Angelenos have always had an ambivalent relationship with automobiles, with many residents enamored with the freedom their cars allow, yet at the same time agitated with never-ending congestion on the city’s major freeways. Decades of frustration haven’t yet dethroned the car as king of Los Angeles, but Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has made great strides to ensure that locals give alternative methods of transportation a chance.
Villaraigosa was recently highlighted in a January issue of Rolling Stone on his efforts to pass Measure R— a half-cent increase on sales tax that will provide $35 billion worth of funding for major transportation improvements throughout the city. He hopes the measure will create jobs and reduce L.A.’s current 14% unemployment rate. Villaraigosa is also headed to Washington this week to speak at the U.S. Conference of Mayors to discuss a major transportation spending bill that recently stalled in Congress.
Before Villaraigosa presents his case in Washington, he will join Monitor Breakfast journalists to discuss the economic health of major cities across the country.