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Posts from the "CD 2 Special Election" Category

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CD 2 Questionnaire: Michael McCue

Today Streetsblog features the seventh returned CD2 Questionnaire, this time from Michael McCue, a member of the Studio City Neighborhood Council who has been endorsed and actively supported by the local chapters of the Green Party.

As you might expect, McCue's answers show a strong grasp of how to get things done in City Hall without the power of elected office and a commitment to expanding transit and keeping streets safe.  In the derby to get the all-important Stephen Box endorsement, McCue shoots ahead of the other six candidates who reference the uber-activist  in our questionnaire by suggesting that he would try and put Box on staff.

Previously, Mary Benson, Chris Essel, Tamar Galatzn, Paul Krekorian, Frank Sheftel and Zuma Dogg have all filled out the questionnaire.  Full Streetsblog coverage can be found here.

1) When you commute to work, how do you do it?

When I commute to advocate downtown at City hall, I always take the Red Line Subway.  When going to work, I have used mass transit for about three of last ten years and my 2001 Prius about seven of last ten years.

What percentage of the trips that you take don't involve an automobile?

Probably about 30%.

2) Over the past year, a number of surface streets in the valley have had their speed limits raised.  Are these increases a result of the natural order, or an interest that needs to be addressed?

Needs to be addressed because the process for reviewing and modifying the speed limits is wrong.  Must be changes made at state level.  Surveys are conducted at off hours or off-days and new recommendations for limits don't reflect actual usage at peak hours or daily basis. 

What, if anything can be done to reverse these changes?

Must elect state reps who will reform this procedure and/or reform the procedure ourselves through political pressure.

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CD2 Questionnaire: Chris Essel

9_16_09_Essel_Greuel.jpgEssel has been endorsed by former Council Woman Wendy Greuel. Photo via Essel’s Flickr page.

Chris Essel becomes the most recent, and perhaps last, candidate to fill out our CD2 Questionnaire.  As CD2 residents are hopefully aware, the Special Election is next Tuesday.  On Monday Streetsblog will run a wrap up piece that will include excerpts from all the interviews and a series of videos by Stephen Box.

Essel’s answers show a strong familiarity with the issues and a desire to work with the communities effected by laws be they geographic communities effected by speeding traffic or the bicycle community struggling to make do on L.A.’s streets.  An advocate who’s transportation advocacy routes go back to working on traffic synchronization in the 1980′s, Essel has been referred to by some as the "City Hall" candidate for the open seat.  While some may view that as a negative, with that tag comes the endorsement of Comptroller Wendy Greuel who chaired the Council’s Transportation Committee and remains popular in her home District.  You can read more about Essel at her official website.

Previously, Mary Benson, Tamar Galatzn, Paul Krekorian, Frank Sheftel and Zuma Dogg have all filled out the questionnaire.  Full Streetsblog coverage can be found here.

1) When you commute to work, how do you do it? What percentage of the trips that you take don’t involve an automobile?

When
I worked at Paramount, I drove to work in a Toyota hybrid vehicle.
Currently, I live in Studio City near Ventura Boulevard in walking
distance of restaurants, shops, and most importantly a Trader Joe’s.
This is great because it allows me to take a significant number of
trips on foot.

2) Over the past year, a number of surface streets in the valley
have had their speed limits raised. Are these increases a result of the
natural order, or an interest that needs to be addressed? What, if
anything can be done to reverse these changes?

Thanks to Streetsblog’s focus on this issue, your readers are well
aware of the ridiculous state law that governs our local speed limits.
While the law is intended to prevent "speed traps" in smaller
municipalities, in Los Angeles the result is dangerous speed limit
increases on residential streets.

Read more…

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LA Streetsblog Draft CD2 Questionnaire: Mary Benson

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Last week we featured a video of Mary Benson talking about bicycle safety and the nobility of people who "stand up to the car."  I remember watching the video and thinking, "that’s all well and good, but how about some details."

Today, Benson gives us details by answering our CD2 Questionnaire and honestly, her answers are pretty impressive and show a deep understanding of transportation issues.  Her answers incorporate sharrows, parking reform, and a lot of the issues that we talk about here at Streetsblog.

But as a quick aside, Stephen Box is sure getting a lot of attention from CD 2 Candidates this election.  Maybe we should work on having an activist with a video camera follow this model for every council race as they come up.

Benson is the fifth candidate to answer our questionnaire joining David "Zuma Dogg" Saltzburg, Frank Sheftel, Tamar Galatzan and Paul Krekorian.

1) When you commute to work, how do you do it?  What percentage of the trips that you take don’t involve an automobile?

Most of the business these days is done thru telecommute.   I log more
milage to City Hall than any other activity.  Something I’ve noticed,
there’s no shortage of parking and a derth of bikes in the underground
parking complex that is City Hall.

As I navigate up from the bowels under city hall, I notice that the
bullitin boards are plastered with advertisements for van poolers to
areas like Long Beach and Santa Clarita.  I wonder how many of our own
City Employees don’t live in LA?

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CD 2 Canidate Mary Benson: Yay Bicyclists and Pedestrians!

She may not have filled out our CD 2 Candidate Questionaire, but fresh from his trip to Austrailia Stephen Box brings us this video of Benson rallying to the virtues of biking and walking in L.A.  To the cheers of supporters, Benson says:

Hi, I’m Mary Benson and I’m running for Los Angeles City Council.  I want to give a big shout out to my friends at the Bike Writer’s Collective and bicyclists in the City of Los Angeles who deserve to be safe on the streets as do pedestrians and every other person that dares to stand up to a car.  Thank you, and vote for me on September 22.

While it’s always great to hear a candidate talk the talk on alternative transportation; it doesn’t give us a lot of details.  Box, in his introduction to the video on his facebook page, fills in some of the gaps.

Mary Benson is running for the open CD2 seat and tonight I caught up with her in Tujunga.

Mary
is a strong community advocate and I have worked with her on the
California State Parks Common Ground Committee. She is powerfully
knowledgeable about land use, environmental and public space issues and
she is a strong advocate for the community.

I have also worked
with Mary on Neighborhood Council issues city-wide and she has always
been a fervent believer in grass roots politics and local
representation.

Most recently, Mary has worked with me to push
for the release of LA’s Bike Plan and to fight to ensure that the Bike
Plan lays down a real vision with real standards and that it truly
support cycling as a transportation solution.

Visit Benson4CD2.com for more information.

(note to Benson’s staff on the questionnaire: I mailed it to you, but if you lost it you can find a copy of it here.  Just fill it out and email it back to damien@streetsblog.org.)

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CD 2 Questionnaire: Paul Krekorian

9_2_09_krekorian_at.jpgAsm. Krekorian gives an interview after a press conference supporting his "Safe Streets" Legislation, A.B. 766. Photo: Dr. Alex Thompson/Flickr

Regular readers of Streetsblog are familiar with Assemblyman Paul Krekorian because of his efforts to change a state law which pressures the LADOT and LAPD to raise speed limits on local roads. While his legislation was stalled in the Assembly Transportation Committee, he has vowed to push forward with his efforts this fall starting with a public meeting on the legislation on September 15 in Burbank.

As you might expect, his questionnaire answer for the one on speed limits is pretty detailed. Other highlights include another Stephen Box reference and an aggressive stance towards improving streets for cyclists and pedestrians. His full answers are below, and you can see the other candidates' responses here:

1) When you commute to work, how do you do it? What percentage of the trips that you take don't involve an automobile?

While in the district, I drive a Toyota Prius. In Sacramento, I drive one of the Assembly's hybrid Camry pool cars when necessary, but I frequently walk home from the Capitol to my apartment (depending on how late I'm working).

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CD 2 Questionnaire: Tamar Galatzan Responds

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Unlike the first two Council District 2 candidates who have responded to our questionnaire, Tamar Galatzan currently holds elected office.  Galatzan was elected to the LAUSD school board, unseating incumbent Jon Lauritzen with a boost from Mayor Villaraigosa, in the 2007 elections.

Galatzan is also a prosecuter, her "day-job" when she's not busy with the LAUSD, and has made her success in criminal law which could make her an important voice in the Council when it comes to traffic justice issues.

I can't help but notice that Galatzan joins our first two respondents in discussing commuting habits outside of single-passenger automobile trips.  Saltzburg takes the bus, Sheftel has his electric scooter and not Galatzan either carpools or takes the trains 95% of the time.  Doesn't anyone just drive where they need to go in this town anymore?

1) When you commute to work, how do you do it?  What percentage of the trips that you take don't involve an automobile?

1.  I carpool around 75 percent of the time from the San Fernando Valley to the downtown Beaudry office of the Los Angeles School Board.  I also travel by subway around 20 percent of the time to various downtown appointments. 

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CD 2 Questionnaire: Frank Sheftel Responds

8_17_09_sheftel_villaraigosa.jpgThat’s Sheftel on the left. Photo: Mayor Sam

Last week I emailed to all of the candidates running to replace Wendy Greuel as the Council Member representing the Second Councilmanic District a copy of the questionnaire first posted on Streetsblog last month.

Sheftel is the first candidate to respond to the survey, although David "Zuma Dogg" Saltzburg did respond to the draft questionnaire originally posted. In the interest of fairness, I didn’t change the questionaire from the original post even though there were some good suggestions.

Sheftel is a long-time small business owner in the second district. Interestingly, the first issue listed on the "issues" page of his website is sidewalk repair. He also has an entire portion of his website, a site that doesn’t even include a biography, devoted to his community outreach plan. Oh, and check it out! A Stephen Box reference in question 6!

1) When you commute to work, how do you do it? What percentage of the trips that you take don’t involve an automobile?

50% of commutes to work are by vehicle. Weather permitting the balance are on my ZIP 750 Electric Scooter.

2) Over the past year, a number of surface streets in the valley have had their speed limits raised. Are these increases a result of the natural order, or an interest that needs to be addressed? What, if anything can be done to reverse these changes?

The speed limit increases are a direct result of a flawed system of determination of traffic flow. Each street is subject to a traffic survey in which the results are in effect for seven years. Once the time period has expired, there can be no enforcement of the speed limit laws with the use of radar. LAPD has adopted the position that no speed enforcement will be done unless it is with the use of Radar. Without speed enforcement, the speed of traffic increases. Over time the average speed increases as well. When the next traffic survey is conducted, the average speed is higher and the limit is set higher.

The law is under review at the State level but even with the current state restrictions, there must be a change in policy which will force LAPD to enforce speed limit violations even without the ability to use Radar.

Read more…

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Ahead of the Curve: Zuma Dogg Responds to CD 2 Questionnaire

7_31_09_zuma.jpgZuma Dogg at the KNBC studios during the Mayoral race. Photo: David Markland/Flickr

Homeless advocate and wasteful spending watchdog David "Zuma Dogg" Saltzburg apparently wanted a head start on the pack when it comes to answering the Streetsblog questionnaire for Council District 2 candidates to succeed Wendy Greuel. Zuma didn't wait for the questionnaire to be emailed, or even finished. Instead, he left his answers in the comments section.

His answers can be found after the jump.  For more on Zuma Dogg, check out his website and the popular L.A. Daily Blog.

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Help Me Design the CD-2 Candidates Questionnaire

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When Wendy Greuel won the election to replace Laura Chick as the City’s Comptroller, it didn’t just create a vacancy at the top of the City Council Transportation Committee, it also created an opening for her City Council seat in the Second District.  The election will be held on September 22.

While the final field has yet to be announced, the election is already in full swing.  The early front runners are "Safe Streets" Sponsor Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, Los Angeles County Commissioner Jozef "Joe" Essavi, and Businesswoman Christine Essell; but when you add in David "Zuma Dogg" Saltzer to the mix anything is possible.  To help put together the best transportation-related questionnaire for the election we can, I’m asking for your help editing and adding to the questions I’ve put together for the candidates available after the jump.

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