Fri, Apr

WANTED: A Shot of Vitamin C (“Cred”) for Local & State Transportation/Infrastructure Initiatives


ALPERN AT LARGE - Well, whaddaya know? The Governor, Mayor, and all the pols and transportation officials KNEW that the "apocalyptic" Downtown L.A. I-10 freeway closure was only going to be closed for only a few days (perhaps 1-2 weeks) instead of the months-long hell it was proclaimed it would be.

And apparently the safety and liability issues that created this crisis were known about, and entirely preventable, all along.

So is this government largesse at its best, or government gaslighting at its worst?

People are human, and people make mistakes, but people can also make inquiries as to when the truth (including honest human error) is warranted instead of our leaders crowing about something that was and is full of mistruths and half-truths.

It’s not like we voters and taxpayers don’t have skin in the game. Honesty still IS the best policy, and Credibility remains the best policy, to boot.

It’s not so much that liberal Democrats are entirely wrong about the costs of gas being manipulated by those “greedy gas companies”, but what about those “greedy state gas taxes” that cost Californians 77.9 cents per gallon, and which is the freakin’ HIGHEST gas taxes in the freakin’ nation?

Isn’t the latter cost of gas (and associated transportation, grocery, and cost of living obstacles to the middle and lower income classes) as important as any topics that are worthy of debate and concern?

As well worth our ability to “outrageously” and “brazenly” confront issues without being demeaned as conspiracy theorists and wing nuts:

1) Are our gas and other taxes spent well?

2) Do we keep having state and other tax/bond revenue propositions and measures that claim to be related to transportation/infrastructure (T/I), but go directly or indirectly elsewhere in our budgets?

3) Are our T/I budgets being spent well, and efficiently?

4) Would our high-speed rail funds, originally proclaimed to allow the high-speed rail to compete with air travel, but only compete somewhat with automobile travel, have been better spent on projects such as our Sepulveda pass subway to connect the San Fernando Valley and Westside?

5) Would that high-speed rail project have been more efficiently spent on widening the I-5 and adjacent freeways based on the number of commuters accessing that corridor between S.F. and Sacramento and L.A.?

6) Can we not be both pro-rail AND pro-freeway?

7) Can we not address the shocking and important issues surrounding why EVERYONE of all ethnic, socioeconomic, and other backgrounds are using cars more and more and more?

8) Can we debate whether or not fully electric cars are less cost-effective and environmentally-friendly than hybrid cars for our everyday, middle-class commuters?

9) Can we debate whether road diets and bike lanes at the expense of road lanes are always cost-effective and helpful for the environment?

10) Can we debate whether nuclear energy is arguably the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly than solar or wind power as an alternative to electricity and utility efforts for our state?

“Cred” can be tough, and “cred” can be painful, but don’t we deserve the truth, or at least deserve to debate the truth, in our modern-day 21st Century California?


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father. He was active for 20 years on the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) as a Board Member focused on Planning and Transportation, and helped lead the grassroots efforts of the Expo Line as well as connecting LAX to MetroRail. His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth, and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)