In November, Stanislaus County voters will have the opportunity to approve Measure S, the Better Roads – Safer Streets transportation improvement program, a half-cent sales tax dedicated to local road improvements.
Measure S is critical to repairing our local streets, roads and highways to ensure safety for all Stanislaus County residents. Measure S will fund local projects countywide, which is why it’s supported by local leaders from Modesto, Turlock, Ceres, Patterson, Newman, Oakdale, Riverbank, Salida, Hughson, Waterford, Denair, Crows Landing and the unincorporated county areas.
Measure S is an investment in Stanislaus County and a key to attracting new industry and bringing “living wage” jobs to our region. This measure gives us an immediate economic boost because road improvements create jobs and bring money to the county. It also creates better connections to Highway 99 and Interstate 5, making transporting goods easier and encouraging industry to invest in Stanislaus County. The plan provides better access to existing business and industrial properties, therefore providing better “goods movement” throughout the county.
Measure S makes our communities more livable and safer because it will result in: faster response times for police, firefighters and paramedics; new sidewalks and bike lanes to keep children safer and make it easier to get around without a car.
less time stuck in traffic, wasting gas; fewer potholes and smoother, safer streets; synchronized traffic lights to keep traffic flowing; and, reduced pollution and improved air quality.
Measure S is for 20 years. Assuming flat line revenue, this “self help” program would raise over $700,000,000 in local funds. All of the money must be spent on local transportation projects within Stanislaus County.
Local Repairs – Local Projects
This measure provides a balanced solution for local road repairs. Half the money will go toward regional road and highway improvements, and half the money will go toward local projects in cities and communities throughout the county. Only 1% of the money can be spent on administration.
Measure S provides money to every local jurisdiction in the county to make critical improvements as half of the funds will be directed to projects within the nine cities and county. Without going into too much detail, these projects include: improving intersections and synchronizing traffic signals; enhancing student safety around schools with bike paths and sidewalks; retrofitting/replacing bridges; and, filling potholes, fixing, widening and extending local roads.
Measure S will also direct funds to three regional projects within the county that will address east/west mobility deficiencies in order to improve “Goods Movement,” and therefore connect existing job centers to freeways. The projects are:
The Northern Corridor creates a new expressway linking Oakdale and Riverbank to Highway 99, connecting the available industrial areas in those communities to the state highway system.
The Central Corridor improves and widens Highway 132 from the western county line to Waterford; upgrades the connections between Highway 132 to Highway 99; and rebuilds the Mitchell Road/Service Road interchange at Highway 99.
The Southern Corridor links Turlock and Patterson, from Highway 99 to Interstate 5, along Fulkerth Road/West Main Street. The road will be widened from two lanes to four lanes, and made safer and wider.
A full listing of the projects can be seen at www.stancog.org.
Measure S allows us to take control of our transportation future and funding.
It gives us more money now for local projects and local needs. It also allows Stanislaus County to plan and acquire right of ways now, so as to be ready once State and Federal matching funds are available later.
Getting Our Fair Share
Passage of this measure is critical to ensuring that Stanislaus County receives our fair share of 2006 state proposition 1B funding which could otherwise be lost to other communities. Being “self help” allows Stanislaus County to get millions of dollars in State and Federal matching funds. Federal leverage requires a 15% local match and state leverage requires a 50% local match.
Stanislaus County one of is the largest counties (by population) in California that is not a transportation “self help” county. Many state and federal projects require a locally raised match and right now Stanislaus County isn’t eligible for those programs. The irony is that our taxpayer dollars support these programs — we pay, but won’t ever see any of that money come to our community unless we are a “self help” county.
Taxpayers and our public funds are protected by Measure S. By law, not one dollar generated by this measure can be taken by the State of California – all funds must be spent locally, on pre-approved projects. The measure also requires elected officials to report to a citizen’s oversight committee that will watch over the funds and review annual audits. The committee includes one representative from each local jurisdiction and an additional member each from organized labor, the construction industry, a senior citizen’s representative, a taxpayer’s advocate and an accountant.
A Grassroots Campaign for Passage
Measure S enjoys strong early support from diverse organizations and leaders across the county, but will require a well-run and well-messaged campaign with grassroots support that reaches out to local voters to ensure it achieves the goal at hand.
Please join local leaders from Modesto, Turlock, Ceres, Patterson, Newman, Oakdale, Riverbank, Salida, Hughson, Waterford, Denair, Crows Landing and unincorporated county areas in voting YES on S.
If you wish to support, endorse or volunteer for Citizens for Better Roads – Safer Streets – Yes on S, please email Kelly Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit our website at www.BetterRoadsSaferStreets.com