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our view: Measure J costs much, pays little

Measure J: Extend Measure R. No.

Posted: October 12, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 12, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

Measure J would authorize extension of Measure R, the half-cent transportation sales tax increase, to the year 2069. Currently Measure R is due to expire in 2039.

Normally we like to take a broader view of what’s good for Southern California as a whole and agree with long-range planning, however, Measure J does not include any plans for improving mass transit in the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley region. Landlocked from the Los Angeles basin by mountain ranges, there are no plans to upgrade rail tracks or grade new roads in and out of the Santa Clarita area — to which the only access is through the Newhall Pass.

As for the long touted mass transit connections to LAX — no concrete plans exist for connecting residents directly to LAX or other regional airports and perhaps the greatest slight of all — there are only studies planned of the infamously gridlocked I-405 corridor.

We all experienced the devastating effects of the 1994 Northridge earthquake when the Highway 14 overpass collapsed onto the I-5 freeway trapping residents and effectively shutting down north/south commerce and wreaking economic turmoil on the state. To vote for a measure that fails to take into account how economically vibrant the SCV has become in the region — and plan for its transportation needs — is a waste of taxpayer dollars in our view.

Measure J is unjustified — the cost is too high and the return is too small.

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