Letters to the Editor Oct. 15, 2018
No on Prop 6Dear Editor,
Proposition 6 on the November ballot asks voters to repeal SB1, which raised Californiaís gas tax 12 cents a gallon (about three percent of the cost of a gallon of gas).
Bay Area residents are now spending about $1,000 per year on vehicle repairs due to driving on poor roads. We believe the small increase in the gas tax is relatively minor compared to the average cost of repairs due to bad roads and will enable more of our county roads to be repaired in the coming years.
The gas tax hadnít been increased since the early 1990s, and the increase essentially adjusts it for inflation. In addition, electric vehicles now for the first time will contribute to road repairs with a $100 fee.
Because voters approved Proposition 69 in June, the state constitution now restricts the use of all SB1 revenue to transportation projects.
The new revenue provides about $10 million in pavement preservation funds annually for Sonoma County roads, about $6 million for improving streets in Sonoma Countyís nine cities, as well as funds to widen Highway 101 and improve Highway 37.
However you may feel about taxes in general, if voters approve Proposition 6, our rural roads throughout the county will have much less chance of being improved. And California roads will likely be among the worst in the nation.
Please urge friends, colleagues and families to vote no on Proposition 6 so that our county roads continue to be improved.
Craig S. Harrison
Vulnerabilities of Highway 12 as escape routeDear Editor,
Tomorrow [Oct. 8] marks the one-year anniversary of the hellish firestorms that affected us all in profound ways. Today seems oddly reminiscent of the start of those firestorms with the red flag warning, dry vegetation, and brisk winds.
Hopefully everyone has taken steps to minimize the effects of the next big event. However, our vulnerability of depending upon Highway 12 as an effective escape route remains questionable at best. The bowers of trees overhanging Highway 12 in many places, as beautiful as they are, are vulnerable to breaking off limbs or blowing over entirely in windy conditions. If you are depending on going either way on Highway 12 to escape being trapped in a fire, and a large branch or tree trunk falls on the roadway and blocks vehicles from passing through, the result of loss of life of people trapped in their cars could be horrific. I support removing the dead trees out in the forest, as a fire preventative, but the focus should be insuring that Highway 12, the major (and only) east/west artery through Sonoma Valley, becomes a viable escape route for everyone in need of it.