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Letter: Fuel tax should go to roads, bridges

 

November 1, 2017



Editor:

By now, most people have heard about the increase in vehicle registration and fuel taxes. Both of these costs are a result of Gov. Brown and a Democratic Congress in Oregon.

Fortunately, what Gov. Brown really wanted was far more than what we are now getting. Even her own party shot down her original requests.

The reasoning for this increase is blamed on trying to maintain our highways, roads and bridges, which have been falling behind in routine maintenance for quite a few years.

Two myths about that:

Yes, our highways, roads and bridges have been falling behind. However, that’s not necessarily because of lack of revenue. All gas taxes you pay at the pump are bound by law to be used for transportation costs.

Not too many years ago, that was roads and bridges. Then, some time during the 1980s, it got changed to “transportation,” which includes many things related to roads (or actual pavement and structures that we would call “roads”), but not necessarily those used by motorized vehicles. Bicycle paths and bus systems come to mind.

Research, beautification and the environment also play a part in that. I don’t need to go any farther with this discussion, you get the point.

How many things have you noticed that may be good ideas, but in a time of “horrible budget shortfalls” aren’t what any of us would say are necessary?

This year every traffic light on Oregon highways got a yellow retro-reflective border.

I’m sure you’ve seen them. Nice, but I don’t remember running any lights over my 45-some years of driving because there were no borders on traffic lights. Doesn’t seem like much until you add up the man hours and material, multiplied by the number of lights in the entire state.

And what about all those beautiful concrete walls along I-5 and many other state and county roads, whose only purpose is to reduce noise and access to the surrounding residential areas. Many of which have been without them for generations.

These are just two examples of ideas that could have been put on hold to avoid yet again taking more of hard-working Oregonians’ paychecks.

We all drive or purchase goods transported using fuel. We have already been through this argument. It is devastating to anyone who commutes to work or use vehicles to provide services!

I’m sorry, Portland. MAX can get its money from Portland. The streets in my community get used by my fellow citizens 99 percent more than we use MAX trains and they should not suffer because Portland is congested.

Our government needs to learn how to live within a budget. We have to!

Tim Riley

Sweet Home

 
 

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