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David Vahedi

CD 5 Candidates Talk Bikes at Biking in L.A.

4_14_09_vahedi.jpg4_14_09_koretz_jewish_journal.jpgPhoto of Vahedi from Campaign.  Photo of Koretz via Jewish Journal

Someone bookmark this post, because if I don't give Ted Rogers a Streetsie for his writing this year, especially his work tracking down the bike positions of local candidates for Biking In L.A., someone needs to call me on it.  I know Ted is too nice to do it himself.

Over at Biking In LA, Rogers has two new candidate statements on bicycling from the C.D. 5 Finalists, Paul Koretz and David Vahedi.  That we know more about the transportation positions of these candidates than perhaps any other candidates for public office in recent memory is a testament to the blogging community.  Rogers has twice pinned the candidates down on cycling issues, the Bottleneck Blog (RIP) talked transit and here at Streetsblog we compiled their views on the Pico-Olympic Proposal.  Since the election is next week, this may be the last time we hear from the two candidates.  For a full breakdown on Koretz's and statements, head to Vahedi'sBiking In LA.

Each candidate talks about increasing police stings against unsafe drivers as an effort to push back against the crashes that are killing cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers.  Vahedi also talks about the need to better fund the LAPD, while Koretz discusses that a lack of transit services lead revelers feeling as though they "have" to drive between bars or back home after a night of carousing.

Both candidates also talk about how because of the weather, L.A. should be a leading bike-city instead of a follower.  While they don't say it by name, I'm sure both are incensed that we still haven't seen a draft of the 2009 Bike Master Plan.  They do disagree on one point, Koretz says there are 330 sunny days in Los Angeles, while Vahedi pins the number closer to 350.

The candidates also found time to agree that the Mandeville Canyon Road Rage Doctor is a psycopath who should have the book thrown at him and that the Cyclists Bill of Rights is a good thing.

So how do the statements differ?  Vahedi talks about increasing funding for the LAPD and mentions that they need more cops on bikes.  Koretz mentions that he once participated in AIDS Life Cycle, meaning he biked from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

While it's a lot easier to talk bikes than it is to promote cycling in office, each candidate's statements are a far cry from those of the current CD-5 Councilman who likes to say that he bikes on weekends, but is scared to do so as part of his commute.

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