Stuck in Traffic?
Who knew Bill Rosendahl and Bob Hertzberg were coordinating schedules? Today marked the launch for both of their transportation proposals. While Rosendahl's went off without a hitch, Hertzberg's got a little testy.
Here's the timeline:
8:00 AM: Hertzberg goes on the radio and launches his Commuters' Bill of Rights.
Article I. The Right to Rational Road Construction11:42 AM: Hertzberg receives the following e-mail from Julie Wong of the Mayor's Office:
All road construction shall be banned during rush hour.
Article II. The Right to Freeways Free of Heavy Trucks
The City of Los Angeles, through a system of incentives and fees, shall dramatically reduce the presence of heavy trucks on local freeways and surface streets during rush hour.
Article III. The Right to Work from Home, i.e. "Telecommute"
Businesses that develop programs for employees to work from home shall be granted tax credits from the City of Los Angeles.
Article IV. The Right to Flexible Work Schedules
The Mayor of Los Angeles shall develop flexible work schedules for public employees and provide incentives for businesses to do the same.
Article V. The Right to Synchronized Traffic Lights
City, County and State transportation control centers shall be "linked and synched" to improve traffic flow in the City of Los Angeles. Signals shall be synchronized to reduce gridlock and keep traffic moving smoothly between local jurisdictions along surface streets.
Article VI. The Right to Clean and Safe Surface Streets
Commuters are entitled to pot-hole free surface roads that are well-maintained, adequately lit, clean and safe to travel.
Article VII. The Right to Turn Left
The city shall relieve gridlock at intersections by installing left turn signals that last for more than two cars.
Article VIII. The Right to Ensure that Other Cities Pay Their Fair Share Since citizens of Los Angeles shoulder the financial burden for LAX, the City shall use incentives to ensure that other cities in the region pay for their fair share of air transportation services.
Article IX. The Right to 24-hour Commerce
Important facilities such as the Port of Los Angeles shall remain open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, so that big truck cargo shipments can move in the middle of the night and not during rush hour.
Article X. The Right to Fly
Citizens of Los Angeles have the right to expanded regional air transportation facilities, and to airports that are easily accessible and rationally and efficiently interconnected through high-speed rail and an expanded flyaway system.
We, the Commuters of Los Angeles, California, hereby assert the following "Bill of Rights" to ensure safe and efficient transportation
throughout our great city - especially during "rush hour." We also assert the right to hold our elected officials responsible for preserving and protecting these rights for the benefit of all the people of Los Angeles. Now therefore be it resolved, that the people of Los Angeles have the right to be led by a Mayor with a bold plan to get traffic moving and the long-term vision to make Los Angeles a city of the future. This vision shall include a plan for a safe, clean,affordable, predictable and reliable mass transit system that connects every part of the city.
January 12, 20053:51 PM: Matt Sazbo sends the following reply:
The Honorable Bob Hertzberg
Former Speaker, California State Assembly
16000 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 405
Los Angeles, CA 91436
Dear Speaker Hertzberg:
This morning, you released your Commuter Bill of Rights. We are sending you a Los Angeles Commuters' Bill for $850,000,000 of taxpayer money that has been and is being diverted from our transportation needs to pay for the budget mess you left in Sacramento.
As you know, the voters of California approved Proposition 42 to require that their gas tax dollars be spent on transportation programs. Unfortunately, under your leadership, the legislature wrote a loophole that allows Sacramento to ignore this requirement without voter approval [ACA 4, 7/23/01].
Since July 2003, the loophole you supported has allowed the state to take $850,000,000 to pay for Sacramento's budget mess rather than
regional transportation solutions that Los Angeles needs.
According to the Automobile Club of Southern California, these diversions could indefinitely delay some of our most important transportation projects, including the improvement of the 101-405 interchange and expansion of bus and light rail lines from Downtown Los
Angeles to the surrounding communities.
An invoice is attached. Payments can be made to: The Taxpayers of Los Angeles.
January 12, 20056:30 PM Bill Rosendahl holds a press conference releasing his plan.
The Honorable James K. Hahn
Mayor, City of Los Angeles
5518 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Dear Mayor Hahn:
Thank you for your sudden interest in traffic congestion issues. We have not heard from you on this issue since October of 2004, when you first announced a traffic relief plan nearly 40 months into your term as mayor. Mr. Hertzberg has asked me to brief you on the details of Proposition 42 so you might be better informed as the campaign moves forward.
Mr. Hertzberg did indeed strongly support Proposition 42, which dedicated more than $1.3 billion annually to transportation. Before voters approved Proposition 42, money generated from the gasoline tax could be used for any general fund purpose. Mr. Hertzberg helped see to it that gas tax funds would be used for transportation purposes and the voters agreed.
Nonetheless, as you should recall, the state Legislature voted to divert transportation funds when Governor Gray Davis issued an emergency declaration in July of 2003 [AB 1765, 07/29/03]. The Legislature took similar action in 2004 [SB 1113, 07/28/04]. Mr. Hertzberg did not support those measures. In fact, Mr. Hertzberg was not even a member of the Legislature at the time (See attached vote records). In 2003, Mr. Hertzberg was busy creating jobs in South Los Angeles as Chairman of the Board of Solar Integrated Technologies (and battling your administrations roadblocks in the process).
In your 01/12/05 letter to Mr. Hertzberg, Ms. Wong argues that Proposition 42 led to the states diversion of transportation dollars and, therefore, Mr. Hertzberg is to blame for the Legislatures action in 2003 and 2004. Yet in January of 2002, you signed a resolution in support of Proposition 42, which included the loophole you attack. Ive attached a copy for your files.
But since you raise the subject of transportation votes, perhaps you should remind your staff that, as a director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, you missed hundreds of votes in 2003 and 2004 including votes on the design and construction of the Eastside rail extension, the Hollywood and Vine Metro Station and construction supervision of HOV lanes on the I-10 Freeway.
Also attached for your convenience is the invoice submitted in error to Mr. Hertzberg. Please return it to your research department for fact checking.
7:00 PM: I'm still stuck in a line of traffic about as long as this post!