In San Diego, many employees must make their way through horrendous miles of freeway that have not been improved upon in years. In light of the concerns raised by local commuters and Reform California, SANDAG (San Diego’s regional planning agency) will not make the promised revisions to San Diego freeways.
In a recent development, SANDAG has announced it will no longer be making improvements to 14 local highways and freeways. The funds allocated for these projects will instead be diverted to public transit in downtown San Diego.
Not only does SANDAG plan to increase traffic rates in the most congested area of San Diego, but they are also planning to raise taxes on drivers through a new “congestion tax.”
In the face of these bold policy options, voters have shown their lack of support with a two-to-one margin, even in the urban neighborhoods. As of May, a supermajority of San Diegans opposes SANDAG raids and road fund initiatives. Despite these numbers, local Democrats are still pushing for the implementation of their unpopular policies.
Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio recently held a town hall meeting in San Marcos to alert voters about these issues and increase pushback against the politicians supporting the SANDAG initiatives. DeMaio made sure that voters were aware that the transit system currently in place is anything but high demand, with usage rates currently remaining in the single digits.
Voters in attendance to DeMaio’s town hall were outraged that their local freeways were not being expanded or repaired despite the continuous demand for such efforts. The focus for SANDAG should be on the roads with the most usage during high traffic times, not the unpopular and already widely available MTS buses.
It is time for local lawmakers to stop stealing money from voters through new tax measures, and instead start listening to the concerns and demands of those who are subjected to highly congested freeways on their daily commutes. SANDAG will not be able to improve the driving conditions for voters until their focus shifts from wasteful spending to making San Diego more accessible.
Photo by Josh Esh