Smarter Transportation Spending — My Sacramento Bee Op-Ed & Streetsblog Coverage

On the heels of the UC Berkeley / UCLA Law report released yesterday, the Sacramento Bee is running on op-ed from me today with recommendations on improving California’s transportation spending:

Potholed roads, crumbling bridges, crowded buses and trains, collisions between cars and bicyclists. In short, California’s transportation infrastructure is in dire need of improvement.

Every year, the state, regional agencies and local governments spend about $28 billion. But are we spending that money effectively?

Too often, decision-makers would rather fund new road and highway projects instead of improving our existing infrastructure and providing more affordable and convenient transportation options. Local political considerations seem to drive these decisions, instead of the most effective use of these funds. And to make matters worse, decision-making is highly decentralized and therefore uncoordinated. Money comes from federal, state and local sources, with multiple levels of government controlling the spending.

Yet these transportation decisions affect our lives as directly as anything our government does. They help determine the layout of our towns and cities, the location of our jobs and shops, and how painlessly we can get where we need to go. The decisions by an agency in a neighboring jurisdiction can mean the difference between an easy commute and a nightmare.

You can read the whole thing here, and also hear me speak about the report at tomorrow’s Planning and Conservation League annual symposium at UC Davis.

Streetsblog LA also posted a nice write-up on the report here. And for those in the Bay Area, I’ll be interviewed about the report on Sunday at 11:20am on KCBS radio.


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