The Pacific Coast Highway stretch between Dana Point in Orange County, Calif., at the southern end, and Fort Bragg in Mendocino on the northern end, “is a bucket-list trip,” the New York Daily News enthused two years ago. “Stretching 650 curve-hugging, jaw-dropping miles along the ruggedly beautiful central coast of California, Highway 1 is one of the most scenic roads in the country.”
What the newspaper didn’t mention is that anyone winding along California roads might think that the Big One has already hit. Streets and highways across the state are in awful shape: a cracked, crumbling mess pock-marked with potholes, which tend to grow larger due to time, weather, and government negligence.
Some potholes grew so monstrous after recent heavy winter rains that California Highway Patrol officers in Oakland actually named one— “Steve.” They should have called it “Jerry,” after Governor Brown, who has done little about the state’s failing infrastructure except talk about it, while continuing to seek funding for a costly and unnecessary high-speed rail system. A bit of help for the weary motorist who’s thinking about making a justifiable claim against Caltrans for the damage it’s done to his car? Not in Brown’s California. Chapman University professor and City Journal contributing editor Joel Kotkin wrote last year in the Orange County Register that Brown’s goal “is to make congestion so terrible that people will be forced out of their cars and onto transit.”
Not all of California’s infrastructure problems can be blamed on the winter weather. In 2015, in the midst of a withering drought, the Mercury News reported that a family’s car hit a “killer pothole” near Sacramento with such force that its airbags inflated. Repairs would have cost nearly $15,000, so the insurance company wrote if off as a total loss. Though that might sound like a one-off event, California roads are indeed wrecking cars. “Deficient roads” in the Los Angeles area cost motorists an average $2,800 in annual repair costs. The state implicitly admits that its roads are a mess through a law that enables car owners who feel they’ve “lost money or property as a result of any action or inaction by Caltrans” to make five-figure claims against the agency.
The Reason Foundation, which for decades has rated road conditions across the country, ranked California roads 42nd in the nation in its 22nd Annual Highway Report. The state is 45th in rural-interstate pavement condition, 48th in urban-interstate pavement condition, and 48th in congestion in urbanized areas, the study says. “Half of the nation’s rural interstate mileage in poor condition is located in just five states,” says Reason’s Adrian Moore, and California is one of them. Media reports say that nearly 60 percent of the roads need repair. Will Kempton, a former Caltrans director, told the Los Angeles Times in February that road conditions were the worst he’d ever seen.
Roads aren’t the only infrastructure breaking down in California; its dams are no longer trustworthy. The Oroville Dam in the Sierra Nevada foothills almost failed this winter when its main spillway fell apart. It didn’t, but its near-collapse was a warning, as the New York Times reported, that the state’s “network of dams and waterways is suffering from age and stress.” The San Francisco Chronicle said a year ago that “there are 200 dams in California that are at least partially filled with mud and are approaching the end of their working lives.”
This isn’t a surprise to policymakers, who’ve been on notice for some time. According to the Association of Dam Safety Officials, California had 334 “high-hazard potential” dams in 2005; by 2015, 678 earned that designation. Officials were told in 2005 that the emergency spillway at the Oroville Dam posed a serious risk.
Also vulnerable are the state’s levees, especially those in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta network. Problems in this patchwork of largely muddy banks, built by farmers rather than civil engineers, put much of the state’s water supply at grave risk.
Rather than fix the state’s vital artery system and shore up its dams and levees, Brown and other policymakers prefer to focus on the shiny bauble of high-speed rail and a fanciful mixture of mass transit and bike lanes in an effort to move Californians out of their cars and into forms of transportation favored by Sacramento’s political bosses. Those who resist the agenda because they want to maintain the freedom facilitated by cars are likely to be hit with a new fuel-tax hike (in a state that already has some of the highest fuel taxes in the country).
More taxes, tolls, or user fees might be tolerable if the additional dollars improved the roads. But California has a history of taxing motorists to pay for pet projects that have zero connection with improved street and highway conditions. The Golden State’s existing patterns of density and sprawl have made reliance on car travel a necessity for most residents. Mass-transit advocates can wish for magical people-moving networks that will make cars obsolete, but the state’s planners need to focus on repairing the infrastructure we already have before they start implementing their dreams of a shining California future.
Kerry Jackson is the Pacific Research Institute’s fellow in California studies. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
AND BUSINESS FLEE CALIFORNIA…. Where Mexico loots first
“The lifetime costs of Social Security and Medicare
benefits of illegal immigrant beneficiaries of President Obama’s executive amnesty
would be well over a trillion dollars, according to Heritage Foundation expert Robert
Rector’s prepared testimony for a House panel obtained in advance by Breitbart
MEXICO DUMPS MILLIONS OF
GALLONS OF TOXIC WASTE ON SAN DIEGO!
"Los Angeles saw
all crime rise in 2015: violent crime up 19.9 percent, homicides up 10.2
percent, shooting victims up 12.6 percent, rapes up 8.6 percent, robberies up
12.3 percent, and aggravated assault up 27.5 percent," Landry said.”
IMAGES of LA RAZA CRIMINALSIN LOS
WANTED (MURDER) CRIMINALS IN LA RAZA-OCCUPIED LOS ANGELES:
THE REAL FACE OF CALIFORNIA UNDER MEXICAN
border would surely be opened wide, prompting a spike in unfettered immigration
by desperately poor people, drug dealers, and gang members to what is already a
virtually lawless and out-of-control welfare state.”
The highest taxed state in the nation is about to pay more in taxes as
California Governor Jerry Brown won agreement from Democrat leaders to push
through a long-overdue transportation bill funded by raising gas taxes and
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) usage fees.
At a joint
press conference at the Capitol Wednesday, theSacramento Beereports that Gov. Brown acknowledged
California’s roads are pothole-ridden and crumbling, committing to push a
“$5.2 billion road-funding package” through both houses of the legislature,
which will be a tough sell for some moderate Democrats in
Brown’s proposal would hike the state’s gas tax and set up a
“user fee” based on a sliding scale tied to a vehicle’s value.
TheLos Angeles Timesis reporting that the proposal
includes “a 12-cent-per-gallon increase in current gas excise taxes on Nov. 1.
Future increases would be made through a new tax calculating methodology and
annual inflation adjustments. Those changes would begin in 2019 and would be
fully implemented in 2020.”
would be on top of the increased vehicle use fee, which the Timesstates would “average $51.00 per year
based on the value of the car.”
The sliding scale fee for the right to drive on California’s
roads starts at $25 for cars valued under $5,000, and rises to $175 for
vehicles whose value exceeds $60,000. All electric vehicle owners will be
billed $100 — a huge opt-out for those who pay zero gas taxes while driving
very expensive cars.
Brown’s plan also includes money to expand public transit, which
is sure to be unpopular when the roads are in such a poor state of repair.
The Times adds
that Gov. Brown is pushing the plan as a “pay-as-you-go proposal,” but
most Californians are going to ask why so much money has been wasted on
priorities that have nothing to do with the “public good” – -like free college
tuition for illegal aliens; huge pay and pension increases for public sector
unions; and politicians’ pet projects like the High-Speed Rail Authority.
One bit of irony: Brown’s transportation proposal includes
a constitutional amendment to guarantee that the legislature does not divert
the transportation funds to any other purpose — even though those safeguards
already exist. (They have been suspended many times.)
The San Diego Union-Tribunereports that “In 2002, voters
overwhelmingly passed Proposition 42, a constitutional amendment meant to
ensure that motor vehicle sales taxes be used only for transportation purposes
… After such suspensions happened twice, in 2006, voters by an even bigger
margin approved Proposition 1A” —
another constitutional amendment that forces the legislature to repay any
funds diverted during a “state financial hardship” as a loan to the
The irony is that the Democrats are promising to protect
taxpayers from … Democrats, i.e. from themselves.
Democrat leaders have given themselves an April 6 deadline to
pass the proposal, to be certain they have ample time to have the
package approved ahead of the June 15 budget deadline.
What they may not be thinking about is the political impact of
proposing a huge tax increase that will hit the working poor the hardest — the
dreaded gas tax — just before the April 15 tax deadline.
If Republicans hold the line, every Democrat will have to vote
in favor of what is sure to a very unpopular tax. When former Governor
Gray Davis tripled the “car tax” (aka ‘vehicle license fee’) 14 years ago, he
was ousted by a recall election, and replaced with Arnold Schwartzenegger — who
worked with the Democrat-controlled legislature to rescind the unpopular
the Oroville Dam became the symbol ofGov. Jerry Brown’s failureto take care of a basic core duty of
state government— that is, maintaining and expanding infrastructure for the
common good — Californians have been asking what happened to the(Proposition 1) Water Bond money; why the state can
give illegal aliens a free ride to college, but can’t fix potholes ; and
why infrastructure money was spent on pet projects like the California
High-Speed Rail Authority.
the California media are treating the suggestion that Brown hasn’t ruled
outrunning for president in
2020 — when he would be 82 — as newsworthy.
General Jeff Sessions: Emergency Intervention Needed in California NOW!
MEXICO’S BIGGEST EXPORTS TO U.S.: poverty, anchor
baby breeders for welfare, criminals, unregistered dems and HEROIN!
California, illegals can vote: it’s possible and very likely. California’s
automatic motor-voter law all but assures that illegals seeking driver’s
licenses will get a ballot along with their license.
from any corner of the world can register to vote in California online, too. No
vetting, no assurance, no integrity.
fraud in broken inner city hellholes like Detroit and New York City cannot
compare with the ballot stuffing throughout the once Golden State.
THE LA RAZA PLAN: California’s final surrender
to fly the Mexican flag within 4 years.
"The American Southwest seems to be slowly
returning to the jurisdiction of Mexico without firing a single
shot." -- - EXCELSIOR --- national newspaper of Mexico
Second, where is the governor of California calling on AMLO to
stop it and go home? More to the point, is California so far gone
that no one objects to a foreigner criticizing a U.S. president on our soil?
(TOP – CHATA, BORDER VIOLENCE, CARTELS, OBAMA,)
BILLIONAIRES FOR BORDERLESS AMERICA
….It’s all to keep wages DEPRESSED.
“This nation no longer is a democratic
republic...rather it has become a tool of the super-rich members of the above
mentioned elite who preselect our presidents based on their cooperation and
complicity with the elite’s ultimate goals. Obama has, in their opinion done
superbly carrying out the plans well laid out for him by his backers.”
“The principal beneficiaries of
our current immigration policy are affluent Americans who hire immigrants at
substandard wages for low-end work. Harvard economist George Borjas estimates
that American workers lose $190 billion annually (DATED FIGURES) in depressed
wages caused by the constant flooding of the labor market at the low-wage end.”
While the declining job market in the United States may be
discouraging some would-be border crossers, a flow of illegal aliens continues unabated,
with many entering the United States as drug-smuggling “mules.”