Election Wrap-Up: 1A, R, DD and EE Pass. Hilton and Measure T Go Down.
Voters in North Hollywood Wait to Vote Yesterday
It was a late night for those waiting for results on Metro's transit tax proposal and the bonding proposition that would fund a high-speed rail proposition for a line between San Francisco and San Diego. In the end, transit advocates got good news as both measures just achieved slim victories.
Supporters of both measures remind us that just because last night took care of the funding issue, nothing is built yet. However, that didn't stop anyone from celebrating last night.
In a jubilant press release celebrating the passage of Prop. 1a, the High Speed Rail bonding measure, CALPIRG's Transit Advocate, Emily Rusch, proclaimed:
We couldn’t be more thrilled with voters’ approval of Prop 1A. With this vote, Californians decided to reduce our oil dependence, to build alternatives to traffic and long airport lines, and to help solve global warming. Californians were also voting to boost the economy.
Prop 1A is another historic example of California leading the nation. This vote confirms California’s commitment to building high-speed rail. Now California leaders must continue fighting for the project in order to start laying the tracks as quickly as possible. Before we spend bond funds on construction, Congress and private companies will have to match California’s commitment to the train. We need that to happen quickly because this project cannot be delayed any longer.
In the Times, Steve Hymon reminds voters that just because Measure R was passed, don't expect new roads or rails to start appearing across Los Angeles County.
Early work is likely to include an extension of the Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica, an extension of the Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa and placement of a busway or light-rail line along Crenshaw Boulevard in South Los Angeles, planners say. A fare hike for next summer will also be postponed until 2010, with some special fares for seniors, the disabled and students delayed until 2013.
Given the narrow margin of victory, I hope Villaraigosa and the rest of the politicians that put their reputations behind Measure R send Bruins for Traffic Relief a "Thank You" card.
In other news, Santa Monica voters rejected the anti-development Proposition T while voters in Beverly Hills rejected plans to reconstcut the Beverly Hilton. If the Redondo Beach City Council hoped to confuse voters by placing a competing measure to curb development on the ballot next to a citizen's initiative, the plan backfired. Both ballot initiatives passed.