2016 Election: Barbara Bry on Issues that Matter to BikeSD Supporters in District 1

Our board sent questionaires to candidates running for city council and we will be posting their responses here. Barbara Bry is running to replace termed out Councilmember Sherri Lightner who currently represents District 1.

Barbara Bry. Image via Bry’s website.

1) How do you envision the growth of cycling in San Diego – be it for transportation, recreation, or otherwise?

The City’s recent adoption of the Climate Action Plan mandates expanding mobility options from single-occupant cars to transit, walking and biking. We cannot meet the CAP’s mobility goals without making cycling an easy and safe mode of transportation whether it is for commuting, running errands, or recreation. We have agreed on the targets for 2020 and 2035 and we must work together to meet those targets.

Do you see cycling as a community builder?

Yes! A community is not just a collection of buildings but the people who live, work and play there. Active transportation, including biking, provides that human interaction that is such an important element in building community.

2) What steps must be taken to ensure the success of San Diego’s “Vision Zero” goals?

Too often San Diego makes grand announcements or adopts new policies that whither because there is no authentic follow-up and implementation. We can begin to meet those goals by focusing infrastructure dollars on our City’s most dangerous intersections. We have to prioritize San Diegans having safe routes to walk/bike to neighborhood stores, libraries, and parks as well as commute to work. While San Diego is still in era of limited revenue and a staggering infrastructure deficit, public health, safety and mobility must be prioritized.

3) Given the myriad of competing interests in D1 neighborhoods, how will you handle individuals and groups, alike, whose interests and actions run counter to the City’s transportation and street design goals as laid out in the Climate Action Plan, and Vision Zero initiative?

It is important that we continue to do outreach to all stakeholders in each community. The City has failed to do so in adopting the CAP, Vision Zero, and other master plans and policies. Worse, upon adoption, elected officials fail to be on the frontline to explain how those decisions will bring positive changes to our neighborhoods and prepare stakeholders before they are confronted by a specific project. The City must take the time to hear from everyone to properly vet implementation, and we must be flexible to hear their concerns, bend where possible, while moving forward. My staff and I will be a pro-active leader in those conversations.

4) Multiple studies have shown that increased bicycle accessibility, is good for local businesses – and that this even holds true when on-street parking is reduced. How can the information gap between advocates and businesses be bridged to advance our common interests of safe, thriving neighborhoods? Further, at which point do you say to those who refuse to engage as responsible and reasonable partners in the community’s progress, that the cycle of arguments must end so we may act for the common good?

I agree with the premise of your question. Further, I am heartened by changes in Sacramento that takes CEQA out of the approval and implementation of increasing bicycle accessibility. Again, it comes down to leadership. Leadership to have robust stakeholder input, listening to concerns, vetting every option, bending where possible, but we must move forward for the common good. In turn, I will need your help to balance the conversation; to elect pro-bicycle members to planning groups, BIDs, and CDCs; and, to identify ways to mitigate legitimate concerns.

5) What (if any) plans and decisions, with respect to increasing cycling accessibility, have been made in the past by government agencies and elected officials that you disagree with? Did you make public that disagreement? And do you see an opportunity, if elected, to reverse it?

* SANDAG funding and timing of active transportation projects

* SANDAG preference to run the Coastal Rail Trail up Rose Canyon instead of re-routing through UCSD

* continuing failure of City to implement cycling tracks (separate and protected bike lanes) and the city’s reliance on sharrows.

6) Will you support the implementation of the 2011 San  Diego Bicycle Master Plan Update, including    budgetary requirements for its completion and success?

Yes. The city must honor the adopted master plan. We are still operating in an era of limited revenue and a staggering infrastructure deficit; nevertheless, in a prudent fashion, we must implement the master plan.

7) If you have one, share a favorite cycling memory – and let us know how it shapes your desire to see safe streets in San Diego for all residents, across generations?

I am not the most athletic person, and I do not ride a bicycle regularly. One of my early cycling memories is learning to ride a bike in my neighborhood outside of Philadelphia where I grew up. I was very proud of my pink Schwinn with its straw basket. One of my most memorable rides was doing the 17-mile drive in Pebble Beach.

8) Finally – If elected, will you commit to meeting with BikeSD representatives on a regular basis to continue the dialog around improving all D1 neighborhoods, and making San Diego the world’s greatest city for cycling?

Yes. One of my staff will be a point person for active transportation and will monitor the Bicycle Advisory Committee. I will meet on a regular basis with advocates for active transportation.