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Perata transportation bill advances

Report from State Senator Don Perata:

I am pleased to report that the state senate (June 23) passed without opposition
my legislation to establish clear, objective measurements for making
transportation investments in the Bay Area.

The bill intends to curtail the "geopolitical" practice of spending
transportation funds based upon which areas have the most political clout.

For example, the recent surge in the Silicon Valley job growth and economic
potency has allowed Santa Clara county to jump ahead of other counties for BART
and other project funds. While perhaps justifiable, such industry/political
power plays erode public confidence in good planning and anger communities that
have waited years for transit services or other improvements.

My bill is a product of months of public hearings and negotiations with Bay Area
transit, city and county transportation representatives. Basically, SB 1995

1. Require the University of California Berkeley Institute of Transportation
Studies to develop objective, data-driven criteria to measure how effectively
new transportation projects are likely to meet congestion and environmental
priorities. These would guide the allocation of funds to specific projects.

2. Direct the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Caltrans to
apply these criteria into a spending plan along the Bay Area's most congested
corridors, especially 80,880,580 and 680.

I hope this effort will become the foundation for a more rational use of money
on transportation and transit projects that will limit the amount of
"horse-trading" that now goes into deciding which projects get the top funding
priority at each changing of the elected guard.

Run dates: 2000-06-23 - 2000-07-06

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