This past week, the Valley Transportation Authority was finally able to access $360 million that had been placed in escrow for the past 22 months, after a frivolous lawsuit had been filed against our 2016 traffic relief, transit alternative and road improvement initiative known as Measure B in Santa Clara County.
Recently, the California Supreme Court denied the appeal of the sole Santa Clara County resident who filed the lawsuit against Measure B, which voters and taxpayers passed in November, 2016 with nearly 72 percent of the vote. With this hurdle cleared, the $6.3 billion that Measure B will provide in local funds, over its 30-year life span, is now available as intended. It includes the following:
- BART to downtown San Jose & Santa Clara (Segment 2) – $1.5 billion
- Street Maintenance & Pothole Repair – $1.2 billion
- Caltrain Modernization – $914 million
- County Expressway Improvements – $750 million
- Key Highway Interchange Improvements – $750 million
- Bus Service & Operations – $500 million
- Bicycle & Pedestrian Improvements – $250 million
As we pop the champagne on these improvements, let’s step back and also celebrate the hard working women and men who made this overwhelming success possible. Heroes are often unsung, and I will never forget – and long cherish – the long days, and even longer nights, of our core campaign team who worked 100 hour weeks for 13 straight weeks to deliver this victory: Juan Quinones, Jeff Janssen, Chris O’Connor and Matthew Quevedo brought a passion, determination and grit that was incredibly inspiring. Hundreds of private citizens stepped up as volunteers to help us on college campuses, Caltrain and Light Rail stations, expressway interchanges and community events.
With numerous public sector champions, one stands out for well-deserved recognition: San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo who personally raised $700,000 of the $2 million campaign. He held a series of town halls across the Valley floor, joined us at Caltrain stations and college campuses for hours-on-end to personally meet with voters and encourage their support. He invested hundreds of hours to make Measure B a success, and we are indebted to him.
–– Carl Guardino, CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group | February 4, 2019