Friday, February 5, 2016 The CSAC Bulletin
Transportation Funding Issue at Critical Juncture
California’s transportation funding is at a critical juncture right now. The California Transportation Commission recently announced it was deprogramming (cutting) $754 million from the State Transportation Improvement Program because its fuel-based revenue is falling well below projections. This is due to gas prices continuing to fall and increases in vehicle fuel economy. The cuts are imperiling dozens of major projects up and down the state and further exacerbate an already dire need for maintenance on our highways, streets, roads and bridges.

CSAC and our partners in the Fix Our Roads Coalition are pulling out the stops to convince the Legislature and Governor to address the issue with a comprehensive package of funding and reforms that will keep California rolling. This morning, Coalition partners conducted a news conference in Indio where Riverside County Supervisors Marion Ashley and Chuck Washington spoke about the impact of the recent cuts.

“This massive cut will leave hundreds of shovel-ready projects throughout the state in limbo,” said Supervisor Ashley. “Many of those projects could be shelved indefinitely. In my district, we have been waiting for a safety project on State Route 60 through the Badlands area which connects Moreno Valley to the Pass Area. Without state funding, we aren’t sure when this project will be completed. Yet, we will continue to see accidents involving trucks and cars until we can construct it. Not only is transportation funding a public safety issue, but cutting transportation dollars will have a massive negative ripple effect on jobs and economic activity throughout the state and in Riverside County.”

“Today there’s a backlog of deferred state highway maintenance of $59 billion,” added Supervisor Chuck Washington. “The funding shortfall to maintain the existing streets and roads system is $78 billion. We need long-term, stable funding for transportation or our network of roads and bridges will continue to erode. There’s no other option.”

The Riverside County Supervisors were joined at the news conference by several other local elected officials and representatives from labor organizations. Together, they are calling on the Governor and Legislature to enact a comprehensive package that includes new revenue from a variety of sources, substantial reforms that both reduce the time it takes to get a project approved, and protections so that any new revenue will be allocated as intended—to maintain California’s aging highways, streets, roads and bridges.

You can learn more about the transportation funding crisis and the failing condition our roads are in, the Coalition that formed to address the issue, and the principles we are hoping will guide the Governor and Legislature to a speedy and effective resolution by visiting this website.
Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington speaks about the need for more revenue for transportation infrastructure.

In the picture below, Supervisor Washington and Supervisor Marion Ashley (blue cap) are joined by other local leaders at the news conference.