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Transportation

Nationwide, Transportation Measures Rolled to Victory

High voter turnout meant lots of wins for transit- and transportation-related ballot measures on Tuesday.
Missouri voters didn't go for a gas tax on Tuesday, but most transportation measures prevailed.
Missouri voters didn't go for a gas tax on Tuesday, but most transportation measures prevailed.David A. Lieb/AP

On Tuesday, Democrats won a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in eight years. In an era of declining federal support for transportation, the so-called Blue Wave of more liberal lawmakers may lift the spirits of beleaguered commuters and road users, particularly those who depend on urban transit. So is the clutch of new governors’ seats that Democrats picked up.

But perhaps more likely to result in meaningful change in how Americans get around were hundreds of state and local measures on Tuesday’s ballots approving new and continuing investments in streets, bridges, ports, and transit systems. As of Wednesday morning, a large majority appear to have passed from Maine to California. The high turnout among Democratic voters in particular probably helped. “Running infrastructure campaigns in an election year dramatically improves their chances of passing,” said Adie Tomer, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.