Big news in LA politics — every major candidate for mayor goes on the record as supporting bicycling
This is huge.
For the first time I’m aware of, every major candidate for mayor of Los Angeles is on the record for their stands on bicycling issues. Or rather, their support of bikes.
The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has managed to get all five leading candidates to complete an in-depth questionnaire on the questions facing the local cycling community.
And surprisingly — or maybe not so surprisingly, given the audience they’re speaking to — every one of the five has come out strongly in favor of bicycling as a key part of the city’s transportation future.
I’m not going to tell you what I think about each one. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s important to be able to work with the winner once the election is over — which isn’t always possible if you’ve come out in favor of his or her opponent. But I will tell you that, from my perspective, two of the responses are head and shoulders above the rest — and not the ones I expected going into this.
I’ll let you read them yourself, and make your own decisions. But you owe it to yourself to read each one before you cast your ballot next month or decide who to support. You also owe it to me, and every other bike rider in the City of Angels. Because the future of bicycling in L.A. depends on who wins that election.
And that depends on you.
Here are the links to the surveys, in the order they were returned to the LACBC.
“Los Angeles should be a leader in innovative bikeway design and programs both for cyclists and pedestrians. I will pursue improvements that will elevate the bikeability of Los Angeles… I will build a network of separated and protected bikeways so that existing and new riders feel safe. This network will effectively connect neighborhoods to retail, educational and cultural institutions and we will start to see ridership grow.”
“Over the past few years, we have made great strides in making our city bicycle-friendly. From instituting new green bike lanes, to installing more bike racks, to parklettes, to larger initiatives like our bike plan—we are moving in the right direction. I would continue this momentum and look to leverage local dollars with state and federal dollars to see these initiatives expand tenfold throughout the city.”
“People aren’t walking or biking because they have to travel so far for food, work, and school. We need to focus on high impact investment in communities, so people can live and work close to their homes if they choose. If people’s needs are met close to home, they will be able to walk. Part of that investment needs to be in the quality of our streets. Some places in South LA, East San Fernando Valley, and the Eastside of LA don’t even have sidewalks.”
“As Mayor, I will approach cycling as a key part of our city’s transportation system. First of all, bicycles are already on our streets, and we must address that fact in terms of infrastructure, safety and planning. Looking ahead, our next Mayor must support bicycling as a viable option for short trips and as a way to link with public transit.”
“Disappointment surrounding LA’s transportation options generally, and the implementation of the city’s bike plan specifically, is understandable. Yet even with such frustration among Angelenos, our City leaders have failed to deliver efficient and effective transit… The days of poor planning, shady bidding, irresponsible outreach, failed implementation, cost overruns, construction delays, and the lack of a common sense approach to smart transit must end – and will end with my administration.”
Let’s give credit where it’s due.
These questions were prepared and submitted primarily by LACBC Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins, in conjunction with the new Civic Engagement Committee. And yes, that’s the committee I chair. And no, I don’t take credit for this. It was a group effort, with Eric doing the lion’s share of the work. And it’s a perfect example of why you should be a member, if you’re not already.
You can hear the candidates discuss the issues in Tuesday’s mayoral debate broadcast by KPCC. Streetsblog looks at the barely contested race in Council District 5, where incumbent Paul Koretz faces little known opponent Mark Herd; rule number one in L.A. politics is incumbents almost never lose. Agoura Hills considers expanding the Chesebro overpass and adding bike lanes over the 101 Freeway. Pomona Valley cyclists are invited to join LACBC affiliate chapter Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition, which is celebrating it’s first anniversary. Three former CA governors call for reforming CEQA. New bike lanes are on the agenda in Palm Springs.
Finally, you never have to ride alone again.
+ via BikinginLA / Ted Rogers