REGIONAL MEASURE 3 (RM 3)
Bay Area Traffic Relief Plan. Shall voters authorize a plan to reduce auto and truck traffic, relieve crowding on BART, unclog freeway bottlenecks, and improve bus, ferry, BART and commuter rail service as specified in the plan in this voter pamphlet, with a $1 toll increase effective in 2019, a $1 increase in 2022, and a $1 increase in 2025, on all Bay Area toll bridges except the Golden Gate Bridge, with independent oversight of all funds?
COUNTY COUNSEL’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF REGIONAL MEASURE 3
Regional Measure 3 (RM3) would increase the tolls on all Bay Area toll bridges except the Golden Gate Bridge. The tolls would increase by $1 in 2019, an additional $1 in 2022, and an additional $1 in 2025, for a total increase of $3. After 2025, tolls could be increased for inflation.
By law, the Bay Area Toll Authority (Authority) would use not more than 16% of the funds from these toll increases to pay for up to $60 million in designated annual transportation operating programs. The Authority would use the remaining available funds for designated transportation capital projects throughout the Bay Area. The largest projects include:
- purchasing new BART cars;
- extending BART from the planned Berryessa Station to San Jose and Santa Clara; and
- widening U.S. 101 through the Marin-Sonoma Narrows to accommodate new high-occupancy vehicle lanes;
- improving Richmond-San Rafael Bridge access, including a direct connector from northbound Highway 101 to eastbound Interstate 580;
- improving State Route 37, which serves Solano, Marin, Napa, and Sonoma counties;
- expanding the ferry service and increasing its frequency;
- improving Interstate 680/State Route 4 and Interstate 80/680/State Route 12 interchanges;
- extending Caltrain to downtown San Francisco.
The Authority would be allowed to provide discounts to high-occupancy vehicles or vehicles that pay tolls without using cash. The Authority would be required to provide a discount for certain commuters who cross two bridges.
RM3 was placed on the ballot by the Bay Area Toll Authority as authorized by Senate Bill 595 (Beall, 2017), and it will be on the ballot in all nine Bay Area counties, including the City and County of San Francisco and the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. To pass, RM3 requires approval by a majority of those votes cast on the measure in all nine counties combined.
An independent oversight committee would monitor how revenue generated by the toll increases is spent. This committee and the Authority would be required to submit annual reports on use of such funds and the status of projects to the State Legislature.
A “yes” vote is a vote to increase the toll on all Bay Area toll bridges except the Golden Gate Bridge by $1 in 2019, an additional $1 in 2022, and an additional $1 in 2025.
A “no” vote is a vote to not approve the proposed toll increase.
s/BRIAN E. WASHINGTON
Marin County Counsel
By s/Valorie R. Boughey, Deputy County Counsel
ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF REGIONAL MEASURE 3
Vote YES on Regional Measure 3 to relieve traffic, improve public transportation, and provide direct access from Highway 101 to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in Marin County.
Regional Measure 3 will improve State Route 37 for increased mobility, safety, and long-term resiliency to flooding and construct carpool lanes on Highway 101 in the Marin/Sonoma Narrows.
Our region is suffering from the worst traffic crisis in its history and, as the Bay Area grows by 2,000,000 additional residents in the next two decades, congestion will get even worse. Too many Bay Area drivers already spend hours and hours commuting every week – keeping them from their families, homes, and jobs.
We need a comprehensive, long-term solution to reduce traffic, improve travel times, and bring our public transportation into the 21st century. We need Regional Measure 3.
Vote YES on Regional Measure 3 to extend Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) to Windsor and Healdsburg, replace and modernize the San Rafael Transit Center to improve SMART train access, and enhance the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza and Richmond Parkway interchange on Highway 580.
Even for those who don’t use public transportation, Regional Measure 3 improvements will take cars off the road and make commutes easier.
Vote YES on Regional Measure 3:
- Reduce truck traffic congestion and improve air and water quality
- Improve transbay bus service and carpool access to improve commute times across bridges
- Improve bike/pedestrian access to train stations
- Purchase new BART cars to run more frequent trains and reduce crowding
- Extend BART to San Jose/Silicon Valley
- Design a second transbay crossing – providing additional capacity for BART and rail services
- Build new ferry terminals, upgrade ferry facilities, and buy more boats
Regional Measure 3 mandates strong taxpayer safeguards, including independent audits, citizen oversight, and a Transportation Inspector General to hold elected leaders accountable for spending.
Join commuters, traffic engineers, and community leaders – vote YES on Regional Measure 3.
Marin County Supervisor
s/PATRICIA D. GARBARINO
President, Marin Sanitary
Executive Director, Save The Bay
s/JOHN J. BAGALA
Vice-President, Marin Professional Firefighters
s/GERALD H. MERAL
Former Executive Director, Planning and Conservation League
REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF REGIONAL MEASURE 3
Regional Measure 3 is a bad deal: You pay higher tolls while congestion worsens.
Regional Measure 3 does not provide "a comprehensive long-term solution to reduce traffic, improve travel times and bring our public transportation system into the 21st century."
That's because it doesn't address the root cause of congestion: Too many people drive alone during commute hours. Instead of solving that problem, Regional Measure 3 is merely a hodgepodge of pet projects, offering something to everyone.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the agency proposing the toll increase, has ignored the solo-driving problem for decades.
- By MTC's own numbers, the same percentage of people will drive alone in 2040 as now.
- With "two million additional residents in the next two decades" that won't work!
- Adding a million more cars to already crowded roads does not "take cars off the road and make everyone's commutes easier."
- Regional Measure 3 leads the way to gridlock.
We need good alternatives to driving alone. Smartphone ridesharing apps now make it possible for drivers to pick up a nearby passenger with a similar destination. A media campaign can encourage far better use of our HOV lanes, with no construction costs. Many more will benefit from comprehensive, convenient, and frequent transit.
Don't believe proponent's talk about "strong taxpayer safeguards”. MTC arbitrarily shifted money in 2004's Regional Measure 2. MTC and the counties can't be trusted to spend the funds as authorized by the voters.
Vote No on Regional Measure 3.
President, Transportation Solutions Defense & Education Fund (TRANSDEF)
ARGUMENT AGAINST REGIONAL MEASURE 3
Regional Measure 3 would raise bridge tolls another $3.00 ---or 60% on most bridges! That’s on top of the 12¢/gallon gas tax and increased auto registration fee added this year.
The Golden Gate Bridge is not included in the toll increase. But this measure will make it easier for toll hikes on "our" bridge.
Will the billions in toll hikes improve your commute? No. Many of these projects only make traffic worse in the long run!
Many promised projects won’t get built, due to cost overruns. The Bay Bridge was delivered ten years late and $5 billion over budget, already rusting. This project was overseen by MTC, the same agency now proposing Regional Measure 3.
MTC's failure to respond to increasing traffic on the Richmond Bridge created massive backups affecting 580 and 101.
Traffic is horrible now and has gotten a lot worse under MTC’s watch. MTC tells voters Regional Measure 3 will “reduce auto and truck traffic.” But their own forecast states, if Regional Measure 3 is implemented, traffic delays will increase by 44% in 2040!
Regional Measure 3's plan won't reduce traffic because it just funds pork--an unconnected compilation of local projects that politicians and developers in each county want somebody else to pay for.
Less than a fifth of the dollars in Regional Measure 3 go to bridge-related projects!
MTC is squandering millions of your dollars already. It spent toll funds to buy itself a shiny new $257 million office building, nowhere near BART.
Don’t trust this unelected regional agency with more of your money. They're unaccountable and they will squander these toll dollars, just as they have in the past.
Don’t be conned by this agency willing to spend your dollars on its pet projects. Don’t pile heavier burdens on commuters already struggling to pay their bills.
Vote NO on Regional Measure 3!
Visit OccupyMTC.org and TRANSDEF.org
President, Transportation Solutions Defense & Education Fund (TRANSDEF)
REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST REGIONAL MEASURE 3
If opponents of Regional-Measure-3 got their way, we would do NOTHING to prepare for the additional 2,000,000 residents moving to the Bay-Area in the next 20 years.
Bay-Area traffic has grown 80% since 2010 and has broken congestion records for the last four years. We cannot afford to wait and watch as commutes grow longer, public transportation becomes more crowded and Bay-Area traffic becomes the worst in the country.
This problem will NOT solve itself. Regional-Measure-3 makes vital transportation improvements BEFORE traffic gets worse.
Vote YES on Regional-Measure-3 for a comprehensive, long-term plan that coordinates highway and transit upgrades to shorten commutes and reduce traffic on Marin-County roads, including Highways 37 and 101.
Vote YES on Regional-Measure-3:
- Add a direct connector from Highway 101 to the Richmond- San Rafael Bridge to effectively reduce backups and congestion
- Mandate strong taxpayer safeguards to help ensure transportation projects are completed on time and on budget
The Regional-Measure-3 plan was written by traffic engineers for effective congestion reduction on Marin-County highways.
The opponents of Regional-Measure-3 are only against these vital transportation improvements because they want to wage war on a single public agency – and they’re willing to let traffic and commutes get worse for all of us to do so.
Regional-Measure-3 offers discounts to qualifying commuters and never increases tolls more than $1 at a time. By law, Regional-Measure-3 can NEVER raise Golden-Gate-Bridge tolls.
This is our chance to reduce traffic BEFORE it brings Marin-County to a standstill. Vote YES on Regional-Measure-3!
County Supervisor, Marin County – District 2
Councilmember, City of Novato
President, League of Women Voters of Marin
s/DAVID J. PARISI
Executive Director of Latino Council
FULL TEXT OF REGIONAL MEASURE 3
The full text of Regional Measure 3 is available on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s website.