When State Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) is not plucking the petals from a rose a to determine whether or not she should run for Mayor, she seems content to bungle up traffic on the 5 freeway in north San Diego City and County. Car accidents are proving to be the old-fashioned way to mess up traffic. Nowadays you can hold up the expansion of a freeway by introducing a bill in the State Senate–thus further marring traffic in the area you claim to represent. Six more lanes on the 5 freeway from La Jolla to Oceanside would sure be nice, but Kehoe doesn’t think so.
From the San Diego Union Tribune:
Kehoe’s “Transit First” bill would require public transit projects and local road improvements be made before large highway projects go forward — like the Interstate 5 expansion — passed its first legislative committee Tuesday. The bill by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, barely got out of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. Her measure, SB 468, initially fell one vote short and was put on hold until a necessary fifth vote in favor could be cast. The bill was inspired by state plans to expand I-5 from La Jolla to Oceanside.
San Diegans may be stuck in bad traffic on the 5 freeway, for many more years or forever, due to Kehoe’s social engineering through obstructionism. However, we should not be mired in self-pity. First of all, “we” voted for her. Secondly, if her bill becomes law one day, it would further mar traffic for all coastal Californians–not just us! This ridiculous bill would not only affect 2011 freeway expansion projects in San Diego, but also throughout all coastal regions of the state.
The sanctimonious Kehoe denies that it is her aim to hold up the I-5 expansion. From the North County Times:
“The purpose of this bill is to make sure (mass) transit is a significant part of our transportation plan —- and currently it’s not,” Kehoe said by phone from Sacramento. “Simply expanding freeways cannot be our only solution to reducing congestion.”
She added that delaying the I-5 project is “not the intention.”
A person’s intentions are meaningless. A person’s actions, in this case obstructions, are the only things that are meaningful. Helping or hurting Kehoe? Helping or hurting the I-5 expansion? When it comes to any project in life in which you are involved, you can only help or hinder. There is no neutral ground.
We don’t have to divine Kehoe’s intent. She makes it clear, “transit first,” when she writes in the San Diego Earth Times. Anything that comes first as a priority–inherently comes before all else–and thus delays all else. Of course, Kehoe is an avowed liberal. So when democracy does not work in her favor (i.e. voters passing a half cent sales tax increase in TransNet to fund freeway expansion), then Big Sister Kehoe just sullies the results of democracy through commissions, “studies” and rescinding local control.
CalTrans, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) are all lined up against Kehoe on this one. Not that Kehoe listens to voters, but she should nonetheless heed the freeway expansion promises in TransNet, the countywide voter-approved transportation sales tax. Yes, taxpayers have already paid for this freeway expansion. However, Kehoe is a master bureaucrat (hindrance). So when the transportation stars aligned against her, she simply found another bureaucracy to take her side in mucking things up: the California Coastal Commission. The Commission said it favored her bill last month. The Coastal Commission asked that SB 468 (Kehoe’s bill) also comply with SB 375, California’s greenhouse gas reduction law. There must have been serious bureaucratic euphoria in Sacramento when those two bills were brought together in an unholy union.
This pattern is all too familiar locally. Sacramento based politicians who maintain a residence in San Diego will watch San Diego work out issues on its own. If they don’t like the results, they swoop in and put San Diego in its place. In early February, the San Diego City Council no longer had the votes to override the Mayor’s veto of the San Diego WalMart supercenter ban. State Senator Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) was all too happy to ride in from Sacramento and play Big Brother. Just one day after the City Council repealed its ordinance to effectively block WalMart supercenters from opening in San Diego, Vargas (pictured right) introduced a bill that would require an onerous economic impact study of supercenters. Yes, he would require WalMart to fund biased “studies” that would advise against them. There you have it. The rubes of San Diego want freeways and WalMart supercenters. Thank God we have Big Sister Kehoe and Big Brother Vargas. They are powered by the lobbies that own them, anti-development environmentalists and anti-business labor unions. Big Brother and Big Sister use the muck of unelected bureaucracy to crush the will (and votes) of us unwieldy and unsophisticated San Diegans.
Jerome Stocks (pictured left), chairman of SANDAG said of the Kehoe legislation, “I still think it’s a terrible bill on many, many levels. Basically, they’re strangling the ability of SANDAG (the region’s transportation planning agency) to provide the best transportation options to the traveling public.”
That’s exactly right, Jerome. Kehoe sees herself as a sophisticated overlord from Sacramento who knows better than we freeway and freedom-loving bumpkins–who actually live in San Diego seven days a week.
To gain approval, Kehoe’s bill must pass the Senate and Assembly this summer and reach Governor Brown’s desk by October. That’s perfect. San Diegans will have plenty of time bogged down in traffic, on the 5 freeway from La Jolla to Oceanside, to ponder whether or not Big Sister Christine Kehoe is fit to be Mayor of San Diego.