Ahead of the Curve: Zuma Dogg Responds to CD 2 Questionnaire

7_31_09_zuma.jpgZuma Dogg at the KNBC studios during the Mayoral race. Photo: David Markland/Flickr

Homeless advocate and wasteful spending watchdog David "Zuma Dogg" Saltzburg apparently wanted a head start on the pack when it comes to answering the Streetsblog questionnaire for Council District 2 candidates to succeed Wendy Greuel. Zuma didn't wait for the questionnaire to be emailed, or even finished. Instead, he left his answers in the comments section.

His answers can be found after the jump.  For more on Zuma Dogg, check out his website and the popular L.A. Daily Blog.

1) When you commute to work, how do you do it?  What percentage of the trips that you take don't involve an automobile?

It's a mix of bus and car for ZD, with a lot of rides with friends places when possible. When my car is broke, I rely on the bus more for periods. But I ain't gonna lie, if I'm councilmember, I'll probably never take the bus anymore. You can't waste that much time when you are on taxpayer dollars.

2) Over the past year, a number of surface streets in the valley have had their speed limits raised.  Are these increases a result of the natural order, or an interest that needs to be addressed?  What, if anything can be done to reverse these changes?

Briefly, it's based on driving surveys they take in the area. It's based on averages of how fast people actually drive versus the actual speed limit. So people always speed; so the limit gets inched up. It DOES have to be addressed, because in many cases, the speeds can become a little too inappropriate for the area. I have learned about this through my discussions with CM Grieg Smith who educated me to this issue.

3) The city is currently studying leasing the rights to its parking meters and certain parking garages for a large cash payment up front. Do you support this kind of financing ideas, and if so what kind of conditions should be part of any agreement with a private firm?

NO. A MUCH better deal should for the CITY, not the bankers who are investing in the deal. It'll be a giveaway. The city will get ONE short term payment to fill a ONE TIME hole...and we will be in the same crisis the next year, and will have lost the long-term revenues these garages and meters generate. NO!

4) What can the City Council do to reduce and prevent fatal crashes involving pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable users?

HUGE ISSUE WITH ME. Because my BIGGEST traffic pet peeve relates to this. I FIND IT ODD THAT YOU HAVE PEDESTRIANS/CYCLISTS sharing the same traffic signal as AUTOMOBILES. You have cars competing to make turns, with pedestrians who are in their way. Think about it. Gotta time the signal out differently. YOU JUST HAVE TO. IT'S A TRAFFIC CONGESTION ISSUE, TOO!

5) The former Council Woman for CD2, Wendy Greuel, chaired the Transportation Committee. Do you want to be part of the Transportation Committee?

I don't know about which committees yet. But that's a good one if you can get it!]

6) One of the ways that a City Council Member can effect change for non-motorized users is by appointing informed activists to the city's Bicycle Advisory Committee and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Are you familar with community activists who could best serve an appointed position on these committees?

You should have one of those people run for City Council!

7) If you could change one thing about transportation in Los Angeles with the wave of a magic wand, what would it be?

Less cars on the road. (Rim shot!) But seriously, I DO think the issue of cars having to wait for pedestrians to cross the road on the same signal IS CRAZY!!! A car will spend the entire cycle waiting for the pedestrians to clear, then the light turns red and you have to go against the red light just for one car to get through, after the fact. THAT'S THE RISK TO PEDESTRIANS, CYCLISTS...AND CREATES TRAFFIC CONGESTION. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!