Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Antonio Villaraigosa

The Villaraigosa Interviews: Coming Tomorrow and Wednesday

3:01 PM PDT on July 23, 2012

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa addresses a question by Damien Newton as Veronica Hernandez looks on. Photo: Barb Solish/Mayor's Office

Earlier this month, Los Angeles Streetsblog editor Damien Newton and Streetsblog Lite editor Veronica Hernandez sat down with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for what turned out to be a long, far-ranging interview on all things transportation in Los Angeles.  Originally scheduled as a chance to talk about the Mayor’s three terms as Chair of the Metro Board of Directors, the interview went long...very long.  Villaraigosa clearly relished the chance to talk on a variety of transportation and development projects.

An interview scheduled for fifteen minutes lasted nearly an hour.  Twenty minutes in, Villaraigosa literally tossed the notes prepared for him over his shoulder and spoke completely candidly.  Twenty minutes later he clapped and gave a broad grin when we mentioned Streetsblog awarded the city an A- for its bike planning efforts in the last fiscal year.  It was, quite honestly, one of the more remarkable interviews either Streetsblog writer had ever been part of.

Joining the Mayor were Deputy Mayor Borja Leon and communications deputy Barb Solish.  They spoke a combined thirty words during the interview.  This was all-Villaraigosa, all the time.  Here’s a sample quote laying out the challenges Villaraigosa and his pro-rail transit allies faced after the passage of Measure R.

“First of all, everyone's making fun of us saying, ‘where's your subway to the sea.’ They forget that we're doubling the size of our rail system, that there's this incredible effort to improve our highway system, that there's all this local return money, that there's all this operations money for buses."

A lot of transportation experts - including Streetsblog - have tried to pinpoint the moment where the Mayor embraced creating Livable Streets; Villaraigosa rejected that framing, arguing that he always believed and always pushed as far as he could on clean transportation issues and projects.

Tomorrow morning, Streetsblog will post part one of a two part series based on the interviews entitled, “Building a New Transportation System.”  Wednesday morning’s story, “The Subway Mayor Triumphant” will focus solely on Metro and the battle to change Los Angeles’ transit system.  We're hoping to make audio from the interview available a little later this week as well.  When it's available, we'll post it on Streetsblog Lite.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Solis Motion Demands Community Benefits for Stadium Gondola to Proceed

A motion from Supervisor Solis would require the gondola project commit to many community benefits - from robust, affordable housing to truly committing to using no public funds

February 22, 2024

SGV Connect 121: El Monte and South El Monte, with ActiveSGV and Libros Monte

Podcast features ActiveSGV's David Diaz on various multimodal/complete streets projects - and Pedro Gonzales on Libros Monte and Mt. SAC's El Centro: Latinx Student Program

February 20, 2024

This Week In Livable Streets

CicLAvia, Metro lower 710 Freeway widening plan, C Line construction, Alternative Traffic Enforcement at Transportation Committee, street racing, and more

February 20, 2024
See all posts