(Over the next couple of weeks, Streetsblog L.A. will strive to cover all of the City Council elections that are not part of the Streetsblog TV schedule. Our next piece of election coverage will be Live Streaming the LACBC/Occidental College CD 1 Candidate Forum on Streetsblog TV this Sunday.)
Just a couple of years ago, the election to replace Jack Weiss in City Council District 5, which includes Westwood, Fairfax, Bel Air, and more was a hot one for Livable Streets advocates. On one hand, you had former West Hollywood Mayor and AIDS Life Cycle participant Paul Koretz against David Vahedi, a lawyer who succesfully sued the City of Los Angeles for dangerous non-maintenance of bike paths. The race came down to a runoff and was close until the end. Koretz won.
This time, Koretz faces Mark Herd, a little known opponent who it appears designed his website in 1998. Since this race will mostly be about the incumbent, Streetsblog presents a brief look at his record.
Over the last four years, Koretz has been a dependable vote on Livability Issues, usually voting for safer streets, better pedestrian design and more bike lanes. In 2010, he was one of the Council Members who pushed the Planning Department to do more than the bare minimum when drafting the Bike Plan. His letter to City Planning earned high marks from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition who called it “Outstanding.”
More recently, Koretz backed the new Motor Avenue bike lanes that are already providing safer commutes through the western part of his district for hundreds of cyclists a day. While some in the surrounding community grumbled that the lanes created a choke point for car traffic, Koretz stood his ground.
Not only is his apointee to the Expo Bicycle Advisory Committee one of the most active and engaged members, his chief transportation deputy Jay Greenstein attends nearly every meeting, the only member of L.A. City government to do so.
Koretz’s record on transit projects is perhaps more mixed. Read more…