A $190 million transportation bond measure has been withdrawn from the May 19 ballot in Bend, Oregon due to uncertainties in the municipal bond market brought on by the COVID-19 epidemic.
The goal is to put the bond package, which proposes dozens of projects aimed at easing traffic congestion, improving safety, and connecting east and west Bend, on a future ballot, possibly as early as November, say advocates. The proposed road and safety improvements would fix many of the most troubled spots in Bend and improve east/west connections in the town, supporters say. Over 100 businesses, non-profits, and community leaders, say they will continue to support the transportation bond when the City Council places the measure before voters.
Similarly, in California, proponents of a Bay Area, 1-cent sales tax measure to fund transportation and transit projects, announced that they are looking beyond the 2020 election cycle for similar reasons. Titled “FASTER Bay Area”, the ballot measure would have required at least two-thirds majority support from both the state Senate and Assembly along with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) signature. All of this by June 24 to make it on the November ballot.
Novato Councilman Eric Lucan (D) said the extra time will allow the proponents to conduct more public outreach that would be vital in getting voter approval, which he said would be hard to rally given the economic and health concerns.