Escondido, CA

SANDAG sandbags North County roads

As the fictional character Howard Beale said in his famous rant in the 1976 film “Network,” “All I know is that first, you’ve got to get mad.”

If the following doesn’t get you mad, then you may be benumbed to the point where there’s nothing that will annoy you except for Trump’s latest trespasses.

In light of the fact that SANDAG has adopted an “automobile drivers of North County:  drop dead!” philosophy, and is on the cusp of proposing more of the same,  it’s time to push the pedal to the metal and rise up to assert our rights! Until something better comes along, the automobile is the only proper mode of transportation of free people.  Something like 4% of the people of San Diego County ride mass transit, yet SANDAG wants to spend the lion’s share of TransNet money in order to force that percentage up to 10 percent.

Taxes that the voters were duped into voting for because they were promised that the money would be used to improve roads, especially Highway 78, which is becoming a poster child for gridlock in San Diego County.

Keep in mind, the ½ cent sales tax is a tax that ALL of us pay. No one escapes. Only food is exempt from the tax. Most of those paying that tax drive cars. 

They are paying for transportation improvements and getting their taxes switched to fund pie-in-the-sky transit projects that are better suited to Manhattan or San Francisco. The people in Valley Center who pay sales taxes are certainly seeing precious little for that money. 

In arguing for his strategy to switch away most of the ½ cent sales tax now being collected in San Diego County away from improving Highways 67, 52 and 78—the last highways in the list of roads that the voters were promised—and diverting them to mass transit, SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata uses that magic phrase that is intended to shut down discussion, “Fighting climate change is the law of the land.”

It may well be that the lawmakers in Sacramento have danced a two-stop together and declared California to be a green state committed to the impossible goal of zero emissions. But that in no way obligates us to spend OUR money in order to achieve that goal. If the legislature wants to achieve a Utopian green state, let it raise money and build rail. Given that Governor Gavin Newsom largely abandoned the high speed rail project that former Governor Brown championed, that doesn’t seem likely. So let Sacramento dream green, and we can spend our money to improve our roads, not to subsidize rail that 96% of the population refuses to use.  

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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