California’s war on cars

Last year the very confused Guv Brown took $350 million from gas taxes and other tax dollars meant to fix our streets and freeways to build bike lanes, walking and horse trails. Now we are going into a Special Session of the legislature to raise taxes, to pay for the fixing of streets and freeways. If he hadn’t misused the money in the first place, this would not even be considered. Then we have cities using street maintenance money to build and/or expand bike lanes—to assure gridlock and more accidents on our streets.

Let us not forget the $200 billion in tax money he is wants to use to build a choo-choo to nowhere, for nobody, while stealing private property and running a train that will be bankrupt within moments of its opening—not enough riders to pay for the salaries of the Board of Directors of this boondoggle.

“In the California State Legislature, the newest salvo in the war on cars can be seen in Assembly Bill 744 (AB 744) which, if enacted into law, would bar cities and counties from requiring that there be more than one parking space for every two bedrooms in a housing project.

Thus, a California city or county, under the proposed legislation, could not impose a regulation requiring a developer to have 50 or more parking spaces for a 100-bedroom building.

The goal is to force you to walk or ride a bike to work. We already know that in LA and other large cities government transit could easily take 90 minutes, one way, to get to work.

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California’s war on cars

by Richard Colman, Contra Costa Bee, 6/25/15

Without much public awareness, California is waging war on cars and places to park them.

AB 744 is the newest salvo in California’s War on Cars

In the California State Legislature,the newest salvo in the war on cars can be seen in Assembly Bill 744 (AB 744) which, if enacted into law, would bar cities and counties from requiring that there be more than one parking space for every two bedrooms in a housing project.

Thus, a California city or county, under the proposed legislation, could not impose a regulation requiring a developer to have 50 or more parking spaces for a 100-bedroom building.

Critics of the legislation claim that allowing fewer parking spaces might result in more cars being parked in nearby neighborhoods, leading to community resistance to future development.

Critics also say the real goal of AB 744 is to reduce car ownership.

California’s War on Cars

The AB 744 legislation is not the first assault in the war on cars and the use of motor vehicles. In the Bay Area, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) ruled that certain employers, beginning September 30, 2014, would have to compensate employees who used public transportation. MTC and BAAQMD told these employers that they would have to hire a Commuter Benefits Coordinator to keep track of the expenses of those employees who used public transportation.

In July 2013, MTC and another regional governmental agency, ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments), voted for Plan Bay Area, a scheme to allow Bay Area communities to contract high-rise, high-density housing near transit hubs such as BART stations.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is now requiring the state’s cities to have a Housing Element, a plan to add extra homes in cities that may already be full. A certain portion of houses constructed under the Housing Element have to be set aside of low-income individuals.

In Orinda, California, the city council voted several years ago to permit construction, in the heart of downtown Orinda, of the Monteverde housing project. The 67-unit structure, now complete, has room for 30 vehicles.

The war on cars and AB 744 in Orinda means that, at a future time, mandate that a new housing project have at least one parking space for each two bedrooms associated with a particular project.

In 2010, State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) attacked free parking. On January 29, 2010, The Los Angeles Times reported that: “State lawmakers are taking aim at what some of them see as a menace to California’s environment: free parking.”

The article continued: “All that motoring is contributing to traffic jams and pollution, according to state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), and on Thursday he won Senate approval of a proposal he hopes will prompt cities and businesses to reduce the availability of free parking.”

Mr. Lowenthal is now a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The fate of AB 744 is uncertain.

 

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.