The movement of people and goods is a key priority in California. We must make sure that our infrastructure and the development of user-friendly and affordable public transportation is a reality. And, as we continue to advocate for more alternative fuel vehicles, we must make sure that affordability and infrastructure reaches all Californians. You can’t expect poor folks to give up their gas burning cars if they can’t afford an electric one and if there are no charging stations in their neighborhoods. These alternative methods of transportation can’t only be for the rich and well-heeled. Instead, they ought to be accessible to ALL Californians.
With that said, California’s transportation systems are getting better, but unfortunately the state still suffers from severe and seemingly-unrelenting traffic congestion. We must not rest and rather continually strive to repair, improve, and innovate to keep our transportation systems efficient, modern, and more effective. This means that California needs to continue investing in our roads and highways to ensure people can get to work, that businesses can transport goods and services, and that Californians can get to where they need to go in a more timely and efficient manner. I was proud to support L.A. County’s 2008 ballot Measure R which aims to invest millions into new, mass transit options, including subways and light-rail projects. While an improvement, it clearly wasn’t enough. I believe the state can and should play a role in increasing investments in these kinds of smart projects that can help people move more freely throughout our region and state. It’s good for business, for workers and for residents’ quality of life. Beyond addressing traffic and general transit, I believe we must continue supporting our great Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach so that the goods that keep our economy growing can continue to be transported to and from California businesses.
Besides the actual infrastructure projects like rail and buses and more, we should prioritize increasing the availability and safety of bike lanes, and other transportation systems that help reduce the environmental impact of Californians’ daily commutes. In the Assembly, I authored AB 1371, which enhances bicycle safety by regulating vehicle passing distance from bicycles. With these kinds of safety measures in place, we should explore new opportunities to get people out of their cars and into more environmentally-friendly ways of transportation.