Posted on

first_imgUndeniably brilliant though he is, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s sense of timing seems to be off lately. At precisely the time when the San Fernando Valley is celebrating the long-awaited opening of the Orange Line busway, Villaraigosa has started aggressively supporting his plan for a Westside subway under Wilshire Boulevard. Last week, even as he was claiming credit for the busway that others got for the Valley, he proudly announced that a panel he had put together to look into the feasibility of the Westside subway gave it a thumb’s up. Thus, at a moment when Vals should be delighting in their new, $330 million piece of public transportation, the mayor dangles the prospect of far superior mass transit that could easily cost $5 billion to $10 billion for well-heeled Angelenos in the high-rent district. There’s no denying that after years of poor city planning, the Westside is terribly congested. And as part of a comprehensive transit plan for all of Los Angeles, a Westside subway is something residents of all neighborhoods could support. But talk of a Westside subway – with no comparable plans for future transit development in the Valley – only breeds regional resentments. The Orange Line is a step in the right direction (and all that the Valley’s notorious weak political leadership could muster), but no one pretends that it will meet all the Valley’s transportation needs. Given that Vals make up more than one-third of the city’s overall population and pay close to half of its taxes, it’s clear we’ve received nothing close to our fair share of transportation investment. Villaraigosa was supposed to change that, not exacerbate it. Villaraigosa campaigned hard in the Valley, promising that under his leadership the city would at last take this community seriously. Part of that promise was a pledge to appoint a deputy mayor for Valley affairs. But four months into his administration, that pledge remains unfulfilled. Meanwhile, promises to the few neighborhoods City Hall has ever cared about – the Westside and downtown – are actively being met. Not only did Villaraigosa sign on to the l.a. live sports-entertainment complex downtown, complete with a $270 million subsidy for a Convention Center hotel, but he also used city regulatory power to handsomely pay off a competing hotel owner who threatened to block the deal in court. And now the mayor has signed on to a questionable program for the city’s homeless that seems primarily aimed at shuffling the indigents away from the billionaires’ downtown development zone – which he clearly intends to help even more with heavy public infrastructure investment in the Grand Avenue fantasy. No one begrudges the rest of L.A. its due. All parts must be healthy for this one city to thrive. But so far, Villaraigosa hasn’t shown the Valley (or the Eastside or Southside) a whole lot of interest, and that just isn’t smart – or right. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *