Fresh off signing the workers comp bill, Gov. Schwarzenegger today took the first stab at fulfilling another campaign promise: to begin building a “hydrogen highway” of fuel cell refilling stations that could ease the transition to hydrogen-fueled vehicle transportation. Although many experts question whether the technology is ready, Schwarzenegger is committed to seeing the network of stations built by 2010. He said today that he thinks the project will cost just $90 million, with most of it paid by private sources. This is really our first glimpse of the Bobby Kennedy Jr. – Terry Tamminen influence on Schwarzenegger, whose environmental policies are generally far to the left of the typical Republican, even in green-conscious California.
Posted by dweintraub at 1:25 PM
A bill that would allow solo drivers to pay for the privilege of driving in car pool lanes has cleared the Assembly Transportation Committee and is on its way to the floor. The measure, AB 2032 by Assemblyman John Dutra, would allow the use of so-called High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on highways in Alameda, Santa Clara and San Diego counties. The tolls would fluctuate with the traffic, rising during high-congestion times and dropping when the roads were relatively clear. The money collected would be dedicated to help improve car pool lanes and public transit.
Already in use on I-15 in San Diego County, congestion pricing in some form is probably the wave of the future, as freeway capacity fills up and the roads come to a halt at peak hours.
Though critics call them "Lexus lanes" because they allow the affluent to pay their way into lanes reserved for car poolers, the concept is actually a boon to all drivers, because it clears space in the free lanes while using untapped capacity in the car pool lanes. The idea makes more sense if you look at it the other way around: we should be building new lanes financed by tolls and allowing car-poolers to use them for free.
Posted by dweintraub at 7:08 AM