Video: Bonin Nails Vision Zero Response
Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin posted a new video highlighting an exchange regarding Vision Zero. Bonin, especially in his roles as Transportation Committee chair and as Metro boardmember, is one of Southern California’s most important elected leaders in pushing for safer, more equitable, and more balanced multi-modal transportation. He is also a SBLA streetsie award winner.
Bonin has been a leader in pushing for Measure M, Mobility Plan 2035, parking reform, LAX access, bike-share, complete streets, and much more. One outstanding recent example was where, at an April Transportation Committee meeting, Bonin was successful in leading the committee to approve a proposal to dedicate the lion’s share of new Measure M local return funding for Vision Zero improvements. That Vision Zero funding push is now playing out in the city’s budget deliberations.
As shown in the short video excerpted from budget committee hearings earlier this week, Jack Humphreville of the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates called out “Mr. Bonin’s pet project of Vision Zero.”
First of all, Jack, thank you for referring to Vision Zero as my pet project. It certainly isn’t mine, but, if my epitaph could read, ‘His pet project was trying to prevent kids from getting killed on their way to school,’ I’ll rest happy.
One important thing about Bonin’s commitment to Vision Zero is that he has risen above narrowly pushing for his own district and pressed for funds to be used regionally where the need is greatest. L.A.’s Vision Zero program benefits disproportionately fall outside Bonin’s Westside district. In an April Daily News op-ed, Bonin and Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson (another Streetsie winner) articulate why this is:
…while we have deadly streets in every council district, some areas are a lot deadlier than others. Nearly two-thirds of all deaths and severe injuries involving people walking and biking occur on just 6 percent of our streets. These areas tend to be low-income neighborhoods that have historically suffered from generations of under-investment.
Equity demands more significant investments be made in South Los Angeles, the East San Fernando Valley and the city’s urban core.
Balancing competing priorities and policy objectives is usually challenging, especially in a big, diverse complex city like Los Angeles. But the choice to prevent children and grandmothers from dying while they cross the street should be an easy one. People come first, and protecting their lives and the public health has to be priority one.
Kudos to Bonin, Harris-Dawson and others whose pet project is preventing kids from getting killed on their way to school.