Santee is a victim of SANDAG steamroller

Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters 3 Comments


For 40+ years I’ve fought against big government and their agencies. But in all my experience, no agency came close to the systemic dishonesty and actual evil that has pervaded SANDAG for decades.

It’s not just SANDAG’s current Grand Ayatollah who is the problem. For decades SANDAG has been staffed by highly paid (and pensioned) central planners who consider oppressive, unresponsive government to be a GOOD thing. These bureaucrats despise choice and liberty — they love oppression and submission — and, of course, ever higher taxes.

The SANDAG Board of Directors is made up primarily of local elected politicians. Most of these SANDAG directors are Big Government acolytes — with a solid Democrat majority. There’s a vigorous (primarily more rural/small town) group of opposition directors who understand that the primary transportation problem in San Diego County is congested, ill-maintained roads and highways. But these stout souls are largely powerless in influencing SANDAG’s anti-car, anti-people, anti-taxpayer agenda.

The San Diego U-T recently ran an article about many people in Santee protesting the SANDAG’s transit-centered plans for Santee.

Here’s the questions that the media and politicians SHOULD be asking SANDAG.  Our media should ass for information about the current Santee light rail spur that connects the city with the larger San Diego “trolley” rail system.

Such questions should demand verifiable references — because SANDAG lies. There’s no kind way to describe their pathological tendency to make false assertions — combined with their ongoing effort to not reveal salient facts that undermine their central planning agenda.

1. When first proposed, how much was the Santee trolley supposed to cost to build?
2. How much did it ACTUALLY cost? HINT: Significantly more than projected. Probably much, much more.
3. When first proposed, what was the projected Santee trolley ridership?
4. How many people ACTUALLY ride the trolley? HINT: Far less than projected.
5. When first proposed, what was the projected time of construction?
6. What was the ACTUAL time it took to build it?
7. How much of the operating cost of that trolley is paid for with Santee trolley farebox collections? HINT: Much less than half. (NOTE: Not a DIME of the CAPITAL costs are paid for by farebox collections.)
8. How many people riding the Santee trolley previously used buses to get into the San Diego area? In other words, how many cars did the trolley actually remove from the roads? Convert that figure to the percent of TOTAL cars on the roads. HINT: MTS and other transportation agencies estimate that 2/3 to 3/4 of their light rail patrons previously rode vastly less expensive buses — most of which were cancelled after the rail lines were completed.
9. SANDAG, while you are compiling the answers to the above questions, answer the SAME questions for every other rail spur built in San Diego County since the original Tajuana Trolley. Don’t forget the Sprinter.

IF the press were to investigate these questions, they’d discover that commuter rail in San Diego County has been a stunning waste of money, while doing little or nothing to improve the environment.

Indeed, by congesting the roads to discourage driving (Route 52 into Santee, for example), arguably SANDAG’s “Rail Not Roads” policy has INCREASED San Diego County pollution.

Such an investigation would also reveal that SANDAG has CONSISTENTLY lied to get their projects approved.  Decade after decade.

But then, for our woke MSM, publishing such facts would go against the progressive narrative. So don’t expect the press to pursue such lines of inquiry. Indeed, the unofficial progressive motto regarding their policies is “Don’t Look Back.”

SANDAG should formally adopt this motto. Full disclosure, and all that.


Comments 3

  1. Something I always do is ask myself what the wealthy communities want/get/don’t want/don’t get. In other words, if the people with money (read power) DON’T want a trolley or toilet to tap or “affordable housing”, etc., then you can be damn sure YOU don’t want it. Take a look at Coronado, Rancho San Diego, La Jolla, et al. THEN decide if what the politicians are telling you is a good idea is really such a good idea.

  2. From an economic standpoint (not a privacy standpoint), a mileage tax can make more sense than gasoline taxes.

    But EVERY version of this idea I’ve seen so far is to impose a mileage tax ON TOP OF all the gasoline taxes. The LAST thing we need to do is to tax ourselves more for driving while the proceeds would be spent on NONdriving projects.

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