Campaigns around Transportation Ballot Measures

By Jake Knight on December 05, 2012

Ballot measures are an increasingly successful way to fund transportation improvements at the local level. Biking and walking advocacy organizations can form campaigns around ballot initiatives to promote awareness, show popular support and secure funding for infrastructure improvements. This past election season saw several transportation measures on ballots across the U.S., and a majority of these measures passed.

The American Road and Transportation Builders Association tracked 31 ballot measures across the U.S. and found that nearly 70% of them passed. Transportation Issues Daily also compiled a good list of ballot measure results after the election last month.

East Bay Bicycle Coalition supported Measure B1, a high-profile measure in Alameda County that would extend and augment a half-cent sales tax to improve multimodal transportation with an unprecedented 11% of funding allocated to bicycle and pedestrian projects. Requiring a two-thirds supermajority, the measure failed to pass by only 0.14%, and a recount is currently underway. Whatever may come of the recount, support generated around Measure B1 has shown officials that the majority of Alameda County residents are in favor of funding better transportation options.

BikeTexas also outlined the ballot measures that passed in three Texas communities last month. Read about these measures and how they improve biking, walking and transit at

Taking action for or against ballot measures counts as lobbying, so 501c3 organizations should be aware of their limits. To learn more about the extent to which a 501c3 organization can engage in activities around ballot measures, read this Alliance for Justice tip sheet.


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