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Mayor Eric Garcetti Thinks A Monorail Might Be The Answer To L.A. Traffic

A monorail in Okinawa. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons.)
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Anyone who's driven the 405 at rush hour can attest to the freeway's maddening levels of traffic. In a radio interview on Tuesday, Mayor Eric Garcetti suggested an inventive solution to the city's enduring traffic problem—a monorail connecting the Westside to the San Fernando Valley. During his regular "Ask The Mayor" segment on KNX-AM, Garcetti noted that an elevated light-rail system might be more effective than above-ground trains in traversing the Sepulveda Pass.

This isn't the first time a monorail has been touted as the solution to L.A. traffic; in 1960, $539 million was allocated by the city to create more than 70 miles of elevated rail over Wilshire Boulevard, the LA Times reports. The plan ultimately stalled, though, despite sci-fi author and Los Angeles-based non-driver Ray Bradbury's campaign to "tell people about the promise of the monorail."

On KNX-AM, Garcetti praised the efficiency of a new monorail system in China, pointing to evolving technology from BYD Motors—a Chinese electric car and bus company that opened a North American headquarter in Downtown L.A. in 2011—as an improvement that could make the future of the Los Angeles monorail more viable.

If you're already humming The Monorail Song from The Simpsons in anticipation, don't get too excited; a spokesperson for Mayor Garcetti's office told LAist that the mayor's monorail idea was a casual suggestion, delivered during a conversation about potential ways to improve public transportation in Los Angeles. Still, getting even the beginnings of a monorail system up and running in Los Angeles would constitute a major win for Garcetti, who's not not considering a 2020 presidential run. Hey, if he can provide a solution to L.A. traffic, we're willing to elect him Mayor of Earth.