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We need freeways and roads


Last updated 5/28/2019 at 6:25am

We are at a crucial point in the future of San Diego County. There seems to be a growing trend of pushing people out of their cars and making them take public transportation, as if driving vehicles is somehow evil.

The San Diego Association of Governments is in charge of appropriating transportation dollars in our region. It’s made up of the region’s 18 cities and the county.

In 2004, San Diegans voted to extend a half-cent sales tax for 40 years. That tax would generate $14 billion, which SANDAG promised to use to relieve traffic congestion, to improve safety and to match with state and federal funds by improving, Interstates 5, 8, 15 and 805 and state Routes 52, 54, 56, 67, 76, 78, 94 and 125. Voters passed this tax measure under the impression their commute home would be made faster and easier.

That relief has not happened; instead, SANDAG staff front loaded the public transit projects while leaving 14 highway projects unfunded. Now, they’ve announced that they want to implement a new transportation vision. One that doesn’t include roads and freeways but focuses on transit, even though the current tax San Diegans are paying for promised improvements to roads and freeways.

Mass transit works in the urban core, but freeways and roads are critical to our transportation system. A functioning road network is an essential element of our economy. It's common sense to know that for the foreseeable future we must have freeways, highways and roads.

Currently, 3.5% of San Diegans ride public transit, which means 96.5% of people need their cars, and most importantly they need their roads. Children need to get to school; parents need to get to their jobs. They can’t by strictly using mass transit.

I know that public transit is not a viable option in Fallbrook and will make sure the bureaucrats downtown know this fact.

SANDAG must keep faith with promises to voters. The Transnet tax was adopted because the voters were persuaded that the road projects to be funded were critical and were going to be funded. To now break those promises, barely one-fourth of the way into a 40-year plan would be a massive bait and switch.

Jim Desmond

District 5 Supervisor


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