Thursday, January 05, 2006

Schwarzenegger to reveal infrastructure plan later today

Infrastructure is good, and Lord knows our freeways could use it.

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will propose today adding special toll lanes — some exclusively for trucks — to California's most congested freeways, and speeding their construction by easing environmental reviews.

Brilliant! Kill two birds with one anti-environmentalist stone: lower costs, and pissing off the Greenpeace weenies! It'll be fun watching their heads explode. But it's toll roads. We just need roads... period.

The toll proposal is only part of a multibillion-dollar public works agenda the governor will unveil during his annual State of the State speech, administration officials said Wednesday. But it would have a direct impact on the quality of life for millions of Californians and challenge their long-standing aversion to toll lanes.

Among consideration are projects that call for building a dedicated truck lane on the Long Beach Freeway, leading to the busy ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, and adding a toll lane for all vehicles on Interstate 680 in the Bay Area, where rates would vary depending on the time of day and degree of congestion. But local officials would make the final decisions if the plans were approved by the Legislature.

Schwarzenegger will ask lawmakers — and eventually voters — to approve selling more than $25 billion in bonds over the next five years to pay for improvements to the state's roads, ports, levees and schools. Those bonds would be the first part of a 10- to 20-year plan that could include later returning to voters for approval to borrow tens of billions more.

Come on! What about the 101, 405, 5, 91, 210, 60, and 15! The 15 ought to be easy. Whatever moron designed it left plenty of room in the median for two more lanes in each direction. That can't be too expensive... And don't get me started on my local streets and how we need more than three main streets to handle the 80,000 that live here...

[...]Under the plan, which critics contend would cause too much pollution, some of the truck lanes could be elevated. But the cash-strapped authority hasn't even been able to scrape together the $30 million needed for an environmental review.

And cars needlessly idling in traffic for hours when, if there were just a couple more lanes, we could cut that drive time in half. How much gas will less stop and go traffic save and how much pollution will shorter commute times prevent? Just use your heads a little bit for crying out loud! If opponents really want the environmental review let them get the environmental lobbyists to pay for it. And why the hell does that review cost $30 million? Do they actually have to try to relocate all species of animals 2 by 2 via a space shuttle/ark?

Elevated lanes are a start hopefully leading to completely double decker freeways, which is what's going to have to happen eventually to accommodate all the LA traffic.