2017 Bike The Vote L.A. City Council District 7 endorsement
Jose Castillo’s full questionnaire response to Bike The Vote L.A.:
1. What role do you see for walking, transit, and biking 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?
I am running for LACD7 which includes Pacoima, Mission Hills, North Hills, Sylmar, Lakeview terrace, Sunland-Tujunga and Shadow hills (LACD7) the majority of these communities DO NOT have clearly marked bike lanes. We have a bike trail along the metro and there is talk about relocating a portion of that trail as Metro is planning on expanding the existing metro tracks. I have spoken to them about putting a dual platform on S.F. road and Van Nuys Blvd with parking structure with bicycle access and storage.I envision a downtown Pacoima area where people can live and work and play and WALK to a SMART transit center and be able to take Metro, High Speed Rapid Transit, or light rail. This vision also applies to the rest of LA .
2. 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 CD7 on High Injury Network streets like Van Nuys Blvd and Foothill Blvd, and throughout Los Angeles, even when there may be trade-offs in terms of automotive travel time or on-street parking?
ABSOLUTELY! That was the reason for my above statement.I agree with your statements because I my the son of Mexican immigrant parents and I traveled by bike before I purchased my car in my hometown. I am saddened when I see the white bikes tied to light poles where innocent lives have been lost. I went to the wakes of the one killed on Van Nuys blvd & S.F.road and the one on Glenoaks blvd it absolutely broke my heart. I have been conversing with Ms. Tamika about this very issue and have made it a platform on my campaign. Visit my website at www.castillo4lacd7.com to see it. I will be adding more content to the subject very shortly.
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 CD7 residents?
We need more traffic control and monitoring as well as crossing guards. One of my campaign platforms is to bring more resources to LAUSD to make our schools safer. I am open to identifying more resources to address this issue because as a real estate broker I caution my buyers in buying homes very close to homes because of the vary issues that you mentioned. If I become LA City Council member for District 7 it will be a priority to look at this issue in my communities. We have a safe streets project that was completed on Van Nuys Blvd that has benefited the bicyclist but now the business owners and some drivers have come to me with some concerns that is why I approached Metro for a parking structure on S.F. road I would like your help in lobbying them for that dual platform and parking structure. i want nothing better than to provide mixed use projects where people DO NOT have to drive in their neighborhoods. I will enlist the help of the urban planning depts at USC, UCLA to develop those smart transportation hubs I spoke about.
4. Angelenos recently approved Metro’s transportation funding plan, Measure M, with an impressive mandate of support from over 71% of voters. The East San Fernando Valley Corridor project – a light rail or bus rapid transit line running along Van Nuys Blvd and San Fernando Road – is set to be one of the first projects to be funded under the Measure. How do you see this project transforming the way that people get around the 7th District; and what role do you see for first and last mile pedestrian, bike, and transit connections in the success of this transit line?
This project I am very aware of as I have attended dozens of meetings on it and given feedback to the authorities. The S.F.Road and Van Nuys blvd intersection has the potential to put Pacoima on the map for using all of the above mentioned transportation systems. I need your help in reaching out to Metro about the dual platform I spoke about. I am the only candidate for LACD7 that was at the meeting in San Fernando and the ONLY ONE that attended the Transportation Summit held at CSUN where many students rely on bikes and mass transportation to get to and from. I served as VP for the LA Mission College Foundation where I interacted with many students on this very subject of how to get from the community college to CSUN SAFELY!!! There has been a project in the works to provide light rail from the Sylmar/S.F. Metro to CSUN and I will push for that project to be completed ASAP.
5. The Pacoima Wash Greenway is a multi-modal corridor which links parks, schools, and services to the San Gabriel Mountains. This project has been in the works since 2006 and has broad community support. A portion of this project was recently funded by a state Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant receiving the second highest score; however, the funded portion is entirely within the City of San Fernando. Will you commit to work toward extending the greenway into Sylmar, Pacoima, and eventually to the Los Angeles River as called for in the Pacoima Wash Vision Plan?
Again ABSOLUTELY I want to create a district where people can work, play, shop and LIVE in SAFE COMMUNITIES .
6. 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?
In Pacoima we can work with the Pacoima Credit Union and develop a program where we can work with stakeholders and students especially the low income to purchase a “prepaid” credit card where the city council office can provide the first $5 or $10 to get them going.