Silicon Valley traffic

Puzzled by Traffic Congestion

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October 7  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Are you puzzled by the traffic congestion that has crippled our region? Then join us to pass Measure B – for Better Commutes & Better Roads – on the November ballot.

Like a Jigsaw Puzzle, each piece of Measure B is important on its own, but fits together like a Jigsaw Puzzle for countywide congestion relief, transit alternatives and road repairs to fix the crumbling conditions of our local streets & roads.

jigsaw-puzzle-image

First, it finishes the job on bringing BART to downtown San Jose and on to Santa Clara, connecting to Caltrain Commuter Rail service with platform-to-platform transfers.

Second, it builds on the electrification of Caltrain, which begins in 2020, so that we have “rapid rail around the entire Bay Area,” with vital capacity & safety improvements for Caltrain passengers.

Third, it ensures we have lifeline service and core transit service for seniors, people with disabilities, students and people of modest means.

Fourth, we finally add a “Transit-only solution” in the empty “center median” in Highway 85 – long preserved yet never funded until Measure B.

Fifth, we fund bike and pedestrian safety improvements, especially near our schools.

Sixth, we fix 20 key interchanges and auxiliary lanes on Highways 101, 280, 680, 17, 87, 237 and 85.

Seventh, we improve all 10 County expressways, easing congestion on each expressway and taking the pressure off of adjoining neighborhood streets.

Finally, nearly one of every five dollars will improve local streets and fix potholes in all 15 cities and towns.

Measure B is like a Jigsaw Puzzle with each piece vital on its own, yet fits together to provide comprehensive, countywide traffic relief. For more details, visit YesMeasureB.com.

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Failing to plan is planning to fail

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December 23  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Nearly 200 executives from 120 member companies of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group gathered on Dec. 16 at Santa Clara University to debate and decide our 2016 action plan to strengthen our region and state’s economy and to improve the quality of life for our employees, their families and the broader community.

Top of the list: Traffic. As we have successfully accomplished 4 times in 3 decades, the Leadership Group is once again willing to lead efforts in Santa Clara County for a transportation funding measure in November of 2016 to finalize the BART extension, double the capacity of Caltrain Commuter Rail Service, improve basic transit service for seniors, students, workers and the disabled, improve bike and pedestrian facilities – especially near schools, ease traffic congestion on all eight county expressways (Almaden, Capitol, Central, Foothill, Lawrence, Montague, Oregon and San Tomas); key highway interchanges on 101, 85, 87, 280 and 237, and to fill potholes and maintain streets in all 15 cities and towns.

A recent “call for projects” by the Valley Transportation Authority identified $47.8 billion in transportation funding needs. At most, a transportation measure will generate $6 billion over 30 years. Like we all do with our family budgets, this means setting priorities to build a system of transportation improvements that provides relief throughout the County, identifies specific improvements and offers the accountability that we, as taxpayers, deserve. Interested in helping? Contact the Leadership Group. Gridlock might describe our nation’s politics, but it doesn’t have to describe our local roads and highways.

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Reform and Revenue for California Roads

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August 19  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino
Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino speaks at a news conference about transportation with California Governor Jerry Brown and state Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins on August 19, 2015. Photo Courtesy: (Assembly Democratic Caucus)

Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino speaks at a news conference about transportation with California Governor Jerry Brown and state Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins on August 19, 2015. (Photo: Assembly Democratic Caucus)

Here’s food for thought … It’s hard to drive Silicon Valley’s economy with your employees stalled in Silicon Valley traffic.

I had the pleasure to share the podium with California Governor Jerry Brown and state Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins on Wednesday to underscore the urgency for new transportation funding for California.

With 23 days (and counting) left in this legislative session we need a bi-partisan solution to fix the cracks and potholes that have become emblematic of California’s crumbling highways and our local streets and roads.

We need a combination of reform and revenue. Reform to ensure every current transportation dollar is spent wisely and effectively. Revenue because we know the 10-year gap in transportation priorities and available funding is nearly $300 billion.

For Republican legislators looking for necessary reform, casting a vote for new revenue can be difficult. For Democrats looking for revenue, some of the necessary reforms can be a tough vote. Yet, this is our “Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid” moment. “I will jump if you jump.”

And here is the good news: Butch and Sundance survived the jump. And if legislators jump together, they will not only survive, but the road improvements will help California thrive.

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