Los Angeles CD5: Things are getting interesting

Monday night, I attended a debate between the candidates in the May 19 general election for Los Angeles 5th Council District, Paul Koretz and David Vahedi.

Afterwards, I had hoped that I might be able to talk to someone from the Koretz campaign and encourage them to finally provide their comments about bicycling and transportation issues, like four of the six candidates in the primary election did, including Vahedi. Unfortunately, they left before I had a chance to catch anyone.

Instead, I was approached by Vahedi’s campaign manager. He asked if I had any questions for Vahedi, and offered to have him write another post for this blog.

Yeah, like I’m going to turn down an offer like that.

Then the next morning I received an email from someone with the Koretz campaign, who offered to respond to my earlier request for his comments.

So I gave it a little thought, and taking my cue from Damien Newton’s survey for the city attorney candidates, I emailed both campaigns a brief list of questions this morning:

1. A bicyclist was killed by an intoxicated hit-and-run driver Saturday night, the latest in a string of hit-and run incidents. What can be done on the city level to reduce the rate of both drunk driving and hit-and-runs? And what can be done to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians?

2. The Los Angeles City Council recently gave approval to the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights. Are you familiar with this document, and if so, do you support these rights as written? Are there any you disagree with, and why? And what would you consider the next steps to transform those rights from mere words into tangible action?

3. There is often a high level of tension between cyclists and drivers in Los Angeles as they compete for limited road space, as illustrated by last year’s incident in Mandeville Canyon. What can the city do to help reduce that tension, and encourage both sides to safely and courteously share the road?

4. What role, if any, do you see bicycles playing in city transportation policy and improving traffic flow within the city?

5. Are there any other issues you want to address, or any additional comments you’d like to make to the bicycling community?

We’ll have to see if they actually follow through, and what they’ll have to say. If they do, I’ll get it online as fast as I can. And if not, that should tell us something as we prepare to cast our ballots.

Either way, things are starting to get interesting around here.

Streetsblog reports on the appearance of a new ghost bike at Flower and La Brea. Congratulations are in order, as Gary graduates to CAT 4. Stephen Box explores the homeless encampment known as the Orange Line Bike Path. Alex provides a step-by-step plan for bicycle activism. West Seattle is becoming a hub for cycling; so, evidently, is Changwon. Finally, an Irish writer asks why it’s so hard to transition to two wheels, while another hangs up her helmet for good.


  1. I just wanted to say I love what you’re doing with the election candidates. Textbook usage of the snowball effect, and brilliant follow through . . . I could not do any better myself, I know that.

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