Opinion: Business and Labor in Silicon Valley Agree on Need to Fix Roads

April 07, 2017

Mercury News
Guest Commentary
By Derrick Seaver and David Urhausen

Our roads are crumbling. Our bridges are cracking. Our commutes are lengthening. It’s been 23 years since we did anything to increase funding for our roads. We can’t afford to wait another minute.

Fortunately, the California Legislature, led by our own Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), took action this week with the passage of SB 1, legislation which is critical to the long-term health of our state’s infrastructure system. 

The additional $5 billion this bill will create in revenue is a necessary step in ensuring the future of Silicon Valley’s transportation network. Of particular interest is the $2.5 billion that is specifically earmarked to reduce congestion on major commute corridors statewide.

A survey released last week by the Bay Area Council’s Economic Institute revealed that of those surveyed who said they wanted to leave the Bay Area in 2017, 41 percent cited traffic as a reason.

The missions of both the South Bay Labor Council and The Silicon Valley Organization are focused on regional economic development to ensure business velocity and a high quality of life. Both of those regional goals suffer when traffic is such a strong impediment for workers and businesses.

In order for our job creators and a strong middle class workforce to grow by attracting new high quality jobs to our region, we need the ability to retain the talented workforce that has made our economic ecosystem impossible to replicate.