Have you ever heard of SANDAG? It stands for San Diego Association of Governments and plays a vital role in our lives here in San Diego County. However, many are unaware of its existence and impact on our daily lives.
In a nutshell, SANDAG is a regional transportation board that is responsible for all things transportation in San Diego County. It brings together all the local governments and decides on transportation planning, including roads, freeways, trains, and rail. So, whether you are driving to work, taking a train or bus, or simply commuting to different parts of the county, SANDAG directly impacts your daily life.
Recently, a credible pollster surveyed San Diego County to gauge public opinion about SANDAG. The results were fascinating and shed light on many different aspects.
A few things stood out to me:
1. Many people don’t know what SANDAG is, and if they do, they don’t trust them.
This question showed me two things. First, many people in the county are unaware of SANDAG and its role in transportation planning. This is concerning because SANDAG’s decisions directly impact our daily lives, and they spend A LOT of tax dollars. Secondly, those who know about SANDAG don’t have a favorable view of the transportation agency.
2. San Diegans don’t want to be charged for every mile they drive.
The mileage tax is still part of SANDAG’s Regional Transportation Plan. Even though there’s been a discussion of removing it at SANDAG, the tax remains, and California is looking to implement its own mileage tax.
3. San Diegans don’t want to pay more taxes to fund public transportation.
In December 2021, SANDAG passed its Regional Transportation Plan. To fund its $160 billion project, SANDAG must raise taxes. The plan calls for three half-cent sales tax increases over the next few years. Looking at the results, San Diegans aren’t thrilled to pay even more money.
I urge you to take the time to learn more about SANDAG and its role in shaping our transportation infrastructure. We must stay informed and involved in the decision-making process to ensure that our transportation needs are met.
San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond