Hey, look, the year is now 2014 and there are no bike lanes on North Figueroa. There are buffered bike lanes on Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock, bike lanes on all of Eagle Rock Boulevard, bike lanes on York Boulevard, bike lanes on Avenue 66, Via Marisol, Cypress Avenue, Avenue 28, Avenue 19, Avenue 18, and Griffin Ave. There are bike lanes on the freeway cut-thru streets Huntington Drive and Mission Road. In very busy downtown Los Angeles, there are buffered bike lanes on Spring Street, Main Street, Olive Street, Grand Avenue, and now the 2nd Street Tunnel. There are now bike lanes on 1st Street, 7th Street, 11th Street, Adams Boulevard, Jefferson Boulevard, Exposition Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard. Sunset Boulevard, Silver Lake Boulevard, Griffith Park Boulevard, Rowena Avenue, Mayra Avenue, and now Virgil Avenue all have bike lanes. With over 167 miles of bike lanes installed since the 2010 Bike Plan, LADOT continues to fill its mission to complete the 2010 LADOT Bike Plan at great speed within the five-year plan to install 200 miles. Just this past week, LADOT announced their Priority Year 2 List of Planned Bikeways with 40 additional miles of bike lanes to be implemented in the City of Los Angeles for 2014. Noticeably absent is North Figueroa as well as 99.98% of Council District 1. (Less 1.1 miles on Hoover Street between Venice Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard.)
The plans have been finalized, the funding has been earmarked, the resources are ready to go, and yet the striping truck housed just off Figueroa on Avenue 19, is being sent to other parts of the city because our current Council Member, Gil Cedillo lacks the leadership to get the job done. While Cedillo’s office motto is “Making The First District #1.” CD1 is getting left behind the rest of the city in regards to contemporary road design.
The real mystery is as to why? Some have suggested, that it may be part of some petty grudge to diminish the accomplishments of Cedillo’s predecessor, Ed Reyes, who championed complete streets during his tenure. When talking with his staff, although this was a big issue locally in 2013, they act as though they have never heard about it. Perhaps it is as simple as Cedillo avoiding the controversy all together. Maybe he is hoping that we who dare to walk and bike around Figueroa will simply go-away or maybe even be run-over and killed. Who knows? He has said nothing regarding this situation.
But we are not going away. In fact, we are growing in numbers and our fight has just begun.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Like Pete Seeger’s Teaspoon Brigade we will collectively take the sand of our desert and keep pouring it upon the scales of justice until they tip into our favor. Let us remind Cedillo that he serves all of us. That being a leader, means making the right choices, even when they are controversial. That every study ever done, shows that when road diets are applied to streets, the streets become SAFER for all users. That every day Figueroa is allowed to exist as-is, it is another day for potential tragedy. We have the road engineering know-how and resources to make Figueroa a better street for all. Let us work toward making this a reality.
Please call Gil Cedillo’s office at:
(213) 473-7001 City Hall
(323) 550-1538 Highland Park Field Office
(323) 341-5671 Glassell Park Field Office
Please email his staff at:
Arturo.Chavez@lacity.org Arturo Chavez, Chief of Staff
Gerald.Gubatan@lacity.org Gelrald Cubatan, Senior Planning Deputy
Fredy.Ceja@lacity.org Fredy Ceja, Communications Deputy
Sergio.Infanzon@lacity.org Sergio Infanzon, Planning Deputy
Conrado.Terrazas@lacity.org Conrado Terrazas, District Director
Melinda.Alatorre@lacity.org Melinda Alatorre, Highland Park Field Deputy
Please send him a letter:
Council Member Gilbert Cedillo
200 North Spring Street, Room 470
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Council Member Gilbert Cedillo
Highland Park Field Office
5577 North Figueroa
Highland Park, CA 90042
Hopefully with your help dear reader, we can nudge our Council Member into consciousness. Until then, it looks like 2014 will be a long year of dodging cars on Figueroa.