CA Local Ballot Measure Results: Transportation and Land Use Propositions

The elections are over, we can take the signs down now. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog

Below are the “semi-official” results from local voter registrars after last night’s count. Vote-by-mail ballots are still being counted, and with the low voter turnout (29.9 percent statewide), this means in some places a third or more of the ballots have not yet been counted. For some measures, this means the tide could yet turn, which is why these are only “semi-official” results.

  • Alameda County: Measure BB: PASSED. The Alameda County Transportation Commission has declared this a winner, with almost 70 percent of the vote (it needed 66.67 percent to pass). The last time this measure was on the ballot, two years ago, it failed by less than half of one percent. That time, it started below the 2/3 threshold and climbed towards it as the vote count came in, but never quite reached high enough. This time, the vote count started above the threshold and is staying there. Although vote-by-mail ballots—nearly half the total ballots cast in Alameda County–are still being counted, supporters are calling it a victory. Measure BB will increase the existing sales tax by ½ cent to fund a panoply of transportation infrastructure measures, including the crazy uncontrolled intersection at Gilman and Highway 80, where the long-studied solution of a double roundabout now has funding.
  • Berkeley, Alameda County: Measure F: PASSED (74.9 percent of the vote, with 66.67 percent needed). This measure would create a parcel tax to fund parks.
  • Measure R: FAILED with a healthy 73.87 percent of the vote so far. R would have rewritten the city’s Downtown Plan, changed some requirements for taller buildings, increased parking requirements, created a downtown historic district, and required a popular vote to approve some developments.
  • Placerville, El Dorado County: Measure K: PASSED. The measure only needed a majority vote; “semi-official” results are 58.2 percent of the vote. It prohibits the city from constructing any roundabout or traffic circle without first submitting it to a popular vote. Pity Placerville, and its transportation planners, who now have an uphill battle to fix the town’s seriously constrained intersections.
  • In addition, three measures in El Dorado county that would have prevented development, rezoned much of the county from “Community Region” to “Rural,” and extend slow-growth restrictions  that would have changed all failed, as did a parcel tax for road improvements in Cameron Estates Community Services District (it needed 2/3 of the vote and so far has only 59.67 percent).
  • Los Angeles County: Measure P, parcel tax for parks funding: FAILED. It received 60 percent of the popular vote, but failed to garner the 2/3 threshold needed.
  • Malibu, Los Angeles County: Measure R, requiring voter approval for any commercial project over 20,000 square feet: PASSED
  • Santa Monica, Los Angeles County: Measure D, prohibiting  development and other changes to Santa Monica Airport property without voter approval, FAILED. But Measure LC, written in reaction to D and exempting parks and related facilities from the requirement for a popular vote, PASSED.
  • Monterey, Monterey County: Measure P: PASSED with a healthy 74.48 percent of the vote (it needed 2/3 plus one to pass). This measure imposes a one-cent sales tax to “address significant deferred maintenance by fixing streets, sidewalks, and potholes; improve related access and safety for senior citizens, disabled residents, and others” as well as repair the city’s storm drain system.
  • Monterey-Salinas Transit District, Monterey County: Measure Q: PASSED with 72.45 percent. Measure Q supports transit services for seniors, veterans, and disabled people with a 1/8-cent sales tax.
  • Blythe, Riverside County: Measure Y has 57.19 percent of the vote currently. This advisory measure  directs the city to use revenues from a proposed hotel tax for a list of services that include street and sidewalk repairs—but the hotel tax in question, Measure X, is failing, with only 55.11 percent of the votes so far counted.
  • Atascadero, San Luis Obispo County: Measure E is passing with 69.13 percent of the vote—as an advisory measure, it only needs 50 percent. E directs the city to use revenues from Measure F, a proposed sales tax, for neighborhood road repair. Meanwhile Measure F is passing with 59.03 percent of the vote. This sales tax measure only needs a simple majority to pass because it’s a general tax, with no dedicated purpose; it’s the accompanying advisory measure that dictates its use.
  • Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo County: Measure K is close at 66.34 percent, but it needs 66.67 percent to pass. K would have authorized $48 million on bonds for road repair and maintenance, including pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
  • San Francisco, City and County: Proposition A: PASSED. Prop A authorizes a bond for $500 million for transit, road, and safety improvements.
  • Proposition B: PASSED. Prop B will increase the geneamount of general funding the city gives to transit, walking, and biking.
  • Proposition L: FAILED. This pro-car measure would have urged the city to revert to outdated cars-first policies.
  • Turlock, Stanislaus County: Measure B: FAILING. So far it has garnered only 61.02 percent of the vote and it needs 2/3. Measure B would have imposed a 0.5% sales tax to fund road repairs, including bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
  • Marysville, Yuba County: Measure W: FAILING, with 53.5 percent of the vote. This measure would  have added a penny to the local sales tax for a variety of purposes, including improving traffic safety and increase street and sidewalk repair.

The three measures that would have banned fracking in particular counties met with different fates, passing in Mendocino and San Benito, but failing in oil-rich Santa Barbara County.

  • I don’t understand the craziness over referendums in the US. Direct democracy in this form isn’t usually a good idea. Probably 99.99% of the voters on a traffic circle referendum don’t understand the first thing about traffic planning, the idea you put them in charge of traffic planning is insane.

  • Joseph E

    “Measure F is passing with 59.03 percent of the vote. This sales tax measure only needs a simple majority to pass because it’s a general tax, with no dedicated purpose; it’s the accompanying advisory measure that dictates its use.”
    Whoah, why didn’t anyone in California think of this before?

  • Fedor Manin

    Menlo Park Measure M FAILED. It would have tweaked the downtown specific plan, disallowing new transit-oriented developments that are otherwise proceeding.

  • rdm24

    Thanks for the summary

  • Wanderer

    You’re right, but it’s an entrenched way of doing governmental work in California. We often refuse to allow our legislators to legislate.

    I’m not sure people got a clear sense of Berkeley Measure R from the description above. It was a trojan horse, masquerading as a good development measure, but with the clear intent of throttling what’s been a pretty successful rebuilding of Downtown Berkeley. It was campaigned on and defeated as such. Berkeley NIMBYs keep putting these anti-development measures on the ballot over and over, even though so far they’ve always failed.

  • EastBayer

    Unfortunately, these votes don’t always go the right way. Measure T in 2012 would have been great for West Berkeley, but it failed.

    I do think that the resounding failure of Measure R may actually indicate a sea change.

  • p_chazz

    Citizen initiatives in California were a progressive reform at a time when the legislative bodies were beholden to special interests. And while the special interests now make use of initiatives, direct democracy remains a useful corrective for when legislative bodies cannot or will not take up complex issues or when they try to foist off something the electorate opposes.

  • Andy Chow

    Because this is subject to lawsuits. Prop 218 pretty much requires any special taxes be subjected to the 2/3 threshold, but some jurisdictions still try the dual measure strategy.

  • Bret Johns

    ‘We often refuse to allow our legislators to legislate.’ With good reason after all of the crap legislation they pass, over taxed nanny state.