County Transportation Authority to discuss another tax, proposal to prohibit roads serving East County

By Allen Payton

A special meeting of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) will be held, tonight, Wednesday, January 6, 2016, to discuss a proposed transportation tax, in addition to Measure J, the current half-cent sales tax for transportation in the county. That tax, approved by voters in 2004, is projected to collect approximately $2.5 billion over its life and will expire at the end of 2034.

The CCTA is expected to seek voter approval for a new half-cent transportation sales tax, that if approved, could raise more than $2 billion dollars over 30 years. The board will discuss development of a Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) for a proposed ballot measure, and ways to seek and obtain input from the public and various organizations.

According to the authority’s December 16, 2015 agenda, “Recognizing the benefits realized through Measure C and Measure J, and the continuing needs for transportation improvements throughout Contra Costa County, the Authority at its meeting in March 2015 directed staff to develop a plan for development of a possible TEP to be considered for placement on the ballot in November 2016 or a later general election.”

Following are the three agenda items for tonight’s meeting dealing with the proposed tax:

1.1  Development of a Potential Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) – Approve Revised TEP Process Timeline.

1.2  Development of a Potential Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) – Introduction to Special Meetings of the Authority Board.

1.3  Presentation and Discussion of “A Community Vision for a New Transportation Tax” Prepared by a Growing Coalition of Environmental, Labor, Transportation, Housing, Social Justice, Faith, Civic and other Public Interest Groups.

That presentation includes a list of proposals for the new transportation tax measure, such as Incentivizing Sustainable, Equitable Development; Local and Regional Transit; Growth Management, which includes prohibiting “sprawl-­inducing projects: These include, among others, the James Donlon Extension, Camino Tassajara Expansion, and Highway 239,” the proposed route between Brentwood and I-5 in Tracy; Global Warming Solutions, stating “Contra Costa should take leadership to exceed the State of California’s mandated reductions for vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs);” Good Local Jobs; Complete Streets, meaning “options for all modes of transportation;” Regional Trail Network; and Accountability and Public Benefits.

The public will have the opportunity to speak on each agenda item.

The meeting is scheduled to be audio cast live on the CCTA website on January 6, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. To listen to the audio cast or download the meeting materials, please visit the Public Meetings page of our website. (Please note that the meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. or immediately following the Planning Committee Meeting, whichever is later.) To view a copy of the meeting agenda, click here.

CCTA meetings are held at 2999 Oak Road, Suite 100 in Walnut Creek. The Board Members from East County are Supervisor Federal Glover, Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor and Oakley Mayor Kevin Romick.

6 Comments to “County Transportation Authority to discuss another tax, proposal to prohibit roads serving East County”

  1. Arne says:

    There should be considerable opposition from East County cities if Hwy 239 (aka “The Byron Highway”) connection from Hwy 4 to I-5 is not included!

    East County needs a 4-lane connection to I-5 from Hwy 4 !!!

    • Josh Young says:


      I completely agree with you on the HWY 239 point. I am more interested in the James Donlon extension. What do they propose? To connect James Donlon to Kirkerpass?

      • Publisher says:

        To answer your question about the James Donlon Extention, yes. It used to be called the Buchanan Bypass, because it will serve as an alternative connection between Antioch and Kirker Pass Road, instead of just the two-lane Buchanan Road. It’s been planned for a long time. But, some Central County folks don’t want it because it will make it easier for more people to use Kirker Pass Road/Ygnacio Valley Road instead of Highway 4 to get to Central County. But, what those folks fail to recognize is that road was supposed to be Hwy 24 extended to East County 40 years ago, but Central County opposed it, saying it would induce growth in East County. Well, guess what? The growth came anyways. Now they don’t want us using “their” local road. However, that’s considered a route of regional significance and receives Measure J and has received Measure C money, in the past. Stopping roads from being built won’t stop growth. It never has, because people will continue to have children, they will eventually need a home to live in and it’s better if those homes are closer in to job centers than out in the Central Valley, which requires people to drive further and blow more exhaust out of their tailpipes longer, damaging the environment more. What many of those who are part of the coalition want is for all of us to live in high-rise, high-density housing, in the inner core of the Bay Area. They also oppose us bringing jobs to our area, as they believe in the limited pie economic theory, in that for us to gain jobs, other areas have to lose, which is ridiculous. We can all gain jobs as the economy grows. We’ve been fighting this battle for years, out here. It took us three years, from 1995-98 to turn the CCTA Board around from 3 in favor of and 8 opposed to the Highway 4 Bypass to an 11-0 vote in favor after the foolish argument of those opposed to it that it would induce growth in East County was defeated.
        Allen Payton, Publisher

  2. Marty Fernandez says:

    Doesn’t Antioch have representation? I know most of our officials do not attend meetings they are appointed to so it may not matter anyway.

    • Publisher says:

      Antioch is represented by Councilman Tony Tiscareno on Transplan.
      Transplan then votes for two representatives to serve on the CCTA.
      Those are currently Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor and Oakley Mayor Kevin Romick.
      I believe they’re rotated every year or two.
      Supervisor Federal Glover also serves on the CCTA Board, but as one of the two
      representatives of the Board of Supervisors.
      Allen Payton, Publisher

Leave a Reply