2018 County Supervisor District 4 Questionnaire: Lori Saldaña

Do you have memorable experiences or memories while riding a bike?

Yes - Bikes have been a part of my life for commuting, exercise, and travel. We had “bike rodeos” in elementary school that taught students safe riding techniques and improved our skills. I have memorable moments that helped me appreciate both the benefits and the risks of bike riding, including:

Multimodal/Commuting: As a student at SDSU, I would carpool to campus, and transport a bike for the return trip. This included riding down Fairmont Avenue into Mission Valley, and catching a bus in Fashion Valley. Traffic was lighter compared then, but it was often hazardous: There were fewer dedicated bike lanes or other separations, which discouraged many other people from biking. I rarely saw other bike riders, and one day, as a school bus drove past, a student threw an object at me and knocked off my sunglasses, bruising my face.

I also commuted from Azalea Park to North Park while working at REI. The store sold many bicycles, and I arranged for educational classes, clinics and hands-on workshops, to encourage safe riding & bike repair. Due to the lack of bicycle lanes, I often encountered heavy traffic and other hazards, and identified safer routes through residential areas. I learned more about the diverse communities and residents of Mid City and City Heights while avoiding congestion and traffic.

On the positive side of these commutes: using a bike was relatively inexpensive. Partnering with carpool and bus connections made it more efficient. As a student and part time employee, I saved money on parking fees, fuel costs, etc. But it also carried physical risks.

Tourism/Travel: Years ago I rode a touring bike with panniers around the Big Island of Hawaii, and camped along the way. While the island traffic was light, the infrastructure was not supportive of cycling: there were narrow or non-existent shoulders, steep drop-offs, and no bike lanes along the one main road around the island.

In contrast, in 2016 I visited Amsterdam, and was impressed with their commitment to bike- only paths and intermodal transit: carrying folding bikes onto trains was a common way for people to commute over long distances. Taxes are very high on cars operated in cities, so people choose transit and bicycles. Ferries and other transit provided space only for bicyclists, separate from motor vehicles, making the cycling experience safe, inexpensive and efficient.

These trips helped me realize attitudes toward bicyclists account for many of the negative interactions and accidents that occur in San Diego, that discourage people from riding bikes for daily commutes. We need to improve attitudes about bicycling, as well as infrastructure.

SANDAG’s failed Measure A and its reform under AB805 have put transportation issues at the forefront of San Diego politics. What is your vision for transportation in San Diego County, and how does active transportation fit into it?

As former Chair of Housing & Community Development, my committee supported legislation that encouraged “transit oriented development,” to get people out of cars and into other transportation choices.

My vision for San Diego includes continuing with this approach to housing developments, supporting public transit and active transportation options, linking the use of bikes with transit, and increasing safety for San Diegans who choose these options over motorized vehicles. Bicycling, walking, transit and even boating as a means to move around the region has significant benefits: it reduces traffic congestion, improves air quality, reduces traffic noise in neighborhoods, and helps meet GHG reduction goals of Climate Action Plans (CAPs) by reducing vehicle miles travelled.

District 4 is in the geographic center of San Diego County, and includes some the region’s most densely built neighborhoods, close to public transit options. It has some of the most “walkable” communities- and also some of the most dangerous intersections for cyclists and pedestrians. Along with encouraging and supporting active transportation options, we need to increase public information and educational efforts, to make non-motorized travel safer for everyone.

Active transportation is good for public health- one of the County’s main responsibilities. It helps people be more active in their daily lives, and can help prevents obesity, heart disease, and other health risks. San Diego commuters are encountering an increasingly grid-locked highway system during peak drive times, adding to stress- a known contributor to hypertension and other illnesses.

The County needs to encourage, and seek state funds, for development of “Safe Pathways to Schools” throughout the region. As a career Community College educator, I will explore ways the County can also partner with regional colleges and universities, to support programs for students and employees who seek alternatives to driving to campus.

We need to encourage employers to have a supportive role. They can provide showers for “active commuters” at the work place, offer storage lockers for bikes, and/or create partnerships with nearby fitness centers who may offer these amenities.

Finally, since San Diego County is still working on a CAP, it would benefit by producing an update of its Bicycle Transportation Plan. Since SANDAG projects a significant funding shortfall, it becomes even more important for the County to step up to provide support for the updates to a regional plan.

There are funds available for this, thanks to the California Transportation Commission, and their support of the state’s Active Transportation Program. As County Supervisor, I will take the following steps to fund the research needed to develop a plan, and have a better understanding of what’s contributing to safety and other issues that discourage more bicycle ridership:

  1. Reviewtheresultsofapplicationsalreadysubmittedtothestate’sActiveTransportation Program, to engage in ongoing research, and fund activities based on the results.
  2. Seekadditionalfundsforbikeroutestudies,toexpandtheworkdonebySDSU,to identify where people are currently riding bikes countywide, evaluate how safe those routes are, and determine if they are the most efficient from an infrastructure and multi- modal perspective.
  3. Evaluate other county programs in California and other states, to learn from models that would be applicable to San Diego.

As county supervisor, you may have the opportunity to serve on the boards of MTS or SANDAG. (How) would you advocate for SANDAG’s bicycle early action program, which has experienced significant delays? Would you support MTS ballot measures that include funding for bicycle infrastructure?

Early action program: Regarding concerns about delays, and the time and costs of conducting pubic reviews and hearings but few infrastructure improvements: Effective planning requires accurate and current information, as well as public input. But since so few miles of bike paths have been created, after the expenditures of $60 million, I would ask for a report and audit of the program to date, to determine why results are so slow to be realized and what needs to change to create firm timelines for projects to be identified and completed. Bike lanes and bike paths are part of this, but we also could benefit from improved lighting, and repairs to streets, bike lanes and paths (see: Rose Canyon bike path improvements).

Ballot measure & Active Transportation fund requests for bicycling: I would support the inclusion of funding bicycle infrastructure in a ballot measure.

Unfortunately, improved safety conditions for bicyclists have been opposed by segments of the community. Politicians often seek a “consensus” solution, but these are not always possible. How would you work with all sides to ensure safety improvements occur?

It may be difficult to reach consensus and advocate for cyclists, partly because only an estimated 6% of the residents in the city of San Diego are bicycling, and partly because of attitudes towards bicyclists in car-centric California. We need to engage more cyclists in effective advocacy to create meaningful change. This encouragement could be via sponsoring educational events at bike shops, installing bike facilities at transit centers and engaging with users at these locations, and partnering with bike shops to promote safe bicycling via in-store kiosks and activities.

I recently read a social media post that described the risks bicyclists often face this way:

I have this theory that cycling is as close as a middle-class straight white guy can get to understanding Being Female. People have a reckless disregard for your safety, you have to treat everyone like they might hurt you, and if you do get hurt people will blame you for existing

A broad public education campaign could bring attention to the dangers bicyclists often face during rides. The public needs to hear that bike-car accident fatalities have increased in San Diego in recent years, as a percentage of overall vehicle crashes. But policy proposals to address safety issues need to be based on results of research- so until we know if these increased fatalities are due to lack of education, behavioral issues, facilities/infrastructure, or some combination of these things- it is difficult to determine a course of action.

In the meantime: I support closing streets to cars on certain days, to encourage broader participation in events like CycloDias. I’d like to and expand these activities into more communities. These events help people enjoy safe cycling, and develop a better understanding of the benefits of safely riding bicycles in San Diego.

Also, as traffic congestion increases, and people use biking as a commute option, more attention needs to be placed on structures that improve cycling safety, and educating drivers about ways to safely share the roads with cyclists during their daily commutes. So I support:

  1. Installing protective barriers to ensure safe separation of bicycles from parking and motorized vehicles, and
  2. Providing more education in schools & the community at large, to create safer bike riders, and address the attitudes of drivers.

2018 County Supervisor District 4 Questionnaire: Nathan Fletcher

Nathan Fletcher

Do you have memorable experiences or memories while riding a bike?

Two experiences come to mind when I think of my most memorable moments on a bicycle. The first, teaching my two boys how to ride a bike, encouraging them to explore and live an active, environmentally conscious lifestyle. We frequently all head out on cycling adventures and really enjoy the family time on bikes! Another memorable experience for me is when I took part in the Iron Man competition. The grueling contest challenged my physical limits and showed me how to continue to push myself. I arrived at this goal after suffering a devastating injury while on active duty in the Marine Corps. Cycling was key to my recover and progressing from learning to walk again to finishing the Ironman was a great feat!

SANDAG’s failed Measure A and its reform under AB805 have put transportation issues at the forefront of San Diego politics. What is your vision for transportation in San Diego County, and how does active transportation fit into it?

 

For years we have had an ineffective, backwards looking SANDAG board. Now through AB805, alternative forms of transportation, including all forms of active transportation, will have a greater opportunity to move to the forefront of San Diego County’s scope. Active transportation should always be at the forefront of future transportation infrastructure discussion. Not only does active transportation, such as cycling, promote more active and healthy lifestyles, it is also environmentally conscious. Once elected to the Board, I will make sure that our citizens have access to enhanced bike and active transportation infrastructure. We need to make biking a safer easier choice for San Diegans.

As county supervisor, you may have the opportunity to serve on the

boards of MTS or SANDAG. (How) would you advocate for SANDAG’s bicycle early action program, which has experienced significant delays? Would you support MTS ballot measures that include funding for bicycle infrastructure?

I would absolutely support a ballot measure that would include funding for bi

cycle infrastructure. After AB805 the county will play a bigger role allowing me to fight harder for and support pro-bike programs and infrastructure.

Unfortunately, improved safety conditions for bicyclists have been opposed by segments of the community. Politicians often seek a “consensus” solution, but these are not always possible. How would you work with all sides to ensure safety improvements occur?

We are far past seeking consensus solutions. For generations the focus on transportation has been automobiles. It is time we focused on creating true equity in transportation by spending more of our regions transportation resources to support cycling and active transportation. If implemented correctly, we can reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, create safe biking conditions, and help create bike conditions that make San Diego a national leader for cycling. Safety for all San Diegans needs to be the priority, not politics.


2018 County Supervisor District 4 Questionnaire: Ken Malbrough

Ken MalbroughDo you have memorable experiences or memories while riding a bike?

As a young boy growing up in Southeast San Diego I was an avid bike rider; and continued to ride a bike into my adulthood, riding from my home in Skyline all the way to my job at 9th and University, Fire Station 5.

SANDAG’s failed Measure A and its reform under AB805 have put transportation issues at the forefront of San Diego politics. What is your vision for transportation in San Diego County, and how does active transportation fit into it?

All modes of transportation should be accessible to all residents which includes, personal, public, biking and pedestrian transportation for work, personal and leisure use. Active transportation should be a seamless component of entire regional planning.

As county supervisor, you may have the opportunity to serve on the boards of MTS or SANDAG. (How) would you advocate for SANDAG’s bicycle early action program, which has experienced significant delays? Would you support MTS ballot measures that include funding for bicycle infrastructure?

Ensuring that community plan updates include bicycle early action programs. Working with county staff to minimize bureaucracies. I do support MTS ballot measures; and did so in Encanto Neighborhoods Community Plan Update.

Unfortunately, improved safety conditions for bicyclists have been opposed by segments of the community. Politicians often seek a “consensus” solution, but these are not always possible. How would you work with all sides to ensure safety improvements occur?

In my experience I have found that showing benefits to increasing all forms of safe active transportation through solid outreach can assist in all sides in reaching a consensus. In my time as a Deputy Fire Chief I have experience in executing effective community outreach.


2016 Election: Ed Harris' Vision to Improve Bicycling in San Diego

Our board sent a list of questions to Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and mayoral candidates Ed Harris and Lori Saldaña who are running to be the Mayor of the city of San Diego. We will be posting their responses here. Below is mayoral candidate Ed Harris' responses to our questions. Candidate Lori Saldaña declined to respond to our questionaire as her campaign didn't have the staff capacity.

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Mayoral candidate Ed Harris. Image via Harris' website.

1. Thanks to your support, San Diego is now a Vision Zero city and we are well on our way to fully implementing our city’s Master Bicycle Plan, yet we still aren’t a world – class city for bicycling – an activity that has multiplier effects on our economic, societal health and social cohesiveness. One of the biggest barriers to safe cycling and walking are the high speed differentials on our city streets. Recently, Cities, including Boston and New York City have lowered the city speed limits.  Would you be willing to sponsor and support state legislation to allow for speed limits on city streets to be less than 25 mph?

Most definitely. The speed law trap needs to be addressed, and policy at the state level needs to be changed to protect our neighborhoods and facilitate more walkable and bikeable communities. There is an issue with the current 85% speed determination. Twenty is plenty! We should be actively addressing that issue, instead of simply saying “We support biking” and then doing nothing as a government to move that support into action. We can tackle safety issues from multiple angles. First, we need to advocate for reducing the speed of vehicles traveling through neighborhoods. Second, we should be advocating for more bike boulevards in neighborhoods, especially those that do not currently have last-mile access to mass transit. Third, I will advocate for stricter legislation towards DUI offenders and distracted drivers, because our current system does not deter offenders enough, and it keeps cyclists in a precarious environment on our roads. I also am in support of the vision zero corridors that aim to keep cyclists safe, so the decision to bike as a form of transit is not limited by the fear of being struck by a vehicle.

2) San Diego is a large and geographically diverse city. Another barrier to safe walking and cycling are the last mile gaps - the missing safe connectivity to bike and transit infrastructure. Land use decisions cause the last mile of trips to intersect with uninviting high speed roads for transit users and bicyclists. How will you work to ensure that Caltrans and SANDAG to invest the funds necessary to minimize and eliminate these last mile gaps as the designated representative on SANDAG board?

As Mayor, I would represent San Diego at SANDAG, and I would install the resources we need as a city within the mayor’s office to move forward towards alternative transit. There are numerous tangible changes we can make as a city to move us towards a bike-friendly city. First, I will establish a transportation (or Mobility) commissioner, like Janette Sadik-Khan, who is fully committed to tackling transit issues within the city. This would be a position that can own the decisions we make towards a bike friendly city, and it would be a position of accountability, so we can actually get things moving forward. Currently we have separate departments working on oversight (Stormwater dept, etc).

Second, I will have a city staff engineer work specifically and directly with CalTrans and SANDAG to work on projects, and seeing them through. We must thing BIG about these issues. Without staff that can be directly accountable for transit decisions being put into action, it is too easy to pass the blame and delay progress. Caltrans is a huge stakeholder for San Diego to become a world class bike friendly city. The highway interchanges present many missing links of our current bike network and are the most challenging and dangerous areas for active commuters. The most dangerous are those highway interchanges that have extremely fast vehicular speeds.

As San Diego is making strides to re-purpose streets after they are resurfaced, the city is missing the opportunity to not have those bike lanes continue through Caltrans row. Bike lanes are being discontinued as they hit Caltrans row and the long process to get approval for paint treatment on Caltrans row is timely and takes allocating staff members to see it through. This is where a city staff engineer would be able to focus on these issues and move the repurposing efforts forward. As new bike corridors (like Adams) are being constructed, we must collaborate with Caltrans to provide for safe access after a rider exits the corridor paths. Having dedicated city staff that focus solely on mobility and transit would also allow for newer safer access to trolley stations like the Midcoast trolley, and others that lack safe access to the trolley via bike.

SANDAG is also an extremely important agency. To move SD forward, we need to commit to the goals of innovative mobility, healthy communities, and a vibrant economy. Bikes mean business and can help support the three SANDAG goals. As mayor, I will provide San Diego with a strong voice for San Diego to change the direction that SANDAG continues to default to. I suggest that we re-look at funding for infrastructure and start implementing our bike networks now, along with the current potential we have for mass transit avenues and last-mile routes through neighborhoods. Big transit projects do cost money, but we can get there. We get there by stopping the typical measures we continue to see (ones that only address the short-term), and change the way SANDAG and the City of San Diego does business. SANDAG should be responsible for implementing complete streets and should be able to design mobility hubs for the new proposed stations (Balboa Park and Clairemont).

3) Too often, our local schools prioritize vehicle drop offs rather than encouraging school children to ride, walk or skateboard to school. How do you intend to encourage more kids to get to school by foot, on a bicycle or other non-automobile means as mayor?

This answer is easy for me to approach, because I have seen the potential for alternative commutes to school first hand. My son Brian was a part of a Dana Middle Bike to school group, and I believe that with city support, programs like this can be created, and existing programs can be vastly improved. The primary issue with our children biking, walking, or skateboarding to work is safety. As a parent, I understand the concerns families have with allowing their children to share the road with dangerous drivers who are commuting to work. We need Safe Routes to Schools for every school in San Diego. If we can provide safe and comfortable access to neighborhood schools, then we will have a great bike network in San Diego. Because safety comes first, we need to prioritize safer routes to neighborhood schools. If bikeways are safe, riders will ride them. To start, there should be protected bike lanes feeding into all avenues of our city schools. Additionally, I will advocate for, and see through the implementation of, more protected crosswalks at schools, like I did while I was a councilmember in District 2. Once safety is addressed, I would encourage our city schools to fund and implement a bicycle education program at the 4th grade level, where our children begin to develop the personal abilities and capacity to bike to school. If we educate children at a young age about the health and environmental benefits of biking to school, we can widely change the way our society views transportation. I would work with the school district to implement education for every 4th grade class, which would fall into the Wellness Initiative that has a tremendous amount of support.

4) As mayor you will be responsible for appointing the second city representative to the SANDAG board. This appointment will influence whether the city meets goals of the Climate Action Plan, Bicycle Master Plan, and the state policy SB 743. What qualifications will this individual have that would make them the ideal candidate to vote on planning and transportation decisions?

Like I mentioned in question #2, I would have a representative that is dedicated 100% to transit and mobility. This person would be a strong, bold, inspiring advocate with a vision to make San Diego a world-class bicycle city—a Janette Sadik-Khan of San Diego. This person would be one that is willing to fight for safety, healthy residents, and a sustainable future. That person would be knowledgeable of the current conditions in San Diego, and would be a user him/herself of the bicycle network in San Diego. San Diego is large and diverse. Every community, from Rancho Bernardo to San Ysidro, has its own needs. To approach these issues, that commissioner would need to collaborate with local advocacy groups. By doing this, we can work with groups to address Vision Zero and how it relates to the goals set forth in the climate action plan. Additionally, Disadvantaged communities have had freeways destroy their neighborhoods, so we must address the issues with equitable priority.

5) San Diego’s parking districts encompass some of San Diego’s densest communities that include Downtown, La Jolla, Mid-City, Old Town, Pacific Beach, and Uptown. Does the city have an obligation to provide curbside parking for residents? How should the city regulate the public space devoted to car storage? What changes do you believe are needed in the city’s current curbside parking rates and policies? Should a bikeway project be built even if it causes a net loss of curbside parking spaces?

Curbside parking is a use of public space, so it is time we go to the table with the interested parties and address the amount of space we dedicate for parking. Parking cannot be the only reason for not providing cyclists with protected bike lanes or facilities. I understand the needs for parking, so it would be naïve to promise to do away with it. However, as we tackle our infrastructural needs with roads, we can be re-allocating and re-thinking our priorities towards making San Diego a place that will function in 10, 20, and 50 years. I am not opposed to alternative parking projects, instead of parallel (angled parking, parking structures where it is necessary). I do not think all drivers are going to get out of their cars and get on a bike, but with a leader who makes these things a priority, there will be a shift in momentum and public understanding for projects that will get us to where we need to be. We must all understand that protected bike lanes provide for more access to a greater amount of people. This is going to be necessary to implement in the future, so it is time we begin the conversation, and start moving forward. With protected bike lanes, businesses are visible, and the fight over a few parking spaces becomes less necessary.

In doing so, we must initiate Collaboration between MTS and bike share to create last mile transit from transit & mobility hubs… Last mile is the most difficult, & that is perfect for it. There is plenty of brainpower and willingness behind an effort to move SD in a bike friendly direction. We just need a leader who is dedicated to putting the right people in the positions to start moving this city forward.

BikeSD Inc, is a 501(c)(4) California corporation. Our Endorsement Policy is available for you to read here. Please consider becoming a member or renewing your support so that we can elect strong leaders that will implement our vision in office. Our endorsement for mayor will be posted later this week.


2016 Election: Mayor Kevin Faulconer's Vision to Improve Bicycling in San Diego

Our board sent a list of questions to Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and mayoral candidates Ed Harris and Lori Saldaña who are running to be the Mayor of the city of San Diego. We will be posting their responses here. Below is Mayor Faulconer's responses to our questions.

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Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Image via his Facebook page.

1. Thanks to your support, San Diego is now a Vision Zero city and we are well on our way to fully implementing our city’s Master Bicycle Plan, yet we still aren’t a world - class city for bicycling - an activity that has multiplier effects on our economic, societal health and social cohesiveness. One of the biggest barriers to safe cycling and walking are the high speed differentials on our city streets. Recently, Cities, including Boston and New York City have lowered the city speed limits.  Would you be willing to sponsor and support state legislation to allow for speed limits on city streets to be less than 25 mph?

 

Creating a safe, inviting, viable environment for bicyclists is key to implementing the City’s Climate Action Plan and Bike Master Plan. To achieve the Climate Action Plan’s bike mode share goals, I will evaluate and consider proposals to make biking safer, including allowing speeds of less than 25 miles per hour on some local streets.

However, I am not waiting for state legislation to calm traffic and increase bike safety. As a cyclist, I know first hand that large speed differentials can make our streets feel unsafe for riders. Under my direction, the City is actively working on many vehicle speed reduction measures to help increase safety for bicyclists. Examples include lane diets/road diets, raised intersections/crosswalks, high visibility crosswalks, and upgraded traffic control devices and signage such as vehicle speed feedback signs.

For instance, in November 2014 I directed the City’s transportation department to implement road diets and buffered bike lanes on Fourth and Fifth Avenues north of Laurel Street. In February 2015 I created a citywide policy of installing high-visibility continental crosswalks at all signalized intersections. In fiscal year 2015 I proposed and programmed $1.5 million for citywide traffic calming measures. I am committed to expanding on these traffic calming initiatives during my second term, and would be happy to meet with BikeSD to learn more about state legislation which could further assist our City efforts.

2. San Diego is a large and geographically diverse city. Another barrier to safe walking and cycling are the last mile gaps - the missing safe connectivity to bike and transit infrastructure. Land use decisions cause the last mile of trips to intersect with uninviting high speed roads for transit users and bicyclists. How will you work to ensure that Caltrans and SANDAG to invest the funds necessary to minimize and eliminate these last mile gaps as the designated representative on SANDAG board?

I am committed to increasing multi-modal transportation connectivity and closing first mile/last mile gaps that stand in the way of greater adoption of bicycle and mass transit use. I look forward to continuing to work together with transportation agencies such as SANDAG, Caltrans and MTS to implement connectivity programs. I am taking a lead role on this issue at our partner agencies, not just as a City representative but also by maintaining close cooperation with agency leadership and staff to secure funding and implement projects.

For example, I added a land use component to the Climate Action Plan and then directed my senior staff to meet with SANDAG to determine how transportation modeling could be better utilized in community plan updates. Also, under my policy guidance, City staff coordinated with SANDAG to expand the car share pilot program to add additional providers and broaden the geographic reach, which assists with closing the last mile gap. Additionally, my staff works closely with SANDAG senior staff on state and federal legislative priorities which helps with securing funding for San Diego multi-modal connectivity projects.

In my first two years in office I have engaged in many other initiatives that have directly or indirectly helped to close the first mile/last mile gap, including the following:

  • Coordinated bike and pedestrian infrastructure projects to coincide with street resurfacing and overlay projects, to more effectively implement the Bicycle Master Plan and Vision Zero
  • Advocated for City Council adoption of the Vision Zero goals and led a Vision Zero Task Force to improve cross-departmental and external stakeholder coordination
  • Directed City staff to incorporate Complete Streets and Vision Zero policies into the Street Design Manual, which is currently undergoing a comprehensive update
  • Proposed funding for a Transportation Master Plan in my fiscal year 2017 budget to cohesively plan all modes of transportation in one document
  • Created a new Assistant Director of Transportation position to better integrate the City’s transportation planning across department divisions
  • Added a Sustainability Manager and proposed in my fiscal year 2017 budget another supporting position to implement the City’s Climate Action Plan and its mode-share goals
  • Completed a Traffic Signal Communications Master Plan to enable new technology that detects bikes and counts cyclists
  • Installed color bike lanes in high mode conflict areas and areas where guidance to bicyclists is helpful
  • Created an open data online resource with a Capital Improvement Project Map viewer so the public can track infrastructure projects and street resurfacing projects
  • Added new funding in my fiscal year 2017 proposed budget to implement the highest priority bicycle projects as recommended by the Bicycle Advisory Committee’s draft Strategic Implementation Plan

If elected, the following initiatives are part of my second term agenda:

  • Implementing the Bike Advisory Committee’s six highest priority projects from the draft Strategic Implementation Plan
  • Completing my pledge to repair 1,000 miles of streets and filling in gaps of resurfacing efforts so the City has a coherent and comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian network
  • Implementing Vision Zero with a focus on the “three E’s”: Education, Engineering, and Enforcement
  • Completing the entire separated bike facility network in the Downtown Mobility Plan
  • Training City staff on Complete Streets and Vision Zero planning and design
  • Accelerating community plan updates so that their mobility elements reflect best practices in multi-modal transportation and are consistent with recent planning documents such as the Climate Action Plan and Bike Master Plan
  • Updating the City’s California Environmental Quality Act transportation thresholds of significance consistent with Senate Bill 743 to reduce vehicle miles traveled and sprawl (following the direction I already gave to City staff to expedite this task)
  • Annual monitoring of the Climate Action Plan to ensure achievement of the plan’s targets
  • Revising Council Policy 800-14 regarding Capital Improvement Project Prioritization to incorporate Climate Action Plan transit priority areas and environmental justice considerations such as CalEnviroScreen
  • Increasing mobility and economic opportunities for working families who cannot afford auto mobile ownership
  • Funding 80 cameras in transit priority areas to gather improved bicycle commute data, building off of the 17 cameras I included in my prior budget proposals

In addition, when stakeholder groups such as BikeSD have additional proposals or think existing programs are not functioning properly, I’m willing to work together and take a hard look to determine how the City can better achieve our mobility goals

3. Too often, our local schools prioritize vehicle drop offs rather than encouraging school children to ride, walk or skateboard to school. How do you intend to encourage more kids to get to school by foot, on a bicycle or other non-automobile means as mayor?

An important component of a healthy, livable community is neighborhood infrastructure that encourages children to safely walk or bike to school. This contributes to improved public health, brings neighborhoods together, reduces vehicle miles traveled and pollution, and instills active transportation habits in children that can last a lifetime. As Mayor, I will continue to pursue initiatives which encourage more children to walk or bike to school.

Infrastructure is the foundation of a safe network of pedestrian and bike facilities so children can walk or ride to school, which is one reason why I am upgrading our pedestrian and bike infrastructure in tandem with my infrastructure initiatives. I directed 50 percent of all General Fund major revenue growth toward infrastructure, streets and sidewalks–resulting in an additional $63 million for our neighborhoods since taking office–and I doubled the miles of roads repaired annually to more than 300 to further my goal of fixing 1,000 miles of streets over five years. As this occurs, I am ensuring that the right-of-way is repurposed for bikes and pedestrians, not just autos.

For example, before starting my 1,000 miles of repair initiative I created a citywide policy and added funding to install high visibility continental crosswalks at all signalized intersections. This ensured that as each road is resurfaced or slurry sealed, crosswalks are upgraded and automobile limit lines are pushed back, which makes it safer for children to cross the street. For unsignalized intersections, I updated Council Policy 200-7 to make it easier to install crosswalks there and I am accelerating installation of rectangular rapid flashing beacons to further create safe routes to school at unmarked crossings.
Also important to providing a safe route to school is bike infrastructure. I implemented procedures and additional active transportation staff to review resurfacing projects for Bike Master Plan consistency to take full advantage of the additional investments I directed toward infrastructure. Due to this delivery method, over the last two years the City has already undergone dramatic change in its bike infrastructure and I will continue this accelerating improvement over the next four years. I am also collaborating with SANDAG to secure additional grant funding for safe routes to school projects in furtherance of the Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan.

In addition to these short-to medium-term initiatives, I am working on long-term planning programs to make our city smarter and more livable, which will make it easier for children to walk and bike to school. For example, I have updated four community plans since taking office, ten are currently in process, and I recently added two more to the Planning Department’s two-year work plan. In contrast, just two community plans were updated in the previous ten years before I took office. As these community plans are updated, their mobility elements are also refreshed to reflect multi-modal planning principles and be consistent with recent initiatives such as the Climate Action Plan and Bike Master Plan. Ultimately, this effort will result in more residents living within biking and walking distance to schools.

I am also focused on public safety enhancements, which are key to providing parents the level of comfort needed to allow their children to walk or bike to school. For example, I negotiated a five-year agreement with police to address recruitment and retention challenges and fully-funded four police academies, increasing the class size of each by over 20 percent. I also improved emergency response times, with a major focus on underserved communities. My public safety initiatives also include enforcement of equal right to use roadways and of traffic violations by both bicyclists and motorists, and additional efforts to reduce bike thefts.

4. As mayor you will be responsible for appointing the second city representative to the SANDAG board. This appointment will influence whether the city meets goals of the Climate Action Plan, Bicycle Master Plan, and the state policy SB 743. What qualifications will this individual have that would make them the ideal candidate to vote on planning and transportation decisions?
I will work together with the City Council to ensure that the City is well represented on the SANDAG board by someone who will be a strong voice for all modes of transportation and will advocate for additional funding and full implementation of the City’s policy documents such as the Climate Action Plan, Bike Master Plan, and General Plan City of Villages Strategy. Also important is that the representative share my beliefs that infrastructure is a top priority, and that active transportation projects promote healthy living, reduce pollution, and bring neighborhoods together.

5. San Diego’s parking districts encompass some of San Diego’s densest communities that include Downtown, La Jolla, Mid-City, Old Town, Pacific Beach, and Uptown. Do you believe curbside parking rates in San Diego’s parking districts are at, above or below market rates (i.e., rates high enough so that supply and demand are near equilibrium)? Do you believe curbside parking space should be made available at market rates, or at below-market, subsidized rates? What changes do you believe are needed in the city’s current curbside parking rates and policies?

I have engaged in several changes to the City’s parking policies which support active transportation, such as:

  • Commissioned a study on the City's parking operations to develop a cohesive approach to an issue that has been dispersed across multiple City agencies and external organizations
  • Proposed funding in my fiscal year 2017 budget to improve how the City manages parking, including a review of the pricing system and consideration of a new organizational structure that integrates parking management with the City's other policy objectives such as increasing multi-modal mobility and protecting the environment
  • Revised Council Policy 100-18 relating to Community Parking Districts to allow increased utilization of parking meter funds for active transportation improvements
  • Created a parklet policy and streamlined permitting process to incentivize the best utilization and increased livability of the City’s right-of-way and parking areas
  • Implemented the City’s first bike share program with many stations replacing parking in the right-of-way
  • Proposing a Transportation Management Plan which will cohesively look at all of the City’s transportation policies and assets, including parking
  • Directed the City’s Transportation & Stormwater Department to update its Street Design Manual to bring it into conformance with Complete Streets and Livable Streets policies

In my second term, I look forward to continuing to improve the City’s parking management and review pricing models to best achieve our multi-modal transportation goals.

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