LOS ANGELES - L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed viewers' top concerns on this week's edition of Eyewitness Newsmakers. Those concerns focused on issues surrounding the growing homeless population and how to increase affordable housing.
Garcetti said if there were an earthquake that left 50,000 homeless, there would be a way to house them. The city is looking at creative ideas to get people off sidewalks and roadways. He said the city has identified 12 vacant lots that could serve as pop up areas for the homeless to camp. They are also looking at vacant buildings, and repurposing temporary classrooms.
He said the city is ahead of schedule on 100,000 affordable units. He urged the CIty Council to approve his proposed linkage fees for high-end developers to pay into an affordable housing fund.
The mayor also addressed speculation he's looking at the White House, after announcing he won't run for governor and endorsing Diane Feinstein's Senate re-election bid. Garcetti said he's not considering running for President.
He is in favor of the gas tax increase, saying it will cut the $700 yearly vehicle repairs motorists pay from California's crumbling roads.
The mayor still supports bike lanes, but admitted sometimes they don't work and need to be removed, like they were in Playa del Rey, if traffic worsens and bicyclist safety decreases.
Responding to citizen complaints that their sidewalks are not being repaired in a timely fashion, the mayor said Los Angeles is catching up on a 100 year backlog. Until the 70s, homeowners were responsible for their own sidewalk repair and likely not much was done.
For a while, the city had some federal money for repairs, and when that money ran out, repair stopped. L.A. has committed $31 million to repair this year and has a 20 year schedule.
If sidewalks need city attention, the mayor said to write in on this website: Sidewalks.lacity.org