Mar 302017
 

California To Improve Its Transportation Infrastructure

 

League of California Cities® Commends Governor, Senate Pro Tem, Speaker of the Assembly and Transportation Committee Chairs on Agreement to Provide Historic Investment in California’s Transportation System

 

The $5.2 billion transportation funding and accountability agreement announced today by Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) represents the hard work of Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) and Assembly Member Jim Frazier (D-Oakley), chairs of their respective houses’ transportation committees, who have championed the need to provide new investment in the transportation system. The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 is a significant investment in California’s transportation infrastructure and if passed by the Legislature will provide the funding necessary to start repairing the state and local road system. California’s streets and roads face a $73 billion backlog of maintenance needs.

League President and Lodi City Council Member JoAnne Mounce commended the leadership and determination shown by the Governor, Senate President pro Tem and Speaker of the Assembly. “After years of discussion, debate and negotiation on transportation, our Governor and legislative leaders have made monumental progress with the crafting of this agreement. Their commitment in making transportation a priority and coming together on the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 will have a lasting impact on Californians for generations. The League and the cities of California are ready to get to work on our streets and begin fixing many years of deferred maintenance.”

“Californians are sick and tired of driving on bad roads and we are all paying the cost of disrepair, traffic congestion and unsafe roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure,” said League Executive Director Carolyn Coleman. “We want to thank the Governor and Legislative leaders and encourage all members of the legislature to pass this responsible plan by April 6.”

The League and the California State Association of Counties, along with the County Engineers Association of California and California Regional Transportation Planning Agencies, have since 2008 released the biennial California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment, which surveys California’s 58 counties and 482 cities and captures data from more than 99 percent of the state’s local streets and roads. The most recent report, released in October 2016, documented the $73 billion backlog and found that 65 percent of streets and roads are at risk. Without additional funding, in 10 years it is projected that 22 percent of local streets and roads will be in failed condition.

The League has been working with the Fix Our Roads Coalition since its formation to advance funding solutions to California’s transportation funding crisis. Formed in 2015, the coalition comprises a large group of transportation stakeholders including cities, counties, business, labor and transportation advance solutions to the transportation funding challenge.

Established in 1898, the League of California Cities is a nonprofit statewide association that advocates for cities with the state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials.

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No one can argue that California’s roads, streets, highways and bridges are in a state of disrepair. It’s no wonder, considering that most of them were built between 1950 and 1970. I addition, we commute and travel heavily and not maintaining the transportation infrastructure the way it should be. Obviously, extensive repairs and significant improvements are needed.

The Road Repair and Accountability Act is sound and necessary. What’s at issue is the financing of the plan which is expected to hit all California drivers in the pocket and heavily so raising $5.2 billion a year for 10 years. How? By hiking up registration fees, levying usage fees on electric and hybrid vehicles, increasing taxes on gas and diesel….

California Legislature is expected to vote on the proposed $5.2 billion Road Repair and Accountability Act as early as next week.

 

 

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