RoadsWhen I became mayor in 2014, Turlock had a Pavement Condition Index of 64 out of 100, falling three points in just three years. One of the city’s main arteries—West Main Street—has seen an increased use due to the success of downtown Turlock, but this road’s infrastructure is failing and there are portions of the road with a rating of 14 out of 100.
The city focused on repairing pothole and seeking grants when available, but I’m pleased to report that Measure L passed this past November and our City will be receiving over $73 million to put toward rebuilding our roadways. While this new investment was crucial, I want to highlight that Turlock’s leaders and engineers started the conversation with stakeholders that live in the West Main neighborhood far in advance of the passage of the road tax. Because of this pre-planning, we are excited to announce that we will be breaking ground on this highly used corridor no later than August 1—making Turlock the first city to start a Measure L project.
After this is complete, we will turn our sights on East Avenue, Golden State Boulevard, and Geer Road, which are some of the most used roadways in the worst condition.
Full list of roads funded by Measure L
What exactly is Measure L?It’s a 25-year half cent sales tax that will generate an estimated $960 million to be divided among the county and cities based on sales tax generation.
Of Turlock’s share, 50 percent will be designated to fixing current roads, 10 percent will focus on improved traffic signals, and 5 percent will be dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian safety projects. An additional 28 percent of our share will be used on significant projects in Turlock of regional importance, specifically the West Main Interchange at Highway 99 here in Turlock and a new auxiliary lane on Highway 99 between Keyes Road and Taylor Road. The remaining 7 percent will be spent on transit services for Turlock’s senior citizens, veterans, students and persons with disabilities.
As with all expenditures at City Hall, I have scrutinized Measure L. As Turlock’s representative and now the Vice Chair on the Stanislaus Council of Governments, I was able to sit at the table on behalf of our city to make sure we received our fair share of the revenue generated by the tax.
For example, I argued that Turlock is the economic engine of our southern county, if not the region. We may be only 13 percent of the county’s population, but we generate over 15 percent of the county’s sales tax revenue. Based on this, I made it a requirement for jurisdictions to receive their share of Measure L revenues based on any sales tax revenue generated, not just population. Because of this simple move, Turlock will receive an extra $20 million more for road improvements.
Because roads also deteriorate at a rapid rate the longer we neglect them, I will ask the Council to exercise its option to frontload our share of revenue to fix as many existing roads as possible in the first seven years, which means 80 percent of the tax generated in years 1 through 7 will go only toward overlays, slurry seals and micro-surfacing. If we do this, our oldest neighborhoods will be fixed even quicker, which will include improvements to Orange Street, Park Street and Denair Avenue (just to name a few of the more than 1,000 local road projects).
When we crafted this measure, I also made it a requirement that Turlock be able to first repair roads that have not only been neglected the longest, but are also used the most. In the first three years, roads like East Avenue, West Main Street, Golden State Boulevard, Olive Avenue, Geer Road and Taylor Road will be tackled.
We will invest over $14 million in new traffic signals at 18 key intersections, while also widening streets and synchronizing existing traffic lights—specifically on West Main Street between Turlock and Patterson—to keep traffic flowing efficiently. We will invest in safer routes to school, much like our plans to improve areas surrounding Cunningham and Wakefield elementary schools. And we will guarantee safe and reliable transportation for some of our most vulnerable citizens.
Bottom lineMeasure L is a game changer for Turlock. A full list of roads to be repaired can be found at City Hall or at the following link.
Full list of roads funded by Measure L