How We Roll, April 4: some officials hope that transportation funding will soar like an eagle

ICYMI: paid parking is coming to North Hollywood and Universal City/Studio City stations beginning April 24.

ICYMI 2: The latest on the joint development on 15 acres of land surrounding the NoHo station. When built, the parking will be moved underground instead of the sprawling surface lot.

Art of Transit: 

Work on installing the station wall supports at the future Wilshire/Fairfax Station for the Purple Line Extension. Photo: Metro.

Things to listen to whilst transiting: I’m passing time on the Gold Line with the S-Town podcast, which dropped recently and concerns allegations of murder, missing treasure and the secrets of an Alabaman known for his skills repairing old clocks. It’s from the same folks that produce “This American Life” and “Serial” and the pedigree shows. Warning: tons of adult language.

Things to read whilst transiting: a good review in the New Yorker of the “Big Little Lies” finale, which I liked — but not as much as the rest of the series. Then again, I watched that immediately after the season finale for “The Walking Dead” — which I loved — and I may not have been in the right headspace to go directly from the Alexandria Safe Zone to Otter Bay.

Random thought: I like Rick but I’m not sure I would put him in charge of keeping the buses and trains running on time — or other essential things, like keeping a group of people alive.

California road tax increases stagger to Senate floor as deadline looms (Sac Bee) 

The bill that would raise vehicle registration fees and the gas tax by 12 cents per gallon in California survived a State Senate committee yesterday and is headed to the full Senate on Thursday afternoon. Gov. Jerry Brown, who backs the bill has set an April 6 deadline for the bill to pass — before state legislators flee town for spring recess.

Democrats hold the supermajorities needed for the bill to pass in both the Senate and Assembly. The Bee says the bill is still a few votes needed for passage with some Dems on the fence because, well, it’s a tax increase.

As we noted yesterday, Metro’s Board adopted a support and work with author position earlier this year. The bill would provide significant sums of money for local road, transit and walking/bike projects — funds which can be paired with funds from Measure R and Measure M.

Why are LA traffic deaths way up after plan to reduce them by 20 percent? (KPCC AirTalk)

We despaired about this yesterday. Larry Mantle’s guests are LADOT chief Seleta Reynolds and KPCC mobility reporter Meghan McCarty, along with the usual audience input. And what does everyone agree on? Motorists today basically suck and so-called smartphones are only making people dumber.

As also noted yesterday, the LAPD is writing far fewer driving tickets these days, meaning the city may have to rely on engineering to slow down traffic. In the meantime — and hopefully it’s a short meantime — buckle up and keep you head up no matter where you’re walking, cycling or driving. It’s the Wild West out there, people.

The ‘road is national, transit is local’ argument (Human Transit)

Transit planner Jarrett Walker swings his writerly bat at those who say that funding for local transit should only be a local concern. Walker, to paraphrase, says ‘oh brother’ to that, pointing to the fact that a ton of traffic on federally-funded interstates is also very local, meaning the whole thing is a double standard.

This is an issue because the Trump Administration has proposed making funding for transit projects more of a local concern. Here is Metro’s statement on that.

In Bay Area, bald eagles soar and breed once more (Mercury News)

Yes, this is sort of infrastructure related (plus, it’s pretty amazing). “They’re soaring over Stanford’s Inner Quad, San Jose’s Westfield Oakridge mall, the levees of Alviso. One eagle recently perched on a pine tree near Raging Waters aquatic park in San Jose. Another was mobbed by crows on the runway at Palo Alto Airport,” reports the Merc.

The baldies aren’t in our urbanized area as far as I know, but can be seen at certain times of the year at Lake Cachuma near Santa Barbara and on Catalina Island. Which may one day in the extremely distant future have an Expo Line station if Iron Man has his way.



12 replies

  1. I don’t recall exactly where I read the report but it was within the last week. It was taxes on gasoline per gallon vs the condition of roads. Some of the lowest taxes also had the best roads. Locally traveling on Santa Monica Bl. in Los Angeles the street is one bump after another but after entering West Hollywood it is very smooth sailing until one reaches the Beverly Hills border. Then it’s back to a rough ride.

    • So all of those have the same state gas tax. That seems to nullify your argument. You made the claim and have not investigated enough to present a link to the actual source.

      Shouldn’t gas taxes be linked to either the CPI or be a percentage of the price gas per gallon? Either way it will autoindex over time.

      • No, the tax rates were different. It compared the tax rates vs the condition of roads for all fifty states. But some of the states with the lowest tax rates had roads that were rated high.

  2. According to the Tax Foundation website, based on information from the Petroleum Institute, as of January 1, 2017, Pennsylvania had at the highest state gas tax at 58.2 cents per gallon. California was 7th at 38.13 cents per gallon.

    • Using money for public transit to subsidize motorists doesn’t help either.

  3. A recent study revealed California has the highest gasoline tax rate in the United States yet some of the worst roads. Before any increase in taxes, a full accounting needs to take place as to where the current taxes have gone and why has the money not created better results.

    • Please cite this supposed study. A simple Google search led me to two reports that show that California ranks either 7th or 9th in total gas taxes and fees.

    • You claim two facts: “California has the highest gasoline tax” (in the USA) and “some of the worst roads.” Please cite your sources. For the first claim it needs to be an apple to apples comparison. Also what are the funding sources for the other states for their roads. If the sources are from other taxes, that should be noted.