On Measure J transit tax going down

As someone who opposed voting in 2012 to extend the county sales tax in 2039, I have two thoughts:

1)Any measure that gets 65 percent of the vote deserves to win passage, period. In this time of fractured politics, requiring a two-thirds vote on a non-constitutional matter is absurd.

2)Let's see if Measure J's failure winds up affecting the financing for long-range transit projects. In other words, was this vote even needed? Proponents insist that passage would have allowed MTA to sell bonds against the anticipated tax monies and open projects sooner. It's a dubious argument.

Speaking of long-range, why is the 405 project taking so long? Maybe the years of construction and inconvenience are entirely justified, but long-suffering commuters are starting to ask questions. From a Business Journal oped by David Murphy, president of Angelenos Against Gridlock, which supports infrastructure improvements in Los Angeles County.

We need to speed up planning and project review; increase manpower for construction; and address delays caused by utility companies, other agencies and lawsuit-abusing third parties. We need to ramp up funding to ramp up manpower to ramp up construction speed and the number of projects we can build. And former Govs. Gray Davis, George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson have recommended California Environmental Quality Act reforms to streamline the preconstruction work. Our infrastructure is a matter of national, state and local competitiveness. Countries around the world are investing in rapid infrastructure construction. While we don't want to shortcut needed environmental mitigation planning, nor cut quality or safety, we must step up our game. Will it cost more? Yes. But there is also an exceptional cost to the gridlocked status quo. Slow construction prolongs the freeway delays and postpones project benefits.

Earlier: The delusion behind Measure J tells you a lot about L.A.

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Recent Campaign 2012 stories:
Cost of Berman-Sherman campaign: $16.3 million
Now that's close: Measure J falls 0.56 percent short
Santa Monica mayor resigns, heads to Sacramento
Measure J edges closer to (but not over) 2/3
Richard Bloom's lead grows in Westside Assembly race

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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