Westminster Councilwomen Slam Caltrans Push For Converting 405 Freeway Into Toll Road

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Diana Carey tonight nailed Caltrans toll road plan for the 405
Orange County's political superstars tonight were Diana Carey and Margie L. Rice, both Westminster City Council members, who figuratively kicked the sniveling ass of a state transportation bureaucrat trying to sway the council to back off its vocal rejection of adding future, costly tolls fees on the long-ago-built 405 freeway.

Councilwoman Carey told the Caltrans official that Westminster citizens "are angry beyond words" about turning the 405 into a mechanism for private toll-road profit and firmly asserted, "We will not tolerate it."

State government officials, working in league with faceless but ultra-wealthy Wall Street investment interests that make billions of dollars a year by enticing elected officials across the country to convert public roads to tollways, want citizens to pay fees each time they use already constructed roads.

Their excuse is that the freeways need to become private revenue generating sources to expand traffic capacity.

In reality, toll roads are a huge windfall for Wall Street bankers who take road projects that should cost, for example, $350 million, and convert them into semi-private roads that cost $12 or $15 billion or more--with the overwhelming bulk of the money landing in the bank accounts of New York fat cats.

That example isn't a hypothetical.

That's what is happening in Orange County's horrific financial experience with the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road.

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Steamed Rice
Carey made clear that she, the council and local residents are not humored by the state's push to essentially privatize the public roads.

"We certainly are not looking at tolls at this point," she said, tersely calling Caltrans' plans "very disappointing."

Carey added, "I think I'm going to have a heart attack if I say anything more."

Rice asserted that state officials "don't listen" and have a problem telling the truth.

The Orange County Transportation Authority, whose members are wined and dined by Wall Street lobbyists, is scheduled to vote on a final plan in October.

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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8 comments
Transitfrog
Transitfrog

Once a roadway is congested, it doesn't make economic sense for it to be free. Not having a use fee leads to inefficient use of the roadway, greatly increased pollution, and very poor long term land use development. Congestion pricing of roadways will lead to commuters making better decisions on transportation options, reduced regional pollution, funding for modern transportation projects, and more efficient use of the public land that has been allocated to transportation. It is very apparent that it is no longer cost effective or politically popular to increase highway lanes in our region. It's time to make better use of the highways we have already built and fund modern transportation solutions. Read more about the benefits of congestion pricing on Wikipedia.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

These 2 ladies are heroines to me.  I actually want to move to Westminster so I can vote for them. 



And it's great to read some classic, searing RSM prose again, synthesizing the real truth while the other local paper embraces everything as 'good' news.  


Brainwashed_in_church
Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

Ever try to figure out how much it costs to use the toll roads? Guess what? You can't. It's impossible. The toll roads website does not provide a means to calculate tolls (the toll calculator was removed months ago and hasn't been replaced). The rate card doesn't provide the equation of computing tolls. Extremely disappointed with the toll roads customer service/administration.

Beezling
Beezling

Orange County Toll Roads - The Final Solution for your Transportation Needs

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

I thought this fight was over a few months ago? bad idea turning the 405 into toll roads.

Big_Brother
Big_Brother

@Beezling   Is this your first time Astroturfing?  What is it like to sell out your friends and neighbors for a few extra bucks?  In 20 years when you are digging into your pockets to pay yet another toll you asked for, maybe it will occur to you that all you are doing is giving people an excuse to steal more money from the consumer.

Tolls for roads that WE taxpayers have already paid for is essentially double-taxation.   That we have to hand them over to a private corporation is a word I will not use here.   Where are the Tea Partiers when you actually need their pouting for something useful?

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