2014 District 8 Candidate Scott Wiener

Candidate Facts

Name: Scott Wiener
Campaign Website: www.scottwiener.com

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?


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

Muni is my primary means of commuting and getting around the city.  I also use BART fairly regularly.

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?


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

As a member of the Board of Supervisors, I’ve strongly supported investing in bike infrastructure and complete streets, even when I take heat from opponents or city departments. I’ve supported improvements in the Upper Market area, the Mission, Glen Park, and elsewhere. I played a key role in moving forward recent bike improvements on northbound San Jose Avenue. I’ve also supported bike improvements in other parts of the city, for example, Second Street, and Masonic.

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?


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


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?


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?


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?

By making it easier and safer to bike, we will provide people with more transportation alternatives.  People who struggle to afford other modes of transportation will have an additional option.  To accomplish this goal, we need to invest in better bike infrastructure.  I’ve worked hard to obtain funding to improve street safety and to move projects forward.  We also need to improve efforts to reduce bike theft and provide better options for bike parking.

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?


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 [response truncated]

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 [response truncated]

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 [response truncated]

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

Yes [response truncated]

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 [response truncated]

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 [response truncated]

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 [response truncated]

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?

Since taking office, I’ve been a leading voice at City Hall and regionally for progressive transportation policies, including aggressive investment in public transportation to expand service and reliability; investment in street safety redesigns, even when some push back; changes to our city codes (e.g., Fire Code) to reduce department obstruction of street redesigns; and legislating and advocating to expand access to car sharing.  Streetsblog.org has recognized me as “Transportation Reformer of the Year.”

District-Specific Questions

1. Though Market Street is the most popular and well-used bike route in the city, it is still woefully inadequate, particularly the pavement in the Upper Market area. Along the upper stretch of Market Street (between Gough-Castro areas), will you prioritize re-paving to ensure safer, more comfortable biking conditions before 2016?

Yes [response truncated]

2. As the lower stretch of Market Street moves forward, ensuring that upper Market Street is also safe and comfortable for bicyclists is critical to making sure the whole length of the street serves as a transportation corridor. Will you prioritize funding and support on-street changes to better design Market Street so that it is a safe corridor for bicyclists from Octavia to Douglass?


3. Valencia Street is a critical corridor for people biking, including those living in the neighborhood and also as a core part of the north/south routes connecting southern neighborhoods with the downtown core and areas further north. Will you publicly support and advocate for an upgraded Valencia Street, from Market Street to Tiffany Street, with physically protected, green bikeways?


4. The Northbound San Jose Avenue & I-280 Off-Ramp Road Diet Pilot Project through the Bernal Cut took more than twenty years of committed work by residents and advocates to bring to fruition. As the pilot project progresses and its successes become evident, will you support making the pilot permanent and improving upon its design by creating a more protected bikeway for people biking through this segment of San Jose Avenue?

Yes [response truncated]

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