Wed, Apr

What Do Congestion Pricing And Dead Animals Have In Common?


ROAD DIET / LA TRAFFIC - What is a Road Diet?  THIS is a Road Diet.  You take away EITHER car traffic lanes OR small business parking spaces...and you give them to The Bike Lobby.  Because the Bike Lobby only cares about Bike Riders, is ANTI-car, and even sometimes ANTI-bus.  Very selfish group of people.  A lot of them don't even live in the City of Los Angeles (Measure HLA ONLY applies to the really screwed up City of Los Angeles) and a lot of them don't want to wear helmets, either. 

So, in my area, they did a Road Diet on San Vicente Blvd (the San Vicente in the middle of the City, not the San Vicente in Brentwood)...so you lost a traffic lane in both directions, which made Traffic worse, of course...but at least San Vicente has lots of lanes.


The Bike Lobby are the same bozos who wanted to rip up the Marina Freeway, near Marina del Rey, by the way.  LA Mayor Karen Bass recklessly jumped in to support that by writing a letter to the US Secretary of Transportation in support.  Without all the necessary community meetings.  Without getting the support of the new council member Traci Park first.  When LA Residents started getting mad as hell, Bass pulled that support.  LA Times published in support of this crazy proposal, of course. 

When Park's predecessor, Venice Councilman Mike Bonin...the Genius who rolled out the red carpet to homeless druggies from other states...rolled out Road Diets in his Council District, Recall Efforts started.  He saw the writing on the wall and didn't run for reelection, knowing he would lose...he claimed another reason, but we all know why he didn't run for reelection against Traci Park.  His residents were fed up with his Progressive Extremism. 

In my area, Mid City West (near The Grove), The Bike Lobby took over my Neighborhood Council.  One time, they wanted a Road Diet on 6th Street.  If you're familiar with that street, it runs parallel to Wilshire Blvd, and is a way to avoid Wilshire, especially while LA Metro is messing it up for years.  Thankfully, David Ryu, Raman's predecessor, knew that would be political suicide and said NO. 

I don't understand how Environmental Groups can support Road Diets.  They make Traffic worse.  Which means more car exhaust spewed into the air.  Even if you have EV's sitting in more traffic, that electricity comes from sources that create pollution.  The Environmental Groups have just gotten way too political and sold out.  That's my explanation.  Road Diets are NOT Green...quite the opposite! 

Cost of Measure HLA will Cause Many Deaths at LA City Animal Shelters 

I've been an activist in the City of LA for Two Decades...and I do NOT drive a car.  One thing I've learned over the years is that LA politicians do NOT care about the Animals in our LA “shelters.”  The City of Los Angeles has a half dozen “shelters” run by the Department of Animal Services.  That department's budget has always been the lowest funding priority.  Once all the Powerful City Unions, developers, and other special interests are taken care of, there's very little left for the helpless animals.  And when there's a City budget crisis, like there is right now, guess who gets shafted?  The helpless animals.  You see, the animals don't have lobbyists and can't make contributions to LA politicians...or endorsements.  So they get killed.  Sad.


Measure HLA will cost Billions (with a B), not Millions (with an M).  At the same time, the Feds and the State are having money troubles too.  So, Federal and State money will be harder to get, for LA Homeless Housing and Services, for Transportation projects, even more so if Trump wins.  Measure HLA FORCES LA politicians to create a  Bike Rider's Utopia at tremendous cost.  If the money's not there, LA politicians STILL have to do it OR the City will be SUED.  That's right, Measure HLA also creates LAWSUITS for the City!  And when the politicians have to cut to the bone elsewhere to pay for it, A LOT of helpless animals will be killed by the City! 

I should mention that the pandering LA City Clowncil and Mayor Bass have been giving out HUGE raises in pay (which leads to raises in Pensions too) to LA City workers, which are represented by Powerful Unions.  Those raises get locked in and this City is in a horrible financial mess, primarily because of Mayor Bass, who seems to seriously lack political courage.  She's living in the Mayor's Mansion in Hancock Park for FREE right now, too, so I think she's also lost touch with the common man and woman...except for her photo opps. 

Los Angeles Traffic and Congestion Pricing 

Historically, how have our Mayors and LA County Supervisors (who also sit on the LA Metro Board) gotten the Public, particularly Valley and Westside Residents, to agree to pay higher sales taxes?  They CUT Bus Service and Intentionally make LA Traffic Worse.  Measure R and Measure M Sales Tax Increases...even more money to the Greedy and Evil LA Metro, which is run by Los Angeles Politicians!  The LA City Mayor has the most power at LA Metro, controlling several Board seats.  In my time as an activist, it was 8 years of Antonio Villaraigosa (who endorsed Bass), then 9 and a ½ years of Eric Garcetti (including a one-time extended term), now almost 2 years of Karen Bass.  Villaraigosa gave us Measure R, Garcetti gave us Measure M, and Bass is gonna give us what Garcetti started, but could not finish:  Congestion Pricing.  Bass also already got us HUGE Digital Billboards on Metro properties (they're coming in the future)...that will open the floodgates to Digital Billboard Advertising Blight throughout the City.  LA Metro never has enough money.  Always needs more.  Mayor Bass is a sellout, just like her predecessors. 

So, Garcetti promised us that the LA Olympics, that he tried to use as a distraction from his Horrible Governing of LA...I mean, he absolutely destroyed this City by rolling out the red carpet to homeless people from outside the City, then finding an Expensive Developer-based solution to NOT solve the problem....it will take DECADES to undo the damage that Garcetti did to Los Angeles.  Garcetti first promised us that the LA Olympics would NOT cost us anything.  Then, at some point...LOL...he said it would MAKE money. 

THEN, LA Metro and the LA Times told us that if we rolled out Garcetti's Congestion Pricing, that would pay for Rail Projects throughout Los Angeles that would be ready in time for the Olympics.  You've seen LA Metro destroy businesses with Traffic For Years while building a single project.  Imagine all the Traffic LA Metro could create if it built all the Big Projects at the same time?  For what?  For the Olympics, a short time event, that Angelenos REALLY do NOT care about.  We're dealing with homelessness, fentanyl, and crime out here! 

Traffic has NOT been bad enough to get over the Political Mountain of turning regular roads and freeway lanes into Toll Roads throughout Los Angeles.  It's not for lack of our LA Career Politicians trying.  Besides cutting Bus Service, at LADOT (which runs DASH buses), not just at LA Metro, what's another sleazy way for a corrupt politician to make LA Traffic worse?  Road Diets for a Few Loud Bike Riders, many of whom do not live in the City, who are clever enough to get support from the Rail Money folks like Move LA's Eli Lipmen and the Big Developer YIMBY folks.  You see, these Three Special Interests can't win alone, so they combine forces and out comes a Super Power!  Throw in the Homeless Industrial Complex and the LA Times and you've got an Unstoppable Progressive Super Alliance burning Los Angeles to the ground. 

And Mayor Karen Bass started office by letting Garcetti's staffers stay on...with one big change.  Her Chief of Staff was a Big Time LA Olympics Lobbyist (he's recently moved on).  Just a coincidence.  Keep walking.  Nothing to see here. 

So What is Congestion Pricing and When Is It Coming? 

It's a concept that is SO controversial “that [LA] Metro Chief Executive Stephanie Wiggins delayed the release of her agency's Congestion Pricing study during the 2022 Election Cycle.” [LA Times]  On Karen Bass' orders?  The Times' Rachel Uranga reported that Wiggins “didn't want the plans out during election season, when the issue would have become a political hot potato as seats were up for grabs on the [LA] City Council and the [LA County] Board of Supervisors and for [LA City] Mayor....”  G-d forbid that candidates should have to state their position on something that almost all Angelenos would oppose!  Better to hide that viewpoint and stab us in the back at a later date! Which is exactly why you should expect Congestion Pricing to be rolled out  by LA Metro AFTER Bass gets reelected.  LA Mayors can only serve two terms.  There might be a LITTLE testing of Congestion Pricing during this first (four year) mayoral term, but seeing how Bass is becoming unpopular with homelessness, crime, and, now, traffic out of control, I don't think she's looking to give voters more reason to dislike her.  And Caruso is considering running against her again. 

We already know this:  [According to the LA Times' Rachel Uranga] “To get this plan off the ground and sell it to the public...it will need the support of someone like LA Mayor Karen Bass, who controls FOUR seats on the [LA] Metro Board....[She] told The Times' Editorial Board last year during a Mayoral Candidate Interview that she WOULD support a Congestion Pricing Pilot Program.” [emphasis added]  Well, of course, she would.  She's a sellout. 

How does the LA Times Editorial Board, under the genius (sarcasm fully intended) ownership of Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong (maybe a good doctor, but has no business owning a major city newspaper and allowing his young progressive activist daughter Nika to meddle with the paper), feel about Congestion Pricing?  Of Course, the Times supports it. (May 19, 2023) Seriously, at this point, you should look at the LA Times Endorsements to decide who and what NOT to vote for...voting OPPOSITE of the way the LA Times tells you to is your best bet!  The LA Times Picks LAST time gave us Eunisses Hernandez (defund the police), Hugo Soto-Martinez (encampments next to schools), and Katy Yaroslavsky [3 of the 4 members of “The Gang of Four” extremist progressives on the LA City Council, the other being Nithya Raman, who the Times has endorsed in this election].  Nithya voted against more money for LAPD, even though response times in my area are typically TWO HOURS.  Nithya also recently made it clear that she's OK with encampments next to schools, including LAUSD schools.  Nice.  Nithya also blamed Toyota for Prius Catalytic Converter thefts.  Really.  Why is Mayor Karen Bass ENDORSING Raman.  Because she's a Horrible Mayor.  There's no other answer to that question.  Rome is burning and these folks are throwing lighter fuel on top of it. 

Oh, let's not forget that The Times endorsed Lindsey Horvath, Nika's buddy from West Hollywood (aka WeHo), for LA County Board of Supervisors, without disclosing the connection.  Horvath put Nika on the WeHo Public Safety Commission.  They both supported cutting funding for law enforcement in WeHo.  That ALSO was not mentioned by the Times Editorial Board in endorsing Horvath, because then she would have lost.  Journalistic integrity and Ethics severely lacking at the LA Times. 

Oh, and The Times endorsed Erin Darling, a Mike Bonin Clone, last time.  Nika Soon-Shiong was an Erin Darling supporter.  Just a coincidence, I'm sure.  Thankfully, Venice voted for Traci Park.  Unfortunately, things have to get SO bad to get voters to set aside the Horrible Times Endorsements List and to vote the right way. 

Who supports Measure HLA?



These clowns from the LA City Clowncil.  The Gang of Four Progressives PLUS Marqueece PLUS Heather Hutt.  Now, Hutt is actually pretty good, and this position is inconsistent with her prior ones.  She is also endorsed by the LA City Firefighters, who OPPOSE Measure HLA.  So why did Hutt endorse HLA?  I think it was just an attempt to get the Times Endorsement, which is clearly not gonna happen.  So, considering that LA Firefighters OPPOSE Measure HLA, Hutt now has the ability to say: “Upon further study, I've changed my mind.”  If you're reading this, Ms Hutt, please flip your endorsement...it's a very bad endorsement right now! 

Who else supports Measure HLA?  That Move LA group, which has a lot of bike groups as part of its alliance.  As I said earlier, the bike riders and  Heavy Rail Money Guys help each other out.  But, more importantly, Measure HLA will lead to Road Diets and Road Diets will lead to Horrible LA Traffic and Horrible LA Traffic will lead to Congestion Pricing, the Holy Grail for guys (I'm holding back the disdain) like Eli Lipmen.  How much MONEY will Congestion Pricing generate for guys like Lipmen to Ooohhh and Aaahhhh over?  Two and a Half Million PER DAY! [according to Uranga and Fonseca at the LA Times]  Straight-out theft from your wallets, Angelenos.  Prepare to bend over and take it. 

That is, if you'll still be able to afford to drive.  And that's the worst most evil part of all of this.  Many Angelenos won't be able to afford to pay the Congestion Pricing Tolls.  That's ok...they can take the crummy Bus Service and overcrowded Rail full of homeless junkies.  Don't worry.  They'll make it free.  That's part of the plan, too.  Bus and Rail will be horrible, but it will be free.  So, of course, it will be severely overcrowded.  You see, fare revenue is only a small part of LA Metro's budget.  Most of it comes from the Feds, the State, and our Taxes. 

So, the roads will be for the Rich, so-called Lexus Lanes, but Limousine Liberals like Karen Bass (who just got here from Washington DC) and Laura “Speed Camera” Friedman (who's trying to go to DC) won't have to worry.  Those Speed Cameras that are coming courtesy of Laura Friedman?  Those are gonna generate lots of dough from your empty pockets too!  But you can be sure that very little (if any) of all this money is gonna go to save the helpless kittens, puppies, cats, and dogs suffering at LA City and LA County shelters and slated for death. 

Who has been publicly taking a stand and opposing Measure HLA?

The LA City Firefighters Union (Where's the LA Cops that are gonna get stuck in Road Diet Traffic?) and LA City Council Member Traci Park, primarily.  They've been the loud ones.  The other ones are shy.  Oh, gotta say thank you to the folks that wrote the arguments or rebuttals against HLA in the City's Voter Information Pamphlet:  John Russo and Christopher LeGras, Director and Co-Director of Keep LA Moving, Jay Beeber, Executive Director of Safer Streets LA, Peggy Huang, and Lauren Matthews, Executive Director of National Motorist Association. 

(“The Angry Angeleno” is the nom de plume of Yuval Kremer.  Yuval is a Registered Democrat; a Cali-Camp, Harvard-Westlake (pre-merger), USC, and Loyola Law School Alum; and a former ballot candidate for Mayor of LA (failing to prevent Mayor Garcetti's reelection) and LA County Supervisor (ran against Sheila Kuehl, Katy Yaroslavsky's former boss).  The opinions expressed by Yuval are his and his alone (not those of CityWatchLA), but will likely be yours soon!)