Woman Reports Police Impersonator In Monterey Park

September 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A woman driving in the early morning hours last month on Graves and Alhambra Avenues in Monterey Park was stopped by a man pretending to be a police officer, say authorities.

Monterey Park police officials say the impersonator was a clean-shaven male adult in his 30s who spoke with a “heavy Spanish accent.” He had curly hair, a dark/olive complexion, a thin-medium build. He wore a brown t-shirt and drove a car with red and blue lights on the grill and upper windshield.

The man pulled the woman over and started asking her unusual questions before telling her to move to the passenger seat of her car. When the woman asked for police identification, he declined and told her to go home. Monterey Park police say all officers carry police identification and show it upon request. At night, those who are stopped by police can drive to a well-lit, populated area, just as long as they do not try to evade or flee.

Only one such impersonation incident has been reported, but if anyone else comes across a similar experience, they are encouraged to call Detective Alvarez at (626)307-1226.

Activists Circulate Monterey Park Bike Survey

September 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A local bike activism group wants to know more about people's bicycle needs in Monterey Park. (EGP photo by Elizabeth Hsing-Huei Chou)

Over the Labor Day weekend, a local group began circulating an unofficial survey of bicycle infrastructure needs in Monterey Park.

The survey asked people about their level of comfort while riding bicycles through the city, what modes of transportation they currently use, and the reasons they use bikes.

The survey put out by BikeSGV is only available online and in English. The group’s president, Vincent Chang, says their survey will likely reaching an internet savvy, English-speaking slice of the population, but they still need to figure out a way to reach more people. He said they need  to get more volunteers on the streets, because “most of the people who ride bicycles in Monterey Park… probably speak Chinese or Vietnamese” or other languages.

Bike activism is usually associated with the city of Los Angeles and other parts of the county. Boyle Heights recently put in bike lanes, notable for its bright green paint job, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took a very public stance in support of better bicycle infrastructure after he himself got injured during a bicycle outing.

But such activism is also gaining visibility in Monterey Park and other San Gabriel Valley communities where groups like BikeSGV are focusing their efforts. The group organizes bike valet service at major community events such as the weekly farmer’s market and the annual Earth Day festival, and works closely with city officials on grant applications.

Chang, who is also a resident of Monterey Park, says the “need is clearly there” for improved bicycle infrastructure – bicyclists are a common sight in the city, but only a few streets have bike lanes. The city does have a bike plan, but it dates back to 1975.

Chang says they do not yet know when they will present the results of their survey to the city, but officials seem receptive to their efforts. The state is requiring cities like Monterey Park to adopt green building codes and climate action plans that may prompt officials to take bicyclists’ needs into consideration, he added.

Recent efforts to update the bike plan have stalled, with the city lacking the funds to do a full-scale, master bike plan, said Monterey Park Director of Public Works Elias Sakyali. In the meantime, they are exploring possible bike lanes near East Los Angeles College and Mark Keppel High School, and will be unveiling more bike racks on their city buses next year. They are also looking for grants to do a master plan.

Earlier this year, BikeSGV got five cities, including Monterey Park, to sign on to an application for an environmental justice grant from Caltrans to fund a regional bike plan. Chang says they are still waiting for the results of that application.

Related Stories:
Montebello to Scope Out Possible Bike Lanes
Gearing Up for CicLAvia This Sunday? Here’s Your Guide!
L.A. on Bicycles: ‘Life is Good!’

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