If you find yourself stuck in traffic going over the Altamont Pass in the next few days, you might see a billboard truck with this sign sitting at a standstill next to you.
The Sierra Club has hired a convoy of truck boards to drive back and forth, back and forth, over the hill carrying the message “This Traffic Brought to You by Richard Pombo.” Their goal is to draw attention to the fact that Richard Pombo has been a lot more interested in promoting unchecked development in Tracy than he has been in solving the traffic problems it has created. If you go to the Sierra Club website, they give an excellent synopsis of the many ways that Richard Pombo has failed his district when it comes to transportation issues.
So if you happen to see one of these trucks making the endless loop over the hill, spending eight hours a day stranded in endless traffic, give the driver a honk and a big thumbs up. He’ll need the encouragement.
MISPLACED PRIORITIES FOR TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS
As Congressman and Chairman of the House Resources Committee, Richard Pombo has failed to deliver funds to benefit Tracy commuters already stuck in traffic, while instead prioritizing new transportation projects which are a waste of taxpayer money.
The I-205/I-580 freeway corridor has moved in the past several years from being the 105th most congested stretch of roadway in the Bay Area in 2002 to being the 3rd most congested - and it is getting worse. "CalTrans reports that in the year 2025, average daily traffic will increase by as much as 43%, with westbound PM traffic increasing an average of 95%." More from Alameda County Congestion Management.
A recent article in Contra Costa Times concluded that "in Pombo's 14-year career, transportation has not been at the forefront of his agenda" and that "local agencies privately say the lawmaker was slow to participate" in transportation planning. The most notable example of Pombo's lack of attention to local transportation projects is the stretch of I-205 between I-5 and I-580. Although there had been overwhelming support from local business leaders, labor groups, and commuters for widening I-205 from four to six lanes, Pombo failed repeatedly to help obtain the needed federal money to complete the project in a timely manner. Pombo claims he obtained $76 million for the 11th District in the recent multi-year transportation bill, but the proposal to widen I-205 didn't get a penny! […]
An examination of the transportation projects Pombo does claim credit for shows that solving the congestion problems facing Tracy seems to be virtually his last priority.