Monday, November 3, 2008

Local Election Endorsements For Transportation

As a resident of Santa Monica, L.A. County and the State of California, I have 3 local propositions to vote on with an impact on transportation issues. This is how I am voting and why.

Prop 1A Graphic Header

Yes on CA Proposition 1A, the California High-Speed Rail project. I've been very excited about this project since I first heard about it years ago when it was struggling to make it to voters due to apathy by the legislature and governor. Well now it's on the ballot, with Schwarzenegger supporting it this time. Voters have a shot at truly modernizing state travel in California. Also some food for thought for cyclists, typically train travel surcharge for packing a bicycle is $5, on a plane it can be more than a hundred due to limited space. For more on my endorsement of Prop1A, check out my on the Trains Are Awesome blog. (Posts Tagged Prop 1A)


measure_r_main_image_001

Yes on L.A. Measure R, the half cent L.A. County sales tax to fund Metro projects over the next 30 years. I listened to an engaging debate on the measure by voices both within the alternative transit community, and though some good points were made on both sides, I am still strongly of the opinion that this is necessary for L.A.'s transportation future. Frankly we are behind every other major metropolitan area in the scope of our alternative transportation system, and I don't foresee this changing anytime soon without an influx of cash to make former pipe dreams like the west side subway a reality.

I see bikes and trains as very complimentary forms of transportation, and I know many cyclists, the ones who actually live near trains, are also frequent train users.
Regrettably there is also a lot of freeway funding in there as well, but train projects are the most prominent. Local return funds will also go to each city in L.A. County to be spent on local road improvements like filling those pot holes we hate so much, and with some lobbying on our parts, hopefully more cycling specific infrastructure improvements.

Especially after my recent trip to New York and getting around by combination of walking, cycling and trains, I realize we need this. It's not without flaws, and there is lots of squabbling over west side versus east side versus south side going on concerning who gets what, even though not that long ago nobody cared who got a train in Los Angeles. Now everyone realizes over reliance on freeways is a disaster. L.A. transportation needs this funding, and if we pass it, we will need to lobby metro and hold them accountable to ensure this money is spent according to plan. Also on Trains Are Awesome, are some of my thoughts concerning Measure R (Posts Tagged Measure R). I want the Subway To The Sea (a.k.a West Side Extension) to happen yesterday, not when I am 50.


Traffic

No on Santa Monica Proposition T, also known as RIFT, the Santa Monica Residents’ Initiative to Fight Traffic. As mentioned on this blog I oppose this measure for several reasons. At the core it shifts the blame for traffic from excessive automobile use, which is encouraged by our system of subsidies, to blaming commercial activity. I feel this is a wrong headed approach to reducing traffic, and the short sighted measure fails to acknowledge numerous alternatives that could produce more desirable results without the same economic consequences. There is also zero accountability built into the proposition, and no real way to measure it's progress or effects either positively or negatively.

For more detail on my position concerning Prop T, including an alternative idea, check out my blog post here. Interestingly my post on Prop T is now the most viewed page on my entire blog except for the homepage. So people are reading up on these things, and looking beyond mass mailers for alternative voices.

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