Action Alert: Support a More Walkable LA

Not only is this sidewalk in disrepair but it's also not possible for someone in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller to naviagate.  Send us your pictures of sidealks or social media with #lasidewalks

Not only is this sidewalk in disrepair but it’s also not possible for someone in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller to navigate. Help ensure this no longer happens in LA.

On Thursday at 8:30AM, the City Planning Commission will consider the Mobility Plan 2035 at their meeting at Van Nuys City Hall, Council Chamber 2nd Floor. We’d like you to join us to speak in favor of the Mobility Plan, which carries forward the best parts of the L.A. Bicycle Plan, while adding in family-friendly protected bike lanes to the City’s toolbox of street improvements. The Plan also connects a much-needed improvements for people walking with a better bike network and transit. Most importantly, the Plan promotes complete streets that serve all people who travel on them, with special focus on the most vulnerable road users: children, the elderly, pedestrians and bicyclists. Please join us at the meeting and/or add your voice by emailing the City Planning Commission (see sample below).

The Commission needs to hear from you. People that are opposed to the improvements we’ve seen on L.A. streets are already mobilizing against this new Plan. We are counting on supporters like you to share your thoughts at the hearing and by email. If you can come to the meeting, please email hello@losangeleswalks.org.

 What does the Mobility Plan do?
  • Makes safety the City’s number one transportation priority, particularly the safety of children walking to school
  • Sets design speeds for city streets and provides engineering and enforcement solutions to stop the constant increase in speed limits
  • Proposes a new network of protected bike lanes across L.A.
  • Doubles the share of Measure R Local Return for walking and bicycling
  • Calls for annual bicycle and pedestrian counts by LADOT
  • Sets a performance metric of zero increase in car travel per person
Los Angeles Walks, LACBC and other stakeholders were involved in the development of the plan to ensure that the needs of L.A.’s bicyclists and pedestrians are a priority. Los Angeles Walks worked with the Department of City Planning to prioritize pedestrian mobility throughout the plan, because walking is a component of every trip, and high quality pedestrian access in needed on every streets. Let’s make this a reality in Los Angeles by passing this Plan and supporting its implementation.
You can see the final EIR and staff report here.

Mobility Plan at City Planning Commission

When: Thu, May 28, 8:30am – 12:00pm. The Mobility Plan will be the first item on the agenda, so please make sure to be there at 8:30 AM.
Where: Van Nuys City Hall, Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, 14410 Sylvan Street, Van Nuys, CA 91401(map)

Los Angeles Walks Congratulates CD4 Councilmember-elect David Ryu

DavidRyu

Los Angeles Walks congratulates David Ryu on his victory in yesterday’s Council District 4 election

As LA’s pedestrian safety advocacy organization, Los Angeles Walks has been strongly advocating for the two-sidewalk option (known as “Option 3″) for the improvement project planned for the Hyperion Bridge. Although it is only one bridge in a city of many, the Hyperion Bridge renovation is critical as this project will set a precedent — and the proposed design fails to serve all users in the City of Los Angeles. We are pleased that Councilmember-elect Ryu, who counts the bridge in his council district, supports Option 3.

During the campaign, the Councilmember-elect showed himself to be a strong supporter of making our streets safer for all road users. On the eve of the election, Ryu even sent his campaign manager to a Board of Public Works hearing to fight for more sidewalk space on the future Glendale-Hyperion Complex of Bridges.

Ryu’s campaign gave this testimony for the Hyperion Bridge:

“I am writing to you to express my strong support for “Option 3″ for the Glendale Boulevard-Hyperion Avenue Complex of Bridges Improvement Project. I first expressed my support for  “Option 3″ at a Democrats for Neighborhood Action (DNA) meeting because this option would maintain 2 sidewalks and buffered bike lanes on both sides, all while improving traffic flow. This option has wide community support and many dedicated community members have been working for over a year and a half on this issue. From sidewalk access for students walking to school, to families seeking to travel by foot to local businesses, I believe “Option 3″ is the best option to help meet the mobility needs of our community…I stand with both the Silver Lake and Los Feliz Neighborhood Councils and support the need to save the sidewalk on this historic bridge.”

How you can help

Please join us congratulating Councilmember-elect Ryu on his victory and thanking him for his support and leadership on the bridge project so far.
Email: info@davidryu.com  |  Twitter: @davideryu


Some updates on Hyperion Bridge from the news this week:

Can LA Make “Great Streets” If the Mayor Won’t Stand Up for Good Design? (Streetsblog)

Making LA walkable? Hyperion bridge remake brings only one sidewalk
  (KPCC)

Silver Lake and Atwater Village Getting New Pedestrian/Bike Bridge Over the LA River  (Curbed)

To Road Diet or Not on Glendale-Hyperion Bridge
(KCET)

Call to Action: Help Save our Sidewalk on the Hyperion Bridge

LA Walks - HyperionPressStatement final w attach 20150512

Please come out and show your support this Friday:
Public Hearing on Friday May 15th 10:00 AM 
Los Angeles City Hall
Board of Public Works Session Room
Room 350
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

IF YOU CAN’T MAKE THE HEARING ON FRIDAY PLEASE EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS AND LETTERS TO:

Elinor.Mondok@lacity.org, Fernando.Campos@lacity.org, Geraldine.Rodriguez@lacity.org, Heather.Repenning@lacity.org, Kevin.James@lacity.org, Matt.Szabo@lacity.org, Mike.Davis@lacity.org, Monica.Rodriguez@lacity.org, Shelley.Wong@lacity.org, Teri.Schmidt@lacity.org

PLEASE CITE PROJECT TITLE

Glendale Blvd-Hyperion Avenue Complex of Bridges Improvement Project


PLEASE COPY YOUR EMAILS TO LOS ANGELES WALKS AT
hello@losangeleswalks.org

Following the Press Conference today by Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Tom LaBonge regarding the Red Car Trolley Bridge over the Los Angeles River and the release of the Bureau of Engineering Staff Report to the Board of Public Works, we have been made aware that the City of Los Angeles proposes to move forward with a bridge design that includes a sidewalk only on one side of the Hyperion Avenue portion of the Complex of Bridges (Option 1). This proposal disregards the 6-3 vote by the O’Farrell and LaBonge-appointed Community Advisory Committee which supported Option 3 with sidewalks on both sides of the bridge, as there are currently (see photo below).

The councilmembers  presented the Red Car Trolley bridge as a solution to the Option 1 design with only one sidewalk. However, Los Angeles Walks and the other Complete Streets advocates recognize that the trolley bridge only provides connections between the two sides of the river and does not connect the Silver Lake/Los Feliz communities with the Atwater community as the trolley bridge is at a different elevation and does not provide people with disabilities safe access.

Your support to Save our Sidewalk is critical as the design of this bridge will set a precedent for the design of bridges and streets in the City of Los Angeles for years to come.


 

Los Angeles Walks joins neighborhood councils, small business owners, parents, principals and residents to call on the City of Los Angeles to preserve sidewalks on both sides of the Hyperion Avenue Viaduct between Atwater Village and Silver Lake. At the request of Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the Bureau of Engineering convened a Citizens Advisory Committee to study alternatives that would enhance the safety, accessibility and mobility benefits of the bridge retrofit project. This committee voted 6-3 to recommend an option that would preserve two sidewalks, add bike lanes and calm traffic driving into Atwater Village by reducing an extra lane that is not needed to maintain traffic flow. With the community-supported “Option 3,” the bridge can support wheelchair-accessible sidewalks on both sides of the bridge, new protected bike lanes and business-friendly traffic speeds on Atwater Village’s main street.

The community’s support for Option 3 is overwhelming. Businesses and organizations have written over 150 letters of support and more than 1,200 stakeholders have signed petitions in favor of Option 3. In addition, the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council and Silver Lake Neighborhood Council both voted unanimously to support Option 3. Both Council District 4 candidates, Carolyn Ramsay and David Ryu, have pledged support for Option 3 as well.

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Option 3 Conceptual Design Sketch from Enrich LA

 

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“Everybody walks, but not everybody drives. The City of Los Angeles shouldn’t build a bridge that only allows you to walk on one side of the bridge. Without both sidewalks, pedestrians—children, students, seniors, the disabled, parents with strollers and everyone else—would have to walk, roll or be pushed almost a 1/2 mile, over 2200 feet, over a 12-minute walk (up to Glenfeliz Blvd, across Glendale Blvd and back) to get to destinations on the other side of the street like Red Car Park,” said Deborah Murphy, Executive Director of Los Angeles Walks. “If a driver was detoured this far out of their way, the City would never find that acceptable and they should not find it acceptable to require pedestrians of all abilities and disabilities to go that far out of their way just to make connections in their community.”

Los Angeles Walks is thrilled that Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Tim La Bonge have plans for a permanent pedestrian and bike bridge over the Los Angeles River on the Red Car Trolley tiers that will connect the north and south sides of the river, but it does not replace the need for a ‘Complete Street’ bridge on Hyperion Avenue that will truly connect our communities for all users.

With so many pedestrian-friendly policies and plans in place for the City of Los Angeles, now is the time to ensure our most long-lasting infrastructure reflects the forward-thinking values of our community. The new Hyperion Bridge will last over 100 years. Los Angeles Walks hopes that the City makes people walking this project’s top priority, by preserving and enhancing the sidewalks on this beautiful and historic structure.

 DOWNLOAD FULL PRESS PACKET HERE

Download BOE Staff Report

Download BOE Agenda

Excerpts from community support letters in favor of Option 3:

“Please let’s not take a step “backwards” and consider anything other than sidewalks and bike lanes on BOTH sides of the Hyperion Bridge.” – Gareth & Christine Kantner, owners of Sunset Junction Center & Cafe Stella

“…in a presentation to the citizen’s advisory committee, the City showed the results of its technical study, which analyzes how the different options can be expected to perform and Option #3 not only improves traffic flow, but is the only one to do so.” – Ava Bromberg, Senior Vice President Business Development, Atwater Crossing

“Please make sure that the historic Hyperion bridge keeps BOTH sidewalks, has bike lanes on both sides and crosswalks at the base so that the future generations can get to the L.A. River from our part of town safely with their families young and old…Any loss in commute time will be worth the unprecedented safe access to the L.A. River that people will gain.” – Jim Ferraro, owner of Dresden Restaurant in Los Feliz

“A large part of our children and students’ development occurs in our neighborhood and it is crucial that

we create a safe neighborhood where our families and children feel comfortable exploring, learning and

growing. The burgeoning Los Angeles River continues to develop into a beautiful recreational and

artistic learning space — one to which our children and families must have safe access. We must keep both sidewalks on the bridge in order to provide our children and families safe access between Atwater Village and Silverlake, whether they be walking, jogging or getting pushed in a stroller or wheelchair.” – Executive Board, Friends of Atwater Elementary School

“Right now, only a small percentage of Atwater Village and Silver Lake residents venture into the other neighborhood except by car. This is tragic.” – Dustin Lancaster, owner of Eastside Establishment Inc., which owns 8 local restaurants, 4 of which are within a few miles of Hyperion bridge

“Bike lanes and sidewalks spanning the Hyperion Bridge would encourage people to spend time in Atwater, enjoy its life and culture…rather than just driving through it…Keeping sidewalks on both sides [of Hyperion bridge] allows for the special vantage point of the L.A. River, an amenity and destination in and of itself that Golden Road wholeheartedly endorses.” – Tony Yarrow, owner of Golden Road Brewery in Atwater Village

“The first thing I noticed about our customers was how many chose to walk or bike to get their morning coffee…keeping BOTH sidewalks…[and] bike lanes in BOTH directions [is] the only option that truly considers the future of our city and the incalculable potential it has yet to unlock. The loss of a single lane heading into Atwater is unequivocally miniscule by comparison.” – Alexander Mirecki, owner of Kaldi Coffee in Atwater Village

“Atwater Village has a thriving community of young people. Many of these students have to walk or bike to school over Hyperion Bridge. We feel it is vitally important to keep both sidewalks on the bridge…” – Executive Board, Friends of Glenfeliz Elementary School

“The success and growth of our studios depends on these neighborhoods [Atwater Village and Silver Lake] being as walkable and livable as possible.” – David Trumfio, owner of Kingsize Soundlabs in Atwater Village

“My business, LA Sports Acupuncture, is located on Glendale Blvd in Atwater Village, where it has been for the last 6 years. For the last 17 years, I have lived on Monon St., just off of Hyperion…For the past few years, I have chosen to ride a bicycle rather than drive for a great deal of my commuting. This decision has increased my quality of life…Riding my bike down the Hyperion Bridge is generally fun, but there are times when I am frightened…As a cyclist, a health practitioner, and a business owner…I am unequivocally in support of Option 3 for the redesign of the Hyperion Bridge.” – Jorga Houy, owner of LA Sports Acupuncture in Atwater Village

“I am a business owner in Los Feliz and a father…I live on Rowena just down the street from Hyperion Bridge. My son is 6 years old and one day I want to be able to get to the LA River on our bikes or by walking safely. Let’s not leave my son a world in which using your own two feet is not a protected form of transportation…Please support Option 3.” – Nicolas Hipolito, Macho’s Tacos in Los Feliz

“Preserving a sidewalk on both sides of Hyperion Bridge and installing wide, buffered bicycle lanes are crucial to attaining safe and convenient access to our neighborhoods.” – Jesse Rogg, President & Producer, Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake

“I am very well aware that traffic can get backed up [around Hyperion bridge], but I believe part of the solution to that is to do everything in our power to encourage as many people as possible to seek out alternative transportation methods…it is incumbent on us…to encourage the flow of foot traffic into our local businesses.” – Emiliana Dore, President of Friends of Glenfeliz Elementary & long-term Atwater resident

“As advocates, as residents, as property owners and as business operators, we ask that you join us in advocating for a more livable Los Angeles with significantly improved access to our Los Angeles River and pedestrian-scaled connectivity between our communities and we request that you support Option #3 at a minimum for the future of the Hyperion Bridge.” – Kevin Mulcahy, AIA, Managing Partner, RAC Design Build, Inc. in Elysian Valley

“As a current automobile commuter, I cross the bridge every weekday morning and evening…I currently walk the Hyperion Bridge every weekend…Maintaining sidewalks on both sides of the bridge, adding bike lanes and providing pedestrian crosswalks are all vital…” – Mark Motonaga, co-owner of The Kitchen in Silver Lake & Principal at Rios Clementi Hale Studios

“…Customers with dogs on leash and children that visit my shop have often inquired about a safer alternative to cross the [Hyperion] bridge. My response has always been “By car!”. It is unfortunate that currently there is no safe way of crossing the bridge by foot, thus, negatively affecting our business.” – Jacob Gonzales, owner of Woof Dog Boutique in Atwater Village.

We’re Taking a WalkLAvia in Pasadena on 5/31

Photo via Pasadena Heritage

Photo via Pasadena Heritage

Los Angeles Walks returns to CicLAvia, this time in Pasadena on Sunday 5/31. Join us to explore the historic sites of Old Pasadena, South Lake, Raymond Avenue, and East Colorado. Here’s all the details about the day.

Walk with us!

Meet at the Del Mar Gold Line station at 10am
We will learn about the California Cycleway and then walk east to the end of the 3.5-mile route and back, ending at the Memorial Park Station.

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Say you’re going and invite friends on Facebook

Join us for a Westwood Walk 5/16

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Won’t you join us for a walk in Westwood? On the Bruin Walk, we’ll meander through Westwood Village and UCLA while discussing the area’s history and the pros and cons of its pedestrian environment. How do street and neighborhood design come together in this hub of commerce, housing and higher education? What changes are people in the neighborhood trying to make? How does the Great Streets program fit in? What lessons does this charming area have for the rest of the City? What is Rancho San Jose de Buenos Aires? Come find out, while having fun, getting exercise and supporting a great cause: Los Angeles Walks!

Westwood Walk
Saturday, May 16
10am to 1pm

Meet outside Peet’s Coffee and Tea
1124 Westwood Boulevard (at Lindbrook Drive), Los Angeles, CA 90024

$10 per person, get tickets here

Share event and invite friends on Facebook

Arriving by Walking: By all means, this is Westwood after all! Sidewalks are mostly intact except for some nearby construction to the west and east on Lindbrook Drive.

Arriving by Bike: The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has a map of bikeways on its website. Bike parking is a bit scarce, but there are a few places to lock up bikes on nearby sidewalks.

Arriving by Transit: The starting point is within easy walking distance of several bus lines, including Metro Lines 20, 720 & 761; Big Blue Bus Lines 1, 2, 3M, 8 & 12 and Culver City Bus Line 6. Subway service expected within a few decades.

Arriving by Car: The City parking structure at 1036 Broxton Avenue is a good bet (cash only). Generally speaking expect to pay for parking on or off-street. Bring cash, quarters and a credit card and pay attention to time limits.

The Big Parade marches through LA May 2 and 3

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Alert your calf muscles: It’s almost time for The Big Parade, one of the most exciting walks in LA, happening May 2 and 3. Our own steering committee member Dan Koeppel has been coordinating this annual adventure since 2008 which travels up and down over 80 public stairways in its 35-mile route from downtown to Griffith Park.

A big part of this year’s Big Parade will also be creating awareness around the fact that public stairways are public streets. Advocates will be talking about how to open stairways that have been closed over the years, and how to launch efforts to maintain staircases forgotten by the city.

Check out The Big Parade on Facebook for detailed information about routes and how to join for a few minutes or a few miles. There’s also a prologue walk May 1—and yes, some hardy souls do indeed complete all three days! See you out there!

Sign up to Finish The Ride in 2015

FTR 2015 eFlyerSign up for the second annual Finish The Ride on Sunday, April 19th, to either ride, run, walk, or roll, to help raise awareness of the safety issues faced by vulnerable road users on L.A. and California roads.

Take 10% off the registration price and help support LA Walks by using promo code SUPPORTLAWALKS while registering. In addition to getting a discount, you’ll help LA Walks with 10% of the registration fees collected under the LA Walks promo going to LA Walks!

Get more information on Finish The Ride:

Visit the Finish The Ride registration page.

 

LA will invest $1 billion in new sidewalks

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After several years of litigation the City of Los Angeles agreed to fix the city’s broken sidewalks and ensure accessibility and safety for all. This legal agreement represents the largest disability payout in the country. The settlement calls for a citywide sidewalk repair plan and spending over $1 billion in funds to fix and improve sidewalks throughout the city (see LA Times and Legal Aid Society coverage and analysis).

Next steps include developing a work plan and prioritization of efforts. Right now the City has over $27 million in approved budgeted funds to get started on this work this year. The source of transportation funds for this work beyond the initial $27 million has not yet been identified. The city is also creating a position to monitor the work and will draft reports on its progress twice yearly.

In order to leverage the funds for this scale of infrastructure rehab (over 10,000 miles of sidewalks within the city), an inventory and prioritization process is needed to develop a citywide strategic plan. The data collected and metrics used will enable articulation of detailed costs and an implementation program. Social equity and public health data will need to be critical parts of the performance metrics process to ensure the best outcomes for the highest needs communities in the City. Having a solid strategic plan will enable the city to compete for federal, state and regional transportation funds to complete the infrastructure repair.

Project delivery, transparency and coordination with other Citywide transportation projects will be critical for the sidewalk repair program. 30 years seems like a long time to wait to fix the city’s broken sidewalks, and this process should be accelerated to be completed within 10-15 years. Metro’s 30/10 program offers an example of how this could be done.

However, the City of Los Angeles struggles with delivering transportation projects in timely manner. During the October 2014 Street Transportation Project Oversight Committee and Transportation Committee meetings (audio of meeting, discussion at 58 minute mark), staff discussed the current backlog of safe routes to school, walking, and bicycling projects. This backlog of projects, totaling close to 1/4 of a billion dollars, is waiting for delivery by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Bureau of Street Services (BSS). These are combination of federal, state, and Metro grant funds that the city has been awarded but has not yet implemented.

It is exciting to see the City of Los Angeles ready to fix its broken sidewalks and focus on improving multi-modal travel as seen in the draft mobility plan and DOT strategic plan, but it is critical that the funding and efficient project delivery becomes aligned with these policies goals.

—Jessica Meaney, Investing in Place

Photo via @sidewalksinla

How to Make Walking Better in Your Neighborhood

Photo by LA Times

Photo by LA Times

By Marc Caswell – Pedestrian advocate and transportation policy expert. Download 311 at lacity.org/myLA311 

From our 2014 report Footnotes: A Report On the State of Walking in LA. Donate to get a printed copy. Special thanks to Melendréz for funding the printing of our 2015 Footnotes report. Read more from Footnotes.

311 is a walker’s best friend

While Los Angeles Walks continues to push for large-scale changes across the City, we need you to help make sure the City is aware of needed repairs and improvements in your neighborhood. The City of L.A. has launched 311—a one-stop customer service program where residents can let the City know what they need, and we want to make sure better walking infrastructure is a top issue.

To get started, you can dial “311” on your phone or go to lacity.org/myLA311. If you have a smartphone, you can download the MyLA311 app.

So, what walking improvements can you request with 311? 

Curb ramps: If you see an intersection crossing that doesn’t have a curb ramp, be sure to include not only the intersection but which corner specifically.

Uneven pavement: If there is a broken sidewalk or some other defect that could cause someone to trip, be sure to note the nearest address.

Blocked sidewalks: If there is garbage or a plant that is making walking on the sidewalk difficult, you can report the offending address to 311.

Crosswalk repairs and installations: If crosswalk paint is faded (or was never painted), snap a photo to make your report more clear.

Signal timing: Federal law require all traffic lights to have a pedestrian countdown that is white for at least three seconds, and then flashes red for at least one second for every four feet of street width.
If the timing seems too quick, you can report it.

Broken streetlights: If you notice a damaged or missing streetlight, you can easily request a repair.

To get your issue prioritized higher, identify these repairs as a “hazard.” Once the city is made aware of a dangerous condition, there is a greater legal urgency to fix it if it can help them avoid lawsuits. So, by mentioning that it is a hazard, you can expedite your request. While the City might not act upon your requests immediately, it’s important to show the demand for better walking conditions by making as many requests as we can. Thanks for your help!

Car Free SFV Earth Day

car free sfv

San Fernando Valley residents pledge to use alternative transportation on April 26, 2015

Celebrate the day with community events and promotions.  Log on to the website to pledge to go car-free on April 26.

www.carfreeSFV.com

WHATCar Free San Fernando Valley, Sunday, April 26, 2015 is a collaborative event sponsored by non-profit organizations, businesses and local residents to empower the community to go Car-Free (or even car-light) just for a day.

By choosing to walk, bike, carpool, or take public transit on April 26, you will see how easy it is to use alternative transportation and how enjoyable it is to minimize traffic congestion.

WHY:   To raise awareness of the need to reduce traffic congestion and create a greener environment.

WHEN/WHERESunday, April 26, 2015

EARTH DAY FAIMLY BIKE RIDE (hosted by LA County Bike Coalition)

Time: 9:30 a.m. (registration); ride starts at 10:00 a.m.

Start location: LA River at Valleyheart Drive (North) and Fulton Avenue in Sherman Oaks.

Ride Description: A 14 mile ride on bike lanes and bike paths (riders must be over 10).  We’ll ride along the Chandler Bike path to the Chandler bikeway, and on the way back we’ll visit the first bike corral in the SFV.

CAR FREE SFV SCAVENGER HUNT (organized by LA River Revitalization Corp)

Time: 10:00 a.m.

Place: LA River at Valleyheart Drive (North) and Fulton Avenue in Sherman Oaks.

Team up in groups of 3-4 to solve trivia and other challenges while spending the morning along the LA River and beyond!  All clues are located along the LA River Greenway and surrounding Sherman Oaks and Studio City communities. Smart phones are allowed, motorized transportation is not.  One person on each team should have a fully charged camera/camera phone and a few dollars to complete the challenges.  Wear comfortable shoes, you will be walking around one mile. Water, hats and sunscreen are encouraged. All ages welcome and it’s pet-friendly.

 

MORE INFORMATION AND TAKE THE PLEDGE AT carfreesfv.com. 

Media Contact: Rebecca Gundzik-(818) 807-7852