2014 District 10 Candidate Malia Cohen

Candidate Facts

Name: Malia Cohen
Campaign Website: re-electmalia.org

Candidate Questionnaire

Last month, all official candidates for the Board of Supervisors were contacted and given the opportunity to answer our Candidate Questionnaire. Any candidate responses edited for length and clarity have been marked as such.

1. Do you ride a bicycle in the city?

Yes

2. If yes, for what purpose(s) and how often? How do you most commonly commute to work?

I have always been a strong advocate for bike use. I use my bike for leisure and recreation with my family.

3. The City has established a goal to at least double the number of bike trips in the next 4 years. Do you support this goal?

Yes

If yes, what would you do as Supervisor to help the city realize it?

I have and will continue to support key initiatives, such as Sunday Streets and Bike to Work Day. As Supervisor I lead bike tours that brought residents from all over the City to the Southeastern neighborhoods and encouraged District 10 residents to bike in their communities. I will focus on marketing to ethnic communities and work to ensure that biking in our City is safe for everyone regardless of what neighborhood they live in.

4. After a tragic 2013 for people biking and walking, including 25 fatal collisions, City leaders have embraced Vision Zero, which aims to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero in the next 10 years through better engineering, education, and enforcement. This policy has now been adopted by the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor and many key agencies, such as the SFMTA & the Police Dept. Do you support Vision Zero?

Yes

As Supervisor will you prioritize funding and policy decisions based on Vision Zero, or safety-first?

Yes

5. 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 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 100 miles 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 residents who are skeptical of this next-generation infrastructure and who oppose re-programming any existing on-street car parking or traffic lanes for safer biking.

Do you support the creation of continuous crosstown bikeways —Connecting the City — even acknowledging that there will be some public pushback to inevitable changes?

Yes

6. The SF Bicycle Coalition has advocated for the City to increase its spending on bicycling improvements, so that it constitutes 8% of its transportation budget, given that the SFMTA’s Strategic Plan goal aims to reach 8% of trips by bike by 2018. In its most recent budget cycle, the SFMTA only increased the funding for bicycling from 1% to 2%. As Supervisor, will you support leveling the playing field by ensuring that the level of funding for bicyclists at least matches the proportion of San Franciscans that bike?

Yes

7. The affordability of transportation is a growing concern for many San Franciscans. For most SF residents, particularly low-income families, transportation is the second-highest cost of living after housing. As Supervisor, how will you promote bicycling as an affordable transportation choice, particularly for among households overburdened by expenses?

I have and will continue to focus on promoting bicycling as an affordable transportation choice by educating communities about the benefits and availability of biking. I also believe we must expand the bike sharing program to more neighborhoods, including District 10 and public housing sites, so all of our residents have access to this service. I have also supported APRI in their Bayview bike build program and will work to expand these efforts.

8. 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. The City is working on a Better Market Street plan that calls for limiting private vehicle thru-traffic, creating a continuous, physically separated bikeway the full length of Market Street, while also enhancing better transit and pedestrian travel. Would you support this plan?

Yes

9. This Fall, voters will have the chance to support the Transportation and Road Safety Bond. This bond supports $500 million of work to improve the city’s transit systems and make our roadways safer for all users, with a focus on improved bikeways and pedestrian safety. Will you publicly support and actively campaign for this measure?

Yes

10. Also this Fall, voters will be presented with a ballot measure called Policy Regarding Transportation Priorities Declaration of Policy or “Transportation Balance”, which aims to weaken San Francisco’s long-time Transit-First policy, and send more of our City’s scarce resources to further subsidize parking to the detriment of other, well-established priorities, including transit and the safety of people walking and biking. Will you support Transit-First and Vision Zero by publicly and actively opposing the Policy Regarding Transportation Priorities Declaration?

Yes

11. In 2016, San Franciscans will be asked to restore the Vehicle License Fee to 2% to provide an ongoing, progressive source of funding for transportation priorities in San Francisco, including safer walking and biking conditions and improved transit. Do you endorse this revenue source?

Yes

If yes, will you also support bridge-funding for the transportation funding gap until this funding measure is active?

Yes

12. San Francisco has recently joined a growing list of major cities with sophisticated bike sharing programs. To succeed, this program will require significant expansion to neighborhoods across the city, which will require additional funding and public space for the bike-sharing station. Do you commit to seek and secure funding and space to expand this cost-effective, innovative new transportation system to more San Francisco neighborhoods?

Yes

13. Double-parking in bike lanes is a major safety problem in San Francisco, causing people biking to have to swerve dangerously. Will you prioritize a significant increase in the SF Police Department’s and the SFMTA’s Parking Control Officers’ enforcement of this problem?

Yes

14. Concerns around police enforcement of safe driving laws in San Francisco is high. 1,700 people have signed a petition to urge George Gascon to prosecute the driver in the Amelie Le Moullac bike fatality case. Do you support increased enforcement and accountability for all road users focused around the five most dangerous driving actions (speeding, failing to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, improperly making a right hand turn, running red lights, and failing to stop at stop signs)?

Yes

15. Have you championed or strongly supported any other initiatives that are in line with the SF Bicycle Coalition’s mission of promoting bicycling for everyday transportation?

I have always been a strong supporter of SFBC and your mission to promote bicycling in our City. I will continue to advocate for and participate in your programs and initiatives, such as Bike to Work Day, bike build days and other community events SFBC is a critical partner in, such as Sunday Streets. I am proud to support Vision Zero and the plan to implement 24 bike and pedestrian safety projects over the next two years. [Response Truncated]

District-Specific Questions

1. District 10’s neighborhoods have been significantly underserved when it comes to good bicycle infrastructure. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has worked hard to advocate for improvements in these neighborhoods that would welcome people of all ages and backgrounds onto bikes as a safe, affordable, fun form of transportation. Will you support and advocate for significantly increased and improved bicycle infrastructure in District 10?

Yes

2. 13th and Division, as well as the intersection at Illinois and Terry Francois, are a high-injury intersection for bicyclists and pedestrians. Would you prioritize funding to support a redesign and re-construction of these areas in order to prioritize bicyclist and pedestrian safety?

Yes

3. The Cesar Chavez-Potrero-Bayshore-US 101 Interchange, commonly known as the Hairball, is one of the main barriers for people biking between District 10 and the rest of San Francisco. With an upgraded Chavez, Potrero and Bayshore, the dangerous deficiencies are even more apparent. Would you publicly support and advocate a funded planning process to upgrade and improve this critical gap in our network?

Yes

4. The SF Bicycle Coalition recently launched a series of Community Bike Builds in the Bayview to restore unclaimed bikes and provide them to local residents. There is interest in finding ways to increase funding for this program and possibly even find a permanent space for it. If elected, would you support this program by prioritizing funding in the City’s budget?

Yes

5. Oakdale Avenue, a very important bike route connecting Bayshore and 3rd Street will soon be repaved. Will you publicly support an improved, protected bikeway to the 3rd Street business district and community spaces?

Yes

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