Glendale Voter Guide

Glendale Voter Guide

Walk Bike Glendale sat down face to face with council candidates (including 2 incumbents) to talk about Walk/Bike issues.  Make an informed discussion for the election!  Walk Bike Glendale has uploaded the audio to SoundCloud.  If you wish, you can listen or download (podcast).

All candidates can be seen here

A transcript of our meeting can be seen below.


Transcript from “Candidates Carousel” Walk Bike Glendale group table

Sunday, March 12, 2017 2:00-3:00pm Glendale Fire Station #21, 421 Oak Street

Organized by the League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank

[the following responses are presented in the order in which we met the candidates]

All candidates were asked the same question:  With this new infusion of (Measure M) transportation dollars, how do you think we can further promote walking and biking in Glendale?

Zareh Sinanyan = I love the idea of a walking / biking culture in our city.  I love that idea because I’ve seen it in other cities.  I lived in DC for a while and all I did was walk. I took the subway and I walked.  I walked tens of miles if I could. On a Sunday all I would do is walk the city. Glendale was built as a driving city. It was intentionally designed in a way where the concept of taking viable public transportation was as difficult to achieve as possible. Whatever we had in terms of light rail was viciously destroyed. How do we reengineer the city in a way where walking and biking is viable without somehow hampering automobile traffic, that’s the question. And therefore the issue of funding is important. To the extent we’re going to have additional available funds I agree, I’d like to allocate a fair share of those funds towards thinking about and implementing (again I think it’s an engineering issue) before the cultural shift takes place. Before we educate our residents about even the possibility of walking and biking. Our people drive, they love to drive. The other day I got into an argument with a lady, she was the one arguing, I was the one trying to defend the point of view that bringing light rail back to Glendale would be a great idea. She said, “You’re not taking my car away.” I said, “I have no intention of taking your car away. I’m just saying, there are other ways to get around.  There are modern ways. The world does it. We wouldn’t be the first ones. “ She said, “No, when I’m dead, then you can have walkers and bikers and light rail in the city of Glendale.  Before then, you’re not going to get me to do it.” So, it’s a two prong approach. First, look at the engineering. Secondly, [educate our residents?]

Mike Mohill = Like I always tell everyone, if you have an issue, go before the city council. One of my big things, in my experience with the bike lanes, is that they’re not clearly marked. I think, for example, in some parts of the city, or other places I’ve been to, they actually paint the street a different color. So that’s good for the bikers and good for automobile drivers.  I also think there should be some more publicity done by your group, because you’re secret.  Did you know that?  You guys are secret.  Most people have never heard of your organization. And that’s what I would do, promote the efforts of Measure M money.  There’s the newspapers.  Talk about it.  Go before city council, talk about it.  If you have the funds and it’s not being used, that’s too bad isn’t it.  There’s one thing about government I found out: If you don’t use it you lose it.

Mike Van Gorder = First of all, we got the Verdugo Wash Bike Path, I would love to see that come to fruition. A big push that they’re having right now is the South Glendale Development Plan. Transportation is a big part of that.  They want to get more light rail.  They’re even kicking around a trolley, which I don’t think is the best idea, unless it goes all the way to the airport, which they’re discussing.  We’ve got these big wide streets, giant medians (like Glenoaks) I think we could absolutely put a bike lane in the middle of it. The streets should be multi-use. And I know they want to expand them into multi-use anyway.  I see more people using bike lanes than the trolley, which seems charming and less useful.  As metro expands, transportation hubs are being built in the North and Westside, which I know they really want to do. They’re spending $300,000 worth on environmental impact studying to see how these things are going to wind up.  Having generous resources made available for bike racks, that would connect a bicyclist to the entirety of Los Angeles. If we can make it easy for people to bike to one of these these transportation centers, lock it up safely, something that is not easily bolt-cuttable. Then they can take off and go about whatever they are doing. That keeps less cars on the road because now I don’t need to drive to Santa Monica, I can bike/take the train there.

Grant Michals = Without feeling like I’m stealing from the pedestrian safety advisory commission, the last meeting held different intitiatives.  I do favor Vision Zero as an overarching goal.  If we don’t state that we have a significant problem with pedestrian and cycling accidents, and form an umbrella to go ahead and figure out what can be done to meet that, then we’re lost.  We need that framework. Citywide, the first thing we need to do is go ahead and state: we acknowledge there is a problem. And be able to prioritize projects and funding to address that. When we talk about some of the initiatives the “Twenty is Plenty” to establish a 20 mph speed limit, which would reduce the number of pedestrian deaths to 85% versus a much higher percentage as the speed goes up, with a chance of a pedestrian fatality in a collision.  That “Twenty is Plenty” is going to take a long time to change driver behavior, education, and implement. More of the engineering projects, such as no right turns in the downtowns, is an engineering project with a much smaller cost and a much more immediate return. So when we have the money coming in from Measure M, I want to try to prioritize that to where it has the greatest impact and go after the lowest hanging fruit as well as plan for the future having an education component for the longer term.  Having a full framework of everything we want rather than focusing on just one issue.

Ara Najarian = Carving out a dedicated earmark for dedicated walking and biking for the local return, which comes every year, we should do that.  In terms of our best play for walking and biking, is the first mile/last mile concept. Which is very much en vogue at the MTA. Which basically will fund projects and programs that will get people to and from transit.  Whether that’s going to mean bike lockers, rental bikes, bike lanes, bike facilities, pedestrian-oriented development.  That’s the low hanging fruit for us in Glendale to grab and to do that.  LA does it like crazy.  They’re getting $115M on their first mile/last mile. We should be at least be able to grab $5-10M of that for ourselves.

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