California Receives Initial $58 Million from DOT for High Speed Rail Transit, Cycling ‘Infrastructure’ Projects

Funding ‘was really supposed to repair and maintain current infrastructure’

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Alex Padilla (D-CA) announced on Friday that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has given its first grants from the recently passed $1 Trillion infrastructure bill to California, with $58 million going to transportation projects in Northern California and to the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority was the biggest recipient of the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity Grant Program, receiving $24 million to expand state route 46 in the Kern County city of Wasco to be a staging and storing area. Another $18 will go to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) for an earthquake retrofit of the Yerba Buena Island west side bridge, as well as greater access to the bridge for cyclists.

Oakland will receive $14.5 million to enhance their civic hub by improving walking, cycling, and public transportation projects, with a special focus on connecting Oakland with San Francisco via rail lines such as BART and Amtrak. Finally, the Yolo County Transportation District (YCTD) will get $1.2 million to fill in gaps of their current transportation system, as well as to improve bike and walking networks.

Both Senators noted on Friday the importance of these early infrastructure funding blocks.

“My thanks to Secretary [Pete] Buttigieg and the Transportation Department for these grants that will help California continue to modernize our transportation infrastructure,” said Senator Feinstein. “These projects include providing safer, more connected bikeways and walkways in San Francisco; assisting the City of Wasco with creating safer railway infrastructure; and connecting biking and walking paths in Oakland and Yolo County. Promoting cleaner, safer modes of transportation is a key part of improving California’s infrastructure.”

An initial $58 million in infrastructure funds

Senator Alex Padilla (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Senator Padilla, who has served less than a year as Senator, also noted that “From day one, I have worked to ensure that we use our infrastructure investments to help reconnect our communities, and I am proud to see federal efforts to do just that. From San Francisco to Wasco, this critical funding will help make our roads and bridges safer, help decongest our highways, and allow for more Californians to access our outdoor trails. As we continue to make significant investments in our state and nation’s aging infrastructure, I will continue to advocate for funding that serves our most in-need communities.”

However, many critics and experts criticized the funding on Friday for favoring bike projects over safety and repair projects.

“Whether you wanted the bill to pass or not, the point is we have it now,” San Diego-based urban planner and transportation planner Michael McGuiness Jr. told the Globe Friday. “But that was really supposed to repair and maintain current infrastructure, or build new pieces as needed. Instead, California gave a hint at where its money would be going today by putting most of it into mass transit and cycling. There was a needed bridge project in San Francisco, but that’s really about it. The largest chunk even went into the high-speed rail project, which is billions over budget and years behind schedule. So a lot is going into a future white elephant.”

“Plus, they largely ignored huge swats of the state, including all of California south of Bakersfield and north of the Bay. At first glance, these grants don’t look like they’re fairly going out.”

More grants and funding coming into California for infrastructure projects are expected to be announced soon.

This article originally published in the California Globe

Comments

  1. What a surprise!

  2. Think of this. The City of L.A. put in bike paths in Playa del Rey that congested traffic and made life miserable. The City of San Diego attempted to do the same thing and even their local bike guys admitted failure. The City of Santa Barbara had its highest bike numbers before putting in over 25 miles of interconnected bike paths at the cost to taxpayers of tens of millions dollars.

    The Santa Barbara CAG wants to put in a bike loop to “reduce the need for commuting” in Santa Ynez Valley where well over 90% of the workers commute OUT OF THE VALLEY! San Luis Obispo has been aggressively building a bike path program with the same results of the above.

    Think about it……….. multiple failed bike programs and the cry is MORE. Sounds like a Dickens novel.

    Last comment….. Slick stated the high speed rail was a broken concept in Calif. because most of the land does not suit it.

    Did you vote Democrat? Did you swallow this junk? If so have you considered you have been had?

  3. The Speller says

    Evan: It is “its” grants not “it’s” grants.

  4. As usual the special interest of that awful high speed rail received most of the money printed up to break out way of life.

  5. An entire $58 million?? Out of $1.75 Trillion? Doesn’t sound like much to get excited about.

  6. More wealth transfer, higher taxes and , the demise of the middle class. All openly hidden under the guise of greater social benefit. The only truth is, democrats lie.

    • If I remember right didn’t Di Feistein’s husband have some part in one of the construction companies that are to build this train to nowhere? There is no doubt in my mind that this will be middle class taxpayer funded.
      Quit drinking the Kool-Aid people.

Speak Your Mind

*