Like many of you reading this column, I’m an eternal optimist. I’m proud of our community and feel blessed to live in the Coachella Valley. However, I know we can make it even better.

We can point to many topics that exemplify a better future, but few have as positive an impact as better transportation and better mobility.

Can you imagine a future with safer, wider, and better maintained roads? It is definitely achievable.

Want to take a train from the Coachella Valley to Los Angeles or Orange County, or invite friends and family from elsewhere in Southern California to visit for the weekend without making them drive on our heavily congested freeway? Sounds like a dream, but it can happen.

Want a safer trip for your kids to walk or ride their bike to school? It can — and should — happen.

Want better bus service for seniors, persons with disabilities, and local employees who make our Valley economy thrive? Yes, an absolute necessity!

How about a safer, smoother drive between the Valley and Riverside along the 60 freeway through the Badlands? It’s about to happen.

When we work together, we in the Coachella Valley can accomplish great things like this, and we have proven it over the years. To continue these accomplishments, we need to keep up — and even increase — our investment in infrastructure and transportation systems.

Unfortunately, Proposition 6 seeks to prevent much of that progress from happening.

A “yes” vote on Proposition 6 is a “no” vote on our future. A “NO” vote on Proposition 6 maintains current funding for transportation, which Coachella Valley and all California residents overwhelmingly voted to protect by approving Proposition 69 earlier this year.

Yes, our transportation system is funded by a small portion of the price you pay at the gas pump, as it has been since Eisenhower was President, and as increased in California by Republican Governors such as Ronald Reagan and George Deukmejian.  So, it is an easy call for me as a lifelong Republican to defend transportation funding, especially when I see every city in our Valley able to make long-overdue improvements to the roads and transit systems you and I rely upon every day for the basic necessities of life.

Here are some examples of what is already happening or planned for the near — better — future:

  • Indian Wells: Cook Street rehabilitation and Miles Avenue overlay
  • Desert Hot Springs: Crack seal and slurry project, Hacienda Avenue — grind and overlay, Indian Canyon Drive-Mission Lakes Boulevard — grind and overlay, Mission Lakes Boulevard — grind and overlay, Mission Lakes walking path — sidewalk improvements, North Indian Canyon Drive road and infrastructure, Palm Drive — grind and overlay, Palm Drive bicycle pedestrian improvement project, Safe Routes to School
  • Palm Desert: Monterey Avenue Repaving — Whitewater Channel to Hovley Lane West
  • Rancho Mirage: Dinah Shore Drive pavement rehabilitation
  • Cathedral City: Reconstruction and rehabilitation projects including Avenida Ximino neighborhood street, Century Park neighborhood street pavement, Date Palm Drive and Dinah Shore intersection, La Posada neighborhood street pavement, Landau Boulevard and McCallum Way intersection traffic signal, Landau public alleyway and Whispering Palms neighborhood street pavement
  • Palm Springs: Annual slurry seal
  • La Quinta: Village Complete Streets Road Diet Project

We must fund these projects now and continually add to the list.

Join me in voting “NO” on Proposition 6.