Katz Blasts Back at Congestion Pricing Foes in S.G. Valley

Metro Board Member Richard Katz took aim at San Gabriel Valley Congresspeople who are fighting Metro’s congestion pricing plans for the I-10, I-110 and I-210.  Steve Hymon, who is suddenly the busiest writer in Los Angeles, wrote about the brewing fight over HOT Lanes at both the Bottleneck Blog and in his weekly Road Sage column.

"It wouldn't make sense for us to fund the Gold Line at the same time that [some members of Congress] are trying to take money away from congestion pricing," said Richard Katz, an MTA board member appointed by Villaraigosa.

"That doesn't make sense to me. If you're going to oppose this chance to get $213 million, why should we support $80 million over there" for the Gold Line?

At issue?  Katz is angered that Congresswoman Hilda Solis and other Valley representatives would endanger the funding Metro will get from the federal government and demand funding for other Valley transit projects.  For her part, Solis claims that her sponsoring of legislation that would ban Metro from converting carpool lanes to HOT Lanes but a “signal” that she wants more details.

Katz deserves kudos for not being scared of the pandering by suburban pols looking to score quick political points at the expense of a better transportation system and I doubt that this is the response that Solis was expecting to her “signal.”  While this new aggressive defense of their congestion plans is a good sign, we can expect more attacks on Metro’s plans right up until the new tolling system goes in place.