To the editor: Columnist George Skelton complains that gasoline taxes are being diverted to fund rail, public transit, bicycle paths and pedestrian mobility.
Public transit passengers, bicycle riders and pedestrians pay for the consequences of gasoline use. We deserve the benefits of a gasoline tax, which should be spent on transportation that improves the environment.
Non-drivers pay federal taxes to have the military secure oil supplies for drivers. We all pay federal taxes to help the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach import gasoline for drivers. We all pay federal taxes for the Coast Guard crews, customs inspectors and Homeland Security grants at the ports.
Non-drivers pay taxes for numerous public agencies to handle traffic accidents or crimes that are committed by drivers. We help pay for an injured crash victim’s medical bills and future economic support.
Public transit passengers sit in traffic jams caused by cars. The safety of bicycle riders and pedestrians is jeopardized by cars.
Dominick Falzone, Los Angeles
To the editor: California needs to decide: Does it want to be a climate leader, or does it want to maintain the status quo?
Transportation is the single largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the state. If California wants to tackle climate change, it needs to reduce pollution from transportation. That means investing in solutions like electric vehicles and transportation infrastructure that doesn’t force Californians to drive more.
The California Department of Transportation is taking an important step on reducing climate pollution by deprogramming projects that aren’t ready for construction and instead creating a fund to invest in safe, sustainable transportation projects that will increase choices for Californians and reduce climate pollution.
And for those who continue to say that spending money on rail, transit and other forms of transportation is a bait and switch, I urge them to review Article 19 of the California Constitution, which protects gas tax money.
Chanell Fletcher, Oakland
The writer is executive director of the group ClimatePlan.