Excerpt from CD5's Councilmember Paul Koretz's newsletter

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Councilmember Koretz Newsletter 9-7-18.jpg

Legislative News:

Dockless Scooter and Bicycle Pilot Guidelines Approved

The Los Angeles City Council met on Tuesday, September 4,th and approved guidelines for dockless mobility vehicles.  

The new provisions include: 

Safety - All vehicles will be required to adhere to California safety standards and submit a record of reported collisions on a monthly basis.  A limit of 15 miles per hour for electric scooters and bikes, front and rear lights required, large, visible messaging on vehicles & in app including: no riding on sidewalks; yield to pedestrians; wear helmets while using. Vehicles must be parked upright and cannot be parked at crosswalks, corners, or curb ramps, blocking the sidewalk or in a manner that impedes regular travel in the public right of way. 

Permits/ Fleet Size/ Equity - Under the 120 day conditional permit all new and existing operators will be able to deploy up to 3,000 vehicles throughout the city, with a higher cap in districts with their own pilot programs. Leading up to their annual permit application, operators are required to conduct outreach and determine both equity and safe parking plans to submit with their annual permit application. There are incentives built into the program to encourage companies to serve low-income communities. The LADOT plans to begin accepting applications and issuing annual permits in January 2019. Operators can expand their fleet beyond the initial 3,000 with an additional 2,500 located in CalEnviroScreen designated disadvantaged communities, plus 5,000 more in disadvantaged communities in the San Fernando Valley, for a total fleet size of 10,500 per operator. Operators must provide rental options that do not require credit or smart phones, and offer a low-income customer plan. (Slated to go into effect in 2019). They must also provide a multilingual mobile app, and a call center. To make the system more accessible to people with a range of fitness and abilities, operators would be required to either make 50% of their bike fleets electric-assist or 1% of their bike fleets handicap-accessible. 

Operations & Maintenance - Operators must provide maintenance logs and have a staffed operations center.  LADOT is proposing a new data standard for the industry so that we can see in real time how the system is operating and make data-driven management decisions. 

Evaluation - Council approval of the regulations will initiate a one year pilot program (beginning in early-2019) to evaluate dockless mobility in Los Angeles, and LADOT is directed to report back on several factors including: data on collision and injury; recommendations for building out bicycle enhanced networks to support new dockless transport; protocols to incentivize good behavior; feasibility of installing parking corrals in high traffic corridors; potential technology to regulate speed; optimal vehicle density; potential for revenue generation. 

Councilmember Koretz continues to be very concerned about the public safety and enforcement aspects of the program and expects the conversation to continue in the coming weeks as to the finalized regulations.  

Pets in Publicly Funded Housing Mandate Approved

Councilmember Paul Koretz recently worked with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to propose that any housing built using public funds as part of its financing package be required to allow pets.  The City Council voted on September 4th to support this new policy and to ask the City Attorney to draft an ordinance implementing it. 

Councilmember Koretz's goal, quite simply, is to remove a significant barrier for people to be eligible to live in this housing.  With the City getting more involved in the financing and funding of affordable and Measure HHH Supportive Housing for the homeless, this proposal could affect thousands of new housing units and allow hundreds of tenants to find homes for themselves and their pets. 

Certain federal and state housing finance programs already carry a "must allow pets" mandate attached to the loans and grants they provide for affordable housing projects.  However, certain key state housing finance programs and all of the City's programs don't require it.  This is the gap Mr. Koretz and the ASPCA targeted with this measure.

While many people may not think of pets as a factor in the City's affordable housing and homelessness issues, they are. The Department of Animal Services tracks the reasons why animals are surrendered at City shelters. Approximately one-fifth of the pet owners in the City of Los Angeles who surrender their companion animals to City shelters, do so because they can't find housing that allows pets.  Homeless service providers add that many persons experiencing homelessness who have pets will refuse to enter shelters or housing if they can't bring their animals with them.

Now that the Council has voted, the City Attorney will work on ordinance language.  At the same time, Councilmember Koretz and various City departments will work with housing providers and other advocates to give guidance to developers and building managers who will be subject to the new requirement on how best to operate buildings with pets if they don't already have experience doing so.  All tenants will be required to adhere to the City's per household pet limits of three dogs and three cats, and building managers probably will be allowed to set lower limits under appropriate circumstances as long as they don't prohibit pets altogether.

Stand Up To Cancer Day in Los Angeles

On August 24th, Councilmember Koretz and CD5 staff held a special City Council presentation to honor Stand Up to Cancer, recognizing the non-profit organization's founders, volunteers and two of their celebrity ambassadors Jimmy Smits and Bree Turner. As part of the presentation, the Los Angeles City Council declared Friday, September 7th as “Stand Up to Cancer Day,” the same day as the national online and live televised telethon. 

Councilmember Koretz recognized the organization’s ten years of impact in cancer research that continues to save patients lives. Stand Up To Cancer officials also announced a new collaboration with Charles R. Drew University that will explore raising awareness and participation in clinical trials among diverse communities beginning here in LA