Mayor Villaraigosa took his "Ask the Mayor" roadshow to KCAL9 last night, taking time out from attending the Chivas de Guadalajara/Club America death match to answer traffic-related questions crafted by viewers, and read by Kerry Kilbride and Co.
No real news made, but Hizzoner did tout his victorious trip to Washington, which resulted in a modest uptick in L.A.'s return on it's Federal tax contributions, from 90% to 92%. The upshot
of that 2% bump is $130 million for extending the 405 HOV lane (segments of which
are now under construction) through the Sepulveda Pass, an influx of cash for various Metro projects
, and, unfortunately, $5 million in life support funds for the dreaded Long Beach Freeway extension scheme
(which has now morphed into plans for a Pharaonic tunnel
beneath South Pasadena).
The Mayor also urged Angelenos to take public transit once a week, restated his belief that expanding light-rail and subway service is essential to tackling traffic, and once again promised to synchronize every traffic signal
in the city of Los Angeles (a promise that Mr. Kilbride gleefully reminded the Mayor had bedeviled his predecessor, who had repeatedly proclaimed his
intention to synchronize the lights).
Despite his relatively forthright answers to viewer's questions (not sure if he ever really
addressed accusations that Metro bus service is quietly being cut), Villaraigosa flashed a Sphinx-like smile and deftly dodged the toughest query of the night: just who, exactly, was he pulling for - Chivas or Club America?