Tunnel vision

first_imgWestside City Councilman Bill Rosendahl has a swell idea to inflict on Los Angeles County: We all pay higher sales taxes, and his district gets a new subway that its residents fought against for years. What a deal! So while the San Fernando Valley and other transit-starved parts of the region make do with inadequate bus lines, the tony Westside would get the Cadillac of public transportation in a Wilshire Corridor subway to the beach. A half-percent sales-tax hike throughout L.A. County – which already has the highest sales taxes in the state – would help pay for the operation. Not that Rosendahl pushes the idea in exactly those terms. He packages the proposed tax as a way to fund all sort of projects. He just happened to call for the tax hike immediately after the council rubber-stamped a report that would permit construction of a Westside subway. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card And if, like the half-percent public-safety tax hike that voters rejected in 2004, this tax would generate $560 million a year that wouldn’t leave much for anything else after building the subway, at an initial estimated cost of $5 billion. What’s funny is that Westsiders could have had a subway 20 years ago, but rejected it for fear of Eastside riffraff coming into their community. Likewise, Westside NIMBYism previously blocked additional freeways from coming into the region. Now that the community is gridlocked, its leaders want the rest of the county to bail it out, at the highest price possible. Without a doubt, the Westside has tremendous needs that must be addressed. So does the rest of L.A. County. Rather than going to the top of the list and getting the best kind of transit imaginable, the Westside’s needs must be responsibly worked out, while balanced with those of other communities. Before committing to any high-priced project, let alone raising taxes to pay for it, local leaders should come up with a comprehensive growth and transportation plan for all of the county – one that ensures that no communities unfairly benefit at the expense of others. The truth of the matter is that county voters have made themselves clear by passing a law forbidding use of local tax dollars for subways. Let’s talk dollars and sense when it comes to solutions to traffic congestion.last_img