THE DOCTOR IS IN - Local attorney Traci Park did something that no one has done for several years--and that is to openly declare her candidacy for CD11, the Westside Los Angeles district whose current Councilmember Mike Bonin richly deserves to be replaced--either by recall or in our next municipal election.
LET ME REPEAT: ATTORNEY TRACI PARK IS RUNNING FOR CD11, AND WE NEED HER MORE THAN EVER.
After many pleas for SOMEONE to go against a man (Bonin) who once held the mantle of the late and beloved Bill Rosendahl, and who emulated Councilmember Rosendahl for his first term and then sharply moved awry and away from Councilmember Rosendahl after his re-election, I will strongly argue that Ms. Park deserves to be our next CD11 Councilmember.
In other words, for all those who sat on the fence for the past three years as Mike Bonin and his small clique destroyed the trust and quality of life of the community who once trusted, voted, and spent much of their own time and money for Mr. Bonin...STAY OUT.
TRACI PARK IS THE ONLY PERSON THAT SHOULD RUN TO REPLACE MIKE BONIN. ALL THOSE WHO DIDN'T HAVE THE MOXIE AND COURAGE TO RUN TO DATE SHOULD (I REPEAT) STAY OUT!
Let there be only once CD11 Councilmember candidate to restore the legacy of Bill Rosendahl and regain the trust of the communiity: Traci Park.
I shall do my best to meet with Ms. Park, whose efforts to meet with and gain the support and consensus of the community that Mr. Bonin abandoned, are duly noted. She has achieved quite a following in a very short time, and that is to be both respected, acknowledged, and supported.
As anyone whose read CityWatch knows, I'm primarily a Transportation/Planning kind of guy for the Westside (and the greater L.A. County region), and here are a few goals and working paradigms that I highly recommend Ms. Park consider:
1) There is a limited capacity of the 405 and 10 freeways, and therefore a north-south subway (the counterpart of the east-west Wilshire Subway) is strongly needed. Money is a factor, but all rail and bus transportation loses money in its construction and operations...however, the vital economic consequences of transportation more than pays for New Starts projects and transportation spending.
A north-south subway, which like the 405 freeway mirrors and expands the Sepulveda Blvd. corridor, should proceed under Sepulveda but connect with the Wilshire/Westwood Red Line/Wilshire Line subway station and then go UNDER UCLA and to destinations at that university en route to the San Fernando Valley. Yes, that is in CD 5 but CD11 support is vital.
2) There is no Metrolink for commuters in the Westside and South Bay, so extending the aforementioned north-south subway to LAX and the current South Bay/105 Corridor to Norwalk is more critical than ever as an alternative to the 405 freeway.
3) The Exposition Line has a limited capacity of 70-90,000 riders per day (if that much, due to operational costs and COVID-19 distancing needs) because of its shared tracks with the Blue Line downtown. Overdevelopment along the Expo Line corridor, as if it were another Wilshire subway (the latter of which has a capacity of hundreds of thousands of riders per day) is entirely inappropriate.
4) A great deal of interest exists for a Lincoln Blvd. Corridor mass transit line, but the narrowness and high water table may likely prevent that.
5) COVID-19 will limit a desire for mass transit use, and currently use and interest in automobile transportation is at record levels, despite the high cost of gasoline.
6) Mass transit has NO place or room for the homeless to live, or criminal elements to dominate, and if a woman like yourself cannot safely and comfortably access a rail or bus, then law enforcement and homeless relocation is vital for both the trains/buses and for stations to access mass transit.
7) COVID-19 has made remote work/commuting a stronger priority and work behavior more than ever witnessed. Infrastructure for internet/remote commuting is more vital than ever. WiFi and electric infrastructure is in the federal transportation/infrastructure bill coming out of Washington, and L.A. deserves its fair share--cooperation with federal electeds is critical.
8) End the Venice Blvd. Road Diet--it was imposed with very questionable legality, and is probably the worst thing that has happened to local business and to regional transportation in recent history. Buses and bicycle transportation has been harmed by this road diet.
9) Affordable housing is NOT for Silicon Beach professionals who can afford high-cost housing--local density along major corridors, with both parking and a limit of height, and with a priority for "real world" Workforce Affordable Housing should be prioritized and incentivized so that the community will accept new development.
10) If affordable housing and "real world" access to mass transit/the Expo Line is not achieved by a development, Los Angeles City incentivization and variant granting is not appropriate...no matter what garbage Sacramento passes.
Good luck, Ms. Park--we need you more than ever. Thank you for throwing your hat into the ring at a time when everyone else chose not to do so. Again, thank you and good luck!
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 8-9 years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)