Are You Bike-Friendly? Los Angeles Sheriff Candidate Jim McDonnell Responds

May 15, 2014 at 6:49 am | Posted in Bike News | 4 Comments
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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

Patch_of_the_Los_Angeles_County_Sheriff's_Department1. As the chief law enforcement officer in the county, the sheriff is an important authority for traffic safety education. What would you do as sheriff to better educate both motorists and bicyclists about the rights and rules governing bicycling?

There are many legal tools available to law enforcement that can make our roads friendlier to cyclists and safer for our entire community.  These strategies, that I would aim to help promote as Sheriff, can and should include: improved education as a component of the issuance of driver’s licenses, enforcement of laws that prohibit driving which is dangerous to cyclists and others (including distracted driving), and greater awareness among law enforcement officers of both cyclists’ rights and the inherent dangers they face on the road. The Sheriff’s Department can also partner with cyclist community groups and work together toward more successfully increasing educational programming and public awareness about cyclist safety and sharing the road.

2. Motor vehicle operators have long enjoyed the option to attend traffic school in lieu of paying a fine. Do you support establishing a similar traffic diversion program for bicycle violations to provide bicyclists with an opportunity to learn the rules of the road and increase their safety?

I fully support efforts that can promote the dual objectives of education about, and enforcement of, our traffic laws and would support the creation of a traffic diversion program for bicycle violations. Fines, alone, will not address the underlying cause of violations or promote an enhanced awareness of the laws governing bicycle and traffic safety. An education diversion program would lead to an improved understanding of traffic laws and give the public the information and tools they need to cycle safely and prevent future accidents.

3. Our members have reported too frequent encounters with sheriff deputies that are unaware of bicyclists’ proper lane position or other traffic laws as they apply to bicyclists, resulting in general distrust of the sheriff’s department in the bicycling community. The LAPD has improved relations and resolved conflicts with the bicycling community by assigning officers to a bicycle liaison program, as well as establishing a Bicycle Task Force made up of senior officers and representatives from bicycling organizations. Do you believe there is a need to improve relations with the bicycling community, and if so, how would you suggest doing it?

The Sheriff’s Department has many avid cyclists who could serve as liaisons between the department and the bicycling community. There is no reason for friction between the law enforcement and the cycling community to exist; we all want our roads to be as safe as possible for those who use them — pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists alike. While I enjoy bicycling, I am not an expert on the issues that most greatly concern the cycling community. As Sheriff, I would seek out the perspectives of leaders in the bicycling community – the true experts — and welcome their advice on how to promote an enhanced collaborative working relationship.   I would also look to the strategies put in place by my former colleagues at LAPD as a model for building an effective channel for communication and sharing of ideas with the cycling community.

4. One of the most common complaints of bike riders is that law enforcement officers sometimes lack a clear understanding of bicycle law, and that enforcement can vary widely from one jurisdiction to another. What, if anything, would you do to ensure every sheriff’s deputy has a good working knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists, and that the law is enforced uniformly throughout the county?

I agree that law enforcement officers are often insufficiently aware of bicycle-related laws, particularly as these laws and regulations—and riding practices—vary across our diverse county.  There are state laws, county codes, city ordinances and local policies; these provisions too often vary, are occasionally in conflict, and sometimes run counter to what some riders and others believe are safe practices.  I believe that we can improve deputy training and enforcement of bicycle-related laws and that the Sheriff should work with legislators and other stakeholders to make bicycle laws more consistent and supportive of rider safety.

5. It was recently revealed that nearly half of all collisions in the City of Los Angeles result in one of the parties fleeing the scene. What steps would you take to improve data collection on traffic crimes and reduce the rate of hit-and-run within your jurisdictions?

In Long Beach, we work with private sector owners’ security systems, red light cameras, and other public surveillance systems to assist with preventing crime and identifying suspects whenever possible.  When patterns are determined and certain areas are deemed to be high risk for hit-and-run incidents, we work with our community and increase surveillance in those areas, while also enhancing officer enforcement to more effectively address the dangers that are presented. These same approaches, along with enhanced data-driven strategies, should be used by the Sheriff and his justice system partners to address hit and run and other traffic-related incidents.

6. Bicycles do not respond the same way as motor vehicles do in traffic collisions, and usually leave little forensic evidence at crash scenes; in addition, bicycling victims are often unable to talk to investigators following a serious collision. Do you believe the LASD can improve investigation procedures for traffic collisions involving bike riders, and if so, how?

A lack of forensic evidence necessarily makes investigations more difficult; the inability of bicyclists to talk to investigators due to the magnitude of their injuries underscores the need for our community to prioritize and better address bicycle safety. We should use technology to investigate these incidents whenever possible. It is also very important to educate our entire community about how to avoid collisions before they occur, develop preventative strategies for a safer co-existence of cars and bicycles on our roads, and use the leadership of law enforcement to encourage the use of helmets and other protective gear that can minimize injuries should a collision occur.

7. Is there anything else you would like to say to Los Angeles County’s millions of bicyclists?

I recognize that cyclists are among the most vulnerable users of our roads, that better laws and enforcement is needed to protect them, that cycling is becoming a more prominent part of our transportation system and culture, and that law enforcement needs to partner with the cycling community on a range of issues. While cyclists are understandably concerned with how the Sheriff would affect the bicycling component of their lives, cyclists are also affected by the Sheriff as citizens of the county more generally. With that in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you why I am running for Sheriff and what I believe I can bring to a department in need of new leadership and direction.

I have over 30 years of law enforcement experience, including as the current Chief of Police in Long Beach and as second-in-command of the Los Angeles Police Department (under Chief Bratton).  I’m the immediate past present of the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs’ Association, a board member of the Peace Officers’ Association of Los Angeles County, and a former president of the California Peace Officers’ Association.  I was re-appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and I’ve chaired the Anti-Defamation League’s Law Enforcement Advisory Committee.

I recently spent a year serving on the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, an independent blue ribbon panel that conducted a thorough investigation into the abuses at the LASD. Our detailed report set forth 63 recommendations aimed at bringing about lasting and meaningful change within a department is facing tremendous challenges.  These reforms have become the blueprint for change embraced by nearly every other candidate in this race.

Throughout my career, I have been focused on not only fighting crime, but also preventing it. Working closely with community leaders, I learned how to strengthen law enforcement and community ties to enhance public safety.  Serving on various nonprofit boards and committees has given me insight into how community-based groups improve social conditions that then help reduce the root cause of crime, and how we as police can better work with those groups to magnify that effect. Using my history of working closely with community members and the success that resulted, I authored the plan that LAPD Chief Bill Bratton used as his blueprint for the department’s community policing strategy.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is in crisis.  Over the past few years we have seen 20 deputies indicted by the DOJ for alleged federal crimes, over $100 million in civil legal judgments and litigation costs, and two pending federal civil rights investigations.  Against this backdrop, it is not surprising that the LASD has found itself facing a consistent barrage of public concerns and negative media, including accounts of a department plagued by favoritism, deputy cliques and rogue deputy misconduct.

I bring decades of experience, proven leadership, a record of reform, and an outsider’s fresh set of eyes unencumbered by past LASD practices or internal alliances.  I also have a deep understanding of the challenges facing the LASD from my year-long study of the LASD as a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence.  I have an unwavering commitment to the prompt implementation of all 63 CCJV recommendations. And I have a track record of working with the community to keep our streets safe and ensuring that our law enforcement personnel are committed to the highest principles of constitutional policing.

I am supported by a broad, bi-partisan coalition from throughout our society: business and labor, Republican and Democrat, law enforcement and community advocates.  I am fortunate to have the support of such diverse leaders throughout the county who can vouch for my track record and believe in my ability to clearly identify problems as well as in my credibility to fix them.

Most importantly, I am running for Sheriff because I want to restore the public’s trust and bring renewed faith that the LASD is committed to protecting every member of our community, including those most vulnerable and least empowered. I hope to earn your vote on June 3rd; thank you for considering my candidacy.

Are You Bike-Friendly? First District Supervisor Candidate Hilda Solis Responds

May 14, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Posted in Bike News | 2 Comments
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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

CountySealColor1. 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).

When I was serving in Congress, life in Washington, D.C. was extremely hectic. I was racing from one committee meeting to another, and often times voting lasted late into the evening. Needless to say, I had very little time for leisure activities! But one of my staffers in Washington was, and remains, an avid cyclist and often times he would commute to the office on his bicycle. He knew I needed a fun activity and suggested an office outing to Rock Creek Park. We spent the day riding our bicycles through beautiful wooded areas and along dedicated bicycle pathways. I had a wonderful time and the memories I made on my bike that afternoon will certainly last a lifetime!

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?

The Bicycle Master Plan for the County of Los Angeles is a comprehensive plan and I am glad the community has been involved in the planning process. It’s so important for all stakeholders to weigh in on bicycle issues, so that implementation can be a team effort. I support the overall goals of the Plan and will work to ensure that in the coming years we see safe increases to bicycling through the County of Los Angeles. I will also make sure that as the Plan’s implementation moves forward, we convene Community Stakeholder Groups and provide annual progress reports on the Bicycle Master Plan. As for new miles of bicycle facilities, I believe that as our district grows and changes we should work to meet the needs of the community, including our bicycling community.

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 the Model Design Manual for Living Streets produced by the County Department of Public Health but not yet adopted by Public Works?

In my career I have prided myself in working towards a better environment for children and families across Los Angeles County. And the neighborhoods where we live, work, and commute are where we must start. Unnecessary barriers to healthier communities must be reviewed and I support having our county agencies work together to achieve the common goal of a safer and healthier LA county.

4. Studies have shown that protected 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 Plan calls 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?

I recently saw a news report about a comprehensive mapping project that detailed Los Angeles 2,043 annual bike accidents on a single map. Looking at this map is astounding and I support research that better helps us understand safety issues. Protected bikeways are a great start when it comes to improving safety for cyclists and motorists alike and I commit to reviewing the timeline for these implementation plans. When it comes to adding bikeways in District 1, I would welcome the input from the Montebello Bicycle Coalition, the Pomona Valley Coalition, and the Bike San Gabriel Valley organization.

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 draft First & 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?

When it comes to budgets and fund allocations, I know that unfunded plans are hard to get off the ground. When we look at regional sustainability, I believe that we must look at new ways to connect people to the places they need to go. I support reviewing the current plans Metro has for new transit line stations and will work to ensure that the needs of the bicycling community are heard. Commuters who utilize both bicycling and the Metro are helping the environment and we must make sure they have the resources and facilities they need to continue their environmentally friendly commutes.

6. In Los Angeles County, 34% of students walk or bike to school, while motor vehicle crashes are the second 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 have always and will continue to be an advocate to enhance safety for children and their parents. If elected, reviewing the process of the County’s Bicycle Master Plan and its implementation status will be a priority. I understand the County has started to invest (since 2012) over $330 million over 20 years to increase the interconnectedness of bike corridors and develop support facilities that encourage cycling, through additional bike lanes, signage, traffic calming measures and safety and educational programs. These are all measures I expect to see implemented first.

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?

Measure R was passed by the electorate and as indicated none of those funds were dedicated to walking or biking. Before taking action, I am in favor of including stakeholders and advocates early in the process, to help identify how much of any new sales tax should be dedicated for walking and biking.

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?

My record is clear. I am a staunch advocate of the environment and healthier and safer work environments. The County currently offers a number of incentives to help more employees participate in alternative modes of transportation including metro and carpooling. I would support reviewing current employee incentives and options for metro ridership and additional bicycle parking.

Are You Bike-Friendly? Third District Supervisor Candidate Sheila Kuehl Responds

May 14, 2014 at 11:36 am | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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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

CountySealColor1. 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).

When I was about ten, my little sister and I were playing outside of our house near the Coliseum. I was riding my bike and my sister was riding her tricycle. Some neighborhood kids came up to us and took off with my little sister’s tricycle. I couldn’t let them get away with that so I pedaled furiously after them, like a posse after a bandit, caught up and grabbed it back. I felt like a real big sister and thought of that Schwinn as a horse for a hero.

I was also very proud to receive the Civic Leadership Award from the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition in 2006.

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?

I am strongly in favor of implementing the current Bicycle Master Plan. I believe expanding and protecting bicycle riding is a key component to increasing ridership on public transportation. I would like to see roughly 40 miles of new bikeway being laid each year, that will keep us on target to meet our goal of 831 miles by 2032. In order to ensure that the master plan is implemented I would work with the various departments to insure that the project is on schedule and work to settle any disputes quickly, encouraging public input. I don’t think of bikeways just in the Third District, but as a way of connecting the whole County.

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?

Yes, I would be in support of it, so long as it didn’t reduce the total number of lanes available to vehicles.

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 would, so long as it doesn’t reduce the total number of lanes available to cars. It seems precipitous to suggest specific areas but I would like to see college students have easier access to colleges in the district and in the County, emphasize safety around schools, encourage a straight line to the beach.

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?

Yes I do. I think Metro has really overlooked the ways in which people access transit and I would support allocating money to the First & Last Mile Strategic Plan.

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?

Yes I do.

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 don’t feel comfortable naming a specific percentage, as so many different considerations are involved. I would, however, strongly support funding encouraging and supporting walking and biking as serious modes of transport in the County. I would also want to make sure to fund these modes to a level that improved the safety of those walking and biking.

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 would support this. It is critically important for the County to lead by example and encourage other public and private offices to follow.

9. Is there anything else you would like to say to Los Angeles County’s millions of bicyclists?

I believe you are creating a very important positive trend in Los Angeles. We have to drastically reduce our dependence on cars, and it will take leadership, such as yours, to achieve our goals.

Are You Bike-Friendly? Third District Supervisor Candidate Bobby Shriver Responds

May 8, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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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

CountySealColor1. 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).

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.

Are You Bike-Friendly? Third District Supervisor Candidate John Duran Responds

May 1, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
Tags: , ,

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

CountySealColor1. 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).

FOR MANY YEARS NOW, I HAVE PARTICIPATED AS A RIDER ON THE ANNUAL AIDS LIFE CYCLE PEDALING MY BIKE FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO LOS ANGELES OVER ONE WEEK TO RAISE MONEY TO FIGHT AIDS.  IT HAS BEEN A JOYOUS EXPERIENCE EACH TIME.  2000 RIDERS.  500 ROADIES.  AND 545 MILES OF ROADWAY!  I HAVE PEDALED IN REDWOOD FORESTS, ALONG THE OCEAN, THROUGH THE CENTRAL VALLEY AND OVER SOME QUAD KILLING HILLS!  I AM AN AVID CYCLIST IN EXCELLENT SHAPE AND CAN BRING MY EXPERIENCES ON A BIKE TO THE COUNTY HALL OF ADMINISTRATION.

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 aBicycle 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?

I HAVE REVIEWED THE BIKE MASTER PLAN AND IT IS AN EXTRAORDINARY DOCUMENT.  I AM GRATEFUL TO THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO MUST HAVE SPENT A GREAT DEAL OF TIME WORKING ON THE PLAN.  IN THE THIRD DISTRICT, THERE ARE GREAT OPPORTUNITIES TO ADD BIKE LANES AND BIKE ROUTES.  I HAVE RIDDEN ON MANY OF THEM AND KNOW HOW CRITICAL THEY ARE TO THOSE OF US WHO LOVE CYCLING.  IT WOULD BE MY GOAL TO HAVE THE PLAN FULLY IMPLEMENTED.  PROJECTION CONSTRUCTION AND TIMELINES ARE DEPENDENT ON BUDGET DOLLARS.  THIS WOULD BE A PRIORITY FOR ME AND I CAN COMMIT TO IMPLEMENTING ALL THAT WE POSSIBLE CAN EACH YEAR.  I LOOK FORWARD TO THE RIBBON CUTTING AND RIDING THE ROUTES AND LANES WITH YOU.

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 the Model Design Manual for Living Streets produced by the County Department of Public Health but not yet adopted by Public Works?

I DO SUPPORT THE MODEL.  I WILL TELL YOU THAT I FEEL A LOT SAFER IN A BIKE LANE.  I KNOW THAT THE SOLID LINE DOESN’T COMPLETELY PROTECT ME FROM A SPEEDING VEHICLE, BUT IT DOES ALERT AUTO DRIVERS THAT I HAVE AN EQUAL RIGHT TO SHARING THE ROAD AND REMINDS THEM TO KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE AWAY FROM ME AND MY BIKE.

4. Studies have shown that protected 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 Plan calls 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?

I DO SUPPORT PROTECTED BIKEWAYS.  I THINK ONE OF THE MOST IDEAL LOCATIONS WOULD BE ALONG PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY.  I HAVE WITNESSED SO MANY CAR DOOR/BICYCLE ACCIDENTS ON PCH WHERE TRAFFIC IS ALSO SPEEDING BY.  IT IS A DANGEROUS SCENARIO.  THERE HAVE BEEN SOME PROTECTED BIKEWAYS ADDED ALONG THE BEACH.  IT WOULD BE IDEAL TO ADD THEM TO OTHER STRETCHES ALONG PCH.

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 draft First & 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?

YES.  I ALSO SUPPORT THE CONSTRUCTION OF ROBO GARAGES AT METRO STOPS.  I INTRODUCED THIS IDEA IN MY CITY AND WE ARE NOW BUILDING THE SECOND ROBO GARAGE ON THE WEST COAST IN MY TOWN.  THERE ARE QUITE COMMON AROUND EUROPE.

6. In Los Angeles County, 34% of students walk or bike to school, while motor vehicle crashes are the second 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?

YES.  IT WOULD ALSO HELP KEEP KIDS PHYSICALLY FIT AND REDUCE OBESITY AND DIABETES IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.  I HAVE A HEALTHY HEART BECAUSE I DO CARDIO WEEKLY.  BICYCLING IS PART OF MY ROUTINE.  I WOULD ALSO SUPPORT FUNDRAISING EFFORTS FOR SAFETY EQUIPMENT SUCH AS HELMETS AND REFLECTIVE LIGHTS ON BICYCLES IF PARENTS CANNOT AFFORD THEM.

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 DO SUPPORT ALLOCATING FUNDING TO WALKING AND BICYCLING.  I DO NOT KNOW IF I SUPPORT 12% WITHOUT ANALYZING A FULL NEEDS ASSESSMENT FOR ALL OUR TRANSIT CHALLENGES.

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?

I WOULD SUPPORT FUNDING CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO TRANSPORTING 100,000 COUNTY EMPLOYEES.  THERE MIGHT BE ADDITIONAL INCENTIVES PROVIDED FOR THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO WALK/RIDE BIKE TO WORK OR CAR POOL.  I DO NOT KNOW IF I WOULD SUPPORT PROVIDING AN ANNUAL TRANSIT PASSES UNLESS WE COULD ADEQUATELY SAFEGUARD AGAINST FRAUDULENT MISUSE OF THE PASSES.

9. Is there anything else you would like to say to Los Angeles County’s millions of bicyclists?

THERE IS A NATURAL HIGH THAT OCCURS WHEN MY HEART IS BEATING IN RHYTHM WITH MY LEGS ON THE OPEN ROAD.  WHEN THE SUN BEAMS ON MY SWEATING FACE.  WHEN MY BREATH IS IN SYNC WITH MY PEDALS.  IT IS A NATURAL HIGH THAT CANNOT BE EXPLAINED TO NON-RIDERS.  BUT TO THOSE OF US WHO LOVE CYCLING, YOU KNOW THE FEELING!  HOPE TO SEE SOME OF YOU ON NEXT YEAR’S AIDS LIFE CYCLE.  PERHAPS I WILL BE PEDALING AS YOUR COUNTY SUPERVISOR!   ON YOUR LEFT RIDER!

Are You Bike-Friendly? Third District Supervisor Candidate Rudy Melendez Responds

May 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Bike News | Leave a comment
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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

CountySealColor1. 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).

I have been very fortunate to have had many good experiences as well as a few bad experiences too that have had a lasting effect on me.

My earliest memory riding a bike is of my dad jogging behind me having taking the training wheels off my bike I  think he wanted to be sure I was going to be okay riding without them. I also remember the 1st time I rode a tandem bike I was 7 years old riding with my mom in Eldorado Park.

I think almost everyone who has had a bike at one time or another has had a bike stolen from them and I remember very clearly when my bmx bike was stolen when my beach cruiser was stolen when my 1st fixie was stolen and when my 2nd fixie was stolen but the one memory that may have the most lasting effect is the time I was side swiped by a hit & run driver along the miracle mile on Wilshire Blvd in September 07.’

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?

I would commit to implementing as many new paths and restroom facilities as necessary and support both mta operated & privately owned bike shops as necessary to enhance our current network and any & all future proposed bike paths & trails in the county.

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 the Model Design Manual for Living Streets produced by the County Department of Public Health but not yet adopted by Public Works?

I absolutely support the model design manual for living streets. Los Angeles County desperately needs to adopt the principals outlined in the manual “making streets lively, beautiful, economically vibrant and environmentally sustainable.”

4. Studies have shown that protected 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 Plan calls 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?

In the 3rd district I believe protected bikeways would be beneficial in specific areas in Griffith Park.

I also think other areas of concern would be the cahuenga and sepulveda passes and significant stretches of pacific coast highway from Santa Monica to Malibu.

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 draft First & 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?

I absolutely support allocating transit capital to improve biking, hiking, walking, jogging facilities to connect our neighborhoods to our business, retail and job centers with our current and newly proposed transit lines.

6. In Los Angeles County, 34% of students walk or bike to school, while motor vehicle crashes are the second 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?

Yes

I understand parents concerns for the safety of their children. This should be a wake up call to the MTA that the community expects a Safe Route To School Strategic Plan to be implemented without delay. If I were elected Supervisor which allows for me to have a seat on the MTA board I would expect the MTA to be accountable to communities they plan to serve.

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?

Yes It is very clear with the alarming number of hit and run fatalities in LA county in recent days the MTA must do a better job allocating funds and making improving for hikers, bikers, joggers and walkers in LA.

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?

I support providing “eco” transit pass provisions to all county employees and residents as well as making available safe and secure bicycle parking for employees and visitors to all county buildings.

9. Is there anything else you would like to say to Los Angeles County’s millions of bicyclists?

If you don’t already own a bike consider getting one because I believe you will find that It will improve your health & lifestyle.

Are You Bike-Friendly? Third District Supervisor Candidate Pamela Conley Ulich Responds

May 1, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Posted in Bike News | 2 Comments
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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

CountySealColor1. 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).

There are many milestones parents get the privilege of witnessing.  One milestone is taking the training wheels off.  I will never forget that day when we took off our daughter’s trainin wheels, 10 or so years ago at our local elementary school parking lot on an early Sunday morning.

She fell within seconds the first time she tried to bike, so then I tried to hold on to her bike to keep her steady, but that didn’t work either.  I was actually getting in the way and she wanted me to let her go.   She fell again, and again, and again.  She cried, a lot.  Blood flowed, a little when she landed on her elbows and knees.

After ten minutes or so of falling, she looked at me to see my reaction.  I didn’t say – give up, I reminded her about the Little Engine, and what he would do.  I urged her to just keep saying, “I think I can, I think I can.”  She got back on the seat, started to paddle while saying, “I think I can, I think I can”, and then she fell again.  She looked at me again.  This time, I started singing, “Just what makes that little old ant, think he can move that rubber tree plant?  He’s got high hopes.”

While she was singing, she did it!  She balanced while peddling her feet.  She watched where she was going instead of her feet.   In one moment, she became both independent and in control of her destiny.

As she biked away with me with her new found freedom, I realized that my daughter wasn’t the only one that reached a milestone that day.  It was hard, but I learned to let her fall. I learned to encourage her to keep trying, even though I really wanted her to be safe and not to endure more falls.   On that day I realized it’s my daughter didn’t just learn to bike, she and I both learned how to live a full life.

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 aBicycle 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?

I will work hard and do my best to insure the Bicycle Master Plan is completed by 2020, not 2032.  Why?  Transportation is one of the most pressing issues facing LA County. Getting people out of their cars is an environmental issue because it can reduce our carbon footprint,  a public health issue because it increases the opportunity for better health (we now have a 30% obesity and diabetic rate).  I will commit to implementing as many miles as is possible every year until all 831 miles are completed.

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?

Yes, I support the Model Design Manual or Living Streets and will work to insure it is adopted and implemented by Public Works.

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 have a history in Malibu of supporting bike lanes and if elected I will support protected bikeways and did so along the full stretch of PCH from Santa Monica to Malibu.  In addition, I wish we could look at a bike corridor from the north end of the valley to the south end to West LA.  When we build the light rail, why not consider whether we could allow for a protected bike lane along side the tracks?

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?

Yes.  I support allocating at least 3% of the transit to first and last mile improvements for each new line.  LA County should be a leader in this area.  We have a very active lifestyle and biking opportunity and could be a beacon of hope for the planet on how we can get out of our cars and use bikes to get to work, to the theatre, to the market.

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?

Yes. I will absolutely dedicate funding to the Safe Routes to School program.  I supported one in my neighborhood many years ago and it is a wonderful asset for our entire community – from the children and families who use it to walk to school to seniors who use the routes to safely walk around our neighborhood.

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?

Yes, I support dedicating at least 12% of future sales tax measures for walking and biking.

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 will provide transit passes to all County employees and secure bike parking for employees and visitors at County building.  In addition, LA County should look at implementing bike-sharing programs throughout the County to offer additional transportation opportunities for all.

9.  Is there anything else you would like to say to Los Angeles County’s millions of bicyclists?

Los Angeles is known for innovation in Arts, Culture, Music, but not Government.  We have the opportunity to create a new Government model that is responsive to the needs of the public and the environment.  By partnering with you, we can create a bike friendly society, reduce our carbon footprint, and live a healthy lifestyle – a win, win, win.

We have one of the most outdoor conducive environments in the world, but we have yet to make implementing bike and alternative transportation programs a top priority.

Why can’t we institute a Bike Library program at our libraries?  The Arcata Community Library Bike Program of Arcata, California has loaned over 4000 bicycles using this system.  Why hasn’t LA County looked at a partnering to create a system associated with the new rail lines.  In some German cities thenational rail company offers a bike rental service calledCall a Bike. InGuangzhou in China, the widely praisedbus rapid transit system, under a private operator, is combined with bike lanes and a public bike system with 50,000 bikes.[*] In some cases, likeBarclays Cycle Hire inLondon, the bicycle sharing system is owned by the public transport authority itself.

It is time for LA County to become a leader and an innovator in providing healthy transportation alternatives to cars.  We just need the will to make it happen.  If elected, I have the will and will find a way to insure we leave LA County better tomorrow than it is today.

Are You Bike-Friendly? First District Supervisor Candidate April Saucedo Hood Responds

May 1, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Posted in Bike News | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

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

CountySealColor1. 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).

Throughout my career in law enforcement, I have had the opportunity to be assigned to different details. One year I was assigned to be a bicycle patrol officer. I had a wonderful experience training how to use a bicycle as a way to maintain high visibility where I patrolled. I attended and passed the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department Bicycle School. It was exciting for me to have this opportunity since I was literally able to exercise while at work. I hired a personal trainer to prepare me for the challenge of passing bike school and during that time, I was in the best shape of my life.

I am a past participant in the L.A. Marathon bike race, and rode with other bike officers from various police agencies. I had never participated in such a large event and was happy being a part of such a neat experience. Since then, I have bought a beach cruiser and occasionally ride from the Pico Rivera riverbed down to Seal Beach and also on the bike path in Long Beach.

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?

I will work with other supervisors and community leaders to push for the implementation of bike paths in the 1st paths each year in the 1st permits I would expand upon the 10 miles of bike lanes I have previously mentioned.

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 the Model Design Manual for Living Streets produced by the County Department of Public Health but not yet adopted by Public Works?

I believe it is important to hear what the people in 1st District cities and unincorporated areas want. I will support what my constituents want in each city and area that I would represent. I would personally speak with the County Public Works officials to address why this model hasn’t been implemented. I cannot support or oppose this issue without gathering more information from county officials on the impact it will have on the budget.

4. Studies have shown that protected 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 Plan calls 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?

I support the implementation of protected bikeways in areas that are most frequently used by bicyclists, and in the areas that are recognized as the most dangerous areas for bicyclists.

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 draft First & 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?

I support allocating funds for such improvements. In our area, many people take public transportation because they don’t have a car. The large population of public transportation users need to be represented and considered when funding is distributed on projects. We need to make decisions that aren’t only fiscally responsible, but address the needs of the 1st District residents.

6. In Los Angeles County, 34% of students walk or bike to school, while motor vehicle crashes are the second 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?

As a mother of a school aged child and currently in law enforcement working in the public schools, I understand and agree that some areas around schools are dangerous (due to vehicular traffic) and congested. Also, I live on a busy street and safety is a concern for me. I know the benefits of riding and walking and believe it helps improve the quality of life for anyone. I support dedicating funding for such a project that will reduce traffic congestion near schools and help kids exercise safely.

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?

With me, everyone matters. The type of transportation that works for one person may not work for another. With that in mind, it is important to help everyone reach their destination safely and efficiently. I support dedicating funds for those who mainly walk and bike as their primary mode of transportation.

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?

I am in favor of allowing county employees to telecommute when feasible and using alternative work week schedules (4/10s or 9/8/80s). I believe doing so would not only help eliminate congestion and vehicle miles traveled (VMTs), but improve morale among county employees. I would be in favor of providing secure bike parking for employees/visitors at the county buildings.

9. Is there anything else you would like to say to Los Angeles County’s millions of bicyclists?

Public safety is a top priority for me and that includes making sure our bicyclists are safe. As a former bicycle officer, I understand how dangerous the roadways are. I believe in distributing funds to all forms of transportation and not solely one because with me, everyone matters. I also believe in utilizing sustainable modes of transportation, which bicycling is one of.

As a bicyclist myself, I enjoy riding and being out enjoying nature with all my senses. I feel a sense of relaxation when I ride with the wind blowing in my face and feeling that sense of freedom. When I see groups at night riding their bikes with neon lights, I smile to myself because I know they are having such a great time exploring the city and exercising.

I am accessible and can be contacted at 562-639-0671 to hear your concerns. To learn more about me visit http://www.saucedohoodforsupervisor.com. Thank you for taking the time to read my responses and I humbly request your vote on June 3rd. With your help we can challenge the status quo and make Los Angeles County a better place to live and work.

Are You Bike-Friendly? Los Angeles Sheriff Candidate Todd Rogers Responds

May 1, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Bike News | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

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

Patch_of_the_Los_Angeles_County_Sheriff's_Department1. As the chief law enforcement officer in the county, the sheriff is an important authority for traffic safety education. What would you do as sheriff to better educate both motorists and bicyclists about the rights and rules governing bicycling?

As  part of our community policing strategy, I will mandate the inclusion of bicycle safety as part of our overall outreach efforts within each community we serve.  This will especially be a priority during our youth prevention and intervention programs.

I will task our Traffic Services Detail with specific countywide outreach programs.  I will personally participate in public safety announcements if it will help emphasize our messaging.

We will emphasize the enforcement of bicycle regulations to our field deputies.

2. Motor vehicle operators have long enjoyed the option to attend traffic school in lieu of paying a fine. Do you support establishing a similar traffic diversion program for bicycle violations to provide bicyclists with an opportunity to learn the rules of the road and increase their safety?

I absolutely support equal treatment for bicycle violators.

3. Our members have reported too frequent encounters with sheriff deputies that are unaware of bicyclists’ proper lane position or other traffic laws as they apply to bicyclists, resulting in general distrust of the sheriff’s department in the bicycling community. The LAPD has improved relations and resolved conflicts with the bicycling community by assigning officers to a bicycle liaison program, as well as establishing a Bicycle Task Force made up of senior officers and representatives from bicycling organizations. Do you believe there is a need to improve relations with the bicycling community, and if so, how would you suggest doing it?

I will welcome representatives of bicycling organizations into our department to provide advice and counsel on bicyclist rights and to help us formulate appropriate training programs for our personnel.  I will institutionalize this relationship by establishing a bicyclist advisory committee that will liaison directly with our Traffic Services Detail.

4. One of the most common complaints of bike riders is that law enforcement officers sometimes lack a clear understanding of bicycle law, and that enforcement can vary widely from one jurisdiction to another. What, if anything, would you do to ensure every sheriff’s deputy has a good working knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists, and that the law is enforced uniformly throughout the county?

Through our formalized relationship with bicyclist organizations, we will develop training materials that are disseminated to our personnel countywide.  I will also invite organizations such as yours into our stations to provide training/briefings directly to field personnel.

5. It was recently revealed that nearly half of all collisions in the City of Los Angeles result in one of the parties fleeing the scene. What steps would you take to improve data collection on traffic crimes and reduce the rate of hit-and-run within your jurisdictions?

We will accelerate the completion of traffic collision reports to ensure timely statistics.  We will aggressively investigate and prosecute hit and run offenders.  The obligations of motorists/bicyclists after an accident will be a larger part of our public education campaigns.

6. Bicycles do not respond the same way as motor vehicles do in traffic collisions, and usually leave little forensic evidence at crash scenes; in addition, bicycling victims are often unable to talk to investigators following a serious collision. Do you believe the LASD can improve investigation procedures for traffic collisions involving bike riders, and if so, how?

There is always room for improvement.  The primary means of achieving this is by incorporating bicycle accident reconstruction into our basic training curriculum.

7. Is there anything else you would like to say to Los Angeles County’s millions of bicyclists?

As your Sheriff, I will ensure that bicyclists are welcomed into the organization. You will be afforded a voice in how we work collaboratively to provide a safer and more enjoyable environment for motor vehicles and bicyclists to share our roadways.

Are You Bike-Friendly? Los Angeles Sheriff Candidate Lou Vince Responds

May 1, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Posted in Bike News | Leave a comment
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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

Patch_of_the_Los_Angeles_County_Sheriff's_Department1. As the chief law enforcement officer in the county, the sheriff is an important authority for traffic safety education. What would you do as sheriff to better educate both motorists and bicyclists about the rights and rules governing bicycling?

People tend to learn and apply information only when it directly affects their survival or well-being. There is no doubt that the safety of the cycling public is an issue that needs to be addressed by all law enforcement agencies, not only by the LASD. Traffic education programs throughout LA County strive to increase the general public’s awareness of traffic laws as they apply not only to motor vehicle operators, but to cyclists as well – cyclists who choose to avail themselves of the wide range of public thoroughfares throughout the county.

I suggest that we re-visit the Department of Motor Vehicles tests that must be passed in order for a person to obtain a CA Driver’s License.  As Sheriff, I would lobby to either revise the test to add questions about cycling rules and regulations or add a separate subtest that specifically targets a person’s knowledge of the rights of cyclists on public streets. Some people might suggest that a bicyclist have a valid Driver’s License before using a bicycle on public thoroughfares.  I don’t believe that this is a reasonable requirement for a cyclist. Many folks have migrated to cycling for the simple reason that they cannot afford to own a car or any other means of transportation or for a multitude of personal reasons. Do they really need a CDL? No!

Perhaps we could have a Bicycle Rules and Regulations test created and administered specifically to cyclists which would test their knowledge of traffic safety rules and, thus, hopefully help to keep them safe on the busy streets of LA County (A Bicycle Operator’s License). I would not want to make this mandatory, but make it available nonetheless. Its mere existence will at least make cyclists stop and think about their shared responsibilities.

At the end of the day, we need to be realistic.  When a cyclist is pitted against a 2,000 pound, moving motor vehicle, the end result is predictable. The increase in cycling crashes causing injury and death were alarming when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (in 2013) published the following statistics for Los Angeles County. In 2010, for example, there were 25 fatalities and 4,201 injuries in a total of 4,226 bicycle collisions. Also, in 2008-2009 LA County ranked fifth out of the 58 counties for cycling injuries and fatalities in all of California. A review of the causes of these crashes showed that over half of them could have been prevented by the proper utilization of techniques taught in standard bicycle safety education courses.

In closing, I want to quote Metro Board Chair Diane DuBois, 2013 ,who said, “With bicycling becoming wildly popular in LA County, it is critically important that our cyclists know the safe ways to ride their bikes on busy L.A. streets, whether for work, school or recreation.”

2. Motor vehicle operators have long enjoyed the option to attend traffic school in lieu of paying a fine. Do you support establishing a similar traffic diversion program for bicycle violations to provide bicyclists with an opportunity to learn the rules of the road and increase their safety?

State law treats those who break traffic rules while riding a bicycle almost the same as if they were driving a motor vehicle. To my knowledge, the only difference is that cycling violations don’t appear on driver’s DMV records – with the exception of the DUI equivalent.

Currently, drivers of motor vehicles have the option of appearing in court and paying high fines or going to traffic school but not so for cyclists. We need to consider how the city of Huntington Beach treats cyclists that violate traffic rules.  There the offender has the opportunity to attend traffic school and does not need to seek permission to do so. Likewise, the offender does not need to appear in court if they agree to enroll in traffic school. However, this policy does not apply to cyclists proven to be riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Huntington Beach Police Department’s “Adult Bicycle Safety Program” class takes only two hours to complete and the attendees are charged the nominal fee of $50 to cover the cost of the class. Successful completion of the class waives any other fines or fees. HBPD statistics have shown that between 2008 and 2010 two-thirds of the cyclists involved in a motor vehicle vs. bicycle accident were shown to be negligent, that is that the bicyclist was responsible for the incident. Therefore, the HBPD has elected to help cyclists improve their skills rather than punish them. Moreover, this program has proven that many cyclists are not or were not aware of traffic rules as they relate to safety issues that exist in motor vehicle traffic, especially on heavily congested thoroughfares.

I believe that the Huntington Beach “Adult Bicycle Safety Program” should be instituted throughout the cities and unincorporated areas of LA County under the jurisdiction of the LASD.

3. Our members have reported too frequent encounters with sheriff deputies that are unaware of bicyclists’ proper lane position or other traffic laws as they apply to bicyclists, resulting in general distrust of the sheriff’s department in the bicycling community. The LAPD has improved relations and resolved conflicts with the bicycling community by assigning officers to a bicycle liaison program, as well as establishing a Bicycle Task Force made up of senior officers and representatives from bicycling organizations. Do you believe there is a need to improve relations with the bicycling community, and if so, how would you suggest doing it?

Of course, there is a need to improve relations with a community that is sustaining accidental deaths and serious bodily injury simply by exercising their rights to participate in a form of healthy recreation and environmentally-friendly transportation to work or school. Apparently the relationship between cyclists and the LASD is contentious at best for the reasons you have cited.

A key focus of my tenure as Sheriff of LA County is to restore the trust in the department that has been eroded by the past and present administrations. As part of this focus I intend to improve public safety overall including that of the cycling community. As a 20 year veteran of the LAPD, I know firsthand of the success of the bicycle liaison program and Bicycle Task Force. In my opinion, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, in order to attack this problem. Since the LAPD has managed to improve relations with the cycling community and successfully resolved conflicts and enhanced communication between the two groups, I believe that a similar program should be instituted throughout the jurisdiction of the LASD.

4. One of the most common complaints of bike riders is that law enforcement officers sometimes lack a clear understanding of bicycle law, and that enforcement can vary widely from one jurisdiction to another. What, if anything, would you do to ensure every sheriff’s deputy has a good working knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists, and that the law is enforced uniformly throughout the county?

While the LASD should and will ensure that every deputy coming out of the LASD Academy has a working knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of the bicycling public while I am Sheriff, it cannot mandate that officers coming out of other academies have the same training and coursework  that will enable them to interact appropriately with bicyclists. This situation requires intervention from the California Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (P.O.S.T.) to review the standards that are currently in place regarding law enforcement training relative to the cycling public. I will certainly present your concerns to P.O.S.T. with respect to your observations of differential enforcement of traffic laws where bicyclists are concerned and recommend that they investigate the situation with the goal of improving and implementing consistent and beneficial training requirements. I would use the Office of Sheriff as a bully pulpit to advocate for many improvements, this being one of them.

5. It was recently revealed that nearly half of all collisions in the City of Los Angeles result in one of the parties fleeing the scene. What steps would you take to improve data collection on traffic crimes and reduce the rate of hit-and-run within your jurisdictions?

A means of deterring people from leaving the scene of an accident would be to increase the financial penalties for doing so to such a level as to dissuade persons from perpetrating a hit and run. For those persons for whom a high fine is not a deterrent, there is the option of increasing jail time. Will this work? I am not optimistic. Therefore, I highly recommend that we wait and monitor the data relative to how the issuance of driver’s license to those previously ineligible to receive them rolls out in January 2015 (SB 60). I think this removal of “fear” of deportation or 30 day impounds will reduce the running portion of the hit and runs.

6. Bicycles do not respond the same way as motor vehicles do in traffic collisions, and usually leave little forensic evidence at crash scenes; in addition, bicycling victims are often unable to talk to investigators following a serious collision. Do you believe the LASD can improve investigation procedures for traffic collisions involving bike riders, and if so, how?

As far as improving investigations of traffic crimes/accidents and hit and run incidents, we must rely on modern technology. I encourage widespread use of traffic cams, video cameras placed at intersections and on thoroughfares with a high accident rate and dashboard cams on all LASD vehicles.  Each Deputy should be issued a lapel cam to wear at all times when on duty. Moreover, data collected from all these sources could not only provide the description of the vehicle and possibly the driver, but also could prove to be invaluable when investigating other  incidents, serving as a tool to solve a host of common street crimes: muggings, assault, pickpockets, purse snatching, smash-and-grab, kidnapping, car theft – the possibilities are endless.

Additionally, every law enforcement agency, including the LASD, should be constantly seeking successful, tested and documented programs, protocols, and equipment from any and all sources in pursuit of improving their performance as the guardian of public safety in the communities they are sworn to serve.

Furthermore, it is my opinion that ALL bicyclists should be mandated to wear helmets, not just those up to age 18. Why, you may ask?  This is my answer.  While it is true that this law will never prevent accidents involving bicyclists, especially those who chose to ride in the streets of the cities in LA County, it can prevent bicyclists from suffering and/or dying from head injuries such as concussions, prolonged unconsciousness (coma) and Traumatic Brain Injuries that are frequently the result of a collision with a moving motor vehicle.

The LASD, as well as all other policing agencies, must follow a consistent protocol when investigating any traffic accident, including those in which a bicycle is involved. I strongly suggest that the bicycling community, through the LA County Bicycle Coalition, make recommendations to the LASD with respect to their concerns and at the same time offer suggestions as to how to improve the investigation procedures at the scene of an accident when a bicyclist is involved.

I look forward to your response.

7. Is there anything else you would like to say to Los Angeles County’s millions of bicyclists?

Increasing bicycle safety and lowering the incidence of motor vehicle vs bicycle fatal encounters is a shared responsibility.  While it is assumed that the driver of a motor vehicle is aware of the potential dangers presented when sharing a public roadway with bicyclists, the bike rider needs to recognize the limitations of the maneuverability of a motor vehicle and the deadly force created by that movement.

I would like to offer a few suggestions in the interest of the safety of the bicycling public:

Sign up for a Bike Safety Course and take it BEFORE you take to the streets.

Know your bike – what it can and can’t do and under what circumstances such as weather.

Always remember, a bike is no match for a moving vehicle – not even a Mini-Cooper.

Let a family member or friend know your route.

Keep a photo ID on your person at all times as well as an emergency contact number in the event you are involved in a traffic accident.

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