Bay Area Environment on the November Ballot
by Aleta George on October 01, 2008
You can also support our open spaces and natural resources when you vote this November. Residents in Alameda and Contra Costa counties are being asked to approve Measure WW, an extension of a 1988 bond issue that has funded regional park acquisition, habitat preservation, and contributions to city parks. The new bond measure, which requires a two-thirds vote to pass, won’t raise taxes above the current assessment. One quarter of the funds would go to city parks and other special park districts; the remainder goes to the East Bay Regional Park District for acquisition, infrastructure maintenance, and habitat restoration. Visit www.yesforparks.org for more information.
In Sonoma and Marin counties, the SMART train is back, and maybe this time it will arrive at the station. Two years ago, a majority of voters agreed to a one-quarter percent increase in local sales tax to fund a passenger train service between Cloverdale and Larkspur, but fell short of the required supermajority by 1.4 percent. A similar measure will go before voters this November. The $540 million project would include a bicycle and pedestrian path adjacent to new commuter trains swooshing along standard tracks–reducing weekday traffic on Highway 101 by about 5,000 trips.
Many voters will also have a say in where development should or shouldn’t occur. In Redwood City, two different measures aim to require a vote on development proposals (see our article Raising Bair Island). In Moraga, the Moraga Open Space Ordinance, created by Friends of Moraga Open Space and endorsed by the Sierra Club and Greenbelt Alliance, will restrict development on over 1,000 acres of Moraga’s remaining open spaces, while the competing Moraga Open Space, Parks & Recreation Ordinance is more development-friendly.
In the North Bay, voters in Solano and Napa counties will weigh in on Measures T and P, respectively. “Together, these initiatives can protect almost a million acres of the Bay Area’s most scenic and productive landscapes, including the Napa Valley,” says Elizabeth Stampe of Greenbelt Alliance.
Learn more about upcoming ballot measures at www.greenbelt.org.