Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sprawl on - Bites - Sacramento News & Review -

Sacramento News & Review - Sprawl on - Bites - Opinions - June 18, 2015:

Sprawl on 

So Sacramento’s streetcar proposal, Measure B, has failed. Backers of the plan immediately told “no” voters just how small and unimportant they are.
Seriously. West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon complained that “98.6 percent of Sacramento’s voters were not eligible to vote,” implying, with no evidence, that a bigger electorate would have approved Measure B. Regional Transit general manager Mike Wiley similarly lamented that, “It’s unfortunate a small number of people didn’t see the value” of streetcar.
Bites would argue that 1,200 voters is a lot more representative than some developers, politicians and a newspaper editorial board or two. A small majority of property owners, and then a small majority of residents in the proposed streetcar district, each said no. This only suggests that Sacramentans are divided about streetcar. There’s nothing to suggest some “silent majority” of streetcar support out there, as streetcar backers imply.
Which means streetcar must go forward, of course. Because, aside from being an unimportant minority, streetcar skeptics also “lack vision” according to Sacramento Bee columnist and money mouthpiece Marcos Breton, who added they are also “opposed to greater public transit and cleaner air.”
Right. Measure B didn’t fail because Measure B’s promises of enormous ridership and fantastic economic benefits were not believable. Or because there’s legitimate disagreement about whether streetcars give you enough bang for your transit buck. The “no” voters are just bad people who hate clean air.
Funny how Sacramento’s self-appointed visionaries keep getting beat at the ballot box. Look at the 2006 arena-sales-tax measures Q and R, or Kevin Johnson’s strong-mayor Measure L. The downtown power crew went to drastic lengths to keep the 2013 Kings arena plan off the ballot, knowing voters would reject it.
On the other hand, tax measures to support libraries and parks and cops have been successful. So, either Sacramento News & Review - Sprawl on - Bites - Opinions - June 18, 2015: