Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) released its 2020 Measure A annual report with a focus on milestone achievements over the last year such as the start of construction for the Highway 101 Carpinteria to Santa Barbara project, the rise of congestion relief strategies like telecommuting in the era of the pandemic as well as local street and pedestrian improvement projects. The report further recognizes the partnerships among SBCAG, cities, county unincorporated areas, transit agencies and alternative transportation leaders to deliver on promises to voters through Measure A. Measure A is the region’s local transportation sales tax measure that passed overwhelming (79 percent) by voters in November 2008. SBCAG administers Measure A which is expected to provide more than $1 billion of estimated local tax revenues for high priority regional and local transportation projects and programs including bicycle, pedestrian, and transit opportunities in Santa Barbara County over 30 years.
Together with SBCAG, the Measure A Citizens Oversight Committee helps keep the measure on-track and aligned with all the voter-approved projects and programs. Mark Cheli, Chair of the Measure A Citizens Oversight Committee remarks on efforts over the last year. “While 2020 saw milestone achievements in Measure A programs and projects, we know that the year was also shaped by unprecedented challenges because of the pandemic, most acutely felt within public transit. The long-term impact of COVID-19 on the economy and Measure A revenues remains to be seen, however, this annual report demonstrates a resilient commitment to continue to make progress on voter priorities.”
The Measure A Citizens Oversight Committee welcomed three new members in 2020 following a competitive recruitment process: J Lansing Duncan, Tomas López, and Geoffrey Slaff. J. Lansing Duncan, resident of Santa Ynez Valley, is a retired landscape contractor and landscape designer as well as educator with Santa Barbara Community College. Tomas López, resident of Santa Maria, is local business owner and licensed Civil Engineer. Geoffrey Slaff, a resident of Montecito, has a PhD in Biochemical Engineering and his professional career included working with start-ups as well as U.S. and European based multi-national corporations.
Marjie Kirn, Executive Director of SBCAG, remarks on Measure A commitments in 2021. “As 2021 is upon us, SBCAG is more resolved than ever to continue to leverage Measure A to bring about additional state and federal investment to improve our communities, put people to work, and promote economic recovery. This would not be possible without the tremendous support of Santa Barbara County voters.”
Measure A invests in high priority transportation projects and programs selected by the North County and South Coast regions of Santa Barbara County to address current and future needs of each region. North County and South Coast each receive 43.4 percent of revenues, or an estimated $455 million, over the lifespan of the measure. The highest priority countywide project in the Measure A program is the Highway 101 Multimodal Corridor project, which is identified to receive 13.4 percent of revenues generated, estimated at $140 million, to leverage state and federal investment to fully fund the project. The public can learn more about Measure A on the measure’s website. Additionally, the public can access information about the Highway 101 Multimodal Corridor project on the project’s website.