2016 Election: Keith Mikas on Issues that Matter to BikeSD Supporters in District 5

Our board sent questionaires to candidates running for city council and we will be posting their responses here. Keith Mikas is running against Mark Kersey to represent City Council District 5.

Keith Mikas
Keith Mikas.

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?

I would like to see the ARB (Air Resources Board) extend its current rebates for commuter or folding bicycles. This rebate would be income based for the purchase of the cleanest form of transportation bicycling.  Cycling is a community builder since cyclist stop at local business for coffee when riding on the coast highway. When we ride on old 395, we stop at the Welk Resort to eat and purchase water. Now we need to start weekday cycling commuter groups to highlight their presence. The already existing bicycling route on Mission valley or Carmel Valley   will be a vibrant cycling community. I believe that I’m the only candidate for City Council who is pledged to ride his bike one day a month to work. With all the current talks about San Diego’s climate action plan and SANDAG plans of eliminating cars from the road and getting more people to carpool, those in office have to make a strong point and show the citizens that they are also committed to this.

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

Bicycling corridors are one approach. I would like to see the elimination of bike routes, and make these dedicated to BIKE LANES. With more bikes on the street motorist will be aware of bikes, which in turn shows that roads are also made for bicycles and might slow motor vehicles down. PSA ads of informing motorists about bicycle deaths, which could be placed on buses would slowly raise awareness.

3) Given the myriad of competing interests in D5 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?

This is the matter of competing interest about how the portion of the Transnet Tax to be allocated and dedicated to the automobile vehicles and bicycles fairly and equally. As a matter of fact, bicyclists are also taxpayers of the road and contributors of the cleaner environment. They should be entitled to claim the portion of the road for their safety.  SD C.A.P. and vision zero initiative should be included in any time a street or road is resurfaced or maintain going forward, with bike lanes being added or if it’s a major construction project build dedicated protected bike path just like we did include a sidewalk for pedestrians.

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?

How to create and elevate the atmosphere of flourishing business? Through people’s walking and interacting one another!   The Inland Communities just have to look to the coast for inspiration such as Seattle or other cities active in cycling, where all the unique and neat stores are so alive, and the close and healthy interactions between people in the community are so real. That’s possible through encouraging people to cycling.   When we have greater density, business flourish and people walk and car slow down. Consequently motorists and business owners see cyclists as a group to covet new customers.

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?

(Find out who against about cycling accessibility? Do you agree or disagree, how to reverse that decision if you are elected?)

We can start at the DMV, add more cycling safety vs. Automobiles in the driver’s education. Along with a small fee to offset the price for underserviced communities to acquire helmets for children and their families.

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

Yes, I will support the San Diego Bicycle Master Plan Update (Funding can be found at all levels of government. The city would need to have the Bicycle master plan tied to major road construction projects, so that there is more available fund for the projects, because bicycles are human power motor Vehicle).

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?

A few years ago my son and I participated in Rancho’s Y’s RAC “Ride across California” – a weeklong bicycling trip from the California Arizona border to Encinitas Beach. This was a tremendous growth experience for my son, who could barely do one lap of Miramar Lake 5.1 miles when we started out. When we reached Encinitas going down Coast Highway, I was crying because I was so proud of my son who was still doubting himself that he can do it, but he was able to do it. I know many parents would have the same feelings as I did, being proud of a tremendous accomplishment of your own child at such a young age. I only wish more of San Diego’s residents could participate in such an event.

8) Finally ­ If elected, will you commit to meeting with BikeSD representatives on a regular basis to continue the dialog around improving all D5 neighborhoods, and making San Diego the world’s greatest city for cycling?

As a cyclist, I would be committed to meeting with Bike San Diego representatives on a regular basis.  I do pledge again that if elected for San Diego City Council, I will ride my bike to work at least once a month.