Call to Action: Write to Mayor Eric Garcetti

Just after midnight this morning, a man riding a bicycle was hit and killed after being struck by multiple drivers, all of which left the scene. The bicylist was hit on Century Blvd. and Avalon Blvd., making him the third victim of a hit and run in South LA in less than a week. A few hours later, Mayor Eric Garcetti gave his State of the City Address, and stated, “when our streets are free of crime…we are reminded that those streets belong to all of us…Our streets become not just safer and friendlier — but healthier, as well.”

Despite this proclamation, our streets are not safe or healthy, and they will not be until people walking and biking are given the same rights as people in vehicles. Hit and runs are a public health crisis, and should treated as such, instead of legitimized as “acceptable losses.”

In 2015, Mayor Garcetti signed the Vision Zero initiative and declared, “It is tragic that 200 people are killed each year while moving about our city. With more people walking and biking than ever before, we must use every available tool to save lives. I am determined to bring that number down to zero.” That determination has dwindled into inaction, as more than 500 people walking and biking have been killed on the streets of LA since this statement was made. The two lives lost in South LA in the last week shine an upsetting light on this lack of progress.

LACBC has been working on making streets safer across LA by advocating the City to adequately fund Vision Zero projects and community engagement. Over the last few months, we provided public comment in support of funding street safety improvements, and wrote comment letters directed at Transportation Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, and full City Council meetings. While we are excited for the six complete streets projects that were approved and funded by Council, we know that much more funding and strong political leadership is needed, alongside robust and ongoing community engagement.

Today, we ask you to join with us in reminding Mayor Garcetti of his past statements, and urge him to stand up and loudly recommit to Vision Zero. We need him to lead and support our City Councilmembers in prioritizing the safety of their constituents. We invite you to send this tweet and write to the Mayor and your Councilmembers by copying and pasting this letter below, or writing your own:

Dear Mayor Garcetti,

My name is ___________ and I am a resident of _________, California. I’m writing to you because within the past week, three members of my community have been victims of hit-and-run crashes in South LA — a community that we know is disproportionately impacted by traffic deaths. Two of them lost their lives, and one remains hospitalized. Today, as you gave your State of the City, you stated that “when our streets are free of crime…we are reminded that those streets belong to all of us…Our streets become not just safer and friendlier — but healthier, as well.” The problem is, our streets aren’t safe. Especially not for me, and for other people who bike and walk around Los Angeles. In addition to unsafe road conditions and infrastructure built for cars, hit and runs are largely dismissed in our city, the “hit and run capital of the nation.”

Over three years ago, you signed the Vision Zero Initiative, and declared that you were determined to bring the number of people killed while walking and biking down to zero. Since then, we’ve lost over 500 friends, neighbors, and loved ones to the dangerous conditions of our city’s streets. I am asking you to stand up and recommit to Vision Zero, and ask that City Council do the same.

We need you to lead and support our City Councilmembers in prioritizing the safety of their constituents. Please stand up for safe streets, so we can have, in your words, “a well-run city…A prosperous city…A safe city…A city of opportunity.”

Thank you,
Your Name

6 Comments

  • Claire Hirashiki says:

    Please make our streets safer!

  • Dan Cheng says:

    I bike to work every day and often get honked by drivers, this needs to get changed!

  • Sabine J. says:

    Please help us be safe on the roads. Us cyclists are doing our part in polluting less and living a healthier lifestyle. We want others to do the same – being in constant danger is not encouraging for others to do the same.
    Please help to increase awareness of cyclists!

  • Patrick Abille says:

    Please make us feel safe in the streets.

  • Emily Greenstreet says:

    I live in the Playa Vista area and was pleased with the Safe Street project that brought bike lanes to Venice Blvd. Unfortunately, because of push back from the neighborhood council the pilot project was reversed and Venice Blvd reverted back to it’s previous state, which is not friendly for bicyclists. Biking from my residence to Venice and Santa Monica was once one of my favorite weekend activities but now I do not feel safe biking the entire duration on LA city streets.

  • Cathy Des Lauriers says:

    I bike to work often from Hollywoood to DTLA. It is pleasant on the back streets, but never safe. Drivers pass too close, they honk at me, they don’t signal and then turn in front of me. I ride very carefully and slowly. This summer, our grandchildren will visit and now I’m scared for them. I can’t tell them they can just go outside and play. The major streets they have to cross scare me for all the close calls I have had. They will have to stay in the house until we can take them to a safer place to play. I notice other children in our neighborhood never come out and play in the area due to the speeding traffic.

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