away.”

If approved by two thirds of the voters in the region, the measure would increase the sales tax by half a penny over the next 40 years.

Below is a breakdown of the major expenditure categories included in the Ordinance and Expenditure Plan approved by the SANDAG Board:

  • $4.3 billion for local infrastructure projects benefiting all 18 cities and unincorporated communities in the County of San Diego. These funds can be used to fix potholes; build streets, sidewalks, and bike paths; implement climate action plans; address shoreline erosion; and clean up storm water runoff pollution. Funds would be distributed to individual jurisdictions based on population proportion.
  • $2.6 billion for highways, carpool/managed lanes, and connectors along the I-5, I-8, SR 78, SR 67, SR 56, SR 52, and SR 94, as well as freeway connectors between I-5/SR 56, I-5/SR 78, I-15/SR 78, SR 52/I-805, SR 94/I-15, SR 94/I-805, I-805/SR 15, and SR 94/SR 125.
  • $7.5 billion to build and operate transit, including a new Trolley line from San Ysidro to Kearny Mesa; more than a dozen new Rapid routes to provide fast and frequent transit services; and increased frequencies and hours of operation for the Trolley system, COASTER, and local bus routes.
  • $2 billion for open space to acquire sensitive habitat to implement the region‘s habitat conservation plans and to better manage preserved open space to reduce wildfire risk.
  • $540 million for active transportation to build new bike lanes, sidewalks, and crosswalks, and projects such as underpasses that separate trains and Trolleys from bike and pedestrian crossings.
  • $900 million to separate Trolley/rail tracks from vehicle traffic which would improve vehicle and pedestrian safety, as well as efficiency of transit services.
  • $178 million for local arterial traffic synchronization to improve traffic signal timing to reduce stop-and-go traffic on major streets.

The Ordinance contains several important provisions:

  • 15-year commitment: The Ordinance commits SANDAG to use its best efforts to complete projects in the Priority Corridors Program within 15 years.
  • Voter mandate: The Ordinance safeguards the projects included in the Priority Corridors Program, ensuring funding for these projects can’t be removed without a vote of the people.
  • Local jobs: The measure sets a goal to use 80 to 100 percent San Diego County workers on construction projects funded by the measure, where allowed by law, and requires a skilled and trained workforce to perform the work.
  • Accountability: An independent taxpayer oversight committee would oversee the expenditure of funds raised by the tax measure to ensure that voter mandates are carried out, and funds are spent in a responsible and transparent manner.

To learn more, visit sandag.org/priorities – a one-stop resource for information about the measure, including an interactive map that shows project locations and descriptions.