Thursday, November 18, 2010

The San Francisco Transportation Authority's proposal to toll inbound and outbound motorists, like other government agencies in the All Tax, Fee, Toll, and Spend, Democrat SF Bay Area, has been coming from passed stealth legislation from our Democrat California and Federal legislators (and the Fool Governor).  The Democrat monopoly of the Bay Area for the last few years, especially since the (Democrat) politician-loaded California High Speed Rail Authority's bond 'glamor' Proposition 1A (2008) passed, and the complete takeover occurred of the regional MTC (now proudly calling itself the "Bay Area Toll Authority) by anti-motorist Toll/Fee/Tax extremists, including its Executive Director Hemminger, and zealots like Ken Yeager, aim to create more Bay Area costly motorist pick-pocket "opportunities".Many more.
 Immediately after the 2008 HSR bond passed, the next month, after years of purposeful delays, the Santa Clara County's political VTA arranged for over $5M with Caltrans, to suddenly "consider" (= do) finishing SR152 to Gilroy as a Congestion Priced Toll Road, in fact, all the way back to Madera under cover of a "Trade Corridor" highway! 

The fact is, HSR never has, nor will, come close to paying its own way for its elitist, wealthy, middle-class,  taxpayer paid rail chauffer service for its high-class riders.  When proponents say, "Europe and Asia" have these debt-laden, budget crushing dangerous trains, and so should we --for no good reason other than "the neighbors" have it, so we must!--they also mean that California, and Obama/LaHood's US HSR  also require European and Asian Toll roads, Toll lanes, and higher gas taxes (times 4 current cost to equal theirs).

The corrupt, Democrat California legislature, has quietly passed the toll legislation.  Blame none other than your own Democrat legislator: Alquist, Nava, Torrico, Yee, Ma, Huffman, Simitian, Hill, Ruskin, BEALL, Caballero, Steinberg (a real Socialist in my view!) etc, especially those in the Calif Enviro Caucus) for quietly advocating these charges against us.   Prop 23 would have stopped or slowed the AB32/SB375 authorization for this toll--to reduce driving--one of AB32's key objectives. 

"Conservation-minded", that is, brainwashed Gordon Moore (in my opinion), other stock option millionaires, and the wealthy Hollywood (multi-vehicle owning) types (Cameron (Avatar fame), Schwarzenneger,, along with other know-nothing rich fools, haven't a clue nor care of the impact on the middle and lower income residents.  They can afford the higher costs. They just want to feel good, without thinking about the destructive effects of such costs on the people..
During the election, as a transportation activist, this Freemotorist  tried to warn and advise about this coming flood of Democrat-induced tolls, gas tax increases, and soon, miles-traveled fees (have you seen your insurance company's request about miles traveled lately, ;-) at this site and elsewhere.  Unfortunately,  this message could not get through the closed Carly, Meg, and Prop 23 (HJTA) campaigns as a winning issue, e.g., to oppose not only the underlying HSR engine for these necessary taxes, tolls, fees, fines, penalties, and other charges to fund it.  The fees are driven by what the HSR Authoritry refers to sneakily as "Public Private Partnerships" -- the toll, fee, fine, and other charges' collection equipment owners.

In this pre-holiday rage of the airline security/TSA fondling of passengers, the coming impact (post-election)  on motorists automobility...the 98% who use autos, trucks, vans, motorcycles only versus the the tiny 2% (7% in the SF Bay Area) who use wasteful, expensive, slow, only marginally effective, and ever-growing, public-unions' transit, will become clear by headline-grabbing road congestion during the 2010 holidays as motorists avoid the airlines pre-trip fondling.

Cleverly, Democrat politicians, SmartGrowth (hah!) EcoCommunist, well-known enviro groups will translate this infrastructure-handicapped road congestion falsely into needing wasteful more HSR boondoggle spending --  and other minimally-used transit.  In actuality, more free, general use road lanes (for everyone!), interregional highways, and improved traffic flow technology in congested areas are needed to move people under their own automobility while self-funding undiverted road funds --which roads already do, especially high-volume 1/4 million motorist per day 8 lane freeways.

The public doesn't have time to keep up with these intricacies of clever, full-time politicians who demonstrate that they don't have a clue about financial responsibility and the public's right to automobility (including trucking and motorcycling) of all types.
We must fight new motorist fees, tolls, vmt (miles traveled) charges by fighting High Speed Rail, the "driver" for them, too.  Taxes are for people, education, health, and human services, including roads that enable such, not for elitists, arrogant, wasteful, unnecessary, and financially devastating projects like HSR.  We are NOT Europe, nor Asia.  We are the United States of America, a still free country.  KILL HSR.  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

UC and CSU to raise fees-again- to help pay for the High Speed Rail ripoff

Where are the students, parents, teachers, administrators, education, and all the other unions, like nurses and healthcare unions, public safety, fire, police, and so many other state worker union members who depend on a solid Calif General Fund? 
HSR is draining the General Fund for its annually increasing debt that will reach at least $800M/yr to service this monter's debt -- just for construction!  If it is built, then the annual operating subsidy will reach over $1B/yr with some estimates as high as $4B/yr (Long-Beach press Telegram).
Motorists are seeing more tolling of lanes, soon highways like Pacheco Pass in SR152 and three roads in SoCal--to start, just to pay for this useless, wasteful elitists' 'glamorous' project that will drive the state and so many of its residents to the poorhouse, especially those who need students, teachers, state workers, and those needing state health and human and safety services.

Kill HSR now before it kills California's wealth.

The San Francisco Bay Area needs both 1) a new bridge across the Bay for all motorists, 2) BART up the Peninsula - close the gap around the Bay for transit users

Bay Area Transportation officials MTC/BATA are considering a study for a new Southern Crossing bridge to accommodate the region's increased and growing population, more registered motorists of all types and kinds who need automobility, including trucking, while reducing pollution, congestion, GHGs, delays, and help power more economic growth.  Bridges, unfortunately with tolls--but only to pay off their construction debt, do pay themselves off--unlike any transit, anywhere.  This is the fiscally responsible way to build our infrastructure for prosperity.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How Meg and Carly's [could have won]. Californians mobility and new GHG taxes and fees

[Edited after the Nov. 2, 2010 election...Freemotorist]

It [was] a real pity for California if Whitman (or Fiorina) don't win. Meg has some good issues, and a balanced business-environment, fiscally responsible view; but Meg and Carly are not capitalizing on THE winning issue now.

Meg (and Carly) need[ed] to come out loudly to state that they will oppose the planned, new vehicle mile traveled (VMT) charges, new toll roads, and congestion-priced (peak hour-peak fee) 'Smartmeter' roads to protect Californians' mobility and jobs because, if Calif's Prop23 and Prop 26 fail, the Dem's including Brown and Boxer who support them will try to ram them through to implementation.

But neither Meg, nor Carly, [got the message]. (Grrr!)

Meg and Carly are throwing millions of dollars into their campaigns. Meg, in particular, must express her outrage and defense of California motorists and every Californians right to drive at reasonable cost without government telling them what and when to drive by force of new fees and tolls.
This issue could and should serve as their "Hail Mary" (Hail Meg?) pass. A deluge of new taxes and fees on motorists' mobility are in the ready for implementation after the Nov. 2 elections. This is true not only for California, but also at the Federal level from Boxer's legislation. The new taxes and fees are derived from the Obama Administration's use of the Europe ("the Jones next door") model to fund High Speed Rail--under the guise of "protecting the enviroment." HSR requires High Gas Taxes(HGT!) whose European cost of gasoline equates to the unheard price of $20/gal of fuel, and road tolling to make the cost of driving equivalent to parallel, expensive, HSR ticket prices, and, other charges on motorists. This is a backwards way to help Americans be mobile. Example:. The Paris to Leon HSR costs about 70Euros...driving on the parallel toll road costs, you guessed it, about 70 Euros.
This model is being planned and executed now on SR152 Pacheco Pass' so-called "Mobility Partnership". State Route 152 parallels the planned Calif. HSR route, surprise! This was underscored by Calif. HSR insider and high-density builder, Andy Ball, who wrote an Opinion in the San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 14, 2010, the following: " "If we truly want high-speed rail to succeed, we must prioritize it over new roads or airports for trips that can be made via rail, as has been done in Europe. Our pricing has to reinforce decisions of riders, which means accounting for the true cost of driving and flying, including infrastructure, safety, and environmental impacts."
What's worse, HSR diverts precious taxpayer funds not only from mobility and job creation, but from health, human services, public safety, life (child, disabled, elder) care, other safety net, and education needs.
(See SacBee articles about the recent Roseville Galleria fire by a homeless man who desperately sought help--but could get money to help him, so he set it afire to the mall).
All this is for a "glamorous" train to "compete" (Obama's word) with the other countries' "the neighbor's" HSR. No one in the US needs HSR. Elitists want HSR for their egos and bragging rights, not unlike royalty of the past.. The middle and lower income motorists will pay for this expensive, heavily subsidized, taxpayer-funded "Lamborghini-like" Rail Chauffer elite public service for them.
Californians, in fact, all Americans, want reasonably priced mobility and automobility cost protection. The coming set of road tax and fees transcend race, gender, occupation, and even political affiliation. Californians love their mobiity, their cars, and most have jobs that depend on their mobility. That is why Meg and Carly can win with this issue, but they must pick it up right away.
So, where's Meg and Carly about protecting California motorists rights and wallets? Nowhere to be found, just spending money and, ironically, traveling the state???!!!
The Obama Administration's Tuesday announcement of more money for HSR is a perfect catalyst to get this "automobility message out--and win.
Background:The coming fees and tolling are documented at the state level in AB32/SB375 (Prop 23, Prop 26), and, at the federal level in the (released House draft of) the Federal 6-year transportation reauthorization legislation that Boxer's Senate Environment and Public Works Committee writes. Various gas taxes and fees to drive cost about .03/mile. With the Democrats' plan for metered road and lane tolling (to fund HSR), under the big-government goal reducing GHG emissions, (using the existing rates in California's new HOTT lanes), the tax-cost ranges from .10 to .43 per mile. All this, for a train no one needs and that steals money from taxpayers that ought to go to human needs. Californians love their cars and mobility. California is hurting, thanks to 45 years of Democrat legislative control, unprincipled spending, and labor union special interest legislation. Californians are about to be attacked by new fees and taxes in the name of the environment and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions as a result of AB32/SB375 in California, and the new 6-year STAA federal transportation reauthorization bill that Boxer's committee is sitting on until after the election because of the surprises it contains -- against motorists.
The Dem's will push these cap-and-trade GHG emission restrictions on mobility and new tax and fee elements any which way they can at great cost to, and disregard for, motorists--mostly to fund HSR all over--after the November 2, 2010 elections next week. No doubt about it! The ducks are lined up:
Expect the push to come after Nov. 2, under the cover of the GM Volt and Nissan Leaf roll out, and in conjunction with the 6-year STAA legislation, AB32/SB375. The new VMT and Toll roads "will be needed" because the new fuel-efficient vehicles don't use gas, etc.
High Speed Rail, and its huge deficits and debt, like the "neighbor" countries' HSR debt issues in Portugal, Spain, France, Japan, China, nationally and in California, require new taxation/fees that will mirror the European and Asian models of 1)Vehicle Miles Traveled fees to limit interregional travel, 2) time of use Congestion -Priced ("Smartmetered") road use charges, and 3) Open-Road Tolling by transponder, 4) Employer provided parking fees -- all as under the GHG emissions reduction rubric.
Candidates opposed to the HSR boondoggles, and GHG emission mobility taxes and restrictions need to speak up now to expose the fraud of HSR -- especially Meg and Carly in California. Californians, indeed, Americans, love their vehicles and the automobility and jobs that they enable

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why the San Jose - Patterson (California) freeway SR130 is needed, inclucing GHG emission reduction!

Democrat, environmentalist, and other  politicians and advocates desire to reduce motorist and truckers' vehicle miles of daily travel to comply with AB32/SB375 and federal transportation planning objectives to and from San Jose, CA, the third largest SMSA in California, then SR130 from San Jose's US101 to Patterson's I-5 junction must be built sooner rather than later.

SR130 could be entitled The Mt Hamilton freeway.  Look at a road map of the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Valley.
This environmentally sensitive and aesthetic 40-mile highway would immediately save 55 miles of road travel in each direction (!!!) from the current circuitous route of I-5 to I580, I-680, to US101, or south to SR152, then up US101 to San Jose. It  reduces or eliminates much of the congestion on I-680, I-580, I-205, as far north as I-80.   SR130 would reduce the congestion and traffic volume that travel south to SR152 and up US101 through southern Santa Clara County. 

The benefits will be reduction of not only VMT, but also Vehicle Hours Traveled (VHT) -- vehicle operating costs of tens of thousands of vehicles and motorists per day by directing traffic volumes more directly to/from the San Jose area to points East, Northeast (Sacramento and toward Nevada), and south through Gilroy.
We must start planning to build it, right (with environmental and wildlife sensitivity) now.

SR152 & Pacheco Pass to be one of many "new" California Toll Roads - motorists to fund High Speed Rail

Transit agencies and Caltrans and California High Speed Rail are planning to take the currently free State Route 152 from Madera CA through Los Banos to Gilroy US101 and turn it into a Mobility Partnership "Trade Corridor. "

This MUST be opposed and any politician who supports making SR152 a Toll Road must be defeated at the polls due to their insensitivity to motorists by this sneaky way to initiate a NEW TAX ON OUR AUTOMOBILITY!

The mostly Democrat 'public' organizations' plans will charge automobilists and truckers--including the many firms that own trucks that deliver goods and services to and from the San Francisco Bay Area, South Bay, Monterey area, Central Valley, and Southern California expensive new congestion-priced, peak time use ("Smartmetered") Tolls on the road.  This will be in addition to the coming legislation that Senator Barbara Boxer's Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will introduce at the Federal level, in conjunction with California's Marin-Sonoma Dermocrat Jared Huffman's California legislative bill, are sponsoring to charge automobile users for the miles we drive, VMT "fees" soon, after Nov. 2, 2010 in order to reduce GHG (Green House Gases).  

If Democrat and environmentalist politicians really want to reduce the vehicle miles traveled of road users, in particular, to and from San Jose, CA, the third largest SMSA in California, SR130 from San Jose's US101 to Patterson's I-5 junction must be built sooner rather than later.

SR130 could be entitled The Mt Hamilton freeway.  This environmentally sensitive and aesthetic 40-mile highway would immediately save 55 miles traveled each direction from the current circuitous route of I-5 to I580, I-680, to US101, or south to SR152, then up US101 to San Jose. It  reduces or eliminates much of the congestion on I-680, I-580, I-205, as far north as I-80. It reduces the congestion and traffic volume that travel south to SR152 and up US101 through southern Santa Clara County. 

The benefits will be to reduce not only VMT, but also Vehicle Hours Traveled (VHT) and vehicle operating costs of tens of thousands of vehicles and motorists per day by directing traffic volumes more directly to/from the San Jose area to points East, Northeast (Sacramento and toward Nevada), and south through Gilroy.

 SR130 would be real VMT GHG saver in line with all the environmental objectives AND encourage economic growth by reducing the cost to do business.

 It would have no effect on urban or rural growth, of course, because zoning and land-use planning is under the control of local and state governmental legislation, not highways. 

A California Freemotorist

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

California's deceptive High Speed Rail...Democrats...and the Trojan Horse analogy against motorists!

"The Trojan Horse
Still seeking to gain entrance into Troy, clever Odysseus (some say with the aid of Athena) ordered a large wooden horse to be built. Its insides were to be hollow so that soldiers could hide within it.
Once the statue had been built by the artist Epeius, a number of the Greek warriors, along with Odysseus, climbed inside. The rest of the Greek fleet sailed away, so as to deceive the Trojans.
One man, Sinon, was left behind. When the Trojans came to marvel at the huge creation, Sinon pretended to be angry with the Greeks, stating that they had deserted him. He assured the Trojans that the wooden horse was safe and would bring luck to the Trojans.
Only two people, Laocoon and Cassandra, spoke out against the horse, but they were ignored. The Trojans celebrated what they thought was their victory, and dragged the wooden horse into Troy.
That night, after most of Troy was asleep or in a drunken stupor, Sinon let the Greek warriors out from the horse, and they slaughtered the Trojans" .. and the Greeks violated Cassandra as victors did -- and still do to women (Congo).
Only this time, if Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer and Northern California California Democrats get re-elected, California motorists, automobility-dependent users, companies and employees who work at ANY job that gets income or any part of their  livelihood, including businesses and government people, that are related automobility, cars of all kinds, trucks,  motorcycles, trailers, etc. will be like the Trojan victims.  
The secret is OUT: High Speed Rail is the Trojan Horse for further vicious attacks on California motorists mobility, wallets and purses, liberty under the Green disguise with new Congestion-Priced Toll Lanes, Toll Roads (starting with SR152 out of Gilroy (Pacheco Pass) through Los Banos to Madera; three highways in Southern California, and, worse, the advent of taxing motorists for the miles they drive (VMT). VMT taxing is thanks to Green-socialist Marin-Sonoma North SF Bay ASSyman Jared Huffman--Democrat, who has done nothing to convert SR37 to a safe controlled-access freeway (that Jerry Brown rescinded when he was Gov before) and which cost the lives of a family of 4 late last year when a mini-cooper collided with their van--and killed them.  Then, 2 days later their house was robbed and pillaged. Thanks to do-nothing but Green Jared.   
Back to the HSR waste.  Since the passage of Nov 2008 HSR Bond Act, during the fear of intense economic recession fear "for jobs", without any formal FPPC opposition (few thought it would pass!), and mandated, but unconstitutional, ballot advocacy language  by the corrupt California Democrat-led legislature, the Dems have introduced and passed, with the FOOL GOVERNOR "S" signature laws that are destroying the California Heritage of Toll Free roads. Roads paid for by users in the gas and related sales taxes and ancillary services supported byDMV Fees. 
California motorists and automobility workers already contribute over $15B each year (and much more) in direct taxes and DMV fees.  These monies are more than enough to pay for our California roads and necessary transit, but not enough for HSR boondoggles.  KILL HIGH SPEED RAIL now and VOTE OUT DEMOCRATS especially Boxer--who is sitting on the 6 year Federal reauthorization transportation reauthorization bill to increase Toll Roads and VMT and other anti-motorist bills. Jerry Brown, a known enemy of motorists and roads, laid off 3,000 Caltrans workers to force new road building reductions, and is an advocate of HSR waste. 
WHERE ARE Carly and Meg and Northern California Republican candidates when we need them?! 

All these candidates  need to do is stand before a 'greenscreen' picture of a heavily-traveled freeway backdrop and advocate that they oppose any new tolls and no miles-traveled and congestion-pricing fees because VMT is DIRECTLY related to a region's economic vitality AND the motorist is already paying more than his and her fair share, but the Democrats are spending it wastefully on too many non-road, non-motorist diversions.

Brian Sussman of KSFO radio, 560 in his morning show talks about this (today, too) and how it ties in to the need to SUPPORT Proposition 23 on Nov. 2, 2010.  This is critical for all automobility users to pass.  AB32 (Santa Monica's Democrat Pavley),backed by  SB375 (Democrat Sen. Steinberg) will hurt us all further.