The campaign to support Measure D, the proposed half-cent sales tax funding transportation needs, has rallied an impressive list of allies throughout Santa Cruz County, but it’s still unclear whether the measure will pass this November.
A phone poll in June showed the measure had 68 percent approval, barely above the two-thirds vote needed.
In 2004, a similar countywide sales tax measure for transportation failed, because it directed most of its revenue to Highway 1 widening, said Don Lane, Santa Cruz City Council member and head of the county Regional Transportation Commission. He and several environmental groups opposed the 2004 measure because it didn’t adequately support alternative transportation.
This year’s measure is different, said Lane. It directs just 25 percent of revenue to Highway 1 construction. Neighborhood projects such as local road repair get 30 percent, and the rest goes to transit for seniors and disabled people, the coastal rail trail and railroad maintenance and analysis.