Marin, Sonoma County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter


By Joe Nation

Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 6

This information is provided by the candidate
This paper outlines how we can solve the traffic problem in the North Bay.
Traffic has become unbearable for many in the North Bay. Transportation infrastructure has not kept pace with business and housing growth over the last two decades. There is no easy fix to this problem. Several actions are required:
1. Expand Highway 101 north of Novato
2. Expand alternative transportation methods, such as ferries, buses, rail, and bike paths
3. Ensure that the North Bay gets its fair share of gas tax money and permit these monies to be used as determined by local officials
4. Promote tele-commuting incentives and other ways to reduce the demand for trips by car.

Expand Highway 101 north of Novato Highway 101 in Sonoma County exists as it did when it was first constructed in 1956, although the county population has quadrupled. Just as 101 has been expanded in Marin County, an additional lane should be added in Sonoma County. This step will help solve the transportation problem in the North Bay, but it will not work alone. Other steps are required.

Expand alternative transportation methods In addition to expanding 101, we must establish alternative ways to people to move about the North Bay. This means expanding ferry and bus services, and establishing bike and pedestrian paths and rail service. A light rail system from Santa Rosa to San Rafael should be seriously considered since the right-of-way has been acquired and because much of the commute is now between counties, rather than from the North Bay into San Francisco. This rail system (and an expanded bus feeder system) should connect with ferries and other transit to San Francisco and the East Bay. In the long term, a transit hub should be developed in San Rafael, Larkspur, or San Quentin.

Ensure that the North Bay gets its fair share of gas tax money The North Bay sends far more in tax revenue to Sacramento than it receives in return. A fairer system of allocation, based on population and tax revenues, should be developed to ensure a fair share.

In addition, we should allow local governments to use these monies for alternative transportation project and programs. In short, local governments should be allowed the flexibility to use revenues for any transportation or transit project, including transit (i.e., train and bus) operations.

Promote tele-commuting incentives We also should play a role in providing ways to reduce the demand for transportation, much as water districts have reduced demand through conservation and efficiency. This should include financial incentives (similar to transit tax credits available at the federal level) to encourage telecommuting. Tele-commuting is likely the most cost-effective approach to addressing North Bay transportation problems.

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