Candidate campaign page: https://www.joshyeager.com/
In his response to Bike The Vote L.A., Josh Yeager expresses that he supports expanding mobility options for the 12th District and suggests helpful safety improvements such as all-direction pedestrian crossings and neighborhood traffic calming. However, his stated opposition to reallocate travel lanes or parking lanes—even where necessary to reorient deadly streets towards safety—makes us doubt that he’d be an ally for bike and pedestrian advocates when tough decisions need to be made.
Bike The Vote L.A. 2019 Primary Grade: C-
(See below for full candidate questionnaire response)
1. What role do you see for walking, transit, and biking in the getting residents and students in Council District 12 to and from local businesses, parks, and schools?
Walking, public transit and biking should be staples in our community. Not only does it provide alternative modes of mobility, but it also promotes a healthier lifestyle. Being that the 12th district has such a high density of single-family homes, we need to look at a balanced approach to mobility. We need to understand that cars will most always be the desired mode of transportation, but we should, as a city and district, provide alternatives. Finding streets that support the addition of a safe bike lane, protected 4-way crosswalks, more regional transit lines and wider sidewalks should all be considered when discussing mobility.
2. Thirty-eight percent of Cal State University, Northridge students do not have access to a car for their daily commute. What actions can Los Angeles take to make the CSUN campus more accessible for students, staff, and faculty including better bike, pedestrian, and transit connectivity around the campus? Additionally, do you support implementation of protected bike lanes on Parthenia Street to connect Metrolink Northridge Station to existing protected bike lanes on Reseda Boulevard?
The white elephant in the room is the lack of available parking for CSUN students to begin with. I have had many friends miss class in the past because they were unable to find parking. That is why I am a supporter of an East/West Metro line that would connect the Orange Line (which I would like to make light rail) and the proposed Sepulveda Pass line that will eventually make its way up to Sylmar. We need to ensure residents can freely move around the district and the city and an East/West line starts to bring that desired mobility and connectivity to Los Angeles. In regards to the protected bike lane on Parthenia, I would support that project if a study was conducted to ensure businesses or the neighborhood would not be negatively impacted by that loss of parking.
3. CD12 sees some of L.A.’s worst speeding and street racing, with three out of the top five most dangerous intersections in all of California located within the District. In response to the condition of dangerous streets across the city, Los Angeles adopted a ‘Vision Zero’ program with the goal of significantly reducing the 240+ annual roadway deaths that the City currently sees. Do you support prioritizing safety on L.A.’s High Injury Network streets in CD12 such as Reseda, Roscoe, and Balboa Boulevards, even when there may be trade-offs in terms of automotive travel time or on-street parking?
There was a study conducted by CSUN’s Department on Sustainability on this exact issue. They provided their findings and recommendations to the Council office but none of those suggested recommendations were ever implemented. I would first like to start there. Let’s introduce protected right and left-hand turn lanes, 4-way cross walks for pedestrians and a reduction in the speed limit. That is a great first step in mitigating traffic accidents. This was done at Hollywood and Vine and they have seen a sharp reduction in traffic & pedestrian related accidents. Additionally, we need to look at protected bike lanes, but we need to take a balanced approach. We should address the highly frequented areas by bicyclists first, such as Valley Circle and look at adding a bike lane through the canyon there.
4. LADOT has determined that speed is the predominant factor in whether traffic collisions are deadly. Despite this fact, Los Angeles recently increased speed limits on 100 miles of local streets to abide by state law, including raising the speed limit to 45 mph on Winnetka Ave., Wilbur Ave. & Reseda Blvd. in CD12. Would you support implementation of lane reductions and other traffic calming infrastructure in order to reduce vehicle speeds on surface streets in CD12?
I am a supporter of traffic calming infrastructure. Whether it’s strategic roundabouts or speedbumps through residential areas, traffic calming techniques are effective when used properly. An example of when it has not been used effectively is on Plummer just east of Topanga Canyon. The speedbumps that the council office implemented have done nothing to curb street racing. The tiny “speedbumps” are felt more when you drive slowly than when you speed over them. Additionally, as I have mentioned in previous answers, 4-way pedestrian cross-walks are a great way to calm traffic. It allows for people to not only more safely cross the street, but more efficiently too (crossing diagonally), getting them out of harms way quicker. I’m not sure with our population growth in the Valley and the number of cars on the road that we are in a position to be considering lane reductions.
5. Los Angeles’ traffic woes are compounded by the reality that many parents, students, and workers don’t feel safe commuting even short distances or performing school drop-offs walking, rolling, 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 mobility options for CD12 residents?
In regards to school mobility, providing more crosswalk guards is a great start. Establishing more pedestrian cross walks to schools will empower more students to feel safe when traveling to and from school. The city needs to partner with LAUSD, charter and private schools to develop a program that provides these guards to protect school crossings. When it comes to public transit and commercial districts, having greater access to secure bike racks and addressing the first mile – last mile issue that many riders face would be two of my first actions as councilmember in regards to transit. Whether it’s an increase in shuttle services or dock-less scooters, we as a community need to work together to find common sense options to move people from their home to their workplace and back.
6. While one of Los Angeles most recently developed districts, CD12 also has the largest senior population by percentage in the city. What improvements to mobility options would you implement to empower CD12’s senior population to comfortably age in place?
A first good step would be for our district to have adequate sidewalks that allowed seniors to walk without fear of falling. Secondly, we should expand Metro’s access program to afford this mobility option to more seniors. Lastly, and one that has been touched upon already would be the expansion of east/west public transportation in the district. Our senior population needs to see our public transportation network as a viable option for mobility. We need to advocate harder to invest more Measure M funds in Valley projects.