Candidate for Board of Supervisors, District 3
1. Do you use a bicycle in the city? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often? Please indicate how you most commonly commute to work. (300 words or less)
As a SFBC member, I consider myself an urban bicyclist and regularly bike to my downtown office, to run errands, to attend meetings, and to get around town. Since I choose not to own a car, I rely on bicycling, walking, MUNI and BART to get around the city, as well as on City CarShare to travel around the Bay Area. At the small technology company where I work and which I helped to found, half of our workforce bikes to work because we encourage this activity and I negotiated bike parking in our downtown office space (and my company competed in the Team Bike Challenge).
During my 12 years while living in District 3, I have had three bicycles stolen from where they had been carefully locked on city streets; as a former prosecutor, I am motivated to ensure that bike thefts are fully investigated and prosecuted. Several years ago, I was in an accident with a car whose driver was at fault; while I was not injured, my front tire was ruined, and the incident impressed upon me the importance of ensuring that traffic safety is stringently enforced by the San Francisco Police Department.
2. In the next year, the City's Bicycle Plan should be re-instated after a 3-year delay in physical bike improvements on city property, which was caused by a lawsuit and a slow Environmental Review process. The silver lining to this frustrating situation is that a significant package of Bike Network improvements -- 50+ proposals for bike lanes and intersection improvements throughout the city -- will be fully analyzed and ready for legislation and implementation.
Will you support approval and implementation of this full package of projects, which will fill significant gaps in the Citywide Bike Network and which, in some cases may include removal of existing on-street parking or traffic lanes?
3. Specifically included in the package referenced above are proposals for adding bike lanes on the following streets, some of which may require removing traffic lanes and/or parking spaces, in order to make room. Will you support legislation to add bike lanes on these streets, all of which are part of the official Citywide Bike Network but lack specific safety accommodations for the growing number of bicycle commuters:
2nd St. Yes 5th St. Yes 17th St. Yes Masonic Ave. Yes Cesar Chavez Ave. Yes Bayshore Blvd. Yes Illinois St. Yes Portola Ave. Yes
4. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was designed to help citizens and policy makers understand the environmental impact of development proposals by requiring environmental impact reports (EIRs) for projects with potentially significant environmental impacts. Currently, the SF Planning Department regards the convenient movement of private automobiles as an environmental concern, increasing the cost and delaying the implementation of dedicated transit lanes, bike lanes, and even sidewalk widening, even though these projects are clearly beneficial to the environment. Would you support changes at the local level to reform environmental review to facilitate transit-first projects?
5. Would you support a citywide goal to decrease the number of private motor vehicle trips in San Francisco, understanding that in addition to improving transit, bicycling, and walking, the goal would be met by also making motor vehicle trips and parking less convenient in some cases?
6. Poor pavement quality is a major hazard and common complaint for bicyclists in San Francisco. Do you support more funding from the City's budget and/or a new bond measure, for street repaving, with a priority on bicycle & transit routes?
7. Model bicycle-friendly cities around the world (including American cities such as Portland, OR, New York City, and Chicago) follow the standard practice of using colored pavement to demarcate bike lanes. These colored bike lanes help delineate space for bicyclists, increase awareness of bike lanes among drivers, and discourage cars from double-parking in bike lanes. Would you support the use of colored pavement in bike lanes in San Francisco?
8. Would you support the implementation of "bicycle boulevards," traffic-calmed streets that function as bicycle priority routes, similar to street designs in use in Berkeley and Palo Alto, even if this means restricting continuous automobile access at some intersections (while still allowing auto access to all homes and places of business)?
9. Do you support the creation of a bicycle/pedestrian/maintenance pathway on the Bay Bridge's West Span (understanding that such a path is already being built on the East Span)? And will you support local funding and advocacy for additional regional, state, and federal funding, to build the pathway?
10. The popular car-free space in Golden Gate Park (which the SFBC helped expand from Sundays to Saturdays) and the new "Sunday Streets" initiative to pilot a 5-mile car-free space on city streets are both part of a worldwide trend to increase car-free space in urban areas to benefit pedestrians, cyclists, and, more fundamentally, city life itself. As Supervisor, would you be willing to significantly increase car-free spaces in San Francisco?
11. If you are an incumbent running for office, did you vote for the Healthy Saturdays car-free legislation in Golden Gate Park last year?
Not an Incumbent: Response continues...
I supported Healthy Saturdays with my vote while a member of the SF Democratic County Central Committee.
12. Market St. is the city's most well-used street for transit riders and bicyclists. Bike traffic has jumped 30% on Market St. in the past year alone, and now makes up a significant amount of usage during the commute hours (bikes often outnumber cars). The SFBC and many other community-based organizations believe that measures to prioritize transit riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians on the eastern part of Market St. by banning private auto traffic will improve MUNI performance, transform Market Street for the better, and encourage more San Franciscans to walk and bicycle to work. Various details remain to be worked out (we support allowing access for taxis, vehicles with disabled placards, and deliveries at certain hours).
Do you support measures to prioritize transit riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians on Market St. east of Van Ness Ave. by banning private auto traffic, as described above, as other American cities have done successfully?
As someone who frequently bikes along Market Street, I am interested in this concept and eager to learn about the details mentioned by the question that still need to be worked out. I would support a study to understand the measure's impact on small businesses along Market Street.
13. If the proposal above were not politically feasible at this time, would you support measures, within your first year in office, to significantly lessen auto traffic on Market St. (such as forced right-turns for private vehicles), based on the recommendations from a comprehensive Market St. Action Plan developed by the community and the Transportation Authority?
14. Would you support a proposal to dedicate 1% of the City's transportation funding to bicycle facility improvements and safety projects?
15. Presently, traffic law enforcement in San Francisco is given a low priority, leaving vulnerable users (pedestrians and bicyclists) to fend for themselves and discouraging increased walking and bicycling. Would you direct the SF Police Department to more assertively enforce aggressive and dangerous driving within the City by placing traffic safety as a higher priority within the Department?
16. In recent years, childhood obesity has been identified as a significant health risk, particularly for America's children. One important component to improving the health of our children is encouraging walking and bicycling to school, activities which have dropped precipitously in the past 50 years as cars have come to dominate streets.
As a Supervisor, would you champion and fund a "Safe Routes To Schools" program, which has proven successful in other communities to encourage more kids to walk and bicycle by creating safer space on our streets, which may require the removal of parking and traffic lanes, and developing more supportive policies?
17. Would you support legislation to require commercial buildings (with appropriate exemptions and alternatives) to allow bicycle access and secure parking/storage?
I worked vigorously to encourage bicycle access and parking in the commercial building where my business is located.
18. This year, the Board of Supervisors enacted the "Climate Change Goals and Action Plan" ordinance, which commits the City to greenhouse gas reduction targets of 20% below 1990 levels by 2012, with progressively larger targets in subsequent years. Given that roughly half of San Francisco's greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector, and that the vast majority of those emissions come from private automobile use, what specific legislation or plans would you implement to reduce our green house gas emissions in the transportation sector? (300 words or less)
I fully support SFBC's mission to encourage bicycling as an everyday form of transportation. In a city as dense as San Francisco, we should be leading the way in promoting bicycling as the best option to get around the city and one of our most cost-effective strategies to reduce our carbon footprint.
Mayor Newsom's Climate Change Director noted that ¼ of transportation emissions come from San Francisco vehicle drivers, and unfortunately, most of them are single-occupancy drivers. As Supervisor, I will support public policies that encourage public transit and other forms of transportation.
Public policies I generally will support to reach our climate change goals include:
* Implementing the City's bicycle network as soon as the injunction is lifted
* Strengthening MUNI's Transit Effectiveness Project
* Ensuring that development projects are transit-friendly
* Supporting WalkSF's efforts to improve the City's Pedestrian Master Plan
* Considering some sensible, business-sensitive form of congestion pricinq
* Promoting "green" taxis, rental cars, and city car shares
* Encouraging a citywide bike share program
Most importantly, as Supervisor, I will work diligently to address the root causes of why people state they don't bike more often -- bad road conditions, not enough bike lanes and safe connections, lack of bike parking facilities. We need better infrastructure, the Bike Network implemented, and more secure bike parking throughout the City.
I look forward to helping SFBC increase the percentage of San Francisco residents regularly bicycling and to help the City recognize bicycling as not an "alternative" form of transportation, but the most logical and cost-effective form of transportation to help reduce our carbon footprint.
District 3-specific Questions
1. Would you support a proposal to improve the safety and livability of the Fisherman's Wharf area by reducing car traffic on Jefferson Street and creating separated bike paths?
2. The SF Bicycle Plan Update has identified the Broadway Tunnel as one of the top corridors urgently in need of bicycle improvements. The city is working on plans to improve this route. Would you support the improvement of bike access through the Broadway Tunnel by, first, allowing bicycles to legally ride on the Tunnel sidepaths, and, second, widening and improving the tunnel sidepaths? (Learn more at sfbike.org/bikeplan)
3. Do you support the proposal to lift the unnecessary and disregarded ban on bicycles on the Embarcadero pathway?
4. Would you support the proposal to open the Ft. Mason Tunnel to use by bicyclists and pedestrians, if it could be safely retrofitted?