update from Kate - Marin Supervisors Urge Full Funding for Local Transportation Infrastructure

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Marin County Supervisors Strongly Urge
Governor Brown & the California Legislature to
Fully Fund Urgently Needed Transportation Infrastructure
Improvements to Address Deteriorating Local Roads,
Streets and Bridges, and State Highway System

On Tuesday, August 11th, the Marin Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution (attached) calling on Governor Jerry Brown and the California Legislature to “…identify a sufficient and stable funding source for local street and road and state highway maintenance and rehabilitation to ensure the safe and efficient mobility of the traveling public and the economic vitality of California.”

Current Legislative Proposals

Governor Brown has called an extraordinary legislative session to address the immense underfunding of California’s transportation infrastructure. If funding remains at the current levels, in 10 years, 25 percent of local streets and roads in California will be in “failed” condition. To stay at status quo, cities and counties need an additional $1.7 billion, while an additional $3 billion annually would improve conditions statewide from an average “at risk” to an average “good” condition. Should current legislative proposals move forward, unincorporated Marin County is estimated to receive over $10 million annually, in perpetuity.

The Grim Picture: Declining State Funding

California is facing a transportation fiscal cliff decades in the making. The state gas tax has not been increased since 1994. The federal gas tax hasn’t been adjusted in 21 years. Over the last two decades, inflation, improvements in fuel efficiency, and the move to electric and alternative fuel vehicles have severely eroded funding for the maintenance and preservation of the multi-modal statewide transportation network.

The Local Scene: Marin’s Pressing Needs

The local road system is facing a nearly $8 billion annual shortfall for maintenance; state highways have $59 billion in deferred maintenance. Unincorporated Marin has 420 centerline miles of roads and 56 bridges with an overall pavement condition index of 60 (on a scale of zero to one hundred) and a one-year backlog of $81 million in deferred maintenance. Although Marin’s annual investment in roads has increased from $5 to $8 million, we need to increase that investment to $15 million per year to maintain the current a pavement condition index of 60.

Call for State Funding to Address Specific Priorities

Supervisors also called for the adoption of priorities to guide funding for California’s streets and roads, including:

  • A significant investment of at least $6 billion annually in transportation infrastructure
  • Focus on maintaining and rehabilitating the current system
  • Equal split between state and local projects
  • Revenues raised across a broad range of funding options, including fuel taxes, license fees and registration fees, rather than just one source
  • Invest a portion of diesel tax or cap & trade revenues in high-priority goods movement projects
  • Strong accountability requirements to protect taxpayer investment
  • Consistent annual funding levels

What You Can Do! Roads matter and their upkeep is a matter of great urgency.

  • Write a letter or e-mail message to the Governor thanking him for calling for this special Legislative session to address our critical need for transportation infrastructure funding. Ask him to persist in identifying funding sources and to adopt the guiding priorities in Marin’s resolution.
  • Send copies to State Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Marc Levine with a copy of the Marin Board’s resolution. Let them know that you support Supervisor Kate Sears and the Marin County Supervisors’ call to identify a sustainable source of funding for local and statewide roads and transportation infrastructure.

Please stay in touch and feel welcome to write to me at ksears@marincounty.org. Share this information with friends and urge them to subscribe to my news and information here. Enjoy the rest of your summer.