Interesting California Traffic Stories for October, 2018



Check out some of the interesting news stories and developments affecting California drivers from the past month.

Tired of traffic and bumpy roads? California leaders have some ideas (The Sacramento Bee)

California Influencers this week answered this question: What do you think are the most important steps to take to improve California’s transportation challenges? Would Proposition 6 help or hurt in those efforts? Here are their answers: [Read more…]

California agencies accused of illegally campaigning against gas tax repeal (KCRA 3)

Opponents of the gas tax hike are accusing California agencies of illegally campaigning against Proposition 6.

Prop. 6, which will be on the November ballot, would repeal Senate Bill 1. The bill increased the gas tax and vehicle registration fees in order to fund road construction projects across the state.

The Yes on 6 campaign claims Sacramento Regional Transit, Caltrans and other agencies are using government resources to campaign against the proposition. [Read more…]

Editorial: Prop. 6 would put traffic solutions in reverse (Monterey Herald)

If you drive a vehicle, you already know how bad our roads are. California’s roads are ranked as some of the worst in the country. Traffic congestion is driving many local residents crazy.

Our long neglected roads and highways, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers cost every driver $844 per year in vehicle repairs.

That’s a major reason why two-thirds of Monterey County voters in 2016 passed Measure X, which is anticipated to generate an estimated $20 million annually to fill potholes and pay for transportation projects, raising a total of $600 million over 30 years through a three-eighths’ of one‑percent hike in the sales tax. [ Read more…]

California Driver’s Handbook Must Now Include Civil Rights During A Traffic Stop (CBS Sacramento)

Drivers in California will get a copy of their civil rights during a traffic stop, including how to file a complaint against a peace officer.

Governor Brown signed AB 1918 over the weekend.

Assembly Bill 2918 already required the California Department of Motor Vehicles to provide a Driver’s Handbook with information regarding rail safety, abandoning or dumping an animal on a highway, and respecting the right-of-way of others. The Handbook now must include a driver’s rights if a peace officer pulls over a car. [Read more…]

Los Angeles ranks No. 1 for traffic congestion in U.S. Here’s what you can do to avoid or ease lengthy commutes (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

A friend who visited recently is considering moving to Southern California. What do you do when you have out-of-town guests? Naturally, you show them the sights.

We went to Zuma Beach, Hollywood, Santa Monica, The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, Old Pasadena and Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Of course, the inevitable common denominator was traffic. Lots of it. The time of day, the direction, the geographic location didn’t matter. All had too many cars and not enough space.

So it didn’t surprise me on Friday morning when I popped open my inbox and found Insurify, an online insurance site — working with TomTom’s Traffic Index and the 2012-2016 American Community Survey — had ranked Los Angeles No. 1 for traffic congestion.

The City of Angels had a congestion level of 45 percent. San Francisco was second at 39 percent, then New York at 35 percent; Seattle, 34 percent; San Jose, 32 percent. So of the worst five, three were California cities. In fact, every city except Chicago was located along the coasts: the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf. [Read more…]

A Scourge for California Drivers: Hours on a Sidewalk to Renew a License (New York Times)

They were lined up by the dozens clear down the street on a recent afternoon — hot and frustrated in the sun, trying to attend to the most routine (and unavoidable) encounters with local government: renewing a driver’s license.

Inside the Hollywood office of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the wait was close to two hours. Folding chairs, all filled, were set up three-deep against three walls.

“There’s a six-week wait just to get an appointment,” said Alfred Kendrick, a fitness trainer from West Hollywood who, like many people here, showed up without one. “Come on. This is 2018. I can order a bowl from China in less time than it takes to get a driver’s license in California.” [Read more…]

California angers some zero-emission drivers by taking away decals that allow them to use carpool lane (Fox News)

The decal program, which the state started back in 2012, was meant to boost the number of clean-air vehicles in California. Instead, it has congested the HOV lanes, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, drivers who received the white and green clean-air stickers before 2017 will have to purchase a new vehicle to qualify. Drivers could obtain the decals if they buy a used car that did not previously have one and would have qualified under the previous program’s requirements, the paper reported.

A new income threshold will also eliminate certain drivers from participating in the program.

“Not being able to use the carpool lane will definitely affect my day-to-day,” Kitty Adams, a driver of a decaled 2002 electric Toyota RAV4,told the paper. [Read more…]

Carpool Stickers to Expire for More Than 200,000 Solo Drivers in California (NBC Los Angeles)

More than 200,000 drivers in California will lose the stickers that currently allow them to drive their electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles solo in the carpool lanes.

New rules coming Jan. 1 will not only impact those drivers, but could mean a much slower commute for everyone. The decision is also leading to big confusion about exactly who loses the stickers, and who does not.

Drivers who have a hybrid, zero emission or alternative fuel vehicle will need a red sticker to be in the carpool lane if they are driving alone.

Current solo drivers with electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles have a green or white sticker, which allows them to drive in the diamond lane. But on January 1, those stickers will expire and will affect more than 230,000 drivers statewide. [Read more…]

Electrify America lays out plans for second round of chargers in California (Green Car Reports)

Midway through building its first installments of electric-car chargers, Electrify America sketched out plans for its second $200-million round of investments in California on Wednesday.

These installations will add more California cities, target charging networks for ride hailing services and buses, and develop Level 2 home charging for low-income neighborhoods and rural areas.

Among the new California cities and regions that will get Electrify America chargers are the Riverside-San Bernardino corridor in eastern Los Angeles, and the Santa Cruz-Watsonville and Santa Rosa regions in Northern California. [Read more…]

John Cox's bogus math: No, California drivers aren't paying $700 more per year in gas taxes (LA Times)

To the editor: Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox needs to check some simple math in his campaign statements.

He is quoted as saying that the increased state tax on gasoline causes people to pay $700 more per year. This statement is at best misleading.

Since the referenced tax amounts to 12 cents per gallon, reaching Cox’s amount would require the purchase of 5,833 gallons of gas annually. If a person is driving a vehicle that averages 20 miles per gallon, that would mean driving over 116,000 miles during the year, or an average of over 9,700 miles per month. This is not normal driving behavior.

A more typical 1,000 miles of monthly driving in a car that averages 20 miles per gallon would require 50 gallons of gasoline. The additional cost to such a driver is $6 per month, or $72 per year. [Read more…]

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