Statement: “The new proposal from SANDAG … 14 percent goes to freeways and 40 percent goes to public transportation. … Public transportation is good for San Diego. It’s not good for a suburban environment in North County. North County is – what – a third of the county, 1.2 million, and we need to get our fair share of taxpayers’ money,” said Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, at a District 3 county supervisor debate on April 21 in Rancho Santa Fe.
Determination: A Stretch
The board for the San Diego Association of Governments – a regional planning agency of elected leaders from around the county – is asking voters in November if they want to increase sales taxes for a host of regional transportation, infrastructure and preservation projects. The plan has drawn opposition from all sides, including one dissident group of North County leaders who argue their part of the county won’t get a fair cut.
This includes two North County mayors battling to become the next county supervisor for the northern coastal district, Escondido Mayor Sam Abed and Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar. It also includes County Supervisor Bill Horn and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, who both voted against putting the measure on the ballot.
SANDAG’s plan would increase sales taxes by a half-cent for transportation and infrastructure needs. The measure would raise $18.2 billion over the next 40 years.
Abed was right about two things: The plan would spend roughly 42 percent on public transit and 14 percent on highways. It would also give 30 percent to individual cities for local infrastructure and spend 11 percent on open space preservation and 3 percent on biking and walking projects.
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Good analysis here, but why aren't California greenhouse gas reduction laws mentioned? It's almost as if they don't exist to Abed, who keeps advocating for endless freeway widening, regardless of its contribution to climate change. And please don't say that "widening freeways reduces emissions because it reduces congestion". We have plenty of examples (405 widening in LA, Houston's Katy Expressway) where congestion only worsened after multi-billion dollar freeway expansions, due to induced demand.
Abed and other conservative north county SANDAG board members probably don't believe in climate change, but back in reality we're addressing it with the San Diego Climate Action Plan, the county's Climate Plan (thrown out in state court for being ineffective) and state GHG laws. Just because many North County residents and electeds ignore climate science doesn't give them the right to widen freeways through everyone else's neighborhood.
Maya & SANDAG fact check is equally flawed. The chart only tracks that people commute to a different city than that in which they live. If someone commutes FROM SD to North county they are not counted? Or commutes from Escondido to Vista? Waaaay too much $ spent on riderless trolleys to nowhere , fix the freeways!
Below comments I want to add to U-T's Dan MacSwain's excellent May 15 article about highway advantage.
Kudos! Finally a concise summary of why road travel dominates, providing the public's preference for on-demand single vehicle direct o destination service. And the overwhelming environmental advantage shown but not emphasized in SDForward; On-road vehicle save daily nearly 3 million gallons of fuel compared to an uncertain less than 100 thousand by mass transit.
We are on the wrong track, literally by that still persistent faith in the Governor's mid 1970s declaration to curtail road expansion seriously, and that mass transit would absorb travel growth. The first happened, thus the congestion. But instead of mass transit, on-road vehicles have absorbed 95% of travel growth; despite congestion. Ignored was car's doubled mpg, and associated fewer emissions.
Which leads to two elephants in the room.
With current mass transit as stated already overbuilt, why in the world shod we spent nearly $40 billion for an extensive overlay still brining the travel share only to 2.5%? It seems to be a brute force step with more stations to relieve access deficiency.Mass transit;s share, 75% of transportation's, in the $18 billion sales tax proposed would help fund ithis.
Which points to the other elephant; rapidly expanding use of om-call personal travel, (aka "Uber"), providing same vehicle travel curbside to destination; especially for non-drivers committed now to mass transit. A much more flexible faster service. And use less parking land, although probably taking some back to provide more capacity. Some with even more efficient vehicles using narrow automated guideways as well as roads..
Hopefully we are turning the corner toward new 21st century Public Transportation. It can meet the overwhelming preference for energy and emissions efficient personal travel direct to destination.
@Walt Brewer Not just mass transit but our road network is also massively overbuilt, unless you can name one road anywhere in the county that move more than one third of its maximum daily capacity?
Until then, our highways don't need any more money. They just need to be more efficient.
Both should be designed to meet peak demand.
Until you can convince people to work/socialize round-the-clock, there seems no way for better use.
LA has used flex time to mostly flatten traffic morning to evening.
Numerically now road carry about 100 million passenger miles daily. Mass transit 1.8 million. so compare 1/3rd roads with all day mass transit.
@Walt Brewer "Both should be designed to meet peak demand."
Why? Do you "build a church for Easter Sunday," as they say? Of course not, nobody does that.
Do you build a restaurant big enough that there's never a waiting list? Again, of course not, that's a waste of money.
So why is it okay to build a freeway to meet peak demand when nobody who's good with money does the same for churches or restaurants?
Why are there bank robbers?
That's where the money is.
Maybe the mayor should get out more and ride some of the transit that's benefiting residents of his city in getting to other parts of the county, such as the Rapid 235 route.
Excellent analysis, Mays. But all hands continue to miss the basic point that dollar value balance is enormously different from performance comparisons of mass transit and highways.
From SANDAG's total Plan, the $18 billion is a small part as you say, funds for highways are about 10TIMES more effective in passenger-miles than for mass transit. And for emissions, GHG and such etc, a wider margin than that
Examples for the total Plan; For the Region, daily fuel saved is nearly 3 million gallons by support to highways. For mass transit an uncertain less than 100 thousand.
For daily passenger-miles produced, mass transit is about 2 million, and highways about 20 million for about the same funding.
Advantage to the mayors to keep emphasis on highways, and help reduce funds wasted for mass transit, long ago rejected by the public.
Mass transit is not rejected by the public in my community of Barrio Logan and the surrounding barrios. Mass transit is used by plenty of people. More would use if it was more convenient. Build a mass transit system like NY or the Bay Area and it'll be used.
Yes I was referring to overall travel shift from largely mass transit years ago to about 90% automobiles now. A large share now is for non-drivers at high expense.
But a better way is evolving as I indicate. be picked up by a very efficient car and taken to work in the same vehicle.
At about the same fare, would yo prefer that to mass transit?
You're telling me that hundreds of my fellow barrio neighbors will be able to Uber/Lyft to work/school/church/shopping for the same cost as taking mass transit? If you believe that there's a bridge in Barrio Logan that I have for sale.
You can't sucker me. I knowwho owns the Coronado Bridge!
Have you read U-T Editorial, April29; "Transportation Planning. Leave the 20th Century Behind." And my Comment to it?
Affordable "Uber" service takes interest by you and friends to step up to automobile quality transportation. And leaders to start, first with cars and drivers, to phase in the capability.
As for costs, new mass transit costs are getting higher, and in total approaching Taxis.. Nearly $40 billion to just build and rehab in the SANDAG Plan. If high subsides can be used to keep mass transit fares down, why not shift as needed in some form to Uber "fares" as mass transit phases down. Blue Line remains.
Later self-driving cars and competition will help.
Not simple to be sure. But time we stop putting moreintothings that are not providing the service everyone should have.
My fellow residents can barely afford mass transit let alone Uber and self driving cars. Your future of transportation leaves out many.
They could not afford mass transit either but for a subsidy equal or greater than operations & maintenance cost.
As mass transit phases out, initially at least ,there funds go to create fares comparable to mass transit, but using Uber etc.
But you and friends have to show they want it.
Sorry! Should have said----equal to or greater than ONE HALF operations & maintenance------
I'll bet your friends can do a little calculating. See for themselves what would the cost for Uber type same vehicle seveuce to destination would be. How much ofthe current mass transit subsidy would be to match mass transit fares.
SABDAG could give you rider levels for routes used. Don't imclude Blue Line. And probably share of non-drivers.(Nation-wide that share ranges from 30% to 80%. I'd guess 60% to 70% for you.) Also estimate numbers sharing vehicles on Uberr-type trips.
Get some numbers from Lyft, Uber etc, including trip costs now that can be extrapolated for higher volumes and future more fuel efficient cars. This info and some emissions data will be usefil on requests for better quality service.