Are You Bike-Friendly? CD 1 Candidate Jesse Rosas Responds

February 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Bike News, Resources | Leave a comment
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LACBC asked each of the candidates running for City Council of the City of Los Angeles to respond to our questionnaire. We hope our members will find the candidates’ answers insightful into how each candidate proposes to make our streets safe, balanced, and livable. Responses are posted by Council District, in the order they were received. Here are responses from CD 1 candidate Jesse Rosas.

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).

I learned to ride a bike back in the days when training wheels were not common-place. I fell many times, and had to have my mom push me along as I learned to balance. The day I finally was able to keep pedaling after she let go, I remember I suddenly had this feeling of freedom, of control, and of the air rushing past my face. Like I was soaring through space. This experience empowered me to learn things, even if they are difficult or painful, because the reward could be well worth it.

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?

Some of the policies I believe are important include raising the general awareness of drivers about cyclists, and also providing more bike lanes which are prominently displayed both via signage and on the road itself. I think the initiative the city is taking in allowing the community to participate in this change is something to be admired and to be taken further. If we are going to make progress, we need the voices of all the people to be heard.

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?

Aside from the changes to bike lane prominence and increased availability & visibility mentioned above, I think increasing the level of greater community involvement in the cycling community is important. Encouraging events like CicLAvia will help to expand the awareness in the community of the importance of cycling and the fun and life it brings to the community.

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?

I would encourage full participation of the community, especially the business corridors through which new bike paths will run, so as to create a welcoming atmosphere for a project that I will support to its completion. The Figueroa corridor is of particular importance for CD1 and I will focus my efforts toward this project in the Plan.

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?

First I would put up more quality bike racks so cyclists feel secure stopping to enjoy the local businesses. I would also encourage the area to become more pedestrian-friendly by better illuminating crosswalks for after dark, and increasing police foot-patrols so bike theft and walking after dark are no longer large concerns in the mind of the public.

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?

I believe that with increased community involvement and participation in cycling and community events will engender a greater appreciation for others and a more friendly atmosphere, which may lead to fewer hit-and-runs. However due to the fact that there are simply some negligent people out there, perhaps some 24 hr cameras in places with few witnesses would discourage people from committing hit-and-runs. Cameras would be prominently displayed and in hard to reach places to avoid vandalism. This would remove any question of liability and allow officers to pursue certain leads. I would limit this though, because otherwise we start to invade the privacy of the community.

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

I will try to increase the funding for the LAFD, as well as try to influence the importance of a larger portion of their budget going toward equipment and staff that would decrease response times to emergency situations.

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?

Under the new proposal, Property Owners would become wholly responsible for the sidewalk in front of their property, despite the fact that taxes are already paid to the city to maintain the sidewalk. While I think property owners could shoulder some of the responsibility of keeping their property clean, this should come along with a decrease in taxes to correlate with the supposed decrease in city involvement.

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?

Definitely yes to both of those questions. Without hesitation.

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 feel relatively safe to a certain point. I would feel much better if bike lanes were solidly painted on the roads so there is no mistaking their presence for anyone. I would also feel more secure with more bike racks on which to lock my bike.

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