2012 Candidate for District 7 Supervisor
Candidate Name: Michael Garcia
1. Do you ride a bicycle in San Francisco for any purpose?
The first comment has to be to mention the appreciation I have for the incredible beauty all over San Francisco when I crest a hill and a new view is available to me. The health benefits and the help to the environment certainly have to be mentioned. I personally find San Francisco to be relatively safe and easy to navigate on a bicycle.
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 Supervisor, I would like to get to work on the following:
- Improving bike safety given the rise in the number of accidents across the city. This includes increasing penalties for both motorists and bicyclists who violate the law.
- Provide greater bike lane access across the city.
- Work with MUNI to allow better access for people riding bikes to work.
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]
As Supervisor, I am committed to making the Connecting the City vision work with minimal amount of stress on current traffic patterns. I would be willing to work with SF Bike and small business owners to help make this program work.
4. Market Street is San Francisco’s 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 Francisco’s 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 city’s 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?
[Did not specify Yes or No.]
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]
As Supervisor, I want to take a long, hard look at the budget to determine how we can streamline our city government and ensure resources are dedicated to programs and services that serve our neighborhoods. I believe there are areas where the city can either raise revenue through items like bicycle licensing and increased fines for bicycle safety. In addition, by eliminating redundancies in the city budget, we may be able to use some of [response truncated]
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?
[Did not specify Yes or No.]
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]
While this answer may sound redundant, given answers to earlier questions. I actually see more bicyclists and more pedestrians in violation of the use of city streets then I do motor vehicles. Everyone should be taught to exercise caution whether walking, riding, or driving, and to obey the law of the road because they are designed to facilitate getting around the city safely.
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]
Specifically, in my district, 19th Avenue particularly around SF State and Park Merced are horribly congested. To encourage alternate forms of transportation, which I would do, would go a long way towards attenuating this problem. The same idea would apply citywide. Alternate forms of transportation i.e., transit and riding bicycles should be considered by all.
DISTRICT SPECIFIC QUESTIONS
Ocean Avenue is the most direct and flat East/West route for bicycle riders in the OMI area, yet it is currently a daunting corridor for bicycling comfortably. Do you support the creation of bicycle lanes on Ocean Avenue, between 19th Avenue and Sunset Boulevard?
Many bicycle commuters in District 7 use Vicente Street to travel east/west from the ocean. Do you support the development and construction of a plan to create neighborhood-oriented streets by prioritizing walking and bicycling activity on these streets, slowing and deterring cut through motor vehicle traffic?
[Did not specify Yes or No.]