The Turning Tide

Ted Rogers over at Biking in LA isn’t the only blogger with a Secret Correspondent. I have one too: a longtime resident of Highland Park’s Council District 1, involved in the neighborhood for over sixty years, a former board member of one of the local neighborhood councils, and a politically astute observer of City Hall shenanigans as well. And my SC reports that the tide seems to be turning against “Roadkill Gil” Cedillo, who has disappointed a broad range of his increasingly reluctant constituents, not just Safe Streets proponents and neighborhood advocates.

Quotes the SC:

I am very encouraged by the votes of “No Confidence” by the city council in regard to Cedillo. I see hints that the mayor and council have high-density residential development in mind for L.A. and tie this to slowing and reducing cars on the streets. But this will be a battle as I have seen in NELA with the development of the Marmion 50 unit apartment project being fought by residents who want continued (and expanded) free auto storage on the street and continued high speed movement of cars with the high body count being, “the cost of doing business”.

The general attitude of Garcetti and the council [is] in favor of traffic calming with Cedillo totally against it. In a private email message from CD1 to officers of the ASNC, [Cedillo’s office] stated that traffic calming would not have “made any difference” in the recent fatality on Fig/Marmion, even though a CD1 staffer stood on that corner with me and observed, first hand, the problems and conflicts caused by bad street design. I think Cedillo is also beholden to developers, but commercial developers for whom traffic calming is counter productive, as opposed to high density residential developers for whom traffic calming is desired.

I asked the SC to elucidate the “no confidence” votes mentioned; the SC responded that it was the votes approving Mobility Plan 2035 in toto, minus Cedillo’s and Koretz’s retrograde amendments, and the vote to implement bikeshare in Downtown, right in Cedillo’s district… which will necessitate the expansion of bikeways there.

The amendments could still be snuck in while no one’s looking, as they have been tabled, not outright denied, so we’d better keep watch. But the chatter I hear in local shops indicates that increasing numbers of residents are turning against Cedillo, and that they are nurturing the hope they can find someone to run against him and unseat him in the very next election…they don’t want to have to leave their beloved neighborhood in disgust.

So it does seem that the tide is turning—and it’s a rising tide that won’t float Cedillo’s leaky boat, which will remain stuck in the mud of his outdated concepts till it is submerged, to rot gracelessly away.

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  1. MaxUtil
    Posted September 3, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    The “no confidence” vote by the ASNC as you’re calling it was bit stunning. While their resolution wasn’t phrased that way, it was a pretty obvious rebuke to Cedillo and other council members who are trying to undermine the mobility plan and pre-existing bike plan.

    While it’s a good sign that activist, forward thinking people are getting elected to the neighborhood councils, I’m not sure how much of an indication this is of a broader shift in public thinking. The public debate at the ASNC was a pretty standard rehash of every CD1 bike lane argument from the last several years. Still, I am heartened to see a NC take a pretty confrontational stand like this, even with a Cedillo staffer in the room (who offered highly misleading comments on both the councilman’s actions and intentions.)

    I’m also very happy to see that the battle to frame this debate about making streets “safer” seems largely won. I don’t hear much argument anymore that cars can’t be inconvenienced at any cost. I think opponents are focusing on points like “it will slow down emergency response times” so much precisely because they do hear the general public’s demand for safer streets, even if there is still a debate on how to achieve it.

  2. davistrain
    Posted October 13, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen the term “traffic calming” used for several years now. It’s been noted that the term is a direct translation from German, which leads me to think, that like many translations, it’s not precisely the same meaning. I think that a more honest name would be “traffic restricting”, because a motorist caught in a reconfigured street that delays his progress might be anything but calm. This is not to say that “restricting” traffic is a bad idea–indeed discouraging the use of motor vehicles in many areas makes them work better, just “tell it like it is”.

  3. Posted October 20, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

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2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Pigeon’s Rick Risemberg says the tide appears to be turning against CD1 Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, who is up for re-election in […]

  2. By Today’s Headlines | Streetsblog Los Angeles on September 3, 2015 at 8:07 am

    […] Is the Tide Turning Against Cedillo Over Opposition to Traffic Calming? (Flying Pigeon) […]

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