An additional 16,732 vote-by-mail ballots which had not been counted by the end of Election Day have been added to the tally.  While the total voter turnout is now up to 26 percent, it’s still on track to set an all-time low.  And the results for Proposition B remain the same: 59 percent voted Yes, 41 percent No.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Mark

    I wish the Central Subway had been on a ballot. I wonder how many voters would have passed that boondoggle

    • Posted by Ted

      I wonder how many voters would pass any infrastructure project before it’s finished.

      • Posted by David

        You don’t think lighr-rail down Geary or Van Ness would pass?

        • Posted by NoeValleyJim

          Put it on the ballot if you think it might. Make sure and include a funding source, or you are just wasting everyone’s time with it though.

  2. Posted by Jill

    I would find the Geary and van ness subwY or light rail by removing funding from any other transportation project including the central subwAy, every bike project, any bus improvements, etc. it would have a larger positive benefit than any of those combined

    • Posted by anon

      And it would cost 8-10x all of those other projects combined, so of course it would and should have a larger positive benefit. Where are you coming up with the other $15 billion?

  3. Posted by anon

    Jill, I would vote for you for head of the MTA! The MTA collects enough money from taxpayers, parking fees, traffic violations, neighborhood stickers, etc that they could find the resources if they wanted to. The Central Subway was not where the focus should have been, or the Transbay terminal (Unless it were to have included rail connecttions which it does not) or the numberous bikes projects and “smart meters”.

    Considering the small population of San Francisco, the MTA is very well funded by taxpayers, but the excessive bureaucracy and focus on “studies”, parklets, parkmobiles, wiggles, and pedestrian bulbs has manifested the mess we are now in. The MTA thinks it is a planning agency instead of a transit agency and seems to feel it’s role is to make moving about the city as difficult as possible, unless it is on a bike.

    A Geary undreground subway woud have the most revolutionary impact on the urban fabric and mobility of San Francisco since the building of the bridges!

  4. Posted by NoeNeighbor

    Well high speed rail in California passed. But then they admitted it would cost 2X-3X the amount they had promised, so opposition grew. Stunts like that just make people cynical. Rather than blaming the voters, maybe proponents of these project should look in the mirror.

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      I don’t think it was a “stunt”, but yes, it probably was an unforced error in Proposition 1A to specify the cost of the system before it was built, since even pretty basic freeways don’t come in “on budget”, I don’t know what possessed the authors of the original initiative to promise a high speed rail system with the number of constraints they did.

      Also, a public works project that is subject to random lawsuits by central valley yokels is going to go over budget regardless of how careful or skilled construction cost estimators are.

      From the Los Angeles Times, More lawsuits are a foregone conclusion for California high-speed rail:

      When California voters approved $9 billion in funding for a bullet train in 2008, the ballot measure included the strictest engineering and spending controls ever placed on a major state project.Voters were told that the high-speed trains would hit 220 mph, get from Los Angeles to San Francisco in two hours and 40 minutes, operate without subsidies and obtain funding and environmental clearances for entire operating segments before construction.The idea was to protect taxpayers from an abandoned project or one that would require indefinite taxpayer support…When the restrictions were written, they were considered unprecedented.“This bond issue was extraordinary,” said Quentin Kopp, a former state senator, state court judge and former chairman of the high-speed rail authority, when the restrictions were written. “I can’t recall any general obligation bond issue that incorporated legal provisions to the extent this one does.”…”The conditions were unnecessary and ill conceived,” said Rod Diridon, another former chairman of the state’s rail agency and now executive director of a San Jose State University transportation institute.

      Emphasis added.

      Look at the The eastern span replacement for The Bay Bridge, something like five years behind the original schedule, not counting political and legal finangling and upwards of 90% over the original cost estimate.

      If the replacement span had to happen as a result of a ballot initiative, it never would have been completed and we’d have ended up with a cheap viaduct if anything. The real lesson is to not promise a fixed cost infrastructure project at all.

      • Posted by toady

        “The conditions were unnecessary and ill conceived,”

        Actually no. The conditions did what they were supposed to do – kill this “ill conceived” project dead.

  5. Posted by toady

    So when will the activists start vomiting on Richard and Barbara Stewart’s car?

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