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Morning Musings: Gold Line, toll roads, and taxes; Oh my!

by Scott Hettrick

Remember the Gold Line extension we were promised that would add a train line line from Pasadena through Arcadia (more than 70% of us voted several years ago to approve building another railroad bridge over Santa Anita) and all the way to Montclair and maybe even the LA/Ontario Airport?

Well, despite billions of dollars in related residential and retail developments ready to go in almost every town along the route in anticipation of the promised Foothill Extension, the MTA is just a few weeks away from putting funding of the project on the back burner indefinetly. Only a couple of us from Arcadia — reps from the Chamber of Commerce — even bothered to show up to register our objection at one of numerous public hearings on the matter in Rosemead a few weeks ago, and then again at the MTA’s board meeting last week.

It was at that MTA board meeting that we first heard the MTA recommend another sales tax to potentially help pay for the Gold Line.

And it was that same morning that it was anonunced that L.A. would accept more than $200 million being offered by the Feds to turn our carpool lanes on the 210 and 10 freeways into toll lanes.

I don’t know which, if any, of these ideas will work, but I do know that after paying more than $50 for a tank full of regular gas in my ordinary sedan for the first time 3 weeks ago, I just paid more than $62 this weekend. And I know that whatever we agreed to pay for the bond issue to build that Gold Line bridge over Santa Anita ($10 million?), it’s going to be way more than that by the time we get around to getting the Gold Line. And I know that traffic and gas prices are not going to get any better while we keep delaying the launch of any and all of these projects.

So let’s stop letting all these ideas get bogged down in bureacracy and just do something — anything — right now, or at least before a tank of gas in my car reaches $100, which could be this summer at the rate things are going!


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