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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Tuesday

Mayor Villaraigosa and Chief Bratton were heckled and booed by a handful of homelessness advocates during the groundbreaking ceremony for the $231 million LAPD headquarters project Monday afternoon.

Tuesday Mayor Villaraigosa will be attending the National Summit of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and then will sit in the gallery during President Bush's State of the Union address.

Candidates in the 6th Council District race will debate each other on a televised candidates' forum this Friday, January 26, 2007 from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm. The program will be aired on Time Warner Cable public access, Channel 25, in the East San Fernando Valley.

Los Angeles - along with Chicago - have both sumbitted bids to host the 2016 Olympics. LA is banking on its succesful experience hosting both the 1932 and 1984 games and the fact that practically all of the facilities needed for the games are already built. LA Voice - which has typically not been keen on LA hosting the games - is dubious of efforts to do the Olympics on the cheap. However, the final decision won't be made by the International Olympic Committee until 2009.

Zach Behrens - author of the In The (Sherman) Oaks Blog - also serves on his local neighborhood council. As a dedicated member and respresentative of his community Behrens drove the neigborhood to get a first hand view of the state of the community. When I went through community economic development training at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation one of the tools we learned was a "dashboard survey." Kudos to Zach!

Plans are underway to possibly convert the 42 story former AT&T Building in Downtown LA to condos, marking the tallest such project in city history. LA Voice asks the question "How many condos can Downtown support?" The answer: As many as people will buy.

Steve Hymon asks if voters are willing to okay a tax to pay for extending the Red Line from downtown to Santa Monica. Though the Red Line extension is a good idea to help build out the system and make it worthwhile for a chunk of folks to use, we already passed a tax for mass transit back in the 80s but Zev Yarovslasky stole it in the 90s to pay for indigent health care. Lets get that back if we want to build a subway.

Zuma Dogg has the hots for City Controller Laura Chick?

Franklin Avenue reports that Conoco-Phillips will save some of the classic orange "Union 76" balls after all.


Blogger Walter Moore said:

This has been up all day and no one has any comments? Scroll, people, scroll!

January 23, 2007 5:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

When politics get deadly.

Those of us who travel on the 405 freeway with any regularity can vouch for the times when travel on the 405 can be inconvenient, frustrating and down right horrible!

Politicians have been feeling the heat of our anger and as usual react with programs geared more for headlines and photo ops rather than real solutions.

Case in point; if you think the north bound car pool lane, at 730 million dollars is the solution, just look at the traffic in the south bound side. There is already an existing car pool lane and at peak hours, it is still horrible!

My point is that route 138 better known as death alley has been cut from 111 million to 15.8 million. Why? So politicians can look like they are doing something. The funds are being diverted to the 405 car pool lane project.

As the death toll continues to mount, which included the children of a family friend, politics as usual will continue. You political hacks disgust me!

LA Daily News-January 21, 2007 SACRAMENTO - State transportation officials allocating billion of dollars in bond revenues to ease California’s legendary gridlock have snubbed a key project on Interstate 5, where thousands of motorists travel daily through the East San Fernando Valley.

Additionally, a project to widen Route 138, a two-lane highway that provides a popular alternative for Las Vegas-bound motorists, would get just a fraction of the requested funding.

The California Transportation Commission is scheduled in late February to allocate money from the $4.5billion Corridor Mobility Improvement Account - the first round of funding from the $19.9billion transportation bond. “The 405 has regional importance. It also has national importance. So much of the nation’s goods movement occurs on that corridor,” Huffman said.

Caltrans also scaled back a request to widen Route138, also called Pearblossom Highway, which sees heavy truck traffic and a relatively high accident rate. The MTA had sought $111million toward the $138 million project, but Caltrans recommended just $15.8million.
We are going to sacrifice more people for this?

Please read on, if you think a Diamond Lane for those who can afford to pay thousands more for a trendy ride is the answer.

Although generally accepted as a noble idea the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane system is a lot more controversial than most people know. The idea of blocking off what often amounts to a full twenty-five percent of a four -lane highway for cars with more than one passenger has often been shown to be far less effective than had been hoped and, in many cases, even counterproductive.

Meant to decrease traffic congestion and its subsequent pollution levels, from the inception of the HOV lanes in the 1980’s, carpool usage has actually decreased from 18 percent of all cars on the road to a mere eight percent. This is likely a result of significant drops in gasoline prices following the difficult days of the Carter Administration as well as the general decentralization of business centers making the sharing of rides from point A to point B less convenient.

Though there are individual exceptions over short stretches of road, the overwhelming evidence is that the HOV lanes have actually increased congestion, made more difficult the delivery of goods and increased pollution — exactly the opposite of its good intentions.

While opening up these extra lanes to all traffic is the preferred policy of a lot of people including highly respected California State Senator Tom McClintock and myself, other suggestions include the use the HOV lanes to encourage other policy ends such as the use of hybrid, alternative fuel vehicles and perhaps some commercial vehicles. Even then the goal would be simply to allow a logical twenty-five percent of all traffic access to the HOV lane — the same figure achieved by opening the lane to all traffic, only with the extra burden of paying for enforcement.

The bottom line is that, while noble in its goals, the HOV lanes have repeatedly proved themselves not only costly but counterproductive. Once again the “market” is the best means to achieve efficiency, with each individual driver deciding which of the four open lanes best serves their purposes.

Just great!

David Hernandez

January 23, 2007 9:16 PM  

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