Reply: Rebuttal to argument for Measure D
The proponents of Measure D make multiple unsupported claims:
Claim 1: Measure D will "ease traffic congestion on Highway 1 and other congested roads".
Fact: Widening Highway 1 will not ease traffic congestion on Highway 1 or local streets. Caltrans reports that widening "would not achieve sufficient congestion relief to attract any substantial number of vehicles that had diverted to the local street system back to the freeway." - Caltrans Draft Environmental Impact Report on Highway 1, p2.1.5-16. (More at WideningWontWork.org)
Claim 2: "Measure D will fund the most environmentally sustainable local transportation improvement plan in California".
Fact: San Francisco Bay Area's commuter benefits programs and excellent public transportation systems are already far ahead of Santa Cruz County in terms of environmental sustainability.
Claim 3: Measure D "will reduce reliance on automobiles".
Fact: Spending $100 million to widen Highway 1 will attract more cars, and divert 30 years of public funds from programs that would offer commuters options besides being stuck in traffic on Highway 1.
Claim 4: Measure D will "protect vital transit services".
Fact: Measure D will not restore the recent 12% cut in METRO service let alone provide the funds for expanding needed public transportation choices.
Claim 5: Measure D will improve safety.
Fact: Caltrans reports that after widening Highway 1 collision rates would stay the same and more vehicles would fill the highway. That means a higher overall number of collisions.
Please vote NO on Measure D. Let us work together for a better measure—with solutions that work.
Santa Cruz Climate Action Network
former President of the Cabrillo Sustainability Council
Paul T. Johnston
former Executive Director, Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO