Light-Rail System Is on the Wrong Track
Re “OCTA Unveils Light-Rail Route,” Oct. 23:
How many of us would pay top dollar for a car we have never seen, or a house, in any location, that we have never seen?
The Orange County Transportation Authority is committing us to pay $1 billion for a light-rail project of which we have yet to see a full-scale model, let alone the massive finished product.
A picture of Bristol Street in Costa Mesa (“Santa Ana Is Third City Aboard New CenterLine,” Oct. 17) shows a median with trees and left-turn pockets in the center of the street. Erase the trees and pockets, and at least one lane of traffic both north and south, and draw in 8-foot-wide towers supporting 32-foot-wide bridges with double tracks, and the total height of towers and rail cars will be about 40 feet above street level.
How do riders, and particularly handicapped riders, get up there? How much faster than buses can they be if they have to stop at least every mile to take on or let off riders? In a brownout of some length, what would passengers do?
This may be fine for Costa Mesa, but Bristol Street in Santa Ana is barely four lanes wide and the light rail would close a big part of the street to automobile traffic. What about the residents? Is this the view they want from their homes?
Remember, the CenterLine will alleviate less than 1% of our traffic capacity need. If route changes occur, how are we going to move all of that concrete?
As justification for voting for the light-rail system at the transit meeting, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel A. Pulido said transit provides a fare-box return but there is no return from building highways.
Obviously Pulido does not pay attention to his pocketbook and never heard of federal and state gas taxes, auto registration tax, sales tax on car purchase, gas and repair and tolls. The fact is that auto user fees pay for the roads, subsidize buses and trains and support the general fund. If the government would allocate all auto user fees and related sales tax to highways, there would be no need for Measure M sales tax. And what do fare boxes pay for? About 25% of operating cost and zero of the capital cost. Pulido has it all wrong.