"Better quality of life for the few and lower quality of life for the many. "
By Charles Tarlow
CityWatch (Los Angeles)
As “Congestion Pricing” is being implemented, my anger and frustration are turning to sadness. I confess that I don't understand how anyone can support this egregious injustice. Toll roads and high priced parking. Now a suggested “access toll” to go to the airport. What's next?
Whatever the next travel toll, fee, or tax, you can bet its intent will be crystal clear: Get the insignificant people out of the way of the important people.
How sad is it that the people with money and power choose to selfishly use that power to redirect public resources for their own purposes. And sadder still that the very people charged with the public trust are betraying the people they are chartered to serve.
To be fair, the problem did not originate in Los Angeles. It wasn't born in the State of California. The problem is a design of the Federal Government under the guidance of the Bush Administration.
It is no accident that the Feds are using money to coerce states and cities to convert their infrastructure to service the rich.
I suppose it should be no surprise either, but what surprises me the most is the ease with which they are doing it.
The “Congestion Pricing” spinmeisters tell us that raising the cost of driving is good because it takes cars off the road. They tell us it is good for the environment and good for commuters.
What they don't tell us is that the cars they are taking off the road are not theirs ... they are ours! The commuters they are helping are those willing and able to pay the tolls and the parking. The rest of us are out of the equation.
You would think that we would have a natural resistance to a separate highway system; toll roads for the affluent and back roads for the masses.
You would think we would oppose high priced parking for the rich and “nada” for the rest of us. Are we deaf dumb, and blind?
How is it possible that we have bought into the idea that exclusion is a good thing?
I don't think we are stupid. Most of us are uninformed, uninvolved in the political process, and up to our necks in our personal challenges. The fact that we are not players in this rigged game condemns us to our two-tiered fate.
Congestion pricing will give mobility to those who can afford to pay and exclude everyone else. Better quality of life for the few and lower quality of life for the many.
How sad is this.
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