Evidently, Stephen Box isn’t the only local bike advocate running for City Council next spring.
I’d glanced at the list of candidates who filed before the deadline on Saturday, but hadn’t really paid much attention to it; other than Box and the current council members running for re-election, none of the names jumped out at me.
I should have looked a little harder.
I was on the phone last night with Hillel Aron, Editor-at-Large of Neon Tommy, USC’s outstanding online news source, when he asked what I thought about bike advocates such as Stephen Box and Glenn Bailey running for the council.
Wait a minute, I said.
Glenn Bailey is running for L.A. City Council?
So as soon as I got off the phone, I went back to look at the list of candidates to succeed retiring Councilmember Grieg Smith. And there he was, one of 11 candidates running in that district and the 72nd person to file for the council in Los Angeles, filing his papers on Friday, November 12th.
Neighborhood Council member and Bicycle Advisory Committee Chair Glenn Bailey is running for City Council in the Valley’s District 12. And yes, it’s the same Glenn Bailey.
Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be on the ballot.
He still has to gather 1000 valid signatures (pdf) by December 8th to make it on the ballot, or gather 500 signatures and pay a $300 filing fee; unfortunately, petitions can only be signed by people registered to vote in that district or I’d volunteer to sign right now. And he has until December 13th to change his mind and back out.
But depending on how things turn out on March 8th, two of the city’s leading voices on behalf of cyclists could be doing a lot more than speaking for us.
And speaking of Grieg Smith, he promises to protect the Wilbur Ave bike lanes when and if the road diet is reconfigured.
In light of Bailey’s candidacy, this would be a good time to remember his eloquent remarks at Mayor Villaraigosa’s recent Bike Summit.
Good morning Mayor Villaraigosa, fellow cyclists.
On behalf of the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, thank you for the opportunity to participate in the Mayor’s Bike Summit.
The BAC, was established by Mayor Bradley 35 years ago to make recommendations to the City on all bicycle related matters. It is composed of an appointee of each of the fifteen Councilmembers and four from the Mayor. For most of Mayor Bradley’s twenty years in office, his office staffed the Committee. As a result, when the Mayor’s office called a City department about a bicycle matter, they were usually responsive.
Several days ago the Mayor’s office requested the top bicycle priorities of the BAC. I invited each BAC member to respond and those suggestions have been compiled and submitted to your office as an “unofficial” list.
Mr. Mayor, last December in an interview from Copenhagen you stated that the Los Angeles has to do a much better job for bicycling. We couldn’t agree more.
A better job for bicycling means safely accommodating bicycles on all projects, on all streets, without exception.
A better job for bicycling means the prompt repair of potholes, cleaning debris, and other hazardous road conditions.
A better job for bicycling means the vigorous enforcement against the blocking of bike lanes by delivery vehicles, unhitched trailers, or anything else. (Audience: trash cans!)
A better job for bicycling means a transit system that integrates cyclists in every aspect of its operation, not just when it’s convenient to do so.
A better job for bicycling means providing convenient and secure parking at every City building and park, including at City Hall itself, and at all commercial and retail locations.
A better job for bicycling means holding the line, in fact, rolling back the recent increases in speed limits.
A better job for bicycling means a properly trained police force that enforces the law equally and fairly and that protects and respects the rights of cyclists.
A better job for bicycling means vehicular hit and runs will be fully investigated and prosecuted for the crimes that they are.
A better job for bicycling means a visionary and robust City Bicycle Plan that is implemented each and every day, not just sitting on sitting on a shelf for five years awaiting its next revision.
A better job for bicycling means installing at least fifty miles of bicycle lanes every year for the next three years, rather than the five mile annual average of the past fourteen years under the current 1996 Bicycle Plan.
A better job for bicycling means incorporating the City Council endorsed Cyclist’s Bill of Rights in the operation of every City department and every action taken by the City and its employees.
And a better job for bicycling means welcoming and encouraging cyclists to participate in every step of the decision making process, the outcome of which affects our very lives.
Thank you for listening and for your support.
The social calendar is starting to get busy, as the South Bay Bike Coalition is holding an informal cocktail mixer from 7 – 9 Tuesday night, and the Bikerowave plans a New Years Eve party, which could be the highlight, or highlighter, of the year.
The LACBC announces their first annual report is now available for download. Bob Muellner reports on the proposed anti-harassment ordinance on KCRW’s Shortcuts blog, and says if everyone would just obey standard traffic laws, things would go a lot better. Meanwhile, KPCC profiles L.A. eco, bike and river activist extraordinaire Joe Linton; anyone notice that it’s the public radio stations who provide the best coverage of bicycling issues? Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles offers a workshop on Winter Training for Metabolic Efficiency this Wednesday. A cyclist discovers LADOT’s bike riding parking enforcement officers. Glendale plans to add bike parking downtown; granted, it’s only five words out of the entire article, but it’s a good five words. The latest area bike co-op is born as the Bicycle Lounge opens its doors in Riverside. San Francisco buses, bikes and businesses battle to be king of the road. A Redding bike count shows an 80% increase in the last year alone.
Pick your bicycling calendar for the upcoming year, including one from Long Beach’s cycling expats, Russ Roca and Laura Crawford. Or maybe you’d prefer an autographed George Hincapie championship jersey. Victims of distracted driving are remembered online. Even the U.S. Secretary of Energy rides a bike. An all natural, biodegradable spoke card. A new website celebrates the bicycle as an art form; thanks to EvoVelo for the link. MTV host and BMX cyclist TJ Lavin returns home after a nearly fatal bike stunt. A Utah teenager turns herself in following a fatal hit-and-run. A Phoenix woman is arrested in the hit-and-run death of a cyclist. More on the Oregon bike commuter study, which shows cycling is good for you except when you crash, while a local paper offers a highly skewed perspective on the same study. At least L.A. cyclists don’t have to deal with moose on the bike paths. My hometown passes a ballot measure to create and implement a citywide Bicycle Safety Education Plan. The Eagle County, CO District Attorney who declined to file felony hit-and-run charges against a wealthy fund manager hasn’t filed charges in the other hit-and-run that occurred the same day, either; thanks to Cyclelicious for the link. An Ohio cyclist is killed in what locals call a hit-skip collision, making it sound so much more fun than a mere hit-and-run. Yet another cyclist is killed in the most dangerous state for bicycling, the 9th Tampa-area rider to die in the last four months.
Nova Scotia considers the metric equivalent of a three-foot passing law. A street racing Brit driver who killed a cyclist at 80 mph six years ago asks for his license back. The Guardian asks what you would do if you saw a bike being stolen. The great Aussie helmet debate goes on, as an ER doctor says research shows the effectiveness of that country’s mandatory helmet law. A New Zealand driver is reportedly traumatized after crossing onto the wrong side of the road to hit three cyclists head-on; on the other hand, two of the riders she hit are dead, which just seems a little worse to me. In a separate Kiwi collision, a cyclist questions if she’ll ever ride again after seeing her riding partner killed. Also in New Zealand, a driver runs a cyclist off the road, then stops to lecture him before driving off. Biking the Hajj from Capetown to Mecca. An American expat buys a bike in Beijing. UCI announces an amateur world championship tour for next year.
Finally, a successful Hollywood director strips away the trappings of his success to live the change he advocates, and chooses to ride his bike virtually everywhere. With a helmet, the article notes.