Recently, BikingInLA  put out a challenge to the five contenders running for City Council in the Fifth District. The candidates are running to replace Jack Weiss, who is giving up his seat to seek the position of City Attorney. Three of the six candidates, Adeena Bleich, Robert Schwartz and Robyn Ritter-Simon, responded with cogent, forward-thinking visions of an L.A. that is better for bicyclists. Based on their statements it's pretty clear that if any of these three succeed Weiss, fifth district residents will see a huge improvement in their representation from a Councilman who's signature transportation policy was backing the controversial Pico-Olympic plan to speed up traffic then refusing to show up to any public forum to defend or explain it.
Each of the three candidate's statements, as well as any that might be added between now and election day, can be found here . If you don't have the time to read each candidate's statement right now, you can read an excerpt of each statement after the jump.
Adeena Bleich :
“We need a comprehensive and balanced approach to get our city moving again. We must act on bicycle and other alternative transportation strategies that we can achieve today while we plan for a more sustainable tomorrow,” stated Bleich.
For more information, go to www.adeena2009.com .
Robert Schwartz :
Second, we await with interest the results of the city’s Bike Master Plan and will make sure the City moves quickly to move projects from paper to the street. It’s important for a city to have a plan, and not just build projects whenever funding is available or because a politician wants to go to a ribbon cutting; but it’s even more important that the plan does more than gather dust. The City’s draft plan is due soon, and after more feedback from the community we should have a final plan approved early in the next term for the incoming City Council.
Robyn Ritter-Simon :
I have been doing some research on bike paths in Los Angeles and I have concluded that there are simply not enough of them! Studying the current Class I, II and III routes on the official Bikeway Path Map (www.ci.la.ca.us ) I am struck by how many bike paths run through areas I would not have expected. More importantly, there are dozens of groups out there dedicated to supporting cyclists (some can be found through www.labikepaths.com ) but I see very little support coming from the councilperson’s office in our district.