Expanding freeways in Riverside County to address future population growth by 2030 is going to cost $14 billion. The North County Times reports that county officials don't have a clue where that money is going to come from.
The article goes on to say that the rapid growth of Chinese-made products arriving in Long Beach, and getting trucked out all over the west is largely why so many more trucks are clogging up freeways.
Interestingly, blame is being placed on retailers who receive goods from the Port of Los Angeles and then truck them through Riverside County on their way parts further east...
"I'm adamantly opposed to charging the people of this county for a problem that's caused out of Los Angeles," said Riverside City Councilman Steve Adams, who represents his city on the commission. "We are servicing the rest of the nation. We are being punished for getting their goods through."It's definitely a valid point, but one which can't be resolved by levying fees on truckers and retailers. Any extra fees placed on commerce will ultimately get passed down to the consumer. The people always end up paying in the end.
The other idea is to levy higher fees new housing starts. The NC Times reported that $9,700 in fees is already being passed down to new home buyers, and that it might require another $5,000 per home to cover freeway expansion.
At this point, I'm ALL for passing the fee on to new home buyers. As a homeowner, making new homes more expensive is going to raise the resale value of my property.
But one of the problems of slowing down growth of new homes, is that it also slows down the growth of new retail and business centers. You gotta have the people first, in order to support shopping malls and movie theaters.
I think Menifee is at a point where we may not need more people. There's plenty of people in Hemet, Winchester, Perris, and Murrieta. We can suck them into buying stuff from our retail centers, and pump money into our community.