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The most critical need to our transportation system

ED GALLO SPEAKS

Well.  It happened again.  Another bluff collapse in San Diego County.  This time it was not in La Jolla or Del Mar but a fatal collapse in Encinitas.  I say this time because more collapses will occur.  We just don’t know when but with some assurance we can expect the Del Mar bluffs to be a victim again.

 Anyone living in California should understand that the coastline, at least in SoCal, is unstable.  There have been bluff failures from Malibu to La Jolla but the most critical area is between 9th St and 15th St in Del Mar.  I say most critical because that is the location where the coastal rail line is closest to the ocean.  This is the second busiest rail corridor in the US and extremely vital to the economy of San Diego County and now the meat of this column.

The talking heads and the Board of Directors at SANDAG keep pushing for a new sales tax to build more bike lanes and public transit and add on additional taxes referred to as ‘track and tax’.  The last SANDAG meeting I attended last year I made this comment, “The most critical need in our transportation system is to correct the hazard present at the Del Mar Bluffs.”  I believe this to be true.

A disruption on the coastal rail line will be devastating to the San Diego region.  With passenger and freight unable to travel by rail you can imagine the impact.  The Port of San Diego might just as well close up shop because I-5 will not be able to sustain the amount of additional traffic being created.  How many big rigs do you think will be added and consider the millions of passengers currently riding Amtrak and the Coaster between Oceanside and San Diego employment centers?  How many more vehicle trips will be added to the already congested I-5?  

You can voice your opinion by contacting your Mayor and Council and ask them to support the other North County Mayors and our two Supervisors in opposition to the SANDAG plan.  Do it.  

Lorraine Boyce’s other cause

Now, I want to end on a more pleasant note commenting on Lorraine Boyce being recognized as an Escondido Legend and mention one cause she championed that was not listed in the article last week. In 1975 or ‘76 I attended a Council meeting at the old City Hall which is now the grassy knoll by the soon to be gone old Palomar Hospital.  She was Mayor and made a request that the City contribute to a new program, Meals on Wheels.

You think we had conservative councils until 2018?  You should have been here back then.  I remember Councilman Alan Skuba throwing up his hands and commenting how now we’re going to feed people?  I can tell you as one who has delivered Meals on Wheels that this was no doubt one of the most heart wrenching yet fulfilling projects I have had the pleasure to work on.  I believe Mrs. Boyce became a nurse due to her passion and compassion to help others.  Well-deserved recognition.

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

One response to “The most critical need to our transportation system”

  1. Bret Gann says:

    The ” Transportation dollars” are already available for rebuilding/ shoring the bluffs. Another tax is not required.
    One obvious source is from the inefficient NCT bus system.
    Everyday I see buses that run empty or near empty all over North County. I cant count the number of large NCT buses that pass our home in Escondido and our business in Vista, that are either empty or only carrying two people. As a business owner this drives me crazy.
    Each of these giant buses and drivers require hundreds of thousand of dollars to operate annually, with near zero income. I am certain there are many, possibly hundreds of routes that could be canceled or changed to small vans and the savings ( in the Millions of $) could be reassigned to transportation infrastructure improvements.
    But of course this just makes sense, our politicians don’t understand efficiency and saving, just tax and spend without oversight.

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