With growing concerns surrounding traffic in the Silicon Valley, Measure B aims to make transportation in the area easier by increasing taxes throughout Santa Clara County.
While this measure has seen growing support of the past weeks, there has also been an increase in the opposition to the tax, which requires a two-thirds majority to pass.
What makes this measure different from many of the other measures in this voting cycle is the direct impact that it could have on the daily lives of members in the Santa Clara County community if successfully implemented.
With an increased sales tax of 9.25 percent in Campbell and San Jose and 9 percent in other cities throughout the county, it is estimated that the measure would raise an estimated $6.5 billion dollars for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).
What this would mean for county residents is the increased presence of BART in the Silicon Valley, which would likely reduce traffic throughout the area.
It is no secret that the Silicon Valley region has experienced huge economic growth and increases in activity, so supporters of this measure argue that improved transportation is necessary to keep up with the mounting traffic.
According to Chris O’Connor, the Director of Transportation Policy at the Silicon Valley Leadership group, Measure B would do just that.The proposition would improve the area and fit transportation together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Specifically, the measure would aim to decrease traffic on streets and highways like U.S. 101 from San Jose to Mountain View, Highway 85 corridor and other major traffic zones in the county.
However, the measure has been subject to criticism. Opponents of the measure have cited a failed Measure A from 2000, which aimed to attain similar goals of improved transportation through taxation.
Measure A was meant to include the addition of an underpass at University Avenue and a new parkway, both of which were never built.
In addition, $6 billion dollars is a significant amount of funds. Some opponents of the measure believe that the money could be put to better use in other parts of the county’s budget.
While the economic growth in Palo Alto and the Silicon Valley have resulted in the success of many, it has also come with its own set of problems, which include traffic and congestion in the area.
It is argued that poor public transportation and infrastructure have not been able to keep up with this growth, and Measure B hopes to change this.
That being said the history of past measures and limits on the financial budget leave this measure open to criticism.