It’s not hard to understand how all these issues relate to transportation. Today’s readers’ comments have brought them all to the forefront, and with legitimate if not passionate logic. But let me respond to all of them, if even briefly.

Is government wasteful of our tax dollars? Well, I’ve seen some projects receive funding that I’ve strongly opposed. But by and large the system tends to funnel transportation dollars in an efficient manner when the political realities of life are taken into account. But the cost of building infrastructure is just too expensive, not necessarily wasteful. We need to find ways to build infrastructure both cheaper and faster.

Will a better rail line to Los Angeles solve our goods movement and coastal commuter problems? Probably not, but it should help relieve some of the congestion. As AK correctly surmised in his comment, there is no substitute for a good airport. Other cities are competing for international flights to Asia and Europe in order to gain business and strengthen their economies; San Diego is content to argue about who should sit on the Airport Authority board.

AK wrote:

John, Looking into this ‘rail to LA’, and funding a real transit system for SD over 20 years-LA cannot now handle Our Air Transport, Cargo, etc. What makes you think they can as we add 1.1 mil. people in the next 20 years? The only way to build a real transit system is to buckle down and build a new airport….An Airport is the ONLY public facility that brings in Far More than its costs to a City and such ‘transit’ funding.

But every mode of transport available to us must be integrated for maximum efficiency and access. One of the key factors necessary to sustain a strong economy is a well designed and integrated transportation system. It does much more than just speed up the commute to your job. It allows business and products to flow around the world at a reasonable cost so we can compete and prosper in the global economy.

And finally, privacy and the mileage tax. Yes, I deliberately meant to bring it up. I want to hear what people have to say about it, and I want people to know that it’s actively being discussed in the federal government. No, I’m not a proponent of the mileage tax; frankly, I don’t know if the public will accept it and the perceived invasion of privacy. But I’m willing to listen to any idea that can provide a stable source of revenue to build and maintain the state’s transportation system. Clearly, the existing fuel tax based system will not generate enough revenue in the year 2020; it’s beginning to fail us today.

— JOHN CHALKER

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