A proposal to levy a half-cent sales tax for transportation infrastructure on November’s ballot is promising the money raised will do a lot of things from repairing roads to improving water quality and reducing wildfires.
One of those promises has really stood out. In the ballot language and in a video, the San Diego Association of Governments makes the claim the measure will relieve congestion. I decided to dig into that with a Fact Check.
This is a common claim among government agencies throughout the country and there’s no empirical evidence that it works.
“The notion that you can build your way out of congestion is just false,” Matthew Turner, an economist who co-authored one of the most cited studies on the topic told me.
I found SANDAG thinks of traffic relief differently than a typical commuter does. And while the measure will give you more options – like more public transit alternatives – to get off congested highways, if you continue to drive to work, the planned improvements to our transportation system probably won’t change the duration of your commute.
Museum Cuts Jobs Before Expansion
The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s La Jolla location is eliminating eight full-time and 20 part-time positions in January.
The layoffs, writes VOSD’s Kinsee Morlan, come in anticipation of a big expansion that will triple the exhibition space of the museum. The La Jolla location will close temporarily come January 2017 as the expansion gets underway.
Leah Straub, the museum’s communications and marketing manager, said the layoffs – which are mostly of La Jolla staff – are mainly in anticipation of this consolidation to the museum’s space downtown when the La Jolla location is closed.
Vergara v. California Is Done
We’ve reported in the past on the huge potential consequences of the Vergara vs. California might have had on education in the state if an initial court ruling in Los Angeles held up.
It officially has not held up. In a major victory for teachers unions, the California Supreme Court declined to hear the case and thus, left in place teacher job protections, like tenure, and seniority-based layoff and placement decisions. (LA Times)
Chargers Debates Continue
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association released a report slamming the Charger’s initiative, stating that the overall revenue produced by the measure would fall significantly short of the estimated $1.15 billion expected. Today, the Chargers and opponents of the teams plans will face off in front of the Lincoln Club of San Diego’s political action committee. Both sides want to win over the Club, which months ago had a very public spat with the Chargers.
Quick News Hits
• The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition announced the resurrection of CicloSDias, which closes streets to car traffic to encourage biking and walking. The event hasn’t taken place in two years, but it set for Oct. 30 in North Park and City Heights this year. (KPBS)
• Sportswriter Peter King was blasted by San Diegans (including the police!) for tweeting a picture of himself driving in a San Diego bike lane, evading traffic congestion, while rushing to Qualcomm stadium.
• A Bay Area public radio station is doing an in-depth look at suicides in San Diego County jails. Half of the deaths in the county were inmates who took their own lives. Statewide, that number is at a quarter. (KQED)
• Newly registered voters in California are overwhelmingly Democrat. The party added about 700,000 voters between January and June of this year, while the Republican party added about 130,000. (Sacramento Bee)
Social Media Goodies
Shepard Fairey, the famed street artist who created the iconic Obama Hope portrait, has long had a connection to San Diego. He tweeted out support for San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s bill that would expand overtime pay rules for farmworkers.
The bill passed the Senate Monday afternoon.
Correction: An earlier version of this post said a previous farmworker overtime bill was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The bill died before making it to the governor.