This time, bikers don’t make a difference

With all the excitement over last week’s Hollywood C.R.A.N.K. MOB fiasco, you might have missed the fact that we had an election this week.

I mention that because most people evidently had no idea. According to Zach at LAist, only 24,039 people voted, in a district of over 390,000 registered voters.

That’s a turnout of just 6.16%. Which means only one out of every 16 people bothered to vote, in district that includes much of the Westside.

One out of 16.

Of course, local elections have a historically low turnout, but a large part of the blame has to fall on the short lead time. Many voters, myself included, only found out about this election when we received our sample ballots less than three weeks ago, making us scramble to learn who was running — let alone where they stood on the issues.

As in the recent election for L.A.’s 5th Council District, I asked each of the candidates to tell us where they stood on bicycling and transportation issues. Of the 8 candidates, only three responded.

We’ll ascribe that to the short lead time, rather than assuming they just didn’t give a damn.

We can also blame that for the relatively small number of people who read those statements. Yet despite the fact that the first of these statements only went up five days before the election, they still resulted in one of the busiest weekends, and the two days that followed, since I started this site — thanks in large part to mentions by Zach, as well as Damien at LA Streetsblog.

So, despite the recent comment by Ubrayj, there’s no reason to believe that cyclists played a significant role in deciding this election, unlike that council race.

Yet two of the three candidates who did respond, Curren Price and Nachum Shifren, are moving on to the general election, along with Cindy Varela Henderson.

Since they both offered to address specific issues, I’ll be contacting them again with questions about liability reforms for Class 1 bikeways, and updating California’s outdated biking regulations. So if you have any issues you’d like them to address, send ‘em my way via the comment section below.

And maybe this time, we’ll have enough time to actually make a difference.

But let me leave you with one thought.

Just imagine the impact we could have if those 800+ C.R.A.N.K. Mobbers had been riding to the polls to cast their votes, instead.

 

In case you missed it: After reports of cyclists being intentionally doored, hit by police cars and pulled to the ground from moving vehicles last Saturday, I was reminded of this 2008 incident during a popular training ride in Tucson. On a related note, I stumbled on a blog by another, less famous cycling lawyer. The Anonymous Cyclist continues his excellent Monday Mechanic series, this time focusing on bike repair costs, and hinting that a quaffable bribe may make a difference. Celebrity cycling injuries strike Lance and Matt. My favorite footwear drops in price. A New York cyclist complains about bike-bomb sniffing dogs on the Staten Island Ferry, while a blogging Brit notes that bike culture has spread to London — in part due to a “grinding campaign” to recognize cyclists “as proper human beings made of fragile tissue and bone.”

3 comments

  1. disgruntled says:

    Nice link about London but I think (from the .co.za suffix) that that’s a South African blogger…

    • bikinginla says:

      That’s the internet age for you. A newspaper in Pasadena, just north of Los Angeles, outsourced their coverage of the local city council meetings to a couple of freelances in India. Yes, that India.

  2. Will Campbell says:

    Even if she responds this time around, the irony that motorcyle advocate Cindy Henderson couldn’t take a few moments to show some love and respect to her two-wheeled non-motorized cousins tells me all I need to know about her.

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