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CD4 Race: The Candidates Take on Traffic

LOS FELIZ LEDGER-With the Los Angeles City Council District 4 election just six months away, the Ledger will look closely each month until the March 2015 election on where the candidates stand on some key issues, like Los Angeles Police Dept. raises, homelessness, crime and the state of the Los Angeles Unified School District. 

For our first installment, we ask each candidate, if elected, how would they approach solving Los Angeles’ traffic problem. To create parity amongst the candidates, each month we will alphabetize their answers (this month they are listed A-Z). 

For candidate Tara Bannister, her solution is using new technological know-how to unsnarl congestion. 

“Traffic is about people, not cars,” she said. “In order to mitigate traffic concerns… we must use new technology and modern planning solutions to improve traffic in all neighborhoods, but specifically along Los Feliz Boulevard.” 

Candidate Teddy Davis prides himself walking the district, before any other candidates, meeting neighbors at their homes face to face. He says in his months of doing so, traffic comes up as one of the leading issues on people’s minds. 

Specifically for problem area Los Feliz Boulevard, he said we need to see a “stepped-up effort” to better synchronize traffic lights.” 

“You hit light after light after light,” he said. “And it impedes traffic on Hillhurst, Vermont and Commonwealth as well.” 

More broadly, Davis said he would work to expand Los Angeles transit, specifically, in one case by building a north-south Metro line from the San Fernando Valley on the 405 Freeway to Los Angeles International Airport. 

For this, Davis advocates for a 45-year countywide half-cent sales tax, the so-called “Move L.A. R2 Proposal,” expected on 2016 ballots to fund such transit improvements, which, if approved, would generate $90 billion. 

He also is campaigning for more parking and “rideshare” options at existing transit stations. 

“It’s shortsightedness when we spend money for public transit but don’t go the extra step to make sure there’s adequate parking,” he said. “The first mile and last mile of transit are critical. If you can’t get that final mile home it doesn’t help. That’s what makes for a functional transit system.”

Candidate Shelia Irani agrees. 

For that last-mile problem she said she proposes an Uber-inspired idea called “demand-response vanpooling.” 

As with Uber, riders, she said, would use their smartphones to summon a ride. Unlike Uber, however, she said a computer algorithm could then determine how to best group together a handful of riders in the same area that would then get picked up by a van and dropped off at their destination. Irani suggests riders might pay with their bus passes, with the county running or contracting out the van service.  (Read the rest here) 

-cw

 

CityWatch

Vol 12 Issue 71

Pub: Sep 2, 2014