The Debate Over San Diego’s Measure A

by on September 27, 2016 · 4 comments

in Culture, Economy, Education, Election, Environment, History, Labor, Ocean Beach, Politics, San Diego

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Point Loma – OB Dems hold debate on Measure A; photos by South OB Girl

Editor: Yesterday, we posted an unequivocal statement by our regular columnist Jim Miller, who along with Nicole Capretz, and Nick Segura, advocate that progressives should not vote for Measure A. Today, we publish South OB Girl’s report of a debate on A at last Sunday’s Point Loma – OB Democratic Club event.

Gretchen Newsom and Anthony Montalvo discuss Measure A … and the Democrats (and Republicans) aren’t so sure about it

By South OB Girl

Let’s take a look at Measure A.  Measure A proposes a plan for transportation infrastructure changes in our city.

The Republican Party of San Diego County and the San Diego County Democratic Party both agree on one thing – vote No on Measure A this November.  BOTH parties are opposed to Measure A.  Labor is divided and City Councilmember endorsement is also divided.

A presentation of both sides — “Yes on A” and “No on A” — occurred on Sunday Aug 25th, at the Point Loma-OB Democratic Club’s monthly meeting.

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Anthony Montalvo with microphone

Yes On A

Anthony Montalvo is the Outreach Manager for Citizens for a Better San Diego, a campaign organization working to support Measure A.  Mr. Montalvo presented reasons to vote in favor of Measure A.

Those in favor of Measure A hope that it would repair our roads, relieve traffic congestion, preserve our environment, and protect future generations.

Yes on Measure A would approve $18 billion for new transportation infrastructure.  To repair and upgrade roads and bridges, synchronize traffic lights, expand public transportation services, protect our city’s water supply, and expand wildfire prevention measures.

The following is proposed in Measure A:

$2.6 billion to fund highway projects:
-Express lanes on I-5, SR 52, SR 78, and SR 94
-Improvements on I-8, I-5, SR 52, SR 56, and SR 67
-Connectors between I-5/SR 56, I-5/SR 78, and SR 94/SR 125
-I-805/SR 15 HOV Connectors.
-New carpool connectors from SR 15 South to I-805 South and I-805 North to SR 15 North

$7.5 billion in new transit funding:
-New Trolley from San Ysidro to Kearny Mesa.  This would be the Purple Line.  It would go along the I-805 and I-15 corridor from San Ysidro to Kearny Mesa via Chula Vista, National City, Southeastern San Diego.
-New Rapid bus routes.
Rapid 640: Rapid Express service from San Ysidro to Downtown, Old Town, and Kearny Mesa.
Rapid 905: Rapid Express service from Iris Trolley Station to Otay Mesa
-North Coast rail corridor double-tracking and increased COASTER frequency.
-Increased service and longer hours of operation.
-Beginning in 2017, increased frequencies on the blue, orange, and green line to give transit riders more services immediately.

$540 million for bicycle and pedestrian improvements.  $178 million for traffic signal synchronization.  $2 billion to manage open space from wildfires and water contamination.  A portion of $4.3 billion to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, boost water recycling and reclamation efforts.

For every $1 billion invested, “Yes on A” believes 11,100 jobs would be created.  New jobs, better connections to regional job centers, and expanded transportation choices would all be helpful to San Diego’s future generations and the economy.

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Gretchen Newsom

No On A

Measure A could seem appealing.  A new trolley line, new and improved roads!  But …
Gretchen Newsom (as most of we OBceans already know) is the Political Director for IBEW 569, and a member of a diverse coalition that includes environmental, labor, business, and community advocacy groups that oppose Measure A, and is the current president of the OB Town Council.  Ms. Newsom presented reasons to vote “NO” on Measure A.

That 18 Billion Dollars —
-It would be generated by a half-cent sales tax increase for 40 years.
-Would help fund a flawed Regional Transportation Plan.
-And there are no guarantees on how funds would be spent.

Measure A: No Accountability

-False claims to improve water quality by treating polluted runoff.
-False claims to reduce transit fees for seniors, students, the disabled, and veterans.
-No guarantees how funding will be spent.  This is an $18 billion dollar blank check.

Measure A: Environmental Harm
-Undermines San Diego’s Climate Action Plan.
-Will produce 10’s of millions of gallons of polluted runoff.
-Fails to reduce harmful greenhouse gas pollution to meet state climate targets.
-Would increase pollution and accelerate climate change.
-We should be turning to cleaner, smarter transportation options.  Measure A is $18 billion dollars worth of “business as usual” transportation options and we need to focus on combatting climate change.

Measure A: Public Health Threat
-Air pollution from cars is linked to cancer, asthma, cardiac diseases, and many other harmful health effects.
-Air pollution is most harmful to vulnerable communities living closest to freeways — communities of color and low income.
-Measure A does not even begin to address San Diego’s air quality issues.
-San Diego recently received an F from the American Lung Association.
-Measure A threatens public health while doing nothing to create real solutions to address the region’s transportation needs.

Newsom encouraged the Democratic Club to consider the possibility of there being better plans out there.  And encourages us not to lock ourselves into paying this bad tax for many, many years to come.  She also pointed out that it took over 30 years to start construction on the Blue Line.  There is no guarantee of when and how all of the billions of dollars will be spent if approved.  And if the Blue Line took that long to come to fruition after plans were approved for its construction — what can we genuinely expect with the $18 billion worth of transportation infrastructure proposed by Measure A?

Measure A seems appealing.  A new and improved, revamped transportation infrastructure for San Diego is appealing.  But Measure A is not the only option.

Many of these details will be shared again at the OB Town Council meeting this Wednesday Sept 28th.  And there will be a Q&A session for the public.  At OBTC’s usual meeting time and location: 7 pm, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar molly September 27, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Go Gretchen! When and if she leaves the town council, we’ll all miss her.

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avatar South OB Girl September 28, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Yes, we will all miss Gretchen as President of Town Council, when that day comes. But no doubt she will eventually be in a position of leadership for San Diego (or California), and still serving and leading OB from a new position.

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avatar bodysurferbob September 27, 2016 at 8:28 pm

just who the heck is this “south ob girl” anyways? can you tell anything about her? why does she stay anonymous? is she local? is she really a “girl” from south ob? doesn’t really matter as i appreciate her articles.

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avatar South OB Girl September 28, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Yes, a girl in south OB, surfer bob. And South OB Girl is a pen name. Like George Eliot.

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