My back to basics agenda is about focusing our resources where they can make the greatest impact. Today, as Mayor and Chair of Metro, I’m proud to announce the new Valley-Westside Express targeting one of L.A.'s most notorious choke points.
The 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda pass is one of the busiest and most congested stretches of highway in the United States. But today, we're launching a way to cut 40 minutes off of your daily commute between the Valley and the Westside -- so you can spend less time stuck in traffic and more time doing the things you want to do. That adds up to two weeks in saved time per year.
I'm so proud that my staff was able to intervene after I took office to accelerate the opening of the 405 carpool lanes. With this new express line, we're seeing another way those lanes are making a difference.
Overall, L.A. Metro is right now investing $36 Billion in our transportation infrastructure to ease congestion, fix our roads, and improve our rail and bus service. All together, it's the largest public works project in the nation, and I’m making sure that those dollars are going directly to giving Los Angeles the best transportation network in the United States.
Find out more info about the Valley-Westside Express at http://bit.ly/valley-westside
My Fellow Angelenos:
As Mayor, I have no greater responsibility than the public safety of Los Angeles. And here in our city, it’s not a question of if the so-called “Big One” will hit. It’s a matter of when. So we cannot afford to be complacent. The known risks – to life, property and our overall economy – are too great.
Los Angeles has always been an epicenter of seismic risk. Now, the action steps in this report will make our city a nation-leading epicenter of seismic preparedness, resilience, and safety.
This package of action steps represents a tectonic shift of how earthquake policy is made in Los Angeles. To this point, earthquake policy has more often than not been developed in the immediate aftermath of a major earthquake. And even then, momentum quickly died out, leaving grave vulnerabilities behind. Today, Los Angeles is addressing our greatest earthquake vulnerabilities proactively and strategically.
Will you join me in fighting the drought?
The history of Los Angeles is a history of water. From our city's founding on the banks of the LA River to the engineering miracle of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, our relationship with water has been inseparable from our growth and success as a city.
With our city now facing a historic drought, the time has come to take action.
I recently issued an Executive Directive on Water Conservation to address this challenge. The directive calls for a 20% reduction in our city's water use by 2017 and a 50% reduction in the DWP's use of imported water by 2024. You can read the directive in full here.
With this directive, the city will lead by example. Just as critical, however, are the actions that you take. That's why I've launched #DroughtHack to help spread the word on strategies Angelenos can use to conserve water. Some people take a bucket into the shower. Some people shower with someone else. Whatever it is you do to conserve, I want to hear about it. That's how we will #DroughtHack as a city.
On November 6th, we'll start a major push on social media to raise awareness around the need to conserve water. This effort will only be as strong as the Angelenos that get behind it.
I need you to sign up to help strengthen our city's future.
We are a city of innovators: a place where artists, entrepreneurs, academics, and creators of all kinds are constantly pushing the boundaries of possibility to bring something new to our city and the world.
That's why I'm excited for Innovation Week. You can find a full calendar of events here.
Earlier this week, our city was the proud host of City Lab 2014, which brought together over 300 mayors from around the world to talk about the urban future. City Lab chose LA because, as one panelist said, "There's something happening here. You can feel it."
During Innovation Week, you'll be able to see it, hear it, and experience it, too. There are events planned all around Los Angeles showcasing the work of a diverse array of innovators. My team not only helped organize the week, we are actively participating, because we want to harness the innovative spirit found in our communities to find solutions to our most pressing challenges.
See imagination put to work at the events listed here.
Thank you for taking part in re-inventing Los Angeles.
To those who lost loved ones 13 years ago, this day is one of personal sorrow. And all of us felt a blow as those thousands were slain. But we are also reminded of the enduring strength of our nation. On September 11, the world was able to see Americans come together, and it witnessed the heroism of our first responders and service members -- who protect and serve on our streets every day, and who are now being deployed into a new theater of war.
While September 11, 2001 was a day of tragedy driven by hate, so many Americans responded with acts of selflessness, courage, and love. So today should also be one of pride – pride in knowing that our nation is still the greatest on earth, that we remain a beacon of peace and freedom to the world, and that the spirit of our people, no matter what the odds, will ensure we will always be a place of liberty and justice for all.
One of the barriers in the way of restoring trust in the DWP are questions about how ratepayer dollars are being spent by non-profit safety and training institutes affiliated with the DWP union.
Reforming the Department of Water and Power is at the core of my Back to Basics agenda for Los Angeles. It is essential that every ratepayer dollar is being spent appropriately, and we are going to make sure that's the case.
On Wednesday, the City Council passed a proposal to more forward with the principles that we've been fighting for -- that collaboration with our city workers on safety and training can serve the public interest, provided there are strict accountability and transparency measures in place.
The USGS has developed a prototype earthquake early warning system that they hope to deploy in California as soon support is received for running the instruments and software. As part of this program, we want want to create apps to deliver earthquake early warnings in a way that will help people use the information effectively. You can help by taking this survey from the University of Kentucky so we can understand how people process earthquake information.
NOTE: Some of the questions are repetitive - this is to make sure you are really reading the questions, so please have patience.
Take the survey here.
You will be asked to view an app simulation and answer some survey questions. Although the questions may seem redundant, we do need you to answer all of them thoughtfully to be useful to our analysis. Even if you take time to consider each question carefully, it will take less than 15 minutes to complete.
Sunset Blvd. is now open.
I want to thank Westside residents, the UCLA community and all Angelenos for your patience as our dedicated city crews worked around the clock to fix the pipes and get Sunset open to traffic well in advance of Monday's rush hour.
Fixing this major artery in our water supply and opening one of our busiest streets was an immensely complicated job, and I’m very proud that it was done with the highest standards of professionalism by our city workforce.
On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, I offer my deepest respect and appreciation to hundreds of workers from across city service, including Contract Administration, Engineering, Fire, General Services, Police, Sanitation, Street Services, Transportation and Water and Power, who skillfully worked together and took great care to ensure that there were no injuries when the water main burst or during the repair work.
Now that the immediate task is complete, we must maintain this urgency and redouble our efforts to make the changes we need to improve our city's core infrastructure and services.
While Sunset Blvd. is now open to traffic, motorists will be required to travel at reduced speeds this week on the affected part of the street. Additionally, this section of Sunset Blvd. will be closed during the overnight hours on Friday August 8, Saturday August 9 and if necessarySunday August 10 so City crews can work on final repairs. The Departments of Street Services and Transportation will have further details later this week.
Those who sustained property damage should visit www.ladwp.com/claims or call (213) 367-4600 for the latest information and forms. The DWP recommends that car owners go through their insurance companies and the DWP will work with insurance companies to waive deductibles.
Finally, I am very happy to learn that Pauley Pavilion will be ready for the UCLA men's and women's basketball season.
For the latest updates from the Mayor's Office, connect with us on the web at http://www.lamayor.org/ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/garcetti and Twitter at https://twitter.com/LAMayorsOffice
Summer is the time to relax, have fun, and be in the sun! We've provided for you a list of exciting activities and relaxing getaways for you and your loved ones right here in Los Angeles. Check them out below.