Photo by mystuart, via Flickr.
On Tuesday, voters from across the country overwhelmingly showed their support for smart growth, crossing partisan lines to support open spaces, land conservation, and public transportation.
“These votes demonstrate Americans’ commitment to strengthening communities and economies, as voters recognized the value of smart investments and how they can benefit their own neighborhoods and towns,” says Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoffrey Anderson.
The most recent results to come in this week include a $166 million parks measure in Houston, TX and a $77.7 million parks measure in Austin, TX. Meanwhile, seven more Massachusetts counties approved the Community Preservation Act, agreeing to raise property taxes to preserve open space and historic structures, build affordable housing, and develop recreational fields. Bend, OR voters approved the formation of a new Bend Park and Recreation District, planning to build and improve upon new trails, parks, and river safety. Rhode Island voters also approved investments in open space and farmland protection by a wide margin (69%), in addition to clean water infrastructure (73%) and affordable housing (61%), with the open space/farmland and clean water infrastructure bonds passing in every community.
In addition, two-thirds of the 21 transit measures on ballots this year were approved, capping a year that has seen the most transit votes in over a decade. Many of these measures concern financing public transportation systems, but communities in Michigan, Ohio and Maine considered measures to withdraw from established regional transit systems. All of these regions voted against withdrawal. Michigan voters also approved four more property tax levies to continue funding public transportation, while Orange County, NC residents approved a half-cent gas tax for transportation. The Center for Transportation Excellence has a thorough review of all the transit measures voted on on Tuesday.
- “Voters say ‘Yes’ To Great Neighborhoods” (Smart Growth America press release)
- “Voters Give Landslide Approval for Conservation Spending Nationwide” (Trust for Public Lands press release)
- “Transportation Measures Continue Trend of Success on Election Day Coast-to-Coast, Voters Choose to Invest in Transit” (Center for Transportation Excellence press release)
- LandVote Database