Candidate campaign page: http://www.mikefong.org/
Mike Fong’s long career in public service includes work as a deputy under City Councilman Ed Reyes and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. In his current job, he provides support to neighborhood councils at L.A.’s Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. He’s also a Trustee of the L.A. Community College District. In his response to Bike The Vote L.A., Fong promises to champion protected bike lanes, Vision Zero, equitable transportation funding, and adoption of an ‘Idaho Stop’ law.
Bike The Vote L.A. 2017 Primary Grade: B+
(See below for full candidate questionnaire response)
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?
To be a truly great city, Los Angeles has to break out of the car-first model that we have lived with for the last 75 years. We cannot rely on the potential of future technology (self-driving cars etc)—we have to use what we know works (bicycles, walking, light rail, subways, busses). As a representative of North East Los Angeles, I will be a champion for protected bike lanes, walking paths and public transit connectors. I will look for ways to connect our district to the Los Angeles River that will be going through a multi-million dollar renovation.
2. Do you support Vision Zero, an approach to street safety that treats each fatality as preventable and seeks to eliminate traffic deaths on public roads?
I absolutely support the Vision Zero approach. As Director of Policy and Government Relations for the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, (they oversee neighborhood councils) I have worked closely with the Vision Zero staff on outreach implementation throughout our city.
3. In Los Angeles, low-income communities of color are disproportionately burdened by the impacts of streets designed primarily for cars, without receiving proportional funding for their mobility modes like walking, biking, and quality mass transit. Would you support legislation to add a ‘complete streets’ policy to SB 1, California’s newly augmented gas tax, to direct revenues to projects and programs that benefit pedestrians, bicyclists and transit-dependent communities?
Yes. While California’s roads and bridges are badly in need of repair, we have to repair them with the future needs of residents in mind. We have to integrate our transportation infrastructure with the awareness that commuters are, more often than not, going to be using multiple systems in a single commute. Failing to adapt now will cost our community and our environment in the long run.
4. In 2017, Assembly Members Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) introduced AB1103, a bill to enact an “Idaho Stop” adjustment to traffic code that allows cyclists to safely yield right of way at stop signs. This bill would help to reduce subjective traffic stops by law enforcement for a practice that is common by people on bikes and was endorsed by the L.A. Times Editorial Board. Will you commit to support an “Idaho Stop” bill that allows people on bikes to safely yield at stop signs as it comes up in the 2018 legislative session?
Yes. Assemblymember Phil Ting is a strong supporter of our campaign because we have similar ideals for the future of California. The Idaho Stop is common sense and our laws should be modernized to reflect the every day reality of Transportation.
5. Would you support expanding state funding for bike share, and providing incentives for low-income individuals to afford high quality, family-friendly bikes that empower more economical mobility such as electric bikes and cargo bikes?
Yes. The high cost of living and the extreme burden of rent in Los Angeles means that the poorest residents are saddled with the longest and most difficult commutes. Assembly District 51 is the ideal community that needs state funding for bike share programs.