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City of Half Moon Bay Main Street Bridge Safety & Accessibility Act, Measure E (June 2014)

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See also: Competing Main Street Preservation Act, Measure F
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A City of Half Moon Bay Main Street Bridge Safety & Accessibility Act, Measure E ballot question was on the June 3, 2014 election ballot for voters in the city of Half Moon Bay in San Mateo County, California, where it was defeated.

Measure E would have implemented a plan to demolish the current bridge and construct a new Main Street Bridge. The plan would have enlarged the bridge, widening lanes and pedestrian pathways. Measure E would have approved the plan put forward by the city council. Measure E and Measure F were competing measures, which meant that only one could have been approved. If both had received a majority of votes, the one with the most "yes" votes would have been enacted.[1]

Measure E v. Measure F

Defeated Measure E, proposed and backed by the city council, would have allowed the city to make the main street bridge wider, to realign roads leading up to the bridge and to make walkways across the bridge more accessible to disabled people in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This would have, according to the proposed plan, required the demolition of the current bridge and the construction of a new, wider bridge.[1]

Measure F, which was approved, prohibited the demolition of the current bridge without voter approval at a citywide election. It also required the city to attain approval from the Coastal Commission before any change to the city's Local Coastal Program and Zoning regulations were implemented, which included major changes to the Main Street Bridge. Instead of full reconstruction, Measure F called for smaller renovations of the bridge. It made the preservation of the "historical, visual, and physical integrity (including appearance and character)" of the bridge the official policy of the city of Half Moon Bay.[2]

Election results

Measure E
Defeatedd No1,80763.2%
Yes 1,053 36.8%
Election results from San Mateo County Elections Office (timed out)'

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:[1]

Shall an ordinance be adopted establishing the Main Street Bridge Safety and Accessibility Act as the official policy of the people of Half Moon Bay?[3]

The Main Street Bridge

Impartial analysis

The following impartial analysis of Measure E was prepared by the office of the city attorney:[1]

The City Council of the City of the Half Moon Bay has placed Measure E, the "Main Street Bridge Safety and Accessibility Act" on the June 3, 2014 ballot, along with a competing measure, Measure F, the "Main Street Bridge Preservation Act." The measures offer competing visions for the future of the bridge.

Measure E would establish as official City policy with respect to any bridge repair or replacement project:

A. to address both structural and functional safety deficiencies, including but not limited to:

1. roadway alignment and width to accommodate bicycle lanes and meet current CalTrans design safety standards;

2. width and design of walkways to fully comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disability Act;

B. to pursue the option that is most cost effective for local taxpayers, by minimizing expenditure of general fund revenue and maximizing the use of available grant funds;

C. to construct the project in a manner that, to the maximum extent practicable:

1. maintains at least one vehicle lane of traffic during construction

2. avoids the peak tourist season (July through October)


3. minimizes noise, dust, vibrations, and other such construction related impacts outside the project area.

CalTrans has give the bridge a safety rating of 24 on a scale of 1-100 under its bridge rating system. It is considered "functionally deficient" because it is narrow by current highway safety standards, lacks shoulders or bike lanes, and is poorly aligned with Main Street at the north end. It is also considered "structurally deficient" with large cracks, separated concrete, and corroded metal support brackets all plainly visible from below. In 2011, the City won a federal Highway Bridge Project (HBP) grant that will cover 88% of the cost of rehabilitation or replacement but grant guidelines specify that funds be used to address both structural and functional deficiencies, and that the resulting structure achieve a safety rating of 80 or above. Whether the bridge is repaired or replaced, fixing the bridge's functional issues would involve building wider lanes and walkways and improving the alignment and hence "enlarging" the structure.

Measure F, the "Main Street Preservation Act", would prohibit Half Moon Bay from demolishing or enlarging the Main Street Bridge (including widening the vehicle lanes and pedestrian paths for ADA compliance) unless approved by the voters at another, subsequent election.

Measures E and F are self-cancelling, meaning if both are approved by simple majority (more than 50%), then only the one receiving the higher number of votes will take effect. If Measure E takes effect, then addressing the bridge's functional deficiencies and maximizing the use of available grant funding for that purpose will be established by the voters as the "official policy" of the City of Half Moon Bay.[3]

—Half Moon Bay City Attorney[1]


Supporters of Measure E were opposed to the competing measure, Measure F.


The following individuals signed the official arguments in favor of Measure E:[1]

  • John Muller, Half Moon Bay Mayor
  • Marina Fraser, Half Moon Bay Vice-Mayor
  • Shahrzad Pantera, concerned mother and community advocate
  • Albert J. Adreveno, former mayor of the city of Half Moon Bay and a senior citizen
  • Andre Turner, project manager for the Half Moon Bay Main Street Bridge

Arguments in favor

Supporters argued that the narrowness of the bridge and the narrow and misaligned roads leading up to it formed a traffic hazard. They also argued that the bridge's narrow walkways were dangerous for pedestrians and made the bridge inaccessible to disable people. In addition, supporters of Measure E and the complete reconstruction of the bridge pointed out the many, large cracks that had formed in the bridge, proposing that its structural integrity was questionable.[1]

Official arguments

The following official arguments were submitted in favor of Measure E:[1]

It's easy to like Measure E. The Main Street Bridge needs major upgrades. 113 years have taken their toll on the bridge's old concrete - wide cracks and separations have formed and threaten the bridge's structural integrity. It is too narrow for modern vehicles and the sharp southbound turn doesn't meet CalTrans safety standards - it was designed for horses and buggies! Stand there a few minutes - vehicles routinely cross the centerline approaching from the north. Scars and paint marks on the rails bear witness. On foot, walkways are substandard. In a wheelchair, they are non-ADA compliant and difficult to negotiate.

These are not just the claims of the City Council or Measure E's supporters. They are backed by CalTrans safety inspectors, who rate the bridge 24 on a safety scale of 1-100. Last year, after three years of analysis and community outreach, the City Council saw the need to move forward. It decided that fixing the bridge's design safety defects and preserving grant funding are issues of paramount importance. Measure E affirms the policy decision of the Council we elected to lead Half Moon Bay as "the official policy" of its voters.

Measure E provides flexibility to design a project that eliminates the structural defects (cracks, displaced concrete, water intrusion), corrects design flaws (width and alignment), and makes the bridge safer. It preserves grant funding eligibility - 88% of the project costs will be covered by federal dollars - a savings to local taxpayers. The "band-aid" approach favored by bridge project opponents doesn't meet grant funding criteria.

Help us find a solution for a safer bridge! Vote YES on Measure E![3]

—John Muller, Marina Fraser, Shahrzad Pantera, Albert J. Adreveno and Andre Turner[1]


Opponents of Measure E generally supported the competing measure, Measure F.


The official campaign in opposition to Measure E - called Friends of the Main Street Bridge - was being run by Measure F supporters.[2]

The following individuals signed the official arguments in opposition to Measure E:[1]

  • David Eblovi
  • Mark Heath, chiropractor
  • Luciano Arruda
  • John Lynch

Arguments against

Opponents of Measure E argued that the bridge was perfectly functional and a part of the history of Half Moon Bay. They also argued that destroying the bridge, in compliance with Measure E, would have left no direct path from the California State Route 92 to the many restaurants and businesses on Main Street, which would have severely reduced the number of customers these businesses saw, harming the entire economy of Half Moon Bay for the duration of the reconstruction process. Some also argued that the narrowness of the bridge and the roads leading up to it prevented dangerous speeding from vehicles leaving the highway and entering Half Moon Bay and that this built-in safety precaution would have been done away with by the proposed city plan that would have been implemented by Measure E.[2]

Kim Levin, owner of Pasta Moon Restaurant in Half Moon Bay said:[2]

Most of our customers turn onto Main Street from 92. They will stop coming if the bridge is demolished.

My forty employees are worried about this, but it’s not just us. Every business on Main Street will be affected. A lot of jobs will be lost, and many of those businesses may go under.

With $5 million in business losses, real people, our friends and neighbors, will be hurt. Don’t let that happen.

Please vote NO on E and YES on F.[3]

—Kim Levin, Owner of Pasta Moon Restaurant[2]

Official arguments

The following official arguments were submitted in opposition to Measure E:[1]

A year and a half ago, the City of Half Moon Bay signed a $1.7 million contract with URS, an engineering and construction firm. The contract specified that the Main Street Bridge be demolished and a new wider bridge be designed and built. Total costs would exceed $8 million. It would take 2 years and Main Street would be blocked for construction.

When the citizens of HMB found out, they were stunned. If downtown were cut off from 92, visitors and customers for Main Street businesses would disappear. The Chamber of Commerce estimates that losses could mount to $5 million. Businesses would close and people would lose their jobs. The Main Street merchants were livid.

But the merchants were not alone. 100 percent of the speakers at Council meetings were aghast at the destruction of a trailblazing structure and the willful disregard for the 2,700 citizens who signed petitions. And everyone is worried that a wide thoroughfare into the historic downtown will destroy our town's charming character and tourist economy.

Because the City has refused to listen, we citizens pooled our money, hired our own engineering firm, and created an alternative bridge repair plan. Our plan will not strangle the local economy and is eligible for federal funding. Our plan:

  • addresses all potential safety concerns
  • brings the bridge up to modern disability requirements
  • keeps the bridge open during construction
  • takes less time and costs less money

Make no mistake. Measure E is an attempt to defeat our efforts and to confuse you, the voter, in the hope that you'll allow them to continue to rake in grant money to spend as they wish.

Please visit for details, including pictures on how the bridge should be repaired. Then vote NO on Measure E.

We have a better plan.[3]

—David Eblovi, Mark Heath, Luciano Arruda and John Lynch[1]

Related measures

Approveda City of Half Moon Bay Main Street Bridge Preservation Act, Measure F (June 2014)

See also

External links

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