Councilman Bill Rosendahl…not an east coast politician…
…and that, is a good thing.
East Coast politicians are terrified of thinking outside the box to come up with ways to fund transportation projects. Toll hikes, gas taxes, and pretty much anything else that isn’t a fare increase is usually off the table when the budget looks a little (or a lot) short. There are a few notable exceptions, but overall the rule is: its ok to raise transit fares and bad to raise anything else.
Which is why I nearly fell out of my chair last night when Councilman Rosendahl (who spoke fourth, not first as an elected official would have in New Jersey or New York) mentioned a gas tax as a way to raise funds for the Expo Line and other transit projects. A gas tax? Why just mentioning such a thing would get you thrown out of office on the east coast. Even with all transportation funds bonded for the next thirty years, only one of 120 state legislators in New Jersey was willing to advocate for such a risky proposal. (editor’s note: New Jersey has the second lowest gas tax in the country.)
But it doesn’t end there, a quick google search shows he’s also spoken out for increased tolls, bus only lanes, local transit projects (see below,) and against development proposals that would add traffic to local streets.
Not what I expected from a Councilman from the Car Driving Capital of the World.
(And of course, he gets some cool points for having a blog.)