2016 Election: Mark Kersey 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. Mark Kersey is running to keep his current city on City Council District 5.

Mark Kersey. Photo via Kersey's website.
Mark Kersey. Photo via Kersey’s website.

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?

San Diego’s transportation infrastructure is the foundation of our City. Whether cycling to work, school, for fun or exercise, we need to make sure our bike paths are safe and well maintained. Encouraging alternative forms of transportation will not only help reduce traffic and our carbon footprint, but will ultimately put less stress on our roads.

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

We need to stick to the three E’s of Vision Zero: Education, Engineering, and Enforcement. As Councilmember, I will continue to advocate for increased enforcement of all the traffic laws that are set up to keep our drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians safe. I will also work with our Public Works Department and Streets Division on finding engineering solutions to our most accident prone corridors. And as a City, we need to be educating drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians on how to stay safe on our streets and sidewalks.

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?

Working with our community partners, developers, and engaged citizens will always be part of any implementation process, but the safety of our citizens will always be the most important aspect for transportation and street design

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?

I believe we need to empower local businesses to make these decisions, and then make sure the City’s bureaucracy doesn’t get in the way. If a group of local businesses wants to remove street parking in favor of a bicycle corral, parklet, an electric vehicle charging port, or for any other approved function, it should be a straightforward and simple process.

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?

Since I took office in 2012, I have consistently advocated for more resources for investment in our infrastructure. To date, I believe the decisions made by this Council and our Mayor have been a boon for infrastructure and alternative transportation. We are building and repairing more sidewalks and streets than any time in recent history. My plan is to double down in the coming years to make sure this level of attention and investment in our infrastructure isn’t a passing fad.

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

Yes, although I would like to see even more bicycle only cycle tracks in the City of San Diego than what is called for in the 2011 San Diego Bicycle Master Plan Update. Cycle tracks are the safest form of bicycle infrastructure, and should be utilized alongside more high­-speed corridors.

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?

Since I have been in office at least 5 pedestrians in my district have been killed in biking and traffic related accidents.  In many of these cases, the accident might have been prevented by a more robust biking and pedestrian­based infrastructure investment.  These memories are not my favorite, but they are what shape my desire to see safe streets in San Diego for all residents, across generations.  We must support increased  investment to prevent these tragedies from happening again.

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?

Of course ­ I look forward to our continued dialog on making San Diego’s transportation infrastructure the envy of the world.