Tag Archive for Curren Price

An open letter to the candidates for California Senate District 26

As you may recall, prior to the March 24 special primary election for the sate’s 26th Senate District, I asked all the candidates for their comments on bicycling and transportation issues, just as I did in the election for Los Angeles’ 5th Council District.

Three of the eight candidates responded; two of those — current Assembly Member Curren Price and Rabbi Nachum Shifren — qualified for the May 19th General election, along with Cindy Varela Henderson. You can see their responses by clicking on the link titled CD5/SD26 Candidate Statements at the top of this page.

This morning, I sent each of them the following email (slightly different for Henderson, since she didn’t respond before). Assuming they respond, I’ll post their answers as they come in.

Dear (Candidate)…,

Thank you for contributing your comments on bicycling and transportation for my website, BikingInLA.com; several bicyclists have said that these statements helped influence their votes the March 24 primary election.

I’d like to follow-up with two more questions, and will post your answers online in the weeks leading up to the May 19 runoff election.

First, would you support legislation revising California Government Code Section 831.4 to return some liability to government agencies for known hazards on off-road (Class 1) trails? As you may be aware, recent court rulings have absolved all public and private agencies of any responsibility to maintain Class1 trails in a safe manner, jeopardizing the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians; you can learn more by clicking here.

Second, would you support — or be willing to introduce — legislation to update the California Vehicle Code to improve to clarify the laws regarding bicycling and improve bicycle safety?

Several states, including Indiana, Massachusetts and Colorado, have already passed a Bike Safety Bill or are in the process of doing so; revising California’s laws could encourage greater participation in cycling, and as a result, help reduce traffic, while improving air quality and the health of the state’s citizens.

Possible revisions to the law include:

• Mandate a minimum distance of three feet when passing a cyclist, and clarify that drivers are allowed to briefly leave their lane in order to pass a bicycle safely;

• Ban harassment of cyclists, and require that such incidents be investigated as criminal acts;

• Extend to cyclists riding legally in a Class 2 bike lane the same level of protection afforded pedestrians in a crosswalk;

• Prohibit turning into or across the path of a moving cyclist;

• Prevent drivers from using “I just didn’t see him” as an excuse, as they are required to be alert and aware of all traffic and road conditions.

You can learn more about these issues, and other possible changes, by clicking here.

Your response can be as long or short as you like. As before, I will publish whatever you send — unedited and without comment — in the order that it’s received. All I ask is that you send your statement in the body of your email or as a Word attachment.

Thank you in advance for your response, and good luck in the upcoming election.

Senate District 26 Candidate Statements: Curren Price

As I indicated yesterday, I’ve offered each of the eight candidates in the primary for California Senate District 26 an opportunity to address the cycling community through this blog. So far, only two candidates has accepted my offer. This statement is from Curren Price; you can see the first statement, from Nachum Shifren below.

Curren Price

Thank you for the opportunity to share with you my views related to cycling and, among other things, the role that it plays in improving air quality, health, traffic congestion and the overall environmental quality of life in the 26th Senate District.

cp-photo-webAs you likely know, the 26th Senate District is one of the most ethnically, economically and environmentally diverse districts in the state of California. Stretching from Culver City to Koreatown, Silverlake to Larchmont, Cheviot Hills to South Los Angeles, the 26th District is home to many of the environmental treasures in the County of Los Angeles including the Baldwin Hills Conservancy/Parklands and Griffith Park.  While these parks provide a refuge for many Angelenos with their bike paths and walking trails they are also surrounded by some of the most congested freeways and roads in the LA County basin. As a result the 26th District faces tremendous environmental challenges related to air quality and the resulting health impacts from air pollution.

Air pollution doesn’t discriminate and the air quality of the 26th District is impacted by LAX, the ports and equally detrimental the District’s proximity to the 10, 405, 110 and 105 freeways. The harmful effects are felt throughout the district from Culver City to South LA. A lack of investment in mass transit, infrastructure and Class One BikeWays, coupled with the “love affair” that Angelenos have with their cars and a jobs housing imbalance which has residents commuting on average between 15-20 miles roundtrip each day has contributed to the district’s inability to realize higher air quality standards. These reasons, among others, is why transit, transportation and air quality are at the top of my environmental agenda, why I have earned the endorsement of the California League of Conservation Voters and why I will continue to support increased investment in mass transit as well as alternatives such as cycling, full enforcement of the Clean Air Act, incentives for cleaner technologies and penalties for gross polluters.  

These issues are more than “niche” issues. Having represented largely urban areas throughout my tenure in public service both on the Inglewood City Council and in the state legislature, I view these as environmental justice issues which impact everything from healthcare to education and our workforce. Young people who can’t cycle or exercise outdoors are not only likely to have higher rates of asthma and obesity but to underperform in school.  Cost-prohibitive gas prices, 40 mile trips to and from work and lack of mass transit options limit working and middle class employment options. And, to resolve these challenges we must identify ways to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by investing more resources in transit, creating live/work spaces to increase the jobs/housing balances, reducing fixed-route services and moving to door-to-door services by the MTA and encouraging employers (public and private) to incentivize their workforce towards carpooling, cycling, telecommuting and using mass transit.

However, this is only half of the battle. Whether one cycles for business, for pleasure or for the environment, cyclists and, more correctly, support for cyclists plays a crucial role in creating a more livable 26th Senate District. Improvements and expansion of Class One Bikeways via increased public/private partnership funding and incentives for those who build bike-friendly developments supported by ancillary City street improvements are among the priorities I would have in developing a cycling/environmental agenda. A continuous Class One Bikeway along the Exposition Light Rail Line which extends through the 26th District is another.  And, cyclist-safety is the last component which we must prioritize to protect cyclists and underscore the viability of cycling en masse as a means to reducing air pollution and improving our environment.

I grew up riding my bike in the 26th District in South LA, Leimert Park and the Crenshaw District. I did it for pleasure. As state Senator, I would like to support a climate which allows cyclists to choose their own reason and create an environment which makes it possible. If you have ideas on how this can be achieved, please email me at info@currenpricejr.com or visit my website at www.currenpricejr.com for more information.

Thank you.

Curren Price

Assemblymember 51st District