What Carolyn Ramsay Needs to Learn

Don’t say I didn’t see this coming.

With so many people running for the empty council district 4 seat, candidates got lost in the largess of the field and had little opportunity to distinguish themselves during their debates.  In essence, all the electioneering went for naught as the two with the biggest war chests advanced.

Now that we are still six 1/2 weeks away from more voting, the remaining candidates are forced to talk about important issues, like stuff.

This is a blurry Carolyn Ramsay or David Ryu with a wig
This is a blurry Carolyn Ramsay or David Ryu with a wig

One burgeoning issue on the minds of Angelenos is the growing network of bike infrastructure. So far most of the talk between the pair can only colorfully be described as being vanilla. Ramsay received a an endorsement from Bike the Vote LA, but didn’t seem strong in her comments at the Livable Streets forum.

At least she showed up. David Ryu not only missed the event in its entirety, but didn’t fill out the LACBC bike survey until after the election. Advantage Ramsay!….so it would seem.

Then this showed up this in Colin Stutz’s article in the Los Feliz Ledger:

Ramsay’s local plan, if elected, is rather then encouraging new bike paths along the already busy Hillhurst Avenue, she said she would advocate for a bike route on the more residential Commonwealth Avenue that runs parallel. It’s a nice street to ride on, she said — a cyclist herself — and car traffic is much slower. Her plan, she said, means bicyclists would not be competing for road space with cars and more families could ride together and safer and still have access to the area’s commercial corridor.

“This way [bicyclists are] close and can support the businesses,” she said. “There’s a greater opportunity to attract riders onto Commonwealth than on Hillhurst… [Cyclists would have the] same access but on streets that would actually be pleasant for riding.”

There’s one thing to be against putting in a bike lane, but another when you push a backwards idea. Cyclists are like drivers, we need infrastructure to take us where we want to go. There’s a reason why

Who wouldn't want to get to Little Dom's?
Who wouldn’t want to get to Little Dom’s?

Hillhurst was included in the 2035 Mobility Plan as a priority planned bike lane and Commonwealth was not.

Hillhurst will eventually connect to the planned bike lanes at the Sunset Blvd./Hollywood Blvd. junction while Commonwealth dead ends on Prospect Ave. to the south. These proposed lanes have zero connectivity and will provide little use to those searching for safety.

The fact that this idea treats cyclists as second-class citizens may be a barometer for things to come. Did anyone ever believe that “separate, but equal”, was truly separate but equal?

So in one of the first opportunities Ramsay had to to put forward a specific stance on bike lanes(and both candidates have said yes to option 3 on Hyperion), she gave the biggest dud of an answer possible. Is this an indication of things to come?

*****  *****  *****  *****  *****  *****  *****  *****

So here’s what’s noteworthy. Last week, both candidates showed up to say how-do-you-do at the Griffith Park Advisory Board meeting and I imagine both will show for the next on April 23rd. This meeting not only promises to have an even larger crowd of what was already a well represented group of cyclists, but an expanded base of other local stakeholders, including runners, hikers, horse riders and homeowners as well. If you’re not going to be well received by the cyclists, it may permeate, especially as the group is fairly united over the Mount Hollywood Drive precedings.

As for Ryu, he hasn’t said much in terms of specifics and from what I’ve heard at debates shows he doesn’t have a great depth of knowledge concerning these issues. Then again, he hasn’t said anything as silly as putting bike lanes on Commonwealth either.

You may be asking why Mr. CiclaValley cares about what goes on over the hill? Well, CD4 not only covers a haphazard landscape of neighborhoods around the Hollywood area, but also reaches to Toluca Lake and Sherman Oaks as well.

Bottom line: there are only six 1/2 weeks left until the runoff election. The number of voters may not even reach five digits. Every vote counts and as evidenced by last week, certain groups can be very active in the political process. Let’s see who steps up to the plate…