Are You Bike-Friendly? CD 9 Candidate Ana Cubas Responds

February 21, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Posted in Bike News, Resources | 2 Comments
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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 9 candidate Ana Cubas.

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 was 10 years old when I received my first bicycle – it was a used bike with training wheels. My family and I were very poor and we couldn’t afford a new bike. I loved my bike and soon took off the training wheels. While a graduate student  at Princeton, my only mode of transportation was a sporty Trek bike with a basket where I would put my groceries and books in.

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?

The policies that I would prioritize for inclusion in the Mobility Element would be policies that target specific objectives from community members. I would sit together with community members and discuss what their needs are and what they envision. The specific policies that I would prioritize would be bicycle safety literature and distribution, violator training program for motorists, and LAPD bicycle peace officer standards and training program. Educating our communities about the importance of bicycle safety is the first step to improving transit.

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?

Yes, I do. I plan to work with LACBC and other non-profits to educate communities about bicycle safety and to work with local businesses to become more bicycle-friendly.

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?

To ensure that the implementation of the Bicycle Plan projects in my district, I plan to work with students from local colleges and LACBC to identify which streets urgently need a bike path and to ensure that safety standards are met.

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?

With the help of business owners, LACBC, and other non-profits I hope to increase the amount of bike racks along areas of small businesses and ensure that the Bicycle Plan runs along the most populated sections of the district.

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?

Educating LAPD and the public about bicycle safety is a step that I would take in order to decrease traffic crimes. I would also hold meetings with the help of the neighborhood councils, LAPD, and other community organizations to ensure that high-risk areas for bicyclists are addressed.

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 address the budget cuts to LAFD by collecting business taxes owed to the city of LA. There are hundreds of millions of dollars that are uncollected. These revenues could be used to restore services at LAFD. This would decrease response times.

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?

No, many tax increases have already been made. We need to look into other areas for funding other than taxes.

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?


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?

No, and it is because of the low measures that the city has taken to care for bicyclists. I would work with local community groups, non-profits, and LACBC to ensure that more individuals feel safe riding a bicycle in Los Angeles. As mentioned before, I plan to educate communities about the importance of bicycle safety. After this step is taken, communities and organizations can work more closely to address which areas need immediate attention.

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