OCBC Opposes Assemblyman Mansoor’s Plan for Legislation Outlawing Express Lanes

IRVINE, CA— Orange County Business Council (OCBC) released the following statement today in response to the press conference regarding Assemblyman Allan Mansoor’s proposed legislation that would prohibit future implementation of express lanes on the I-405 freeway.

OCBC supports the use of express lanes, motorists’ choice and congestion pricing strategies aimed at improving mobility in the region.  While OCBC hasn’t seen an actual legislative proposal that would restrict express lanes on the I-405, we oppose policies that limit the tools available to transportation agencies seeking to reduce congestion.

California is $300 billion short in funding for repairs and maintenance of the state’s transportation system. While population and driving has increased, the gas tax has not.  Moreover, fuel efficiency and vehicle technology continue to depress the amount of fuel purchased causing the amount of gas tax collected to shrink.  The Council supports thoughtful debate on strategies aimed at closing the funding gap.  Imposing laws that prohibit motorists driving “choices” and proven solutions like express lanes would be counterproductive.

Today, 18 of the 20 “self-help counties” in California that voted for local sales tax measures to improve congestion are planning or building managed lanes (express lanes and HOV lanes). Only two, Orange County and Contra Costa County, are not.

Finally, the business community is particularly troubled by Mansoor’s proposal, given that, while serving as an OCTA Director in 2009, he voted to approve consideration of express lanes for the I-405 freeway.

*For further details on Mansoor’s 2009 vote in favor of considering toll lanes on I-405, please review the attached January 26, 2009 OCTA Board of Directors Meeting minutes.

About OCBC:
Orange County Business Council is the leading voice of business in Orange County, California. OCBC represents and promotes the business community, working with government and academia, to enhance Orange County’s economic development and prosperity in order to preserve a high quality of life. OCBC serves member and investor businesses with nearly 250,000 employees and 2,000,000 worldwide. In providing a proactive forum for business and supporting organizations, OCBC helps assure the financial growth of America’s sixth largest county. For more information, visit www.ocbc.org

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