INDUSTRY (CBSLA.com) — The Mayor of Los Angeles headlined a transportation forum focused on dealing with Southern California’s traffic nightmare Wednesday.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti gave the keynote address at the the San Gabriel Valley Transportation Forum in Industry, urging the passage of the president’s proposed four-year, $300 billion plan to fix our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges.
“That will focus on dedicated multi-year and sustainable funding,” Garcetti said.
Mayor Garcetti said the biggest driver of L.A.’s traffic problems is the growing population.
“We have to meet that challenge by making sure that we have a vibrant economy, that goods can come into the biggest ports in the United States and get to where they need to go, that people aren’t stuck in 45-minute, hour, hour-and-a-half of traffic and never see their family,” he said.
Garcetti said he sees three ways to fix the problem: a better public transit system, more self-sufficient communities and modernizing aging infrastructure.
Leaders from across the region also emphasized the need for a collective voice in dealing with local transportation needs.
President of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments Barbara Messina said funding from the General Highway Trust Fund is part of it.
“This is the first time in the history that fund has been so depleted,” Messina said.
KNX1070’s Margaret Carrero reports more people opting for fuel-efficient vehicles and the fact that the gas tax hasn’t gone up since 1994 have fueled the shortfall.
Metro board member John Fasana said his colleagues may ask voters to extend Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved in 2008 to fund transit projects. He also said every option for improving mobility is on the table, including “carpool lanes, more rail service, bicycles… making our city more pedestrian-friendly.”