Bait and Switch

I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise when a politician proves duplicitous—and it’s not. But it is unavoidably disappointing.

I’m referring, of course, to Council District 1’s new overseer, Gil Cedillo, who has been busily doing everything he can, or so it seems, to stand in the way of North Figueroa’s evolution to a community street with calmed traffic, bike lanes, and prospering businesses.

Bike lanes in particular have been stalled, though the project ground through nearly a dozen community meetings, was approved after demonstrations of overwhelming community support by people who live in the neighborhood, contrary to the continuing lies of opponents, and has been funded, designed, and ready to build.

North Figueroa has been shown to be overdesigned for the level of traffic that it sees, resulting in scofflaw drivers speeding down the wide lanes, killing and maiming residents and visitors alike and creating a bleak and harrowing ambience that diminishes the curb appeal of local businesses. The road diet and its accompanying bike lanes would restrain the speed demons, and the bike lanes themselves would allow neighbors the option to get about without cars, which so many of them do not own anyway. This would improve job access and bring more customers to local stores.

In Highland Park one in ten families owns no cars at all. In fact, 40% of new families established in Los Angeles since 2005 do not own a car. Vehicle miles traveled per person has been dropping in California, as all over the US, since 2004, steadily and dramatically. And even if you do own a car, it doesn’t follow that you wish to be a slave to it, driven to drive by half-baked infrastructure. And half-baked describes both North Figueroa today, and Cedillo’s plans for it tomorrow.

Yet Cedillo, who in the video above enthusiastically speaks of the city’s need to install “real bike lanes” such as he studied in Denmark, now is sitting on the project, and in fact giving the appearance of orchestrating the new community meetings he’s set up to make the opposition look bigger than it is. Of course the video was taken when he was fishing for the votes of the cycling community prior to the last election….

So it’s sad that we were bamboozled by clever campaign “events” designed to mislead.

Let’s not make the same mistake next time.

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  1. […] for Flying Pigeon, he accuses CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo of bait and switch in supporting bike lanes when he was running for office, and seemingly opposing […]

  2. […] Councilmember Cedillo’s Bait and Switch on North Figueroa Bike Lanes (Flying Pigeon) […]