Below is 2017 City Council District 1 Candidate Giovany Hernandez’ full questionnaire response to Bike The Vote L.A.:
1. What future do you see for active mobility, and public transit in the daily lives of Angelenos, particularly those who lack access to cars and rely on these other modes as their primary way of getting around?
Los Angeles is currently in one of the largest construction booms in its history. With this level of development that we are witnessing comes more retail/business space along with a plethora of mixed-used housing units. There has to be a different way to increase mobility in this city as our population grows. As a supporter of Measure M, I am hopeful the expansion of rail/subway/bus systems will get us to the necessary improvements we need to see in this city in regards to our public transportation. However, it’s imperative to have inclusive policies that ensure these new services are affordable and don’t leave out our cyclists community found in all corners of this city.
A high percentage of people without access to cars in Northeast Los Angeles, especially immigrants, depend on bikes as a way to get to work and school, but lack safe options to commute. Additionally the prevalence of speeding on L.A. streets takes a deadly toll on those who walk and bike, including seniors and children. Mobility Plan 2035 established “safety first” as the priority in transportation decisions, and the City has since adopted the ‘Vision Zero’ program with the goal of eliminating traffic-deaths within 10 years. Do you support prioritizing the safety of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable commuters, both in CD1 and throughout Los Angeles, even when there may be trade-offs in terms of automotive travel time or on-street parking?
Pedestrian represent more than one-third of traffic deaths in Los Angeles County, a rate higher than the national average. Yes, I support prioritizing the safety of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable commuters, both in CD1 and throughout Los Angeles. Part of my platform to increase safety in our district is to work towards more visible crosswalks, repairs of our sidewalks, school zone signage, new traffic signals lacking in dangerous intersections, more bike lanes, and address mobility concerns that exist for our physically impaired population.
3. Los Angeles’ traffic woes are compounded by the reality that many parents and workers don’t feel safe commuting even short distances or performing school drop-offs on foot or by bike. What would you do as Councilmember to improve active transportation options around schools, public transit, and in commercial districts to provide better transportation options for CD1 residents?
Using my community organizing skills and bridge building approach I would bring together Metro, all schools (traditional public schools, charter schools, parochial, magnets and private schools), and parent groups to come to a collective solution. I don’t believe only one city department can improve this issue, we have to bring all stakeholders together. The city needs to develop a stronger partnership with all our school groups to improve our neighborhoods as our schools shape our city, but our neighborhoods also shape our schools.
4. Angelenos recently approved Metro’s transportation funding plan,
Measure M, with an impressive mandate of support from over 71% of voters. What opportunities do you see for Measure M to improve the options for Angelenos get around in CD1 and elsewhere? Given that Measure M will return millions of dollars directly to the City of Los Angeles each year, do you support increased funding to make biking and walking in the city easier and safer for Angelenos?
The opportunities I see with the passage of Measure M in improving the options for Angelenos to get around in CD1 and elsewhere I presume to be manifested in the repairs of our streets and sidewalks. The necessary work to improve traffic flow as the measure aims to minimize the time Angelenos are stuck in traffic. It also calls for keeping the fares affordable for our seniors and students which is crucial to stimulate more usage of public transportation. The expansions of rails and bus systems will also be another way to encourage motorists to use an alternative to commute. Now more than ever, in one of the largest construction booms this city has seen in decades, which will only increase our population we must invest in programs like this to improve the options for Angelenos to get around. With that mentality lies my support for funding for making walking and biking easier and safer in Los Angeles.
Despite being prioritized for bicycle infrastructure under the 2010 Bike Plan, having injury rates that place it towards the top of LADOT’s High Injury Network; implementation of continuous bicycle infrastructure on North Figueroa Street has stalled, in part based on a prioritization of vehicle speeds over safer mobility options. Will you commit to implementing quality bicycle infrastructure on North Figueroa during the next Council term?
The high concentration of traffic collisions that result in severe injuries and deaths, with an emphasis on those involving people walking and bicycling taking place on North Figueroa is extremely concerning to me. My mentality and approach to representing would be one of putting altruism and people first in our local politics, not profits and special interest groups. I certainly, will commit to implementing quality bicycle infrastructure on North Figueroa during this next council term so that we can make an immediate dent in dwindling the numbers of injury/death rates in traffic collisions involving pedestrians/cyclists.
Los Angeles is beginning to employ bike share as a new transportation option, but many barriers to access remain, particularly the cost of riding and the fact that a credit card is needed to use the system. Some cities have offered subsidies to low-income riders and cash payment options to address these issues. What can the City of Los Angeles do to help as many residents as possible enjoy the benefits that bike share will bring?
Good leadership isn’t always about reinventing the wheel. It’s imperative to learn about what’s working elsewhere and try different approaches to get to the common good. The Bay Area Bike Share program to begin this coming spring is a wonderful idea for a more equitable bike share program that would increase its accessibility and usage by reducing its membership cost and providing the ability for folks to pay in cash. I would love to be an advocate for such a program here in Los Angeles.