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Gov. Says Road Bond Won't Shortchange San Diego

January 20, 2006|Tony Perry | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday brought his road show to two of the busiest roads in the region and promised to make them better if his $222-billion infrastructure bond proposal is adopted.

Although the overall pitch may have been generic, the governor tailored his comments to the local audience as he stood at a site overlooking the interchange of Interstate 15 and California 56.

San Diego, the governor noted, has the best of nearly everything: sunny weather, clean beaches and great recreational facilities.

"I'm here to talk about something that will make this place even better," he said at the news conference with local officials.

San Diego and Imperial counties would get more than $670 million from the bond measure to add freeway lanes, park-and-ride facilities, inner-city rail projects and other traffic-easing programs. Interstates 15 and 5, San Diego's major north-south commuter corridors, would be priorities, the governor said.

"I think San Diego was shortchanged for many years" in the divvying up of state funds, he said, echoing a long-standing complaint of area officials.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, in his State of the City address last week, was only the latest official to argue that San Diego does not get as much state support as other regions.

The reasons are political and historic. San Diego has not had the political clout in Sacramento enjoyed by Los Angeles and San Francisco. And the region's reluctance to spend local funds has come back to haunt it.

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