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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Stuck in Traffic?

HertzbergWho 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 Construction
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.
11:42 AM: Hertzberg receives the following e-mail from Julie Wong of the Mayor's Office:
January 12, 2005

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.

Sincerely,

Julie Wong
3:51 PM: Matt Sazbo sends the following reply:
January 12, 2005

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 administration’s roadblocks in the process).

In your 01/12/05 letter to Mr. Hertzberg, Ms. Wong argues that Proposition 42 led to the state’s diversion of transportation dollars and, therefore, Mr. Hertzberg is to blame for the Legislature’s 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. I’ve 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.

Sincerely,
Matt Szabo
Communications Director
6:30 PM Bill Rosendahl holds a press conference releasing his plan.

7:00 PM: I'm still stuck in a line of traffic about as long as this post!

27 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Truly amazing. The lack of thoroughness in research, the shallow and erroneous lack of knowledge of important political information that impacts our transportation crisis is indicative of the total void in leadership under the Hahn administration.

How he backs out of this political disaster he and his staff created will be interesting, indeed !!!

Every time he opens up his mouth or his campaign staff does, they just show how out of touch with this City and it's serious issues Hahn really is !!!!

ABH.......anybody but Hahn !!!

January 12, 2005 10:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Talk about Rosendhal playing follow the leader?
It is a true showing of lack of leadership, real chutzpah and insulting to the voter for Bill to put out a 'plan' with so many similarities to Hertzberg's just after Hertzberg's well thought out and well presented plan becomes public.
This is much less a coordination of transportation plans than it is 'political theft' !!!

January 12, 2005 10:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Let's be fair, Former Poster---Rosendahl may be benefitting from the publicity around Hertzberg's plan, but it was more dumb luck than anything else that they both launched traffic on the same day...and the fact that they're similar is probably just because they're some good ideas.

January 12, 2005 10:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

ABH. Anybody but Hahn. The Villaraigosa camp current mantra. But as they see it, the anybody can only be Antonio. They try every little trick.

January 12, 2005 10:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Rosendahl announced LAST WEEK that he would be releasing his plan this week. In fact, he was originally planning on releasing it Monday, but he changed the date of the event (which was held at a congested intersection at rush hour) due to the rain.

Rosendahl's plan is actually a lot more detailed than Hertzberg's.

January 12, 2005 11:21 PM  

Blogger CD14Lover said:

Hey Hertzberg, I like the plan. Are you going to come out with any other ideas? People don't mind if you attack the Mayor bit you need to also come out with ideas of your own and this is a start.

For the exchange of letters, it only proves what dum idiots are running our city. All those whinners out there that get mad at the candidates for attacking Hahn, you should be pissed at this baseless attack against Hertzberg. I do like his quick, witty and factual based response. It looks like Hertzberg is more fit to me Mayor than our own Poopy.

Hey Mayor Hahn, looks like you idiotic plan back fired. Also, get a real person to represent you instead of that little Ewok Julie Wong. She is part of the reason why you get bad press.

January 12, 2005 11:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

That is absolutely uncalled for. Whoever the lat poster was abotu Julie better email me right now to my personal address-yes carolynjmartin@yahoo.com. My name is Carolyn Hissong-I used to work for Mayor Hahn but left to become a stay at home mom. Julie Wong is one of my best friends and while it is completely valid to critique her on political and campaign issues (this is a political blog after all) but to comment on her stature is completely juvenile and unacceptable. Whoever sent that email better send me a picture of themselves so I can make RUDE comments about their appearance ANONYMOUSLY. What a coward you are, whoever you are, to do soemthing like that.

I have worked on many campaigns and clearly support Hahn on this one but I have worked with lots of people who are on opposing sides this time. While I may disagree with their views or opinions, I would never slam them personally. For example, I have worked with John Shallman several times over the years (once even for Kathleen Connell for Mayor DEAR GOD!) and I think he is a brillant, creative, caring friend. Campaign people are all part of the same circle-eventually you work with everyone else if you last.

So, anonymous poster-email away....

January 13, 2005 6:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I concur with the above blogger on the comments about Julie Wong. I've known her for many years and have worked in opposing campaigns too yet she is still a good friend. Comment on the letter...not her personally. Don't bring that crap here you political hack. She won't take that personally but for your sake i hope your not politically connected.

Now as for Hertzberg's plan, sure it sounds great, but isn't this what every person running for office is saying? I want to see how we are going to secure the funds from Sacramento to implement these projects. We need to fastrack signal synchronization projects, intersection improvements, street resurfacing projects. LADOT, MTA, CALTRANS...they all have the projects...they've been there for years study after study. We need the damn money not just a reinvention of what a politician says he wants to do. We need our gas tax money back. And I can't stand when political consultants convince their candidates to use the words "incentives." No we need money that is there in SAC to fix or alleviate traffic congestion in the City of Los Angeles. We need a major transportation address with specific fixes and goals in the next four or less years. Not some pretty ad on buses or bus stops that says carpooling is great...sure it is but its not going to happen.

Hertzberg MAY not be responsible for the use of our gas tax money to offset the state budget but if I;m not mistaken Mr. Hertzberg is quite the ally of our Governor and manintain a relationship with lawmakers and bureaucrats. You want to show some power speaker emeritus then start cashing in those political chips or don't give us the same speech about the same problem.

January 13, 2005 7:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It appears that this blog may have become important enough that Jim Hahn's staff is now actively and openly posting. We know they have been posting anonymously about Antonio for a long time.

Way to go Mayor Sam!

January 13, 2005 8:26 AM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Coupla of things: I like Hertzberg's plan. I also hope it includes things like outsourcing more of DOT and getting rid of parking meters and preferred parking - both of which are impediments to economic development.

Next, boy did Hahn step on his peter via Julie. Accusing Hertzberg of doing things he didn't do and where there is a record of such. Szabo is sharp - nice job.

As to if anyone cares that somebody called Julie Wong an Ewok, so what? You liberals worry too much about feelings. Someone like Hissong will get all pissy because he called her an ewok but she would be the first to call President Bush dumb or talk about his ears or something like that. Double standard.

They need to worry more about how they are destroying this city and how their candidate is going down than someone calling Julie an Ewok.

What the hell is an Ewok?

January 13, 2005 8:44 AM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Another question: How could anyone get excited about Jim Hahn other than if you work for him? Or you benefit from his deals? Just on personality alone - boy you are sick.

January 13, 2005 8:47 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Rosendahl sent an email out on Tuesday announcing his Wednesday announcement, so there was no cart/horse issues...it was coincidental, though, and IMHO shows that these guys have their finger on the pulse of issues that affect many of us Angelenos.

January 13, 2005 8:55 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I, for one, am hyperventilating with anticipation for the upcoming election.

When Jim Hahn is elected mayor, he will turn our fair city around. No longer will we be sitting in traffic for hours on end in our daily commutes to and from lovely downtown Los Angeles. Jim Hahn is just the man to address the horrible traffic problem in the City of Los Angeles. I am confident he has all the necessary solutions in his back pocket. Furthermore, Jim Hahn's stimulating presence and exciting, engaging demeanor at public appearances is truly inspiring.

January 13, 2005 9:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

To address the comments of one of the other anonymouses above me:

1. Hertzberg supported Prop 42, the constitutional amendment that dedicated gas sales taxes to transportation projects. Jim Hahn and the City of LA supported it too. Yeah, it had a clause that let the state suspend the dedication with a 2/3 vote in each house if spending the money would have broken the budget--and Hertzberg, Hahn, the City of LA, and the voters (69%) supported that clause too. Hertzberg never voted to suspend Prop 42 or take Prop 42 $$ away from LA projects--those votes happened in 2003 and 2004 after he had left office.

2. On Light Synch: Yeah, every pol tells you that they love light synchronization. But Hertzberg's the only one in the race who's actually done it. The Ventura/Victory/Sepulveda corrdior was synchronized using money that Hertzberg got from the state. Of course, Jim Hahn took credit for it, but that's a different story.

January 13, 2005 11:40 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

FROM MEAT:

I disagree with Mr mayor, (the real mayor Sam of course) anyone on this blog that takes a pot shot like that is wrong. I am referring to of course the EWOK comment made about Julie Wong -- not cool. I know Julie, she's cool if not a bit too much of a workaholic, nevermind that she has to work side by side with crazy (yet brilliant) Jeff Millman.

Call me FAT or whatever, but no one knows who i am so its not a big deal. Take shots at Julie for being wrong on her letter yesterday, take shots at her for working for a man who is no longer going to be Mayor -- but personal attacks aren't cool.

I suspect many will disagree, i am sure someone will post about how i am cozying up to the Hahn's office now or something dumb like that. The one i like the most is the fact that i have no credibility anymore -- those are my favorite. I'll make this promise -- the neighborhood watch stuff will be posted within 5 days -- if there is nothing on it -- then i will retire from posting on Mayor Sam's blog. I think i helped build this thing to the point that me posting no longer drives comments and visitors to the site -- Mayor Sam and team have built a great site that can run on its own now.

As always you can personally call me out at mayor_meat@yahoo.com

blog away dum-dums

January 13, 2005 12:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Coastal district candidate calls for 4 light-rail projects
By David Zahniser
Copley News Service 1/13/05

Calling traffic congestion the No. 1 issue in Los Angeles' coastal council district, City Council candidate Bill Rosendahl on Wednesday unveiled a transportation plan that relies on the planning, extension or completion of four separate light-rail lines.

Rosendahl, a Mar Vista resident who teaches at California State University, Dominguez Hills, said the city must connect the Metro Green Line with Los Angeles International Airport by 2010 and finish an east-west rail line along Exposition Boulevard to Santa Monica by 2012.

The former cable television executive also promised to initiate plans for a north-south rail line on Lincoln Boulevard -- one that runs through Westchester, Marina del Rey and Venice -- and a diagonal rail route that links LAX with Union Station and runs through Inglewood.

"It will be my goal to accomplish this," he said. "And where there is a will, there is a way. I'm not afraid to put my neck out and say, 'I've had enough.' "

Rosendahl is one of three candidates seeking on March 8 to replace Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski, who is being forced out of office by term limits in a district that stretches from LAX north to Pacific Palisades, and includes Westchester, Playa del Rey, Del Rey and Palms.

Attorney Angela Reddock, a transportation commissioner who is also running for the seat, said she would not comment on the plan until she had read it. But a campaign aide to candidate Flora Gil Krisiloff, a former planning commissioner who lives in Brentwood, described the plan for so many rail routes as "pie in the sky."

"You've got to be realistic, and his plan is just not realistic," said Krisiloff spokesman Rick Taylor.

Rosendahl, former host of the "Week in Review" cable television public affairs program, unveiled his transit policy at the intersection of Venice Boulevard and Centinela Avenue. The plan was distributed the same day former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg, a mayoral candidate in the March election, issued his own transportation plan.

Both plans call for a greater number of left-turn signals at busy intersections and a greater reliance on synchronized traffic lights on major corridors. But unlike Hertzberg, Rosendahl pushed for a handful of light rail projects to crisscross the 11th Council District.

Some of those projects are already being planned. For example, Mayor James Hahn's $11 billion LAX plan would connect the airport with the Metro Green Line in 2008 -- two years before Rosendahl's timetable. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority expects the east-west Exposition Boulevard line to reach Robertson Boulevard in 2010, but has no immediate plans for an extension to Santa Monica.

That timeline drew criticism from Rosendahl.

"We can build that Expo line to the beach, not just to Robertson," he said. "That's just unacceptable to me."

The MTA likewise has no plans for lines on either Lincoln Boulevard or a little-used rail corridor that runs from Union Station to LAX.

And while Rosendahl pushed for a Lincoln Boulevard rail line, the MTA and the city of Santa Monica are working on a Metro Rapid Bus on Lincoln Boulevard instead.

January 13, 2005 1:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

MAJOR NEWS! - PR Firm Executive Indicted in DWP Fraud Case

L.A. indictment alleges that John Stodder, Jr., who ran the firm's local public affairs practice, participated with "others known and unknown" to routinely submit inflated billings.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-011304indict_lat,0,6749071.story?coll=la-home-headlines

January 13, 2005 4:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

While I agree generally that personal attacks are not appropriate, lets look at the facts before we try to judge Julie's critics:
1. Julie is one of the rudest staffers and deputy mayors, probably in the history of the mayor's office to other staffers, to general managers and the public as well.
2. If you don't like being attacked personally, don't do it to others, don't act as the Hahn attack dog and sent out letters filled with lies and crap and expect nothing in return.
3. Don't like the heat, princess Julie, then retire from the kitchen.
4. No personal attacks......WOW....are we talking about the mayor's race when name calling and form over substance is all we hear regularly.
5. No personal attacks......GEEZE... don't we remember the 'clean' mayor hahn when he ran the last time running that piece of shit, racist, lying, crack pipe advertisement against Antonio(and by the way I am NOT an Antonio supporter in this race).

NO PERSONAL ATTACKS ????? ARE YOU NUTS....AND FRANKLY SOME OF YOU POSTERS WHO CLAIM JULIE AS A FRIEND..........WELL THAT TELLS A LOT ABOUT YOU DOESN'T IT !!!!!! YOU POLITICAL HACKS. IT IS YOU THAT MAKES LA POLITICS WHAT IT IS.....A BEVY OF NOTHING BUT PERSONAL ATTACKS !!!

JUST SHUT UP AND WHINE YOUR WAY TO THE REFRIGERATOR AND CHILL OUT !

January 13, 2005 5:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Rosendahl knows what he's talking about, and not just traffic. I saw him speak last week, and he stands out among all the candidates, in all the races. I actually enjoyed listening to his speech and the development of his ideas, unlike others, Hahn for one. As far as his main opponent for the District 11 seat, who even knows what's going on there.

January 13, 2005 5:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Was Julie the Hahn staffer posting on here getting all wet for one of the McOskar hoys?

January 13, 2005 5:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

who is going to pay for all of those traffic improvements? We can't even hire 10 new cops for God's sake and this guy thinks somehow we're going to come up with billions of dollars for a light rail down lincoln blvd? Maybe he'll find a few billion dollars laying around Sacramento. Apparently he's also out of the loop about what's going on with the state budget.

January 13, 2005 5:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

There is no question that building light rail takes time and money. But it is clear that the funding goes to those projects that are well-planned, have strong support and are ready to go when the funding becomes available. Elected officials need to understand that. It would be unfortunate if a candidate's pessimistic attitudes about light rail contribute to the lack of political support for transit projects that has plagued our region for decades. Other parts of the country that have strong support have moved ahead with their projects.

Sounds like Krisiloff has chosen pessimism and naysaying as her campaign themes.

January 14, 2005 8:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Naysaying and pessimism are the watchwords of practically all LA pols and their flacks. There is no vision, no ideas like other cities have. Its always been that way. LA politics is about the status quo. Making changes and engaging the population puts the staffers who suck at the public trough at risk for their cushy jobs. Give the public nothing and let them tune out and you can join with Julie and the others and suck, suck away. The sucking is all over the fourth floor.

January 14, 2005 8:54 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

So anyone who criticizes Rosendahl's "pie in the sky" plan is naysaying or pessimistic? It sounds more like Rosendahl's running a campaign full of deception and empty promises. As the blogger above said, he's talking BILLIONS of dollars.

California has an $8 Billion budget deficit. The Governor wants to cut funding to education and social services. Rosendahl wants to take money during this hard time and give it to light rail? Let's see, easing traffic or aiding school children? Easing traffic or giving children health care coverage? Easing traffic or hiring more cops?

Being an elected is not like being the corporate cable executive Rosendahl was at Adelphia. You have to be accountable for what you promise and you have to deliver. Just saying "I want to do this" ain't gonna' make it happen. You have to have the resources or even a plan to get the resources. All Bill has done (in fact, has ever done) is TALK. All talk, no action make Bill bad candidate!

January 14, 2005 4:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Are you saying in the corporate world you don't have to be accounatble and deliver on your promises? Man you people have worked in government way too long. 90% of you would never last in the business world. But then you never have worked in the business world.

In the corporate world, you can take a good idea, build support for it and take off! In the world of LA politics, first you have to suck someone off, then you have to buy them off, then you have to beg them off.

Pitiful. No wonder people don't vote.

January 14, 2005 6:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

FROM MEATEATER:

From 2001--traffic promises by Villaraigosa and Hahn. WARNING: this is a long posting, but as mayor and as chair of the Transportation Committee in Council, you can judge if either of them delivered.

VILLARAIGOSA ON TRAFFIC IN 2001:
Villaraigosa on Easing Traffic Congestion

1. Form a "Traffic Strike Force" to be in charge of coordinating the various City, County and State departments and agencies dealing with traffic. The Strike Force’s responsibility would be to improve the quality of transportation and reduce the level of traffic congestion in Los Angeles.

2. Appoint a "traffic czar" to run the Strike Force, develop a coherent agenda, and mediate disagreements among the various agencies and communities over transportation improvements and programs. The czar will make sure that road work doesn’t interfere with rush hour traffic, that construction projects are coordinated to reduce disruption, that agencies and departments are working together to plan effectively and reduce project impacts, and that Strike Force members stay focused on the mission of improving mobility in Los Angeles.

BACKGROUND

Past (and ongoing) efforts to coordinate traffic and transportation planning and operations in Los Angeles have suffered from balkanization and turf wars. Under the direction of the traffic czar, the Strike Force will work daily to expedite the planning, programming and implementation of transit programs and projects. It will also work with departments and agencies whose infrastructure work repeatedly disrupts traffic, to coordinate construction projects and minimize the length of time roadways are torn up.

There is more than $1 billion of transportation funding in the pipeline for Los Angeles, $435 million of it earmarked for the San Fernando Valley. It is limited by statute and/or policy as to how it can be spent, yet Antonio Villaraigosa’s opponent spends time and energy with futile talk about trying to spend mass transit money to fix streets. By contrast, Mr. Villaraigosa advocates expediting projects already receiving consensus support and will go to bat for Los Angeles in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. to maximize the funding we receive to solve traffic and transportation problems.


Villaraigosa on Traffic and Transportation

As a former member of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Southern California Rapid Transit District (RTD) boards and the Assembly Transportation Committee, Antonio Villaraigosa has more hands-on experience with transportation issues than any major candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles in modern times.

Mr. Villaraigosa is an advocate of coordinated planning and decisive implementation to improve mobility, reduce congestion and improve air quality. He will bring an unprecedented level of coordination and collaboration to transportation planning and operations in Los Angeles. He will implement common sense “traffic buster” proposals to ease congestion on streets and freeways and expand support for public transit, including buses and light rail.

Antonio understands that congestion is a regional issue and that Los Angeles should be the region’s leader in transportation infrastructure planning. He knows we cannot solve traffic problems without substantial regional cooperation. In 2000, he worked with Governor Gray Davis to bring more than $1 billion to Los Angeles for transportation improvements ($1.7 billion for the county as a whole).

Principles for Better Mobility

Antonio’s agenda is built on several key principles:

1. Reducing traffic congestion in smart ways

· Employ affordable, common sense innovations.

· Maximize the benefits of new technology.

· Expand Transportation System Management strategies.

· Make optimal use of existing facilities.

2. Modernizing our traffic and transportation infrastructure

· Expedite completion of programmed transportation improvements, including freeway, highway and mass transit projects.

3. Promoting smart transportation choices

· Expand public transit.

· Seek additional funding for transit operations and projects.

· Support alternative modes of transportation.

· Improve management of public transit agencies.

4. Making transportation a key to better neighborhoods

· Use transportation as a driving force to coordinate economic development, land use planning, housing and infrastructure.

· Improve traffic and pedestrian safety.

· Develop business-friendly transportation improvements.

Proposals for Better Mobility

A. Reducing traffic congestion

1. Develop a plan for paired one-way boulevards.

2. Accelerate implementation of the Smart Corridor program parallel to freeways.

3. Accelerate installation of Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control (ATSAC) intersections.

4. Prohibit construction wherever feasible on major roadways during peak hours.

5. Expand the use of reversible lanes on major commuter corridors.

6. Install left-turn lanes and signals, and left-turn-on-demand signals, using flared intersections where possible.

7. Expand the use of staggered work hours for employees.

8. Promote carpooling, vanpooling and public transit by providing appropriate subsidies.

9. Synchronize signals on major thoroughfares.

10. Strengthen enforcement of peak hour parking restrictions.

11. Open freeway carpool lanes to all traffic during off-peak hours.

12. Remove accidents from roadways promptly.

13. Establish a Traffic Strike Force to coordinate traffic management, with a traffic czar to provide leadership.

B. Modernizing transportation infrastructure

1. Complete construction of the Pasadena Blue Line light rail
project.

2. Expedite construction of the East Side light rail project.

3. Expedite planning for the Valley east-west and north-south busways in accordance with community preferences.

4. Work for a community consensus for the Mid-City/Westside corridor for a busway or light rail project and expedite the planning.

5. Explore concepts for building light rail on the 101 and other freeways.

6. Expedite work on the improvements to the 101/405 freeway interchange.

7. Expedite corridor studies for the 5 freeway through the downtown and Griffith Park areas.

8. Expedite completion of HOV lanes on the 405, 5 and other freeways.

C. Promoting smart transportation choices

1. Add 850 buses to the MTA fleet and reduce bus fares to 50-cents over the next four years.

2. Expand the use of local shuttle buses (DASH, etc.).

3. Increase service hours on the Red, Blue and Green lines where appropriate.

4. Support improved bicycle lanes and more bikeways.

5. Create a "shared bike" program for congested tourist areas.

6. Support paratransit partnerships between the City and major retail centers, health facilities, schools and public facilities.

7. Expedite installation of the Passenger Information System that provides better service for Rapid Bus passengers.

8. Expand Rapid Bus service to at least 20 lines in the next five years.

9. Decentralize management of the MTA’s bus operations, promoting localized management and control, with community input and preservation of workers’ rights.

D. Making transportation a key to better neighborhoods

1. Link transportation with economic development, land use planning, schools, housing and infrastructure to improve jobs/housing balance, reduce air pollution and improve quality of life.

2. Promote location-efficient mortgages to provide more housing near transit.

3. Use a "Livable L.A." process to plan for more balanced transportation and land use planning.

4. Promote traffic calming strategies to protect neighborhoods.

5. Support pedestrian safety and convenience with pedestrian- friendly technology, streetscape design and education programs.

6. Promote business-friendly improvements, with "see-through" bus shelters, more off-street parking and improved streetscapes.

7. Involve Neighborhood Councils in decision-making for transportation, infrastructure and community design issues.



Villaraigosa Battling Gridlock on our Streets

1. Prohibit construction wherever feasible on major roadways during peak commuting hours.

2. Expand the use of reversible lanes on major commuter corridors throughout the city.

3. Identify appropriate intersections for installation of left-turn lanes and signals and left-turn-on-demand signals.

4. Encourage both public and private sector employers to expand staggered work hours for employees.

5. Promote carpooling, vanpooling and public transit use by providing employees who don’t drive alone with parking subsidies, transit subsidies and other subsidies.

BACKGROUND

Early in the course of the mayoral primary campaign, candidate Steve Soboroff introduced the concept of implementing practical, relatively inexpensive measures to provide relief for motorists and other commuters. Antonio Villaraigosa recognized the validity of this approach right away and added his voice in support of common sense congestion relief ideas, later to be followed by several other candidates.

Prohibiting disruptive roadway construction during peak traffic hours is a common sense idea that is applied inconsistently in Los Angeles. Caltrans adheres to it on the freeways, but our surface streets are sometimes severely impacted by road crews working on the streets, sewers or storm drains, cable and fiber-optic installations or electric power lines. These crews should avoid morning and evening rush hours and, whenever possible, cover their excavations with weight-bearing steel plates so that traffic lanes are usable.

The idea of reversible lanes is not new. Los Angeles (with the cooperation of Caltrans) has been implementing an ad hoc reversible program on Highland Avenue in the vicinity of the Hollywood Bowl for more than two decades. One also was implemented for a short time on Sepulveda Boulevard in the Sepulveda Pass. More recently, a formal program employing special lighting and signage on 4th Street east of downtown has been a substantial success. A reversible lane requires at least a 3-to-1 directional ratio during peak periods to be viable and most such streets exist south of Mulholland. The City should aggressively seek other opportunities to do additional reversible lanes, reintroducing the idea on Sepulveda and seeking appropriate corridors all over the city. Reversibles should be augmented by esthetically-pleasing electronic signage and landscaping wherever possible.

One of the most vexing impediments to smooth traffic flow is the lack of left turn lanes and signals at many major intersections in L.A. Where they are feasible, left turn lanes and signals will alleviate the lane blockage so often caused by turning vehicles. To address the complaint that lengthening an intersection’s signal cycle to accommodate left turns reduces the volume going through the intersection, a couple of steps can be taken. Intersection flares can be constructed to retain a consistent number of through lanes, and left-turn-on-demand signals should be used so that the left turn cycle is triggered only when necessary. Such signals already are in operation in a variety of locations.

Staggering work hours and incentivizing carpools and vanpools are smart ideas that reduce traffic at a relatively low public cost. The public sector has led the way in implementing compressed work schedules to reduce congestion and improve air quality, and the private sector should join the effort. Los Angeles has long supported carpooling, but our vehicle occupancy rates continue to fall short of the goal of more than 1.5 average passengers per vehicle.



Villaraigosa Fighting Traffic on LA's Boulevards

1. Instruct the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to develop a plan for the conversion of suitable pairs of major streets to one-way travel, including proposals for north-south and east-west couplets in the Valley, Mid-City/Westside, South Los Angeles and the East Side.

2. Call on LADOT, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to accelerate the implementation of the Smart Street program.

3. Call on LADOT and the MTA to accelerate installation of Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control (ATSAC) at the intersections funded in the Fiscal-Year 2001 California State Budget.

BACKGROUND

Addressing Los Angeles’ complex traffic congestion issues requires bold initiatives, such as the identification of major boulevards for potential conversion to one-way.

The LADOT, Caltrans and the MTA already have been working to implement technological improvements along major boulevards in Los Angeles. These include massive expansions of the ATSAC system, which allows for real-time signal adjustments to be made at congested intersections, and introduction of “Smart Streets” parallel to freeways to improve the coordination of peak-period flow both on freeways and surface streets.

Such innovations would receive a boost if paired with one-way flow in appropriate locations. Several one-way street couplets exist in the Central City, and there are a limited number of one-way streets in other neighborhoods. Outside of downtown, however, one-way streets have not been a key element of the City’s congestion management strategy. One-way streets can increase roadway capacity, smooth out traffic flow, facilitate the synchronization of signals and removal of peak-hour parking restrictions, and discourage neighborhood cut-through traffic. Any one-way plan should be mindful of the needs of businesses, pedestrians and cyclists, and should take steps to monitor and control speeding.



2. HAHN ON TRAFFIC IN 2001:

As the campaign moves forward I will post on this part of my web page position papers on the key challenges facing our city, and what I will do as mayor to meet those challenges.

TRANSPORTATION: The daily gridlock on our city's roads and freeways is not only frustrating and hurts our quality of life, but costs our city hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity. We must not only fast-track short term solutions to immediately ease traffic snarls, but we must focus on long term strategies and solutions that will prepare us for our city's continued growth in the year's ahead.

In his ads, he promises to "repair streets, synch signals, andinstall more left-hand turn lanes"

MEATEATER CONTINUES:

Not much more from Hahn, despite his promise to post more.

Important political lesson: worse to promise little or to promise lots....

January 16, 2005 11:55 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Bill Rosendahl was endorsed by the LA County Democratic Party, the California Democratic Council, and the Firefighters Union this week.

January 19, 2005 4:41 PM  

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