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Planning Ahead for Our Highways

* We took years to expand the Costa Mesa Freeway south of the Santa Ana Freeway, only to have it immediately inadequate.

The planning cycle for highway improvement is three years; the construction is two to three years. We need to get out in front of the saturated capacity by starting planning five to six years in advance.

Also, a fraction of our gasoline prices are highway taxes. We are down to around a dollar per gallon for regular gas now; in Europe, they have paid around a dollar a liter (about a quart) for many years.

We can avoid yielding ownership of precious lanes in highway rights of way to toll lanes, improve highway maintenance and dramatically improve arrival of highway construction and capacity improvement by increasing those taxes and managing them for the longer time frame.

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JIM TOWNSEND

Irvine


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