A pair of Southern California Republican Congressmen have authored legislation seeking to halt Metro’s plan to add congestion pricing in the form of HOT Lanes to two Los Angeles County Highways. Representatives Gary Miller (pictured) and David Dreier have introduced "the Free Way Act" which, according to a statement on Miller’s website would, "prohibit states and localities from charging carpoolers to access now free carpool lanes built with federal taxpayer money."
Metro recently received an over $213 million grant to implement HOT Lanes on two area highways, and purchase new buses for and build new park-and-ride facilities adjacent to the new HOT Lanes.
On top of repeating the arguments that freeways have already been paid for and that congestion pricing will actually make congestion worse, two ideas that have been thoroughly discussed here before, Miller offers a new argument.
According to the Pasadena Star News, Miller, has discovered a shocking truth about Metro’s HOT Lanes plan:
Miller said the money Metro would get wouldn’t even go to improve roads. Instead, it would go for buses, rail lines and park-and-ride improvements.
Oh, My God! Buses, rail lines and park and ride improvements? What in the heck does any of those things have to do with commuting?
The good news is, this legislation seems to be going nowhere. Even if it were passed by both houses of congress, it is unlikely that President Bush would sign a law that reversed a decision by one of his agencies. While Bush will be replaced in the next nine months, Congress and the new president would have to act quickly…Metro is planning on opening the HOT Lanes just over a year after the new president takes office.
Photo: New York Times