1. Los Angeles Metro is constructing and planning multiple transit lines through CD4, including the Purple Line extension, the East Valley Transit Corridor, the Sepulveda corridor line, and the northern extension of the Crenshaw Line. How do you plan to solve the first mile/last mile problem and connect riders to these lines?
As a regular DASH-to-the-Red-Line rider myself, I will advocate for low-cost DASH routes to service all these lines, and I am following with interest the LANow shuttle pilot that is operating on the Westside. I will also insist upon dockless bike and scooter rentals at each station, as well as bike corrals. Most importantly, I will be a champion for creating a network of protected bike lanes across the district that could safely deliver cyclists and scooter-riders to and from these lines.
All Angelenos and visitors to our city should be able to access transit without relying on cars (and parking lots). I would prefer we holistically create a plan to solve first mile/last mile issues rather than let commercial rideshare solely fill the void. As our city holds the distinction for having the worst air quality in the nation, we must do all we can to make public transit convenient, and affordable – or free – to fight the effects that vehicle pollution has wrought on our public health. We must act locally to stall climate change.
2. News outlets are reporting that 242 Angelenos were killed in car crashes in 2018, showing that L.A. has failed to make significant progress towards Vision Zero since adopting the policy in 2015. Why do LA’s streets remain so deadly by design? What would you do to make them safer?
L.A. streets remain dangerous because they prioritize cars over people, at the cost of all other modes of transit, from bus and train, to bike, scooter, and foot travel.
Speed limits are too high, too many roads function as busy highways cutting through our neighborhoods. Drivers go many long blocks without crosswalks, stop signs, or stop lights to slow them. Not only is car travel less safe on these fast-moving roads, but because of the drastic lengths between safe crossing points, pedestrians, cyclists, and scooter-riders are encouraged to dash across moving traffic.
This continued focus on cars over people has led us to build out roadways to accommodate even more cars, and create more congestion. Frustrated drivers take dangerous maneuvers through traffic to save time, putting everyone around them at risk.
Our current leadership knows Vision Zero is meant to alleviate these problems – but they have repeatedly bowed to political pressure over the safety of our residents.
I will fight to make our streets safer by adding more safe crossings for pedestrians, especially in our commercial districts, to encourage people to walk and shop. I will champion protected bike lanes, in a contiguous network throughout the city. I will work with Metro to create protected bus lanes. And I will do all I can to support efforts at the state level to give us more control over our municipal street speeds.
Safer streets save lives, period. Plus they make commuting through this city simpler for all Angelenos.
3. Los Angeles’ traffic woes are compounded by the reality that many parents and students don’t feel safe allowing their children to walk or bike to school. Why do you think this is? What would you do as councilmember to improve active transportation options around schools?
As a mother of four kids, I think it is unacceptable that children continue to die while walking to school in this city. Traffic moves too quickly down many of our streets. Our sidewalks are often narrow, cracked, and absent of tree-cover, creating unsafe conditions for pedestrians. The majority of our existing bike lanes are no safer. I am in favor of traffic calming measures throughout the city, and especially near our schools.
- Our schools should all be serviced by our network of protected bike lanes so that parents and children can bike to and from school.
- When examining where to plant new trees, school zones should be a priority, to encourage students and their parents to commute by foot.
- Crosswalks near school property should be signaled and lit. I will also pursue other strategies, including crosswalks painted with 3-D effects that make flat paint appear to be solid barriers.
- School-zones should feature stop signs and crosswalks at every corner within the legislated area of the school-zone, but we should also consider expanding that practice beyond the posted zone, keeping traffic moving more slowly in a wider radius to our schools.
4. Neighborhood councils in CD4, including Silver Lake, Mid City West, and Los Feliz, have all shown strong support for a more bikeable CD4. Despite this, the few bike lanes in CD4 are discontinuous and dump riders out into dangerous thoroughfares. What do you see as the impediments to building out the adopted Mobility Plan 2035’s network of bike infrastructure? Which of the connections in CD4 do you see as a priority and will you push for as councilmember?
I will champion Mobility Plan 2035 even in the face of negative public opinion because I am committed to making all streets in Council District 4 safe. I will not be deterred by a loud minority when it comes to making choices that will improve the community for everybody.
If each community has a school, a business district, or a park, then we should plan for safe bike and pedestrian travel to, from, and around those places. These efforts will keep Angelenos safe and connected to their community. Increased foot and bike traffic in our communities is a boon to public health, mental health, and business, too.
To successfully build out a network of protected bike lanes, I will prioritize streets in the High Injury Network first.
I see Silver Lake / Los Feliz as the logical place to start. The existing road diet on Rowena has engendered some political support, which has, in turn, led the push for more improvements. By doing more work here, we will show the rest of the district, and the city, how much safer our streets can be.
SILVER LAKE / LOS FELIZ
- I’d extend the road diet on Rowena/Lakewood to Glendale Boulevard and Fletcher – this could be done without much disruption to traffic flow and would also connect the bike lanes on Silver Lake Blvd to Rowena (and ideally, to Atwater).
- The bike lanes on Silver Lake Blvd from Glendale to Van Pelt should be protected lanes. This easy improvement will reap great rewards in public opinion, which will allow for more work.
- I’d push for bike lanes on Glendale & Fletcher to the LA River Path (see 5A).
- Mobility Plan 2035 calls for bike lanes on Hyperion. The street may be too narrow to support parking-protected bike lanes, but we do need to connect the lanes on Rowena to Griffith Park Blvd. I will work with the community stakeholders and city planners to see how we can make a safe connection on Hyperion.
- Re-paving Griffith Park Boulevard is a also priority, for cyclists and drivers alike.
- Once all these connections are in place, connecting bike lanes on Silver Lake Blvd to Glendale / Rowena, and to Rowena / Hyperion / Griffith Park Blvd / LA River Path, we will start to see a connected bike system.
MID CITY / MIRACLE MILE
- At the very least, the 4th Street “Bike Boulevard” intersections at Highland and Rossmore should get full traffic signals.
- Traffic diverters on some sections of 4th Street are also worth considering, not only to make the “Bike Boulevard” safer to bikes, but also as a hedge against cut-through traffic.
- Mid City West Community Council has been working on creating “bike friendly” streets, including Formosa Ave / Cochran Ave. I would strongly advocate implementing the $2.3M Metro grant for Formosa / Cochran, which calls for full bike lanes, as quickly as possible.
- I am fully in support of a road diet on 6th Street between La Brea and Fairfax. (See 5B).
- Once we see 4th Street / Formosa / Cochran / 6th Street, again, we begin to see a connected network of bike lanes.
SHERMAN OAKS / TOLUCA LAKE
- Connecting cyclists to the LA River Path is a major priority in the Valley, as a way to connect to other communities.
- Mobility Plan 2035 calls for bike lanes on Ventura Boulevard. There are a lot of changes I would like to see to make Ventura safer, including those bike lanes, and connecting them to the existing lanes on Woodman and Riverside. I would also build out better-protected infrastructure to those lanes.
- Crossings should be installed to connect disconnected portions of the LA River Path, including on Kester between the riverfront trail and Ernie’s Walk.
5. Please respond to the following questions regarding specific CD4 corridors with known safety issues:
5A. Bike lanes on Rowena Ave. and Silver Lake Blvd. both terminate at Glendale Blvd., leaving a dangerous gap between these lanes and the L.A. River Path. Despite L.A.’s future plans for revitalization of the Los Angeles River, there are no bike lanes that access the entire segment of the L.A. River Path between Elysian Valley and Glendale. What will you do as councilmember to actively push for bike lanes on Glendale Blvd. and Fletcher Dr. to provide families with safe access by bike to the L.A. River Path?
Creating safe access by bike to the LA River Path will be a priority for my office. Regular cyclists demand it, and for many families, the LA River Path is a preferred recreational route, too.
I support a road diet on Glendale Boulevard that would add bike lanes, ADA compliant sidewalks, and a center turn lane. The center turn lane would improve traffic flow and safety for cars turning left onto Riverside; the bike lanes would not only connect to the River Path, but also connect Silver Lake and Atwater. As there is minimal parking along this stretch, I would push for the bike lanes to be designed as protected bike lanes, to keep families safe as they crossed to the LA River Path.
5B. Despite unanimous support from the Mid City West Community Council for a road diet on 6th Street to provide an important connection to LACMA and to West Hollywood, and in response to 3 fatalities on the street over 5 years, the office of Council District 4 opted instead for a modest plan that added left turn pockets at one intersection. Will you implement the LADOT-recommended road diet?
Yes. This stretch of road is part of the High Injury Network. The road diet was supported by the MCWCC, who conducted a lot of outreach to get the neighborhood behind it. I will push for a plan that includes bike lanes.
5C. Hyperion Ave. was recently the site of a horrific crash that took the life of local grandmother, Cristina Garcia. Citing the unsafe conditions of Hyperion, the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council has repeatedly called for safety improvements to this street, which LADOT has determined is part of the High Injury Network. Speed is the predominant factor in determining whether a crash is deadly. Would you support a road diet reconfiguration of Hyperion Ave. to reduce speeding and improve the safety of pedestrians, people on bikes, and turning drivers?
Yes. I am angry, but not surprised, that the community asked the Councilmember for help, repeatedly, and were met with silence. I’m also angered by the recent LADOT report that tried to wipe the City of blame by citing rain and speed as the culprits in Cristina Garcia’s death. Rain is an act of god, but speed is a factor the City can control – and should have. They knew this road was unsafe. Cristina Garcia should not be dead.
6. Over the past year, we have seen increased use of privately owned and shared mobility electric scooters throughout Los Angeles. What role do you see for this emerging transportation technology, and how can the City of Los Angeles act to ensure safe mobility for all road users during a time when many Angelenos are making shifts in their mobility choices?
The scooters are here to stay (until the next wave of mobility tech arrives). I believe that the new City rules that put scooters in the street are irresponsible in the extreme. I already worry for cyclists sharing the road, and I have that same fear for scooter riders.
Regardless of which tech wins, the only way to keep scooter riders safe is to build out a network of protected bike lanes that scooter riders can share with cyclists.