Give Me Transportation Millage, Not A Road Millage
Yesterday’s optimistic piece was actually intended to be about the failed Grand Traverse County Road Millage. If passed, the millage would have provided $4.5 million annually to the commission. The easy response is that voters said no to roads, but that isn’t the full story. Sure, there are many voters who want something for nothing, but most understand that we have to pay for services. That said, many voters did respond negatively to the ill-timed 2010 pay raises.
However, the rejection could also be seen as more significant than simple financial considerations. If we look nationally, over 77% of transportation ballot measures passed on Tuesday.Many of the proposals that passed, have a common theme of being balanced and broad “transportation measures”, not just “road proposals.” The break down of California’s Alameda County ballot measure is reflective of how transportation agencies passed transportation measures. As passed, a $10 vehicle fee will raise $11 million a year to be allocated in the following way:
- 60 percent—city and county roads
- 25 percent—congestion relief measures such as express buses, transit passes for students and workers, and park and ride lots or rail station improvements
- 10 percent—transportation technology improvements
- 5 percent—bicycle and pedestrian improvements
Be Different To Get My Vote
Personally, I voted no because I’d rather see some county roads be returned to gravel than continue to be built to encourage sprawl and single occupant vehicles. Many rejected the proposal because they were saying no to the status quo approach to transportation. For all the participation in the Grand Vision, the GT County road commission has not shown the creativity, innovation and more balanced approach to transportation that was envisioned. As discussed yesterday, both nationally and locally, citizens continue to express that they want transportation options and they are willing to put the squeeze on to get them.
Do you have an opinion on why the road millage failed?
How did you vote?