Fri, Jan

Article on Highway Speeds Missed Key Points

VOICES-(Re: CityWatch article LADOT Should Measure What Matters … Commute Times’)  Dear Mr. Klein … Your article on highway speeds missed key points:

1.  Most of highway fuel taxes, maybe 80%, go into operating mass transit 
systems, i.e. government worker pay.  This should be in welfare budget for the
benefit of the 5% of the  population that uses mass transit.

2.  Only about 20% is available for highway construction and maintenance.  No wonder there is such resistance to higher fuel taxes when most of the money does not go to help the motorists.

3.  There's no requirement that highway funds be spent on the slowest freeways,
i.e. the ones with the highest social time cost and wasted gasoline.  No federal
or state requirements as of yet.  California has a rating system of A to F on
freeway speed, but it is not used to prioritize building more freeway lane capacity.

4.  Often "diamond lanes" are built, but they benefit only a small fraction of
motorists, rather than everybody who paid the taxes.  The "Carmagedden" freeway
I-405 project in L. A has spendt $1 billion on such a diamond lane in the
Sepulveda Pass, freeway speeds did not improve.

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5.  In L. A. County the 15-member Metropolitan Transportation Authority is
inflicting this grievous harm to the motorists.  It admits in its own Long-Range
Transportation Plan that, after all its projects are built, the freeways will
SLOW UP by about 10 mph.  Get a copy.

6.  Freeway congestion at 50% of the freeway segments is a monumental failure.
It should be at 5% or less.

Major reform is needed.  We need to match up the tax burden with benefits to
the taxpayers!

What say you?

(Carl Olson lives in Woodland Hills.)





Vol 13 Issue 17

Pub: Feb 27, 2015