Wed, Apr

Hey, Councilman Koretz … Westwood is for Bikes Too!


DEAR PAUL--LA City Councilman Paul Koretz that is. Say it ain't so! How sobering to read in the LA Times and The Daily Bruin that you now not only oppose bike lanes on Westwood Blvd but also want to strike the planned lanes from the City's Mobility Plan. Such a move would be totally unprecedented and would reverse nearly a decade of bicycle advocacy on LA's Westside. (Photo: Councilman Koretz on left with bicycle.) 

Paul … What are you thinking? 

I know firsthand that you understand the fundamentals of complete streets and that in your heart you support bike and pedestrian infrastructure that helps solve the first mile last mile problem for bus and train riders.   

So what's up with your opposition to bike lanes on Westwood Blvd? It is time to step back from the brink and stop caving in to the pressure of a handful of NIMBYs who haven't gone out without their car since LA hosted the Olympics. 

This isn't your parents' Westside and Los Angeles where political leaders including Zev Yaroslavsky and Henry Waxman stood in the way of the subway to the sea. As you know, their opposition delayed construction for decades and ensured that the cost of construction to the Westwood VA will be billions of dollars, yes billions, more than it would have been had we built the subway all the way to Santa Monica way back when. 

Let the record reflect that Yaroslavsky and Waxman were against transit before they were for it. With regard to the bike lanes, that is not a legacy you want for yourself and the Westside.

We are building a new city, not preserving the desiccated, obsolete 1950s vision of Los Angeles held by an ever shrinking minority of Angelenos. 

On Tuesday, August 4th, a joint committee of the LA City Council takes up the Mobility Plan 2035. If I can, I will be there together with other advocates for the bike lanes and other improvements to our streets that hold the potential to make LA a less car dependent society. 

The long-awaited Mobility Plan 2035 goes before the joint council committee hearing at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday at City Hall Room 340 (Council Chambers). 

As you know, the opponents' attacks on the Mobility Plan's bicycle and transit network are baseless.

Particulary disingenuous are the NIMBYs' attacks on the proposed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd which would connect UCLA with the soon-to-open Expo Line Rancho Park Station. 

I hope you are getting lots of calls, email and snail mail demonstrating the community's strong support for safer, more accessible complete streets in Los Angeles. And I hope supporters pack the Council meeting on Tuesday. 

TAKE ACTION INFO--For those that can't make it, it's time to peck out your expressions of support for the Mobility Plan and complete streets. This sample email from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition does the trick if you need any help with the prose. 

It's time to do the right thing. 

So thank you Paul for your support of bike lanes on Westwood Blvd where they belong! 

Yours in transit and on a bike,

(Joel Epstein is a senior advisor to companies, law firms, foundations and public initiatives on communications strategy, corporate social responsibility (CSR), recruiting and outreach. He is a contributor to CityWatch and can be contacted at [email protected].)  




Vol 13 Issue 63

Pub: Aug 4, 2015

{module [1177]}

Get The News In Your Email Inbox Mondays & Thursdays