After more than 60 presentations to local chambers of commerce, civic and business groups, 32 community workshops, and four telephone town hall meetings – all reaching thousands of residents – the initial grassroots engagement effort of GO Hillsborough has come to a close.

Over the past three months, residents like you have shared your concerns with us about the transportation crisis we face. You’ve agreed that the problem isn’t going away, and that doing nothing is not an option. You’ve also shared with us your priorities to fix our roads first and work towards expanding existing transit options.

As a result of your input, GO Hillsborough has developed 14 recommendations we believe will update road maintenance, help relieve congestion, ease the daily commute and double transit routes.

The recommendation is a proposed ½-cent sales tax to be approved by voters like you in November, 2016. This incremental tax will raise $117.5 million annually and $3.5 billion over a fixed period of time – 30 years. This tax ensures that we all pay a share in improving the roads we use daily, while also passing a portion of the burden to visitors.

Along with that ½-cent tax, we are recommending that developers pay their fair share and the impact of new homes, subdivisions, etc. will be better managed.

So where will the funds go? We will:

  • fix and maintain existing roads;
  • relieve traffic flow and congestion, including intersection bottlenecks;
  • build and widen roads;
  • double transit service; and,
  • make walking and biking safer.

Through this grassroots effort, you’ve also told us that you want a greater say in the decision making process. So late this summer, we will again seek your input through community meetings to develop a specific project list for the first 10 years.

As you know, our roads and transit system are inextricably tied to our future prosperity. Easing the gridlock commute that so many of us face and having transit alternatives will encourage new economic opportunities for our entire region.

We all want what’s best for our community. Working together, we can make our area even more livable and ensure that our children inherit a bright, prosperous future.