Are You Bike-Friendly? CD 13 Candidate Michael Schaefer Responds

February 21, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Posted in Bike News, Resources | Leave a comment
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LACBC asked each of the candidates running for City Council of the City of Los Angeles to respond to our questionnaire. We hope our members will find the candidates’ answers insightful into how each candidate proposes to make our streets safe, balanced, and livable. Responses are posted by Council District, in the order they were received. Here are responses from CD 13 candidate Michael Schaefer.

1. Please share a memory involving a bicycle that has had a lasting effect on you (whether or not you were the one on the bicycle).

First learning to ride, down slightly sloaping streets in Hillcrest/San Diego, could not stop so ended up crashing onto a lawn. No trouble after that.

2. The Department of City Planning is in the process of updating the City’s Mobility Element for the first time in decades.  What policies would you prioritize for inclusion in the Mobility Element?  What role do you see bicycling playing in the City’s transportation system, if any?

We need more bike lanes and the lanes command more respect from motorists; in my door to door visits in Atwater ran into some young Armenians who are bike advocates and chatted me up on issues, and assured them my door was open to get-things-done if I have the honor to serve.

3. Just a few months ago, Los Angeles was honored as a Bronze-level Bicycle-Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Do you believe the city should pursue a Silver-level designation, and if so, what steps would you take in the first year of your term to move LA up to the Silver level?

Am not that familiar with the possibilities, the alternatives, but we are a huge worldclass city, maybe 8 million in our county, and we should set the standard for urban areas.

4. In 2011, the City Council unanimously adopted the Bicycle Plan proposing a comprehensive 1,600-mile bikeway network across the City.  What steps would you take to ensure implementation of Bicycle Plan projects in your district?  Are there any specific projects in the Plan you would prioritize?

Have not seen the plan.  My district includes Griffith Park and Hollywood, both great areas for cycling.  I have travelled extensively in Europe and Asian and know that foot-strength is much more of a protected and promoted part of urban live there.

5. Studies have shown that people on bicycles spend more per month in local business districts than those arriving by other modes.  What steps would you take to ensure that local businesses in your district are able to benefit from better access by bicyclists?

Must be expanded bike-racks accessible to those patroning businesses, have these in  commercial parking lots but without fees, and bike-accessible should be included in advertising; maybe the bike locks can come with some securing device so bikers without a lock can feel comfortable storing their bike for an hour.

6. The LA Weekly recently wrote a feature story documenting that almost half of traffic collisions in the City of LA are hit-and-runs, according to LAPD records.  Many victims of these traffic crimes are people walking and bicycling.  What steps would you take to reduce the rate of hit-and-run and ensure perpetrators are prosecuted?

Was not aware of any hesitation to prosecute, if this is the case would talk to a vigilant media and seek editorial support.

7. In the event of a collision, the survival of those injured could depend on a prompt emergency response, yet it’s recently been disclosed that response times for the Los Angeles Fire Department frequently exceed national standards. What would you do to address budget and staffing cutbacks affecting the LAFD to ensure a faster response for all those who need emergency assistance?

I think both police and fire responses to incidents assure prompt attention to any traffic injury where minutes can make difference between life and death or disabilitating injury.

8. A recent proposal has been floated to assess all property owners to bring streets into a state of good repair.  Do you support the proposed bond measure, and do you believe any changes should be made to the proposal to serve all those who travel on city streets, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users?

I support the bond measure, curing the serious sidewalk tree-uprootings would make bike travel safer and more popular for those on sidewalks or adjacent to uprooting tree growth.  Was not aware that travellers who not in mind of those doing the goodworks.

9. LACBC has formed Neighborhood Bike Ambassador groups in each part of the City to work with local businesses, neighborhood councils, homeowner associations and other stakeholders on bicycle issues. Will you commit to meeting with the local Ambassador group in your district on a regular and ongoing basis? Would you be willing to lead a regularly scheduled bike ride with your constituents?

Would be open to joining in a bike ride, have had several paper routes bike-serviced, and my two sons have too, and I saw six bikes on a subway car over lunch hour today so know that our subway and bus system opens of extended travels for bikers.

10. Would you presently feel safe riding a bike in Los Angeles, and if not, what would it take to make you feel comfortable on our city streets?

Yes, would feel, as I stop look and listen, and proceed with diligency so as to not impede pedestrian or vehicle traffice.   With high gas prices I think bikes are going to be more important in our urban growth; we tend to focus on Foot Marathons/Races, more should be done for bike competition.  A large number of our residents, perhaps half, come from countries where bike travel is more important/numerous than auto traffic, so we must accommodate.I would encourage whomever is Mayor to put his or her prestige on the line to maximize public attention to bike events.  More bike racks everywhere is important to encourage bike travel with bike-security not a concern at arrival.

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