Below is 2017 Pasadena City Council District 5 Candidate Victor Gordo’s 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 those who live, work, and go to school in Pasadena?
I have always been a strong advocate of a walkable City and have always stressed this view in Council Planning policy. I support our City’s Complete Street Program, our Pedestrian Plans, and our Bicycle Transportation Action Plan (all parts of the Mobility Element of our City’s General Plan). In our Council’s recent discussion of our next step in our Union Street Corridor protected bike lane, I supported moving forward while stressing the need to be broader in our outreach to include as many community voices as possible. Our City adds to the regional mass transit opportunities with dedicated Pasadena Transit buses strategically oriented to enhance active mobility. As a resident, I want to experience more mobility, and as a four term Councilperson, I have worked to increase mobility through active City Planning work that recognizes the importance of mobility for our residents and the City’s overall vibrance.
2. Pasadena’s traffic is 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 District 5 residents?
Our City is fortunate to have dedicated local transit, Pasadena Transit, to enhance regional transportation options that allow our residents to move about without a car. However, I know that we need to get beyond “allow” to actually encourage our residents to engage in active mobility. To that extent, I have supported protecting existing Pasadena Transit routes and increasing routes where possible. To increase visibility, our City recently updated our outreach to transit riders which included a updated looks to our transit buses and a name change. This action was more than cosmetic; it was aimed at increasing ridership. I have supported our City Planning efforts that maximize mobility such as dedicated bike lanes throughout the City. We currently are working on protected bike lanes for one of our East West corridors (Union Street), and I support increasing this approach. I was pleased that our City hosted a CicLavia 2015 event to increase awareness of mobility. My Council office also actively convenes regular meetings of businesses and abutting neighbors to enhance communication that fosters the goal of an enhanced mobility City. I will continue to advocate that our City expand all these efforts.
3. If elected, what would you do to reduce preventable, serious and fatal traffic collisions in the City of Pasadena? Would you support the implementation of a local Vision Zero policy?
District 5 is a densely populated district, and we’ve worked to improve traffic safety and reduce traffic injuries and fatalities. My office advocated for and was successful at adding two new stop lights, one at Madison and Orange Grove Boulevard and one at Garfield and Orange Grove Boulevard with the last ten years. My Council office also regularly sponsors bike safety programs in our community centers and schools working with groups like Bike SGV and with our City’s own DOT and Police Department. I would support a Vision Zero policy and believe strongly that our City officials (including my office) and our community must work together to make our streets safe.
4. Over the past 3 years, Pasadena Playhouse District members, City staff, and local residents have worked on planning the Playhouse Parklets Pilot (www.playhouseparklets.org/). In the coming few months, a final decision will be made by the Council whether to move forward with implementing the pilot project, which would install the city’s first parklets, add reverse angled parking to the district, calm traffic, and improve street safety. Do you support implementation of the Colorado Blvd parklets pilot in the Playhouse District? Why or why not?
Although the program has its detractors, I believe our City and the route is uniquely suited to pilot the Playhouse Parklet project. With Union Street (one-way traveling West-bound) paralleling Colorado on the North and Green Street (one-way traveling East-bound) paralleling Colorado to the South, we have a unique opportunity to demonstrate an enhanced pedestrian experience while being able to accommodate auto traffic flow, giving this Pilot a strong opportunity for success. I also hope that the success of this Pilot will increase the potential future use of parklets in other parts of our City.
5. Bike share systems have started to be installed across Los Angeles County and are slated to expand to Pasadena, but as systems expand, experts foresee three major obstacles: stations that are discontinuous/too far apart, stations with unsafe walking conditions that limit access, and systems that are out of reach for low-income residents. What areas would you like to see bike share expanded to in and around Pasadena, and what should the City be doing to make these systems more accessible, affordable, and useful to all Pasadena residents?
Our City is working to bring a Bike share program online this summer, and these issues are already under discussion in these plans. Our City’s Bicycle Transportation Action Plan contemplates developing bicycle corridors that include Orange Grove Boulevard, Villa Street, Washington Boulevard and Wilson Avenue within District 5’s boundaries. District 5 also is one of our City’s most diverse districts with a substantial low-income population. With these base factors, my office will push for bike share opportunities in these areas both because it will be a resource for our low-income residents and also because the corridors provide a better environment to encourage bicycle riders. I also will point out that many of my constituents, who work in Old Pasadena and along Colorado Boulevard, already are bicycle riders, and I will continue my advocacy for their enhanced mobility.
6. Pasadena’s local transit provider, Pasadena Transit, suffers from limited service, especially on weekends and evenings. Do you support improving Pasadena Transit headways and service to provide local residents with more viable transit options in the City? What methods can the City employ to fund better service?
As a Councilmember, I have supported improving Pasadena Transit service where possible and, in a shrinking budget environment, have always supported protecting service from cuts. My office also has supported fare rates that endeavor to keep our Seniors and youth protected from increases. The City has limited options for increases in budget. However, my office supports an increased Transit Occupancy Tax (hotel tax), as well as the City receiving a greater proportion of this tax to provide funding for City services such as transit. I also have supported City staff actively searching out grants and other funding sources to increase transit and mobility services.