Letters to the Editor: You pay more in gas taxes but don’t see better roads yet. This is why

Traffic moves along the 405 Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass in 2018.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Promises are important, especially between government and the people. That’s why Californians need to know that the promises made to fix our roads and bridges are in fact being kept. (“California’s highest-in-the-nation gas taxes are rising. But promised repairs are lagging,” May 23)

Work has been underway across the state for more than three years. In Los Angeles, three dozen highway system repair projects and nearly 400 local road projects are in progress or complete with the new funds from Senate Bill 1, the 2017 legislation generating the funds for infrastructure work.

So how can it be that California still has unmet funding needs for its roads?


California went two decades without raising new road revenues, while its population increased by more than 5 million. We were in a deep hole, which SB 1 alone was not intended to fill. Federal infrastructure funding also has languished; thankfully, the federal government now appears ready to do its part.

The bottom line is that SB 1’s promise is being kept, and without it, our roads would be in serious trouble.

Hilary Norton, Los Angeles

The writer is the chair of the California Transportation Commission, an independent state agency responsible for allocating funds to transportation projects.


To the editor: Democrats are always preaching that they are looking out for the little guy, the disadvantaged, the downtrodden. Republicans are portrayed as wanting to take care of only the fat cats and big corporations.

Yet here we go again, raising the state gas tax on July 1 on the pretext we need more revenue to repair our aging and crumbling roads and bridges. The very people about whom Democrats claim to be so concerned are those most negatively impacted by this tax increase.

Your article states, “The program to fix roads has been hampered by California’s high cost or repairs compared with other states.” And why is that? Unions? Bureaucracy? What?

The high cost of repairs seems to increase with the amount of money available. In the meantime, our roads and bridges continue to crumble.

Jim Kussman, Glendale