Word on the Street: Mayoral Candidates on Progressive Transportation

As America focuses on the race for the White House, the protracted race for Mayor of Los Angeles is already a hot topic.  While I promisenot to bombard you with horse race coverage of local elections, Streetsblog will be keeping a running journal of things the candidates say about transportation, open space and Livable Streets.  This week, we have two gems straight from the mouths of Austin Beutner and Councilman Eric Garcetti.

Transportation figures to be a key issue in next year’s race with Eric Garcetti’s reputation as a Livable Streets advocate, Jan Perry’s impressive record of supporting bicycle projects in her district, Wendy Greuel’s long record as Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee and Austin Beutner’s history of actually riding a bicycle to get from place to place.

Councilman Garcetti thinks more regional planning would make the Wilshire Bus Only Lanes work as a project.  Despite his vote for the lanes, the Councilman sounds worried that cutting the route off at Beverly Hills, picking it back up again after Westwood and cutting it off at the Santa Monica Border isn’t a winning route:

Garcetti's right...this route could make a lot more sense...

The City Maven covers Garcetti’s visit to the Studio City Neighborhood Council:

To illustrate the point that Los Angeles’ government is inefficient and broken, Garcetti pointed to the Wilshire bus lane, which would be a dedicated lane for a Metro Rapid bus from downtown to Santa Monica. The lane, however, will not travel through Beverly Hills or parts of Westwood, and it will stop at the Santa Monica city limit.

“It will fail. It will not be a successful bus lane except for speeding up a little bit for folks who need to get from downtown to where Beverly Hills is,” Garcetti said.

“If we don’t sacrifice, these short-term costs of living cheaply are very expensive,” Garcetti said.

Beutner's right, we deserve a bike friendly city before 2046

Meanwhile, Austin Beutner made some space to wonder why L.A. can’t accelerate its bike plan to make L.A. a bike friendly city in the near-term.

“We want a bike-friendly city. What does the City deliver? A 35-year plan.  It took Tolstoy one year to write “War and Peace,” four years for physicists to assemble an atom bomb, eight years to answer JFK’s call to land a man on the moon, and it took Dick Riordan three months to fix the 10 freeway after the Northridge earthquake. Why is it going to take 35 years to make us bike-friendly?

If you hear or read one of the candidates discuss one of the issues we cover, please let us know.

  • Anonymous

    It’s 35 years because it’ll never happen.

  • Yjdraiman

    The Current elected officials are not qualified to be the next Mayor of Los Angeles! Rev1
     
     
    A good argument against current administration officials running for mayor is that Wendy Greuel who has been in the city council since 2012 and is “all of a sudden” finding problems as controller and as a now mayoral candidate that she didn’t seem to notice as a council member for over 9 years. That Eric Garcetti has been “at the helm of city council for over a decade of decline and deterioration.” That Jan Perry is much like the others she has been in office since 2001. That Austin Beutner can’t possibly escape blame after having run 13 city departments, with the position of First Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive for Economic and Business Policy, as well as General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power 1994-1996. (Austin Beutner has withdrawn from the race). None of them have objected or put up an argument while in office against the policies that have brought Los Angeles to the verge of bankruptcy and total economic disaster, the worst in 8 decades.
     
    And that LA’s outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa makes a strong argument for letting a complete outsider give it a go. An outsider has no allegiance to the political machine.  Los Angeles must start with a clean slate at City Hall. From the current list of candidates, I can see only two outsiders that are qualified; YJ Draiman & Kevin James.
     
    We have an opportunity to elect and put in Los Angeles City Hall a new Mayor and 8 out of the 15 Councilmen that are up for election. This could change the face of the administration drastically and bring about a change of operation, where sound decisions and transparency will be the new mandate for LA City Hall.
     
    The mayor of the city of Los Angeles must be a leader like no other leader, he must be an exceptional administrator and trustworthy. He must have top notch advisers to advice him in bringing LA to economic health. A city of Los Angeles with about 4 million people and spans an area of 465 square miles that has an economic engine that by far surpasses many countries; it is an enormous responsibility and must be managed properly.
     
    If LA keeps taxing its people to death there will be nobody left in the city to collect taxes from. Many people and businesses are leaving the city in droves.
     
     
     
     
    “To err is human, but it takes a politician to really screw things up.”