Thursday, July 08, 2010

San Mateo County Proposing VLF Fee--Tell them to Fund Transit--Write Today!

From the Green CalTrain blog I read that San Mateo County is planning a $10 VLF (car registration) fee for November's ballot. The mixture of transportation areas to be funded is still open, and will be discussed at a meeting tonight. Per the GCT link above, you can email your comments to Richard Napier,

Here's what I wrote:

Dear Mr Napier

I am writing you in support of the proposed VLF fee which would fund transportation in San Mateo County.

I am also writing to urge that as much of this be dedicated to transit funding as possible.

Conventional wisdom will tell you that since driving is the most popular form of commuting, that a transportation tax weighted towards roads is the only one the public will vote for.

Conventional wisdom turns out to be wrong. Note that many regional counties, such as Marin and Monterrey, have repeatedly voted down roads-only tax initiatives.

Farther afield, Seattle Area residents voted down a 50/50 roads/transit initiative, and a year later, voted in a transit only one.

I think San Mateo County residents are also smart enough to realize that auto-centric transportation has reached the "end of the road", and would favor a VLF fee targeted towards SamTrans and CalTrain. Road-related projects have merit too, but we should focus on community-enhancing initiatives such as the El Camino Grand Boulevard, safe routes for kids to walk to school, and filling in gaps in our bike route network--rather than pouring more money into the bottomless pit of highway widening and pot-hole repair.


Nicholas Kibre, PhD

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