The Legislative Analyst’s Office proposes the use of revenue bonds backed by future gas tax revenues to accelerate 122 highway rehabilitation projects. If the Legislature agrees, look for a ballot measure seeking voter approval.
With the recent passage of Proposition 1A clearing the way for the construction of a high-speed rail line linking San Francisco and Los Angeles , a report from the Bay Area Council Economic Institute explores quality-of-life benefits to Bay Area residents in four categories: business and job creation; mobility; urban development; and climate change.
Just in time for the November 4 election, the Reason Foundation has released a slew of reports on California ballot measures. The bond measures Prop. 1A High Speed Rail, Prop. 3 Children’s Hospitals, Prop. 10 Alternative Fuel Vehicles, and Prop. 12 Veterans’ Bonds, are treated in a single report. Prop 1A, Prop. 5 on Nonviolent Offenders, and Prop. 11 on Redistricting are covered more thoroughly in separate studies. For another perspective on the redistricting initiative, see the report from the Center for Governmental Studies. If after reading these you’re still undecided, check out the abundant resources on the ballot measures compiled by the Institute of Governmental Studies Library at Election 2008 Hot Topics.
Some of the worst-congested roadways in the United States are in Calfornia, according to a new report from the Texas Transportation Institute. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has to commute in the Bay Area or Southern California. In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, for example, the ratio of travel time in peak hours to free-flow traffic time is 1.92, which means that it takes an average of almost twice as long to drive somewhere in high-traffic situations as in traffic-free conditions.
What causes the congestion? The report points to several factors. For one thing, 70% of the gross domestic product and 69% of the jobs in the US are in the 100 largest metropolitan regions. That amounts to a lot of people and freight moving through consticted areas at the same time. Another factor: the supply of public transit and roadways, even though it has increased over the past 20 years, has not kept pace with the growth in population.
California’s highways rank dead last among the 50th states in terms of urban congestion, according to a new survey of state highway systems by the Reason Foundation. The survey reports that 83.3% of California’s urban interstates are habitually congested. The survey also ranked California near the bottom in several other measures of highway performance and cost effectiveness, including urban and rural interestate condition and maintenance per mile of state responsibility.