SBCAG Board Opposes Prop. 6 — It Would Put Highway Funds in Jeopardy

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Concerned that Proposition 6 threatens investment in traffic safety projects and local road repairs — and would cut funding for a critical project already underway to widen US Highway 101 — the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) Board of Directors has voted to oppose Prop 6 on the November state ballot. Prop 6 seeks to repeal the Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) gas tax increase approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last year.

SBCAG and Caltrans have committed to widening 16 miles of Highway 101 to add carpool lanes and address a narrow, congested portion that currently has only two lanes in each direction. The California Transportation Commission recently awarded $417 million in new SB 1 funds for the 101 HOV Multimodal Corridor Project. This critical state funding, combined with regional Measure A money, fully funds construction of the next three segments of the 101 HOV Project. These segments add one high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction from the City of Carpinteria to the City of Santa Barbara and include related bicycle and pedestrian projects.

“If Proposition 6 passes in November, the $417 million state transportation grant funding will be lost and construction of the 101 widening project will be delayed indefinitely. In addition to the 101 freeway grant funds, new gas tax revenues provide $12 million annually to local governments to improve safety and repair local streets and roads. This funding is also in jeopardy if Proposition 6 passes in November,” said Gregg Hart, Deputy Executive Director of SBCAG, in a statement.

“I join my SBCAG colleagues and urge Santa Barbara County voters to vote No on Proposition 6 this November,” said County Supervisor and SBCAG Board Chair Joan Hartmann. “Santa Barbara County voters have consistently voted to support needed improvements in our regional transportation infrastructure. We need the state of California to partner with us to provide critically needed funding for local transportation improvements like the 101 freeway widening, local road repair and maintenance and traffic safety projects.”

“SBCAG is scheduled to receive $417 million to widen the 101 freeway — that is nearly $1,000 for every resident in Santa Barbara County, ” said Marjie Kirn, SBCAG’s Executive Director. “If Proposition 6 passes this November, we will lose this funding and construction of the 101 freeway widening will be in jeopardy. Proposition 6 threatens the progress we have made on the 101 project and would cut future funding for safety projects, road maintenance and traffic congestion relief.”

“Southern California Partnership for Jobs supports infrastructure investment. We advocated for the passage of SB 1, a new transportation funding source that is becoming ever more critical for California. We oppose any efforts to repeal SB 1 that would rob our communities of vital road safety and transportation improvement funds. We urge Californians to vote No on Prop 6 this November.” — John Hakel, Executive Director.

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Source: Santa Barbara Noozhawk

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