2011 Mayor Questionnaire
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The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was designed to help citizens and policy makers understand the environmental impact of proposed projects by requiring structured analysis for such projects before permitting them to go forward. Under the current practice of CEQA by the SF Planning Department, projects that reduce traffic speeds and make streets safer for walking, biking and transit (e.g. transit lanes, bike lanes, wider sidewalks) are often required to complete lengthy and expensive analyses, increasing the cost of such proposals and delaying their implementation, even though these projects have a clear benefit to the environment.
Paul Currier: Yes. I do not support the Bay Area Council’s use of CEQA to block transformation of our communities away from those interests that the Bay Area Council champions: Chevron; Big Oil; Big Private Power; and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The point of CEQA was to move into new ways of living. The Corporate Oligarchs have subverted the intent of the Act and perverted it’s use to further their private profits at the [response truncated]
Bevan Dufty: City governments have the right to purpose CEQA for local functions and as Mayor I will prioritize current Levels of Service requirements to suit the people, not simply the vehicles, of San Francisco. Pedestrians, cyclists and transit users need to be prioritized in the planning process and I will ensure that any variety of environmental analysis be expedited within a modified framework at the City Level to facilitate change.
Tony Hall: Yes, but I would value the results of EIR studies on a much accelerated schedule.
Dennis Herrera : Yes, I would support the types of changes characterized here for the purpose of prioritizing sustainable transportation modes. However, CEQA is a state law, so we would have to be careful about our interpretation of it and the potential ramifications of any local initiatives we might undertake that contravene its authority.
Emil Lawrence: [no response given]
Ed Lee: Yes I am in support of changing the way we evaluate transportation impacts at the local level. Our experience with the far too long delay of our bicycle network which was complicated by the lawsuit against the city has demonstrated the need for change. I am dedicated to cultivating an environment that helps projects that are designed to improve pedestrian safety, improve our streetscape, and expand our bike lanes should [ed note: republished as received]
Wilma Pang: Yes
Joanna Rees: I believe every San Franciscan has the right to make their voice heard and citizens have a right to study and review facts surrounding any major project. Our government is not nearly transparent enough. We need to study the effect of various projects on our community as a whole. While I don’t support use of EIR’s to unnecessarily delay projects, I believe they are important to present facts to the community.
Phil Ting: CEQA analysis is an important part of improving projects. However, with that said I am mindful of the fact that projects could be improved faster. As mayor I would work to ensure that projects go through the appropriate channels under CEQA, while also working to make things at the local level run smoother and more efficiently. I do believe it is too expensive to develop in San Francisco. If a developer is following the law [response truncated]
Leland Yee: I generally approach CEQA exemptions with utmost caution. However, provided we are not pre-empted by state law, I am absolutely open to a discussion about finding ways to streamline the process for certain types of environmentally beneficial projects.
Cesar Ascarrunz: Yes I will support the changes. I believe that environmental friendly public transportation is important to our city, and the quicker we implement these policies the quicker we can become the model for other cities around us to also make these changes.
Yes! In 2006 the Board of Supervisors approved these changes. It’s shameful that we are still waiting for action. As Mayor I will prioritize making these changes happen.
Terry Baum: Yes; this has been part of the Green Party's platform for years. See http://sfgreens.org/transpo.pdf [ed note: republished as received]
David Chiu: I support reforming CEQA to fast-track sustainable transportation projects. We should ultimately move towards a standard of auto-trips generated, as opposed to delay created. SF now has permission to use a new standard, and is very slowly moving towards developing an “auto trips generated” standard for environmental impacts. Since bike lanes and wider sidewalks generate no auto trips, they will fare much better under the new standard.
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