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Longtime Democratic activist, structural engineer, and all-around decent guy John Vassiliades wrote a blog post for us without realizing it when he sent out this open letter today:
My fellow sisters and brothers,
I urge your support for SB1 (Beall) and SCA 2 (Newman).
SB 1 seeks to generate additional revenue to address California’s growing backlog of maintenance and rehabilitation projects on our state highways and local streets and roads. SCA 2 (Newman) ensures that this new revenue is dedicated solely to transportation and not diverted to other purposes.
This bill is important to ensure our roads, highways, tunnels and bridges are safe, structurally and functionally while the cost to users is minimal. It will cost less than $10 a month to an average driver, but the benefits of safer and faster mobility will outweigh the higher insurance premiums and claims that will increase due to our failing infrastructure.
In addition the deteriorating pavements, crumbling bridges, the lack of synchronized traffic signals, lighting, striping, markings and bad drivers, are primary causes of deadly motor vehicle accidents (more than those from guns, drug abuse, etc.) each year. The result is also tort liability that the state’s tax payers pay the cost to settle each year.
Investment in our transportation infrastructure is long overdue – the gas tax in California has not been raised in 23 years. The result is a $59 billion backlog in needed repairs on the 50,000 lane miles in the state highway system. Over 25% of California’s 12,000 bridges show significant deterioration and need to be repaired or replaced. If we don’t repair our failing highway and bridge infrastructure now, it is estimated that it will cost 8 times more to rehabilitate or replace them later.
Transportation funding is needed now to protect the system, it will also create about 65,000 thousands of good-paying jobs (Federal government estimates up to 15,000 jobs for each $billion spent), reduce congestion, help preserve the environment and greatly improve the quality of life for every Californian.
Please, I strongly urge your support for SB 1 and SCA 2. Thank you very much for your consideration. If I can be of assistance, please call me at home at [judiciously removed] or contact me by email. For more information please see below:
Some of you, I suspect, may be inclined to discuss this. Here ya go!
I presume that SCA-2 is Josh Newman’s price for his support of SB-1. If so, it is a good and appropriate price to impose.
Now, when are we going to pay attention to our water infrastructure?