Economy

$58 Million Department of Transportation Bill Allotted to California

Written by Andrew Morris

Democratic California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla announced Friday that a new $58 Million Department of Transportation (DOT) expansion bill is being passed to expand and improve on cycle routes and bridges across California.

The allocation comes as a subset of a $1 Trillion infrastructure bill passed in California, with the primary purpose of furthering the High-Speed Rail System, and making bike paths more practical as a subsidiary to the ever growing campaign to reduce automotive use in the state.

Logistically however, the bill has several lapses of judgement. First, the High-Speed Rail System has already been deemed a failure and gross misuse of government funds by many, as it is several years behind schedule, and several billion dollars over budget.

Alternatively, the assertion that people in the inland valleys need better bike paths is not entirely based on reason. For most people, even those who live in the epicenters of these developments have little use for it, as they drive an average of 40 minutes to get to work every day. Meaning even with the updated systems, cycling is not a viable option.

To further this claim, a local San Diego urban and transportation planner Michael McGuiness Jr. told the Globe, “Whether you wanted the bill to pass or not, the point is we have it now. But that was really supposed to repair and maintain current infrastructure, or build new pieces as needed. Instead, California gave a hint at where its money would be going today by putting most of it into mass transit and cycling. There was a needed bridge project in San Francisco, but that’s really about it. The largest chunk even went into the high-speed rail project, which is billions over budget and years behind schedule. So a lot is going into a future white elephant.”

The money, in many peoples’ minds, should have been used to fix up our dilapidated road system—which has thousands of bumps, cracks, and potholes—to make up for the currently outrageous $5 a gallon gas prices we have been seeing since President Biden was elected. Instead, disastrously poor allocations into failing train systems and unusable bike systems have been selected.

Photo Cred: Frederic J. Brown/ Getty Images