Are You Bike-Friendly? CD 7 Candidate Krystee Clark Responds

February 21, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Posted in Bike News, Resources | 1 Comment
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LACBC asked each of the candidates running for City Council of the City of Los Angeles to respond to our questionnaire. We hope our members will find the candidates’ answers insightful into how each candidate proposes to make our streets safe, balanced, and livable. Responses are posted by Council District, in the order they were received. Here are responses from CD 7 candidate Krystee Clark.

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

One of the most dynamic bike rides to encounter is the beachfront path near Venice. I remember the first time I rented a bike there.  I was entranced by the views and the people watching and was carried away by the salty air.  I assumed the path would eventually end and I would know when to turn around and head back.  That is a very long path.  It got dark, and the rental place closed before I made my way back to where I had started.  I was sore for 3 days after that ride.  But what a great memory!

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

We desperately need to reduce the amount of cars on the road in order to combat environmental, health and financial problems for our future. Bicycling is an important transportation option that needs to be encouraged and will assist the City in meeting many of our air quality and sustainability goals. Priorities should be safe and maintained streets, smooth pavement free of potholes, clear signage and adequate nighttime lighting. We must expand and improve safe enviornments for bicyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable users like the disabled, children, elderly and equestrians.

Most Angelenos work within a 5-mile radius of a transit station. We must integrate more bicycle options into our transit system by increasing rack space on buses and trains. We need more rental kiosks and storage facilities near jobs, schools and cultural centers. Mobility hubs are a great idea. We need to expand all bike parking options. Artistic racks are a great way to add character and identity to a local neighborhood thru useful public art.

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

Los Angeles needs to strive to remain innovative and world-class City in every way possible. That includes the pursuit of a Silver- level Bicycle friendly designation. We have made great strides to rid our City of automobile dependence and we need to act on that momentum.  Infrastructure support needs to begin on the proposed Backbone, Neighborhood and Green Networks, with a focus on the LA River trail system and Neighborhood networks in order to encourage riders that are at a novice level.

We must continue to promote car free days, street closures and Bike to work week.   Advocacy groups and programs will be key to help us create the change we need.  We also must establish bicycling as an official mode of transportation in the State of California.

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

Many communities in my District suffer from dangerous amounts of traffic and car congestion.  I would support reducing posted traffic speeds to encourage safer conditions.  I would increase the supply of quality bicycle parking and storage in all City facilities, schools and commerce centers. Create incentives for car free employees. Include bike racks in the definition of street furniture and increase the bike rack capacity of Metro and Municipal bus lines from two to three and find a way to establish racks for taxis.  Continue the Bicycle Advisory Committee and make sure the Backbone and Neighborhood networks receive top priority.

The City is currently updating the Sylmar Community Plan and bike lanes must be analyzed properly and remain continuous.  We must encourage bicycle use as a healthy choice and continue to raise a culture that does not include cars as a priority.  Bikes are downright “Hip” in some neighborhoods.  Local restaurants and bars have become showplaces for tricked out vehicles.  We need to promote this trend.

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

One of our largest groups of future cyclists is woman.  We must encourage this demographic with safe streets, improved parking options and equipment that tailors to carrying cargo.  If daily errands can be done conveniently and safely, our neighborhoods will quickly become more neighborhood driven and bike friendly.  As we phase out our current parking meters, the existing posts can be retrofitted to use as bike racks. Consider incentives for adding racks outside of local establishments.  We need to require public hearings for the proposed removal of an existing or designated bicycle lane or path.

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

Public education and service announcements are effective in educating the community and the cost is negligent.  Make sure drivers know their fate will always be worse if they run from an incident. Hit and run accidents deserve consequences like mandatory jail time and vehicle confiscation.

Use hot zone maps to determine potentially dangerous areas and make sure those areas are covered by surveillance cameras and neighborhood watch groups.  Increase lighting on designated paths.

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

One way to help our Police and Fire departments cut down their response times is by clearing up the 911 dispatch lines from unnecessary callers.  Education by way of TV and social media will help the confusion of when to call and when NOT to call 911.  Teaching the public proper emergency protocol and alternative numbers for information will save precious time and possibly lives in our communities.

Another way to increase response times is with technology.  We must equip our Fire trucks and stations with the most state of the art equipment available like GPS to ensure the quickest response times possible. Basic street maintenance can also enable trucks to get to emergencies faster.  We need to work smarter not harder.  I will fight to ensure the North Valley gets its fair share of City services.

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

The proposed bond has many flaws.  I was proud of the Neighborhood Council system for standing up for their rights by getting the measure postponed until further investigation could be made.

We must make sure that all schools are exempt from such a tax and that fair and equal distribution of funds will be ensured.  All rehabilitation and reconstruction projects need to serve all road users including motorists, transit users, bicyclists, pedestrians, wheelchair users, equestrians and the elderly.  Changes must be tailored to the unique attributes of our neighborhoods.

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

I will commit to meeting with Neighborhood Bike Ambassador groups on a regular basis.  I am afraid I am a good enough cyclist to be leading bike rides, but I will embrace and promote the lifestyle.

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

I am not a secure cyclist.  Our infrastructure is not adequate for the amount of cars on the street, let alone bikes.  Painting stripes on primary streets is not enough for me to feel safe.  I would encourage buffer zones, grade separations and more turn signals to create less stressful conditions.  I stick to dedicated paths and trails tailored to recreational riders.

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