Thursday, April 14, 2005

Shut Your Hole.

A close friend came by for dinner yesterday. He was about an hour late. I felt bad for him, he was stuck on the 880 freeway for well over an hour yesterday. Why? A piece of concrete broke away, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the freeway. The highway was collapsed down into two lanes. The poor guy sat in bumper to bumper traffic for a long, long time.

This is no new thing here in Northern California. It is routine for drivers to sue the city and or state for damages done to their cars as a result of potholes in our roadways.

This got me thinking -- How is it that we pay high state taxes in California and yet our highways are complete junk, our K-12 schools are horrible and we can't afford to build a new bay bridge properly?

Is it just my state that's incompetent? How efficient is your state in such matters?


Blogger mindful said...

I don't have any numbers, but my home state, Florida, has been having problems of its own recently. I wonder, though, how many of California's budget woes and governmental inefficiencies are due to the very strong direct democracy tradition there. So much of California's yearly operating budget is tied up and cannot be adjusted by the state legislature. Can we really lay all of the blame on them, or should the people of California share it?

2:36 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

mindful: True, what's problematic is that the money is tied up in a manner that doesn't solve any of these problems. I'm not so sure Californians should take the blame, though. How is it our fault that the state's fiscal infrastructure prevents funding from being spent wisely?

6:35 PM  
Blogger mindful said...

Californians vote for these propositions. They are the only ones have the power to change them. How can the responsibility (good or bad) lie on anyone else's shoulders?

7:47 PM  
Blogger thc said...

In the Midwest, the potholes would appear each spring, a result of winter freezing and thawing. I don't know what N. Cal's excuse is.

As for public education, part of the reason for Cal's dismal record is the fact that, for so many students, English is not their first language. More importantly, parents need to take greater responsibility for education. If Johnny can't read, it's not *just* the school's fault.

7:50 PM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

When it comes to education, I know things got a little worse with the new Child Left Behind Bill. The idea is great but... right now teachers are spending about 6 weeks of the year just administering tests to the children to see where they stand. I don't know about most schools but they aren't running 6 weeks longer. That time comes in the middle of geometry, history and English where you then need to backtrack to make sure they remember where they were before the test interrupted everything. Then again, there is the entire issue of immigrant children (some that commute over the border to go to U.S. schools) that I won't bore you with yet.

Nevada is having their own issues with their transportation system. They have been growing exponentially for the last decade but the highways haven't. They have started expanding but the Sierra Club has fought expansion saying that it isn't good for the residents as air quality and noise polution will increase. I don't know about you but I roll up my windows when a bunch of cars are at a standstill on the highway because... carbon monoxide isn't dispersing as quickly. And I think you'll hear more noise from someone blaring their horn as they go through traffic than just driving by. Then again, it wouldn't be progress if there wasn't someone there to impede it.

8:36 PM  
Blogger secondsb4wake said...

Yeah, your roads sound like ours in Michigan, particularly in Detroit, the soon defunct Motor City.

However, the state getting in gear and fixing them up because......

We are hosting the Superbowl.

9:09 PM  
Blogger dahvid said...

well...we get a lot of that in malaysia too. :/

11:05 PM  
Anonymous SillyCalifornians! said...

CA just needs a new constitution -- the current one has been incredibly polluted by shortsighted propositions and an unreasonably liberal electorate. If you dealt with the gangs and the drugs and the illegal immigrants, that might be a good start toward cleaning up the mess.

12:30 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I wonder that everyday! Our roads have these big ass pot holes and they just "fill" them in just so they can be all fucked up in like a month, tops. Repave the fucking road for fucks sake! Sheesh, you got me all worked up, Vavoom.

2:16 AM  

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