Planetizen Managing Editor James Brasuell tries to predict the big ideas and trends that will dominate the discussion about the future of land use, planning, and development in the first year of the new decade.
Two years after voters in the nine-county Bay Area agreed to hike tolls on the region's seven state-owned bridges, regional business leaders are hoping they will approve a one-cent regional sales tax to fund $100 billion in transportation projects.
With national media focused on individual candidates, propositions that dealt with park and water bonds, transportation spending, cap-and-trade, and rainwater may have been overlooked. Plus, a measure to increase bridge tolls in the Bay Area.
A modest toll increase, $3 over six years, took a major step forward with the approval of a key Bay Area Toll Authority committee. With the exception of the Bay Bridge, the round-trip toll on each of the region's seven state-owned bridges is $5.
It is now up to the Bay Area's transportation planning agency to determine when to ask voters to hike tolls on seven Bay Area bridges, by how much, and whether to phase the increase. A bill to allow voters to fund Caltrain was also signed.
The California Legislature approved bills to allow voters to decide on hiking sales taxes and tolls for regional transportation. Gov. Jerry Brown already signed a bill to allow San Mateo County voters to hike sales taxes for transportation.
Gov. Jerry Brown, Peninsula congresswomen, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and state legislative leaders gathered in Millbrae with shovels-in hands to mark the beginning of a four-year construction project to electrify Caltrain.
The oldest commuter rail line west of the Mississippi is also unique in another way—it lacks a dedicated source of operating revenue. Legislation has been introduced to allow Peninsula counties to vote to increase sales taxes by 0.125 percent.