Are You Bike-Friendly? Third District Supervisor Candidate Bobby Shriver RespondsMay 8, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
Tags: elections, Questionnaire, supervisor
June 3rd, 2014 is the primary election for three critical offices for bicyclists in Los Angeles County. All voters in Los Angeles County can vote for Los Angeles County Sheriff, while voters in the first and third supervisorial districts can vote for County Supervisor. LACBC invited all candidates to share their perspectives on bicycling and transportation with our members and supporters. While LACBC does not endorse candidates, we encourage you to consider these responses before casting your vote on June 3rd.
Find out more about the election and how to register to vote here: https://www.lavote.net/
All candidate responses are available here: http://la-bike.org/vote
A few weeks ago, I rode in my first CicLAvia. I cruised down Wilshire boulevard heading west through the 3rd District. I felt like I was seeing those neighborhoods for the first time through a new lens and it was invigorating. Community is important and the road belongs to all of us.
2. County supervisors have great power to improve the safety, health and livability of Los Angeles County through both their role on the Metro board shaping countywide transportation policy and investment decisions and through oversight of County departments, including Public Works, Public Health and Parks & Recreation. In 2012, the County of Los Angeles adopted a Bicycle Master Plan proposing 831 miles of new bikeways due to be completed by 2032. What would you do to ensure that implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan projects continues during your term? How many miles of new bicycle facilities will you commit to implementing each year in your district?
As Supervisor, I will strive for the goal of at least 40 miles of new bikeways each year and I will expedite “easy” projects such as introducing bike route signage and sharrows in the unincorporated areas. But it is not just sheer milage that matters but connectivity and safety too. I will direct the Department of Public Works to prioritize projects that can be done quickly and will enhance the overall connectivity of the regional bikeway system.
The County can and should do more to foster the development and use of healthy, sustainable active transportation, including walking and biking. Many communities are stepping up and I want LA County to lead Southern California. Funding even low-cost bicycle infrastructure improvements remains a major hurdle. I will work proactively with the County’s 88 municipalities on regional bicycle infrastructure issues and I support an extension of Measure R with a dedicated portion of those funds going to bicycling and pedestrian facilities.
3. County Public Works design standards currently favor high speed traffic by requiring minimum lane widths larger than other transportation agencies. This has created an unnecessary barrier to implementing bicycle projects in urban unincorporated areas, resulting in shared “class III” bike routes on major streets where dedicated “class II” bike lanes would be more appropriate. Do you support adopting theModel Design Manual for Living Streets produced by the County Department of Public Health but not yet adopted by Public Works?
Mandating wider than necessary travel lanes increases average vehicular speeds and risks to vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, the elderly and bicyclists. CalTrans has recently moved away from such lane requirements in adopting the National Association of Transportation Officials’ (NACTO) Urban Street Design Guide. With CalTrans now onboard, I believe it is time for the Department of Public Works to update its lane requirements to facilitate the County’s implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan and allow for Class II bike lanes and other Complete Street improvements where feasible.
4. Studies have shown thatprotected bikeways (i.e. those that are separated from moving vehicles by a curb or parked cars) can reduce injuries by as much as 90%, while reducing collisions and improving safety for all road users. The County Bicycle Master Plancalls for the implementation of such facilities, but none have been planned on County streets to date. Would you support the implementation of protected bikeways, and can you suggest any areas in your district where such facilities should be built?
Yes, I do support the implementation of protected bikeways. Protected bikeways will make bicycling a safer, more viable transportation alternative for residents of Los Angeles County. Major cities across the United States including New York and Chicago, as well as Los Angeles, and Long Beach, are rolling out protected bikeways and the County must do more to encourage the use of this best practice in bikeway design. I will direct the Department of Planning and the Department of Public Works to look for areas in my district where protected bikeways could be implemented, especially around schools and transit stops.
5. Metro is making unprecedented investments in transit expansion across Los Angeles County and spends millions of dollars on building parking structures along its new rail lines. Despite the fact that 91% of Metro customers do not use cars to access transit, Metro does not build walking and bicycling facilities to connect neighborhoods and job centers to the new transit lines. Metro’s draftFirst & Last Mile Strategic Plan could address these access issues, but is currently unfunded. Do you support allocating at least 3% of transit capital budgets to first & last mile improvements for each new line?
There is a clear need for better first and last mile options and I would like to see at least 3% of transit capital budgets dedicated to those improvements. The lack of first and last mile options forces people to rely on cars to get to metro stations which increases congestion and demand for parking around Metro stops. As metro ridership increases, these issues will get worse unless the County takes a proactive approach to first and last mile options. Bikeshare programs will be part of the solution and I applaud Metro’s effort to provide seed funding for a regional bike share program. Metro must also better collaborate with cities so that their transportation spending is coordinated with Metro’s transit projects.
6. In Los Angeles County, 34% of students walk or bike to school, while motor vehicle crashes are thesecond leading cause of death for school-age youth. Many more parents don’t feel safe allowing their children to walk or bike to school, resulting in heavy vehicular traffic at school hours and dangerous levels of congestion in front of schools. Metro is currently drafting a countywide Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan, but without an implementation strategy or dedicated funding. Do you support dedicated funding for a countywide Safe Routes to School program that would improve safety for children and parents, and encourage more biking and walking to the over 2,000 public schools in Los Angeles County?
I believe that bicycling and walking projects require more funding and support a coordinated County effort to win more Safe Routes to School funding for our region. These grants are highly competitive and investing in qualified staff and resources to maximize our chances of winning these grants makes sense. Greater rates of walking and bicycling to school will benefit students’ safety, physical and mental health, and academic achievement.
7. In Los Angeles County, 19% of all trips are made on foot or by bike and 39% percent of those killed on our county’s streets are people walking and biking, yet Metro only allocates 1% of its funding to these modes of transportation. The three sales tax measures that generate a majority of Metro’s revenue (Proposition A, Proposition C and Measure R) dedicate 0% for walking and biking. Do you support dedicating at least 12% of any future sales tax measures for walking and biking?
I am a strong supporter of another transportation funding measure and believe that MoveLA’s 4% for active transportation is a feasible percentage at this time. In addition, I would like to see new revenue sources developed. For example, Metro could introduce demand-based fees in parking structures near metro stops and dedicate those funds to improving first and last mile access for pedestrians and bicyclists.
8. The County of Los Angeles is one of the region’s largest employers, generating significant traffic congestion and pollution around County facilities. Will you provide annual transit passes to all County employees and provide secure bicycle parking for both employees and visitors at County buildings?
Yes, I support free or subsidized annual transit passes and bicycle-friendly facilities for County employees. I am committed to making the County a model of environmental sustainability and see the encouragement of alternative transportation for County employees as part of my broader goal of reducing the environmental footprint of County government and Los Angeles County in general. One of the simplest things the County can do is to comply with the state law that mandates that if an employee doesn’t use complimentary parking, the employer must compensate them for the parking spot at market rate. By complying with this law, the County creates an incentive for employees to use alternative transportation.
9. Is there anything else you would like to say to Los Angeles County’s millions of bicyclists?
Inadequate enforcement of cyclist rights is an injustice and a hindrance to more widespread cycling. As County Supervisor, I will use my influence to encourage the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney and the DMV to take a proactive approach to cyclist safety. I will encourage the Sheriff to enforce the 3 foot passing rule and I will encourage the District Attorney to aggressively prosecute hit-and-runs on bicyclists. In addition, the DMV must be encouraged to better incorporate how the CA Vehicle Code pertains to bicyclists in its driver education curriculum. The County Department of Public Health too has a role to play in educating the public about safe walking, bicycling and driving habits. And large public events should be encouraged to make bike valets available in order to encourage alternative modes of travel to public events.