President Obama gave a major press conference this morning. He talked about how the Republicans have failed to pass “his jobs bill”. They took a few things out of the bill they liked and shut door on the rest. The President called for the Congress to pass his “jobs bill” and put another million folks back to work. Sounds simple enough….pass the bill and add a million jobs. It that all a lie? Can the Republicans come up with the facts that prove this is a lie?
Meanwhile, back in the hinterlands the growing amount of potholes, cracked cement and unkept roads is growing in California and other states. The Congress folks say that because they can’t do any “Earmarks” anymore on most spending bills…..well, now the roads are not being fixed. The Bridges are not being Earthquake retrofitted, the Dams, Lakes and Waterways are not being dredged. The hills are not exactly alive with the Sound of Music, if you get our drift.
Here in Southern California we are essentially the “poster boy” for bad roads statewide. The once Golden State that was supposed to thrive under Governor Arnold after the Recall of Gray Davis has thusly become “pothole heaven” and a haven for “ruts and mogul bumps”. The former Governor said: “The roads were supposed to be repaired and fixed.” There was a severe Budget Crisis however and another Budget Crisis and so the only roads being fixed were the highways that spanned the State, north to south. The roads and streets in the large and small cities began to deteriorate quickly. The rains came and those ruts on the roadways deepened.
Today, the arguably worst roads in California are right here in beautiful downtown Santa Ana, California. Oh, Santa Ana has Red Light Cameras, like that of Garden Grove, Westminister, Fountain Valley, and Stanton, even Tustin. Without Red Light Cameras and still having terrible road problems are Huntington Beach, Yorba Linda, Orange, Fullerton, Anaheim and Costa Mesa all with terrible potholes, torn up roadways and terrible Transportation Circulation Plans.
You can look at the County of Orange and you wonder: Where did all that Measure M money go?
Why are all our cars being beaten to death on roads, that only a
4-wheel drive Ensenada Racer might enjoy?
Mr. President, Governor Brown needs your help. Governor Brown has roads and streets throughout the State of California that are in terrible shape. Our Congress people are frozen in place by pledges to Grover Norquist and Congressman Mike Pence, never to raise taxes and to never use “earmarks” ever! They all sit there like the Mad Magazine Icon, Alfred E. Newman and scream: “What me worry?” The excuses are immense. The fixes are missing.
The County of Orange and it’s esteemed group of Supervisors have been busy dumping an incorporating county land into various existing Cities; the recent acquistion of Sunset Beach into Huntington Beach is a prime example. The value of that action can be debated, but what should be of prime concern is that when these acquistions are made that there must be a promise to keep repairs of the infrastructure moving ahead. Where is the guarantee that Sunset Beach will have their roads repaired, the water pipes repaired and their electrical grid secured. Meanwhile, the efforts of the Automobile Club of California, The California Chamber of Commerce, Cal-Trans and all our wonderful State Legislators to get our roads repaired are less effective.
The Scott Walker effort to survive his Recall in Wisconsin would have failed meserably had they had the same quality of roads there as we have here in the Golden State. We call on Governor Brown to ask for the help of the Federal Government with the repairs needed for our cities and towns in California. We cannot simply say; “We are out of money…..we need to drop all Public Employee Pensions…..we can’t fix anything until we fire 50% of our work force!” That argument is what they call: “Unsustainable!”
We need a State Commission which fully inventories the roads and streets of California. Each town needs to do its own inventory of roads which require repairs annually, semi-annually and seasonally. As the most populace State in the Union, we need set the standard, not sit on our hands when there is lots of work to be done. Vice President Joe Biden, we have plenty of “shovel ready” projects to accomplish here in California that will certainly not affect the future of High Speed Rail throughout the United States. In fact, without well manicured and repaired streets – we won’t be able to get to the High Speed Rail and Transportation Centers without ruining our cars. The repairs for buses, trucks and cars will rise exponentially. What happened to all those road tax money that we pay every day when we fill up at the gas stations around California? That is money we need “earmarked” for repairs!
Taking into consideration the various natural disasters that strike our Golden State every year…..the time to set aside some cash to repair our infrastructure before adding pay increases and other non-essential expenses….just might be a good idea, to draw new folks back to the State of California. If you have any doubts about the needs or extent of the repairs needed – simply drive from South Coast Plaza up Bristol to the 22 Freeway, go west and get off on Beach Blvd. and then take a left onto Garden Grove Blvd. and drive two miles, then drive back East on Garden Grove Blvd. to and thru Santa Ana to the Civic Center.
We have a Missing Asphalt Jungle in California and is not only extremely embarrassing, but is truely an economic and literal pothole of gigantic proportions.
How long should we put up with our terrible roads? Four years, eight years or forever?