The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) has taken over the San Francisco Bay Area’s Bike to Work Day advertising efforts and this has come at a good time for the primary sponsors of the Regional Measure 3: the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG).
Former SVLG lobbyist Shiloh Ballard became SVBC Executive Director in January 2015, and the group has always cooperated with SVLG efforts to raise taxes for transportation and housing. So it is no surprise that SVBC is pushing Silicon Valley’s corporate agenda, which sadly still includes billions of dollars for highway traffic capacity expansions decades into the future.
This year the Regional Measure 3 bridge toll increase (by $3 over the next seven years) includes mostly big ticket items like highway expansions and BART along with a predictably tiny share for pedestrian and bicycling improvements. SVLG and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the regional agency that created RM3, argue that simply repaving streets counts as bicycle infrastructure because bike lanes can be added when streets are repaved. In reality most repaving projects make no effort whatsoever to create a Complete Street.
Will this make a difference in the campaign? It certainly helps to enlists the support of bicyclists to help pass this new bridge toll hike, even though bicycling remains the very last priority for how to spend revenues. The naked and corrupt coordination between MTC, SVLG, SVBC and other groups wrapped up into the Highway-Industrial Complex that perpetuates lavish funding for highways while suppressing buses and bikes in the Bay Area for the foreseeable future.