2016 Election: Justin DeCesare on Issues that Matter to BikeSD Supporters in District 7

Our board sent questionaires to candidates running for city council and we will be posting their responses here. Justin DeCesare is running against Scott Sherman (who didn’t return our questionaire) to represent City Council District 7.

Justin DeCesare

1) How do you envision the growth of cycling in San Diego ­ be it for transportation, recreation, or otherwise? Do you see cycling as a community builder?

Cycling opportunities should be promoted for both transportation and recreation. If we can provide a safer cycling experience (protected bike lanes, better education, enforcement) and convenience (bicycle parking, bikesharing), we make cycling a more viable option. Our streets and highways become less congested. Bike trails relieve the burden of automobiles on our parks and natural areas, while simultaneously enhancing access by connecting them to each other and our neighborhoods. It’s good for the environment and it creates great opportunities to socialize and stay healthy.

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

The majority of accidents occur at fewer than ten sites around the city. While none of these are in District Seven, efforts should focus on these sites. In D7, we need to take a close look at Grantville, Mission Valley, and Mission Gorge Road where we already have bicycle traffic. Our population is growing fast, so traffic and construction will continue to be the norm. The need for compact mixed use development highlights the importance of educating drivers and enforcing safe interaction on the road.

3) Given the myriad of competing interests in D7 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’s important to have an open door, operate transparently, and be present in the community. Our Councilmembers should be spending more time in our neighborhoods where things are happening. The city has stated goals for a reason and policy should be geared toward achieving them. It’s worth mentioning that during my term as President of the Tierrasanta Town Council, we were the first to fully implement the CAP.

4) Multiple studies have shown that increased bicycle accessibility, is good for local businesses ­ and that this even holds true when on­street 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?

Again, it’s important to be present in the community and provide a forum where we can all work together toward solutions. The exchange of ideas is important. So is data. Unfortunately, there will always be a cycle of arguments. The key is making the right decision in each case. It’s clear much of the city will benefit if cycling is a viable alternative to driving

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?

I fundamentally disagree with Coronado’s decision to make biking access more difficult, especially in a location that is prime for manual transportation.

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

Yes, increasing bicycle options, creating dedicated bicycle boulevards, and funding the process is important to San Diego, and would carry my support through implementation and funding.

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?

When I lived in Washington with the US Navy, I bought my first home which was about 5 miles from the base where I was stationed. I would ride an old mountain bike to work almost every day down the street with a great view of Puget Sound. It woke me up every morning, and was a relaxing ride home after a long day. I would love for the same ease of bike access to make it’s way into the lives of families everywhere here in San Diego.

8) Finally ­ If elected, will you commit to meeting with BikeSD representatives on a regular basis to continue the dialog around improving all D7 neighborhoods, and making San Diego the world’s greatest city for cycling?

I’d look forward to working with BikeSD and be happy to meet in-­person, in the community, on a regular basis. The recreational opportunities in D7 are world­-class, and the importance of cycling as transportation is only going to increase.