Decision 2020

Contra Costa Measure J Transportation Tax Rejected

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Final but unofficial election results for Measure J, a 35-year half-cent sales tax to raise money for local roads, buses, rail, ferries and other transportation improvement projects in Contra Costa County, fell far short of the two-thirds approval needed to pass, and in fact didn't even make 50%.

Measure J would have raised an estimated $103 million over the 35 years to "directly benefit Contra Costa County residents."

Measure J would focus on improving major roadways that suffer from the worst traffic, including Interstate Highways 680, 580 and 80; state Highways 4 and 24; and arterials including Ygnacio Valley Road, Kirker Pass Road, Vasco Road, Bollinger Canyon Road, Central Avenue and Richmond Parkway.

It also would address issues such as safety at Contra Costa-area BART stations and the better synchronization of traffic lights on major roadways.

The need for more freeway expansion and improvement, better (cleaner and more crime-free) BART service, and a ferry boat service serving Contra Costa's north-shore cities, is almost universally acknowledged.

But critics have challenged Measure J's lack of specifics, and contend that similar past tax measures to improve transportation in Contra Costa have had negligible effect on the county's increasing traffic volumes.

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