2012 Candidate for District 3 Supervisor
Candidate Name: David Chiu
1. Do you ride a bicycle in San Francisco for any purpose?
Since I donít own a car, I ride a bicycle most days of the week. To get to work, I usually bike to City Hall. I also use my bicycle to get to events, personal appointments, and meetings around the city. I know what itís like to ride the Wiggle, Market, Valencia, Fell, Broadway Tunnel, and other main city bicycle thoroughfares. We could definitely use more bike lanes and safer streets.
2. The City has established a goal that 20% of trips in San Francisco be made by bicycle by 2020. Do you endorse this goal?
What will you do as Supervisor to realize this goal, providing a better biking experience for locals and visitors? [75 word limit]
As Board President, inspired by what I have observed in other cities, I was proud to champion the legislation to set the 20% goal. †If reelected, I will make sure we reach the 20% goal by connecting our city with a comprehensive bike network, expanding bike education in our schools, improving bike parking, cracking down on bike theft, and implementing traffic design treatments that make streets safer for riders of all ages.
3. It has been shown that the most effective way to boost the number of people bicycling and improve the bicycling experience is to designate dedicated space for bicycling through physically separated bikeways and traffic-calmed streets.
The SF Bicycle Coalition has set out its Connecting the City initiative, an ambitious but achievable vision of crosstown bikeways that are comfortable and inviting for people of all ages and abilities, connecting neighborhoods and helping locals and visitors to shop, work, and play more often by bike.
Reconfiguring our streets to include crosstown bikeways and other "low stress" bike routes will draw concern from some neighbors unused to this next-generation infrastructure and the reprogramming of some on-street car parking and traffic lanes. Do you support completing 25 miles of continuous crosstown bikeways within four years, directing City staff to complete them on such streets such as three blocks of Oak and Fell Sts., Polk St., 2nd St., Masonic Ave., Ocean Ave. and the Embarcadero?
What will you do as Supervisor to realize the Connecting the City vision, creating crosstown bikeways that are comfortable and inviting for people of all ages and abilities? [75 word limit]
We need to identify more funding to achieve this vision, and push the MTA to execute on the vision. We also need to build support among merchants and residents concerned about major street changes, and I am always happy to be a strong partner in making the case for why these changes are vital to our economic vitality and livability.
4. Market Street is San Franciscoís most well-traveled corridor, with a quarter of a million daily transit vehicle boardings on or under it each weekday and more daily bike trips than almost any other street in the United States. Market Street is scheduled for full repaving in 2016. The City is leading a community planning process to deliver a Better Market Street when the repaving work takes place. Do you support a wide, continuous, physically separated green bikeway the full length of Market Street (maintaining and enhancing good Muni and the pedestrian travel) as part of this work?
5. Sunday Streets is a popular program, now in its fifth year, which the SF Bicycle Coalition is proud to have helped launch. Sunday Streets creates miles of temporary car-free streets for people to participate in healthy physical activities in diverse SF neighborhoods, on bicycles, on foot, on skates, in wheelchairs, with dogs, with hula hoops, etc. Will you support the launch of a trial of a regular, weekly Sunday Streets route between April and October beginning in 2013?
6. Do you also support growing Sunday Streets to a citywide network, where multiple routes can occur simultaneously, helping to connect multiple neighborhoods by 2017?
7. San Franciscoís Safe Routes to School program encourages students and their families to walk and bike to school through a program of education and collaboration with schools and parents. Though funding has been limited, in its three years of existence the program has taught bicycle and pedestrian safety to over 5,500 children in classrooms across the city.
Will you help to expand this program to all schools in the city?
8. Pavement quality is an essential issue for safe, comfortable bicycling. Over half of the cityís streets are in a state of poor repair, as rated by the Department of Public Works, and more consistent funding is needed to keep our streets in a stable condition and reverse the downward trend. At the same time we need to accelerate major streetscape enhancements for biking, walking, and transit on streets like Masonic Avenue, Second Street, and Market Street. Do you support dedicating additional funding to improve pavement quality, prioritizing bicycle routes?
9. Do you support bringing more funding to bikeway construction and maintenance by prioritizing at least 50% of the streets in the repaving schedule to be streets that are designated bike routes?
10. Funding for bikeways and other bicycle improvements and programs in San Francisco is currently derived from a mix of local, regional, and federal grants, with a tiny fraction coming from the SF Municipal Transportation Agency's operating budget. Given the City's policy commitments to increasing everyday bicycle transportation, would you support an increase for bicycle project and program funding within SFMTA's budget?
11. What are your ideas for other funding sources for bicycle projects and programs in San Francisco? [75 word limit]
While I fully supported the 2011 Prop B, pavement maintenance should be a part of our regular operating budget. To generate funding, I support a restoration of the Vehicle License Fee to the levels before Governor Schwarzenegger cut it; this item could generate more than $50 million per year for transit priorities. I am also willing to explore the creation of a dedicated fund for bicycle infrastructure improvements.
12. San Francisco is joining a growing list of major cities with sophisticated bike sharing programs. The initial pilot program will include only 1,000 bicycles between SF and the South Bay, nowhere near the level of saturation that's been shown to be necessary for bike sharing to succeed. To become successful, this program will require rapid expansion to neighborhoods across the city. Will you commit to seeking and securing funding to expand this cost-effective, exciting new transportation system to more San Francisco neighborhoods?
13. 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 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 and delaying implementation, even though these projects have a clear benefit to the environment. Would you support changes at the local level to evaluate transportation impacts differently, exempting projects which prioritize sustainable transportation modes and allowing them to come forward faster and more affordably?
14. In San Francisco, the majority of traffic injuries are attributed to unsafe speed. It is well-established that the speed of motor vehicles plays a key role in how likely a person is likely to survive a collision. A person on foot or bike hit by a person driving a motor vehicle traveling at 40 MPH has an 85 percent chance of being killed; at 30 MPH, the likelihood goes down to 45 percent, while at 20 MPH, the fatality rate is only 5 percent. Would you support efforts to reduce speeding by enforcing the speed limit more strictly and, on key streets, lowering speed limits and redesigning streets to prevent speeding and improve safety?
15. With 96% of pedestrian injuries in 2011 caused by motor vehicles, will you direct the SF Police Department to more energetically cite aggressive/dangerous driving and speeding within the city, placing traffic safety as a high priority within the Department, and supporting prioritized measured enforcement to protect people biking and walking?
How will you help make our city streets a safe place for everyone, particularly people bicycling and walking? [75 word limit]
I strongly support testing and trials to improve the safety and appeal of our streetscape. The cost of widening a sidewalk or adding a bulb-out is far too expensive right now because of utility relocation costs and other expenses, as well as lack of coordination between city agencies. We can get costs down by trying more innovative approaches so that the goals of the Better Streets Plan do not take decades to accomplish.
16. If elected, your term will end in 2017. How do you plan to improve transportation, in your district and citywide in these four years? [75 word limit]
In my first 4 years, Iím proud to have fought Muni cuts, champion all-doors boarding, expand car-sharing, and make our streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Over the next 4 years, I will be committed to improving bike infrastructure, implementing MTAís Transit Effectiveness Project, and securing needed funding for transit infrastructure. As a daily cyclist, I will continue to encourage people to bike as an everyday form of transportation and promote vibrant, safe pedestrian corridors.
DISTRICT SPECIFIC QUESTIONS
Polk Street is the flattest, most direct North/South route for bicycle traffic for residents and visitors of District 3, which is why the SF Bicycle Coalitionís Connecting the City vision calls for the construction of a separated bikeway the entire length of Polk Street.
Will you support the City efforts to fund and build this key connection on Polk Street?
The SF Bicycle Coalition has been building support for SPURís EmBIKEadero Plan, which calls for creating a new, physically separated bikeway along the Embarcadero, from the Stadium to Pier 39, allowing more safe pedestrian space on the existing, overly crowded pathway. This project is a key connection for Connecting the City and would help spur additional trips by tourists and improve commute trips. Will you commit to supporting this plan for a separated bikeway the length of the Embarcadero?