The same thing California is missing in almost everything else: money. California is under one of the most severe budget crises facing any US state. Due to its notorious budget problems as well as the resulting political firestorms over how best to spend dwindling resources, California has a reputation as being “ungovernable.” How do you rebuild or improve a transportation infrastructure without public funds to do it with? I’m not sure, but it would seem a necessary first step to corral enough political will together to generate the dollars to make something happen. A perennial issue in California is whether the ever-increasing pressures on its transportation system should be met with expanding its road system or investing in forms of mass transit. Both approaches have been tried, but the growing California cities outstrip any new capacity added either to roads or transit systems pretty quickly. It could be that California could benefit from a single comprehensive transportation development strategy which would seek to incorporate mass transit, electric vehicle infrastructure, and traffic management together under one main policy. That could probably work if you could get a political consensus behind it, but then even if you do the question remains: how do you pay for it? If you can come up with any ideas, I’m quite sure Governor Schwarzenegger (and a lot of other people) would be more than happy to hear them.
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