Not another transportation sales tax: Roadshow

Q: I could not believe what I read in your column last week that the Contra Costa Transportation Authority is considering placing a new sales tax measure on the March ballot. What happened to all of the dollars just allocated for transportation?

It never stops. There is a black hole somewhere gobbling up all of this transportation money. And the taxpayers in this area will pass it just like they always do. As long as we give them unlimited funding, they will continue to soak it up.

Richard Garlow, Sunnyvale

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A: There have been a lot of new taxes approved, but Contra Costa’s attempt narrowly failed in 2016. This is an effort to get that half-cent measure past voters again. It would run for 30 years and pay nearly $3 billion for filling potholes on highways and city streets, improving BART, Interstate 680, Interstate 80, highways 24 and 4, and transit upgrades for seniors and people with disabilities and increasing bicycle/pedestrian safety.

Previous measures helped pay for the fourth bore through the Caldecott Tunnel, carpool lanes on I-680; $360 million went toward city streets and maintenance and improvement, the eBART extension and widening of Highway 4.

Q: I perhaps use a bridge only once or twice a year nowadays. I don’t have a transponder to be read when our bridges become totally automated within the next five years. Will I need to drive through, have a photo taken, and then be billed, or will there be a requirement to have a transponder?

Gary Fong, San Ramon

A: You don’t need a transponder to go through the toll booths, but be a good citizen and get FasTrak. The per-transaction cost for a FasTrak toll crossing is 16 cents. But this jumps to 40 cents for a pay-by-plate transaction and to 48 cents for each cash-paid transaction.

A: The lack of parking at the Chase Center was done on purpose to motivate using public transportation. If one can afford tickets, one should be able to afford parking or some kind of Uber service to get them to the game. I’d rather watch sports events on TV as I don’t have to spend more time to and from the game than the game itself and I have better access to reasonably priced snacks.

Frank Heinisch

A: I love it that at last weekend’s concerts a lot of folks took Muni.

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Source:: The Mercury News


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