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Terence Later clearly gets that making biking safer and more comfortable is a great solution to reducing the amount of driving within Santa Monica. His interest in expanding Santa Monica’s bicycle network, improving access to transit through bike lanes, bike share, and strong support for Vision Zero all show that Later understands much of what it will take to improve mobility options for the City. However, Later’s support of Measure LV, which would require a public approval of individual residential projects, is problematic for encouraging an equitable and sustainable Santa Monica, as it would exacerbate Santa Monica’s imbalance between jobs and housing while doing nothing to speed up  commutes. Considering his desire to address Santa Monica’s traffic woes, we’d like to see Later embrace concepts such as unbundled parking, transit-oriented development, or even congestion pricing. While we have our concerns about Later, we nonetheless  appreciate that he comes from the right place in wanting to improve livability, mobility, and safety for all Santa Monicans.

Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: B-

(See below for full candidate questionnaire response)

1. What is your opinion on the state of the mobility options available in Santa Monica? Is the City doing enough to enable safe and convenient travel for those of your constituents who walk, bike, or take public transit?

I think Santa Monica has done a great job so far, and I would love to see us keep moving forward to encourage residents to leave their cars parked.

2. With so many residents and workers riding bikes in the city, what additional efforts should Santa Monica undertake to improve safety and convenience of bicycling?

I love to ride my bike around town and I feel like I can do so pretty safely, as long as I obey traffic laws. I would like to see more dedicated bike lanes so it is easier for cyclists to travel without having to worry about vehicles that may not be following the traffic laws, and paying close attention to non-vehicle traffic.

3. With the arrival of Expo light rail to Santa Monica, there has been much discussion about the best way to provide access for residents and visitors to the stations. How do you think first mile/last mile connections – the ability to walk, bike, or take take transit between one’s residence and the stations – can be improved?

We should prioritize the installment of new dedicated bike lanes to these locations.

4. Santa Monica has championed multimodal transportation with initiatives like GoSaMo, policies like “no net new car trips” within the Land Use and Circulation Element of the General Plan, and comprehensive policy documents like the Bike and Pedestrian Action Plans. However, the city’s zoning requirements maintain high off-street parking requirements for new construction, even near high-quality transit. Researchers have repeatedly demonstrated that parking requirements encourage more people to drive. How can the city reconcile these contradictory positions? Will you champion reduced parking requirements or even parking maximums for new development projects?

What I would like to see is voter approval of new developments, as we have a referendum to establish this year. I think voters know what is best in terms of development of our city and we should let residents approve new large-scale projects. I think this will reduce the amount of new development from the trend we have seen recently, and will consequently reduce the number of new cars in the city.

5. The Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway was one of the city’s first major multimodal routes, but it remains incomplete. Have you ridden or walked the Greenway? What still needs to be done, in your opinion, to make walking and bicycling on Michigan safer and more pleasant? Would you consider removing or relocating on-street parking in some places to create a protected cycletrack along the route?

I have both ridden and walked along the MANG and I do think we should have a protected cycletrack to facilitate non-vehicle transportation.

6. Santa Monica launched L.A. County’s first public bike share system, Breeze, last November. Since then, it has seen steady growth and recently hit the milestone of having 30,000 active users. How can the system be improved? Would you be willing to commit to increasing the number of bikes in the system by 50 percent over the next year? And would you be willing to commit to increasing the number of hubs or relocating underperforming hubs to serve high-use areas of the city?

I think the Breeze system is brilliant. I would like to see more bikes, though I am not sure if 50% is appropriate. We should increase in smaller increments until we reach full usage without any underused hubs. If there are persistently underused hubs, we should relocate those to higher use areas.