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.

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