City Election Preview: Krekorian vs. Bisani in CD2

Paul Krekorian poses with cyclists after a press event for AB 766 IN 2009.  Photo:##http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexbct/3513993315/##Alex Thompson/Flickr##

Paul Krekorian poses with cyclists and the Bicyclists Bill of Rights after a press event for AB 766 IN 2009. Photo:Alex Thompson/Flickr

Bisani, center-right, poses with his three sons.  Photo: ##http://augustobisani.org/about_us##AugustoBisani.org##

Bisani, center-right, poses with his three sons. Photo: AugustoBisani.org

It seems as though it were just yesterday, but in fact was almost a year and a half ago, that we were first discussing which candidate would replace Wendy Greuel as the City Council Member for the 2nd Councilmanic District, located mostly in the Valley.  Streetsblog sent surveys to each of the 10 candidates in 2009, eight of whom respondedPaul Krekorian, who won that election and is running for re-election this year, answered our survey.  His only opponent this time, Augusto Bisani, finished 10th in that election and did not.

Bisani’s name is not a familiar one to Streetsblog readers, and perhaps to most of the people in the Second District.  He tells the Daily News that he doesn’t expect to raise a lot of funds for this election and slams Neighborhood Councils as not representing people’s views.  A complete reading of his campaign website doesn’t reveal even a mention of the city’s transportation issues, but of course it hasn’t been updated since 2009.

We know quite a bit more about incumbent Krekorian, and not just because he answered our survey last time around.

Krekorian was first introduced to Streetsblog readers when, as a Member of the Assembly, he led the ultimately unsuccessful charge to change the state law to protect local streets from speed limit increases.  He introduce the Safe Streets Bill, AB 766, legislation that aimed to deliver greater control to local municipalities in regulating speed limits. The bill was ultimately derailed in committee by the AAA and California Highway Patrol, but proved to be a galvanizing effort for much of the bicycle community, local police community leaders, and other members of the City Council such as Richard Alarcon and Wendy Greuel.

Despite Krekorian’s efforts, local city streets are still succumbing to higher speed limits. The higher limits meet state speed survey laws that are required before the police can use radar to enforce the law.

When Greig Smith introduced legislation that would have required Neighborhood Council approval for any bicycle projects, Krekorian worked with Smith’s office to Co-author a proposal that all city transportation improvements be reviewed by the public.   At the time, Krekorian said the motion “is a step toward creating an expanded community outreach process that gives a voice to neighborhood leaders throughout our city on transportation issues and in creating a future L.A. where bicycles and cars peacefully share the road.”

Krekorian is represented to the Bicycle Advisory Committee by Ayla Stern, who has been a force in the campaign to save the Wilbur Avenue Road Diet and is heavily involved with the Valley Bikery.  Like most of the Council, he doesn’t have an appointee to the Pedestrian Advisory Committee.  However, Krekorian is proud of Stern’s appointment…how many City Council Members actually write press releases about their BAC appointments?

But perhaps the issue of greatest importance to CD2 is getting the twice-deadly intersection of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Archwood Street in North Hollywood.  Despite it’s deadly reputation, most recently a young girl was killed late last year by a distracted driver in a spectacular crash that was covered by the media, the city wasn’t planning to place even a street light at the intersection until 2012.  Thanks to a resolution, and some behind the scenes work, the light is expected in the next couple of months.