Highway Robbery - Toll Roads

OCs toll roads were supposed to be the model for our transportation future. Now they look like road kill

Most shocking: our local politicians are still giving public financial support (so far more than $13 million) to the multinational corporations that want to build a for-profit 57 tollway. Just last May, OCTA spent an additional $250,000 to help the Phoenix-based American Transportation Development LLC decide if their plans were profitable. Lockyer seems to have been the only truly concerned public official in the state. Nine years ago, he argued, "It's terribly unfair to require taxpayers to subsidize these roads."

To be sure, former Governor Wilson still isn't listening. It's likely that he couldn't care less about mounting traffic congestion for the masses. You could say he is above it all. As a well-paid member of the Irvine Co.'s board of directors, he has access to the company's private fleet of helicopters and jets. But he's not the only person who should be embarrassed. The Reason Foundation's Poole, whom Republicans credit with the road-privatization concept, recently made a confession to the Register. "I think we were naive in thinking that the private sector could bear all the risks of the early stages," he said—conveniently ignoring the fact that it was massive tax-dollar input and a $240 million public line of credit that bore the risks. "It is proving to be quite difficult to do these projects fully privately."

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