City of Coronado pushes back against SANDAG plan

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CORONADO, Calif. — The City of Coronado is the latest city government to formally oppose re-purposing funds that were earmarked for transportation projects.

In 2004, San Diego voters approved an extension to TransNet, a half-cent sales tax to generate funds for highway, road and other public transit projects.

According to Mayor Richard Bailey, the plan designated $25 million for transportation projects within Coronado, including congestion relief on the Coronado Bridge. Bailey, who sits on the San Diego Association of Governments board, told FOX 5 he is concerned the city may not see that money, after SANDAG unveiled conceptual plans for several mass-transit projects across the county, including tunnels and lite rails.

“We want to make sure that the promises made back in 2004 are honored,” Bailey said.

The Coronado City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing any potential move by SANDAG to shift earmarked TransNet funds to mass-transit projects. Vista and El Cajon made similar statements.

“You’ve seen jurisdictions from around the county that have stepped up and passed similar resolutions to try to shape the conversations. To send a message to the board of SANDAG and also the voters throughout San Diego county who approved this TransNet sales tax extension — that we’re standing up for you,” Bailey said.

A SANDAG representative said that plans for future mass-transit projects have not been voted on or formally presented to the SANDAG board, and that remaining TransNet money had already been allocated to projects.

Ray Traynor, SANDAG Director of Operations, said they are very early in the planning process.

“At this point, no one is talking about taking money from any particular program or projects,” Traynor told FOX 5.

Traynor said plans for future mass-transit projects will likely be presented to the board in the fall.

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