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.”
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