The Pacific Surfliner — the Amtrak commuter
train that makes several daily trips between Paso Robles and San
Diego via Santa Barbara and Los Angeles — posted a record number of
travelers this spring. From April through June, 703,857
fuel-conscious people rode the train. The Surfliner features five
daily roundtrips between Santa Barbara and San Diego, and 12 daily
roundtrips between San Diego and Los Angeles.

State Assemblymember Pedro Nava and Goleta
Valley Chamber of Commerce President Kristen Amyx announced their
support for Measure D, the $1.6 billion countywide
traffic congestion relief measure. Nava said Measure D would help
reduce pollution because it would reduce freeway congestion.
Addressing criticism that Measure D will be funded by a
quarter-cent sales tax increase, Nava stated, “It’s a little-known
fact that on average California residents spend $550 a year on
vehicle repair because of bad road conditions.” A large chunk of
Measure D revenues will be spent on road repair and maintenance. A
significant amount will also be spent on commuter rail, bus
service, bike lanes, and safer pedestrian routes to schools.

Measure D supporters had reportedly raised
$167,000 as of September 30. The two biggest donations came from
Union Asphalt and Granite Construction, which contributed $30,000
and $49,000, respectively. Executives from the two
companies — which both stand to land substantial road repair and
maintenance contracts should Measure D pass — noted the
quarter-cent sales tax increase would be good for business
countywide. Andy Caldwell of COLAB (the Coalition of Labor,
Agriculture, and Business) is campaigning against the measure in
objection to some of the projects it funds. Granite Construction
and other members of COLAB have resigned from the organization
because of this difference of opinion. The Coalition Against
Measure D — led by libertarian-leaning scholar Lanny
Ebenstein — had raised $1,125. The biggest donors were the Santa
Barbara Republican Club of Carpinteria and Preston Hotchkiss of the
Bixby Land Company, who both gave $250.


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