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5th District City Council Candidates Talk Bikes at BikingInLA

10:20 AM PST on February 18, 2009

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 approachto get our city moving again. We must act on bicycle and otheralternative transportation strategies that we can achieve today whilewe plan for a more sustainable tomorrow,” stated Bleich.

For more information, go to

Robert Schwartz:

Second, we await with interest the results of the city’s Bike Master Plan andwill make sure the City moves quickly to move projects from paper tothe street. It’s important for a city to have a plan, and not justbuild projects whenever funding is available or because a politicianwants to go to a ribbon cutting; but it’s even more important that theplan does more than gather dust. The City’s draft plan is due soon, andafter more feedback from the community we should have a final planapproved 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 haveconcluded that there are simply not enough of them! Studying thecurrent Class I, II and III routes on the official Bikeway Path Map ( am struck by how many bike paths run through areas I would not haveexpected. More importantly, there are dozens of groups out therededicated to supporting cyclists (some can be found through but I see very little support coming from the councilperson’s office in our district.

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