Misleading on transportation
Re “Gov. Brown is funding ‘active transportation’ ” (Another View, Jan. 27): Gov. Brown’s transportation budget is bad for the environment and health. Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly attempted to argue the opposite, touting the $120 million Active Transportation Program as a “move (for walking and bicycling) investment from the periphery of the state’s transportation funding strategy toward the center.”
The secretary failed to mention that $120 million for active transportation is dwarfed – less than 1 percent – by a $16 billion transportation budget. The overwhelming majority will fund roads to benefit more cars and trucks. He also failed to mention the $3 billion in new revenue for roads, but not a single new dollar for active transportation that he claims is so central.
Investing a tiny fraction of a growing transportation budget in the healthiest and least-polluting forms of travel is not good for the health of California families, or our collective environment.
California Bicycle Coalition
Shift state funding from roads
State Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly stated that the Brown administration created the nation’s largest Active Transportation Program to shift bicycle and pedestrian facilities toward the center of our state’s transportation funding.
What the secretary fails to mention is that the $120 million for active transportation is not new money. The administration combined several pots of existing funding to create this program. Since 2013, local agencies throughout the state have submitted projects annually for the Active Transportation Program that collectively totals more than $1 billion in need.
Despite this need for projects that will reduce congestion, improve air quality and help us meet our ambitious climate goals, the administration continues to pour funds into roads and highways, including more than $3 billion in new revenues for roads. We must invest our limited funds in programs like the Active Transportation Program if we want to meet our climate goals.
Chanell Fletcher, Alameda
CSU grad rates are not incurable
Re “Going for the ‘ouch’ on Cal State graduation rates” (Editorials, Jan. 28): As a high school senior, I find the dismal CSU graduation rates atrocious. Saying “ouch” to the low undergraduate graduation rates won’t solve anything. Thousands of Californians depend on these institutions to obtain degrees and begin successful careers.
California K-12 public education took a major hit during the recession, and the effects are showing with low four-year graduation rates. Common Core is not a solution, but decreasing class sizes from the current 35 students to 25 students will benefit struggling students and enable teachers to provide the needed attention.
We also need to raise taxes to make college free to allow any qualified individual to attend without the burden of debt. This editorial is a harsh reminder of the lack of importance we put on education. We need to stop saying “ouch” and cure the disease of severely undervalued education, instead of putting Band-Aids on it.
Let voters within parties decide
Re “California independents have three choices for presidential primary” (Capitol & California, Jan. 27): Why should voters who do not wish to be part of any political party have a say in choosing any party’s candidates? If folks don’t want to identify with any political party, that’s fine, but then they have no right to interfere with any party’s candidate selection process. Let the independent voters be truly independent – let them stand aside while the party’s voters make those decisions.
It’s as though members of a Corvette club could decide who will be officers in the Mustang owners club. It’s just wrong.
John C. Reiger, Sacramento
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