SANBAG

Monday, March 30, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

When San Bernardino County voters re-approved Measure I, they never contemplated or approved what’s coming down the line.

San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), the agency responsible for transportation planning and highway design and maintenance, appears ready to pull a fast one.

It’s called “Toll Lanes.”

Measure I provides SANBAG funding via a local half-cent sales tax. The agency also receives state and federal dollars for certain projects.

A recent dust-up over a community input meeting in Rialto has raised an interesting issue.

The recently completed widening of the I-10 freeway, paid for by the aforementioned voter-approved Measure I funds, is about to be used to fleece the very same residents that voted the tax in.

SanBag has conjured up the idea to steal the newly built lanes for the purpose of charging tolls. Even though the lanes are already paid for.

Politicians, who are usually overcome by boredom if they can’t spend other peoples money, want to spend the potentially new toll revenue on High-Desert road projects.

But voters never approved any toll lanes or fees. In some cases toll lanes are used as part of a plan to pay for construction costs related to a new highway or road. But the I-10 improvements are already paid for.

Remember one of the key tenants of government: If you don’t have enough money, take it anyway.