Metro Rider and Streetsblog Join Forces for Feuer Bills
In an attempt to push back against the negative editorials that seem to be released daily against Mike Feuer’s attempts to increase funding options for LA County Metro, the main writers for LA Streetsblog and Metro Rider LA went to their keyboards and fired off some letters to the newspapers in question. The first ran in today’s Desert Dispatch.
We read the editorial on a global warming tax with some dismay. Even if we ignore the larger debate over global warming, the editorial still entirely misses the mark.
The thrust of Assemblyman Feuer’s legislation is to raise needed funds for transit expansion in Los Angeles. Despite the Orange Count Register’s declaration that the funds would go towards projects that are already funded, Metro has identified an entire list of transit projects that would reduce congestion and have $0 dedicated towards them. Increasing transit funding does two things. First, having more trains, light rail and buses, gives people transportation choices and the freedom to decide how they wish to spend their commute. Second, the more people using these transportation alternatives, the less competition for highway space for those who choose to remain in their cars.
And whether it’s global warming, pollution or just common sense, it makes sense to fund transportation problems with transportation fees. Can you think of a fairer way to fund transportation than a user fee on those that put the greatest tax on the system? It just so happens that the least fuel efficient cars are also the cars that are the largest and cause the greatest stress on our already overburdened highway system.
When California highways were built, engineers weren’t counting on the number or size of Explorers and Hummers that use them everyday. Charging the drivers of these vehicles extra for use of the roads is the most reasonable solution that’s been suggested.
Damien Newton and Frederick Dennstedt
Editors of LA Streetsblog and MetroRider Los Angeles