Measure A on the Nov. 4 ballot is all about improving and maintaining Santa Barbara County’s vital transportation system. But it’s also about ensuring the future health of our county’s economy.
Traffic congestion continues to be one of the county’s most challenging and costly problems — both on Highway 101 and on local streets — hurting employers and employees.
Traffic congestion, on average, robs workers of eight days a year, according to a study by the respected Texas Transportation Institute. The same study also found that the annual cost of wasted fuel and lost time for people stuck in traffic amounted to $1,160 per person.
Wasted time and fuel from traffic congestion also cost businesses that rely on the speedy transport of goods and services. Nationally, that cost exceeds $100 billion annually. And the problem isn’t confined to traditional urban areas like Los Angeles. Traffic congestion is taking an increasingly heavy economic toll on areas just like Santa Barbara County.
Traffic congestion also hurts our important tourism and hospitality industry, deterring weekend visitors who don’t want to wrestle with hours of delay getting in and out.
Without increasing taxes, Measure A will help us reduce traffic by widening Highway 101 and supporting expanded public transit, including bus and rail service and other forms of alternative transportation that get people out of their cars.
Another economic benefit that Santa Barbara County will enjoy is the 18,000 jobs that Measure A is estimated to create over its lifetime in transportation planning, construction and engineering — related both to roads and freeways and to public transit.
For more jobs, less traffic and a strong local economy, we’re encouraging you to vote YES on Measure A.