Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Since the failure of Measure A BART sales tax on June 6, the SVLG continues to ignore reality and lobbies local political candidates to support the BART extension. Many political candidates in San Jose, have at least paid lip service to SVLG. Mayoral candidates Chuck Reed and Cindy Chavez said that they support the BART extension through downtown San Jose, as SVLG continues to press the issue in many of the candidate debates.
For most candidates with much more issues in the city at stake, the BART extension is a minor issue. They don't want to appear as a slightly weaker candidate by opposing a project sponsored by SVLG that would supposedly bring civic pride to San Jose.
However, many of them have not personally reviewed the budget, details of the project, and plans that would build a more efficient and effective transit system than the BART extension. Only until after the November election will reality set in.
With the loud and clear message from voters against more taxes for more of the same, there is no effective solution to backfill the capital and operating funding shortfall that amounts to billions. Prop 1b, if the voters approve, would only provide a fraction of what VTA needs, with most of the funding going to highways and transit projects elsewhere in the state. Private financing isn't enough to support subway construction when building heights, along with other factors, discourage urban development similar to downtown San Francisco. In addition, SVLG has opposed to any non-sales taxes that would force its member businesses in transit hostile areas to pay for BART, which SVLG claims they need. If SVLG could have its way, its members won't have to pay any sales tax for BART either.
SVLG should not be allowed to greenwash itself through their support of the deceptive San Jose BART extension. SVLG has done more harm to all transit by their support of the BART extension and other highway projects.