Congestion Pricing

Congestion pricing means charging you to drive when there's more traffic.  Apparently, it's the wave of the future.  There's a story in today's L.A. Times.

Freeways--Not so Free

Apparently the Gov and LA Mayor will get matching federal dollars for a "pilot" program to charge drivers a toll fee that would "affect" mostly San Gabriel Valley drivers on the:

1) #10 fwy (San Bernadino fwy) from downtown to the SG River (which is the 605)
2) the #134 fwy from Pasadena to the Duarte (which again is the 605), and lastly,
3) the #110 (the Harbor fwy) from 182nd to Adams (South Central).

This would be implented by 2010 (that only 2 years away!)

Why are San Gabriel Valley residents being so harsly punished? Long ago, I used to commute from the OC to the Santa Clarita (yeah, ok, I was young, stupid and gas was cheaper). I wouldn't push my #5 fwy nightmare on my worse enemies (well, maybe 1 or 2). And, what about the #405 from OC to the WLA or SF Valley or in the reverse?????!!!!!!

Why aren't the the residents SF Valley, Santa Clarita, WLA and the South Bay being "piloted"? They got another break, I hear, when residents of Studio City (where some minor actors and newscasters live) put up a stink about the metro-rail going along the #134 in that area.

Something doesn't smell right here.


It's racial.

The rich, powerful, and white on the westside and in the SF Valley are demanding that their freeways be "free" (that is, paid for by us) so they can drive around in their Beemers, while the middle class and working class of the eastside and south LA have to pay to get to work.

At the same time, they raise bus and train fares! How about they reduce that fare to $0.00, and add enough train lines and buses to compensate for these publicly-funded toll roads.

They just want to make the eastside and southside less desirable, so that the obscene real estate prices on the westside stay high, even during a real estate crash.

I was starting this post out as a joke, a spoof on Jeremiah Wright... but on second thought, it's pretty clear that political power and money may be factors in this discriminatory pricing.

It is racial!

It's racial

I think once I delineated the pilot program on this blog, it became very apparent, even to the causual observer, what regions it would affect and what group lived where.

However, I think, like night reader, it's more about political power and classism, than about blatant racism.

I bet when the powers that be started looking all freeways and congestion pricing, the 405 and 134 (along the SF Valley portion) came up, but that it where allot of political power players live and we know it.

However, we have 2 years and it's not over yet folks. Maybe i'll will attach a form letter and a list of our elected officials so we can get the letter campaign out.

It's racial

Political power and classism isn't that different from racism. Slavery was all about creating racism and classism at the same time. And slaves didn't have the vote!

Congestion pricing

Objectively, people living in the SG Valley and Inland Empire have longer commutes than people on the Westside and SF Valley.  However, it would be naive to think that political power didn't have something to do with deciding where to launch the pilot program.

Congestion Pricing

I am being objective Zebra, and we residents living in the SG Valley, specifically the West San Gabriel from Arcadia to Alhambra, who commute into downtown, are traveling only about 10-15 miles.

This is compared with Santa Clarita residents (Magic Mountain area) who HAVE to commute to downtown, WLA or the Wilshire area which is about 50-100 miles per day! They have to use the #5 south, to the #405 south, then to the #10 east or the #5 south to the #405 south to the #101 south to the #110.

The east or west San Fernando Valley to UCLA or downtown is still 20-30 miles.

Now, the IE is another story, they do have a tremendous commute and will be paying the piper, but that is expected.

I am so happy I tele-commute from home.

At least we all agree that the political powers that be on the Westside had their hands all over this.

I expect some letter writing from you all, myself included. This is an outrage.

Congestion Pricing

I didn't just make this up--it's the first sentence in the story I linked.  I wish the map they reference was actually visible on the web page so we could see for ourselves, but it's not.

More on regional transportation

There were a couple of more stories about the possibility of toll lanes in today’s SGV Tribune. One concerns a member of Congress’s proposed legislation to prohibit the sort of plan being discussed by the MTA. The other is from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), and outlines the transportation projects in their long-range regional transportation plan (not to be confused with the simultaneous process MTA is undertaking). The SCAG plan would cost $531 billion over 30 years. The plan is 221 pages long.

The state of California spends about $110 billion/year in its "general fund" budget. So you can see that if all of these projects are actually going to be built, the money’s going to have to come from somewhere else.

This one goes for the GOP!

Todd, this SG Tribune article mentions Congressman Miller, a Republican from Brea, who opposes the MTA plan and the article states that our local congresswomen are backing him--yeah!

Notice that these 3 congresswomen represent Hispanic, Asian and African-American constituencies (or am I blind?) If I'm incorrect about the racial mix of the areas to be affected, somebody PLEASE keep me honest.

The article states..."Miller's bill already is getting bipartisan support, with Democratic Reps. Grace Napolitano of Santa Fe Springs, Hilda Solis of El Monte and Diane Watson of Los Angeles co-sponsoring the bill"....

Congestion Pricing

No argument from me about their constituencies.  But, at some point, I think people have to admit that the old way of financing transportation improvements is clearly not working.  We'd have to spend five entire state budgets worth of dollars entirely on transportation just to do the things on the SCAG list, and obviously we're not going to do that.  So where does the $500+ billion come from?  Maybe this makes me a stooge of the wealthy elite, but I think if we can take that toll money and pay for public transit improvements, it's a fair exchange:  We take from the rich (voluntarily) and give to the poor.

congestion pricing

OK we all agree, let's start with the wealthier Westside or the West San Fernando Valley 1st. Gosh, I mean I wouldnt be so pissed if the planners were not so blantly racist about their choice of fwy areas that are clearly minority.

Congestion Pricing: The View from thefcblog

This was posted on thefcblog last week.

I won't disagree with the posters above, by the way.  Whether it's racial or economic, yeah, I think that's probably part of why the idea is being floated in our neck of the woods rather than on the Westside.  But the world's not a fair place, and sometimes "not the worst idea" is the best we can get.