Alameda Candidate Responses

I Bike/I Vote logo

Why should you care about the election?

The November 2, 2010 election holds great promise to elect supportive leadership who will take an active role in not only making the East Bay more bike-friendly, but also place the East Bay at the forefront of US urban areas discovering the wonderful benefits that bike-friendly streets bring to communities.

We need strong, pro-bike elected officials to pass legislation in favor of increasing funding for bicycle, pedestrian and transit infrastructure, and to make the tough decisions to redesign our roadways for safer, more inviting bicycling. We have asked each candidate about their stand on many issues, and once they are voted into office we will ensure they follow through on their promises.

Marie Gilmore

Doug deHaan

Frank Matarrese

Kenneth Kahn

Kenneth Kahn

City Council

Adam Gillit

Lena Tam
1. Do you use a bicycle for transportation? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often? Please indicate how you most commonly commute to work. (300 words or less)
I own a Schwinn Hybrid bike and ride it whenever I can, especially for recreation. Unfortunately, I usually drive to work because my job as a manager at the East Bay Municipal Utility District requires that I frequently travel to Sacramento or Stockton for business meetings.

2. Do you feel your city is a bicycle-friendly city? Please explain (300 words or less)
Absolutely! Alameda is relatively flat, the weather is mild year-round, and we have an excellent street grid. In addition, the City of Alameda has made a concerted effort over the years to plan and implement a comprehensive network of Class I off-street paths, Class II bike lanes, and Class III on-street routes (some, like Oak Street, with sharrows) as well as bike racks, e-lockers, and other bike facilities. Our Bicycle Master Plan is far from completely implemented but we are making every effort to fund additional bike-friendly projects within our limited budget and to locate external funding sources for additional bike projects.
The DRAFT City of Alameda Bicycle Master Plan Update is here:
http://www.ci.alameda.ca.us/publicworks/pdf/draft-Sept-2010.pdf
Alameda’s new Transportation Master Plan (TMP) has significantly improved the city’s ability to deal with traffic and growth in “smarter” ways. It also promotes non-automobile transportation solutions as well:
http://www.ci.alameda.ca.us/tmp/
BikeAlameda and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition have both helped Alameda to become more bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly for many years. BikeAlameda offers Valet Bike Parking at community events and teaches bicycle skills courses. BikeAlameda also successfully pushed for the establishment of our Transportation Commission (TC) in 2002. The TC has improved the way Alameda deals with all kinds of transportation and land use issues over the last eight years.
Our local bike shops have contributed for many years to our quality of life and our bike-friendly culture. For example, Stone’s Cyclery opened up in 1943! And our own Alameda Bicycle operates the local bike stations under contract with BART. And the City of Alameda is a community full of active bicyclists of all ages: more and more people are cycling every year, according to BikeAlameda.

3. AB 32, California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, was enacted in 2006 and calls for a reduction in Greenhouse Gases (GHG) to 1990 levels by the year 2020–a 25% reduction from 2005 levels. In addition, the Air Resources Board currently is selecting GHG reduction targets for the Bay Area. What will you do as a City Councilmember/mayor to reduce the City’s transportation-related GHGs? (300 words or less)
I helped establish Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda (CASA) when our citizens asked us to find ways to reduce GHGs and its adverse effect on climate change.
CASA has recommended a number of strategies for reducing both public sector and private sector transportation-related GHGs, and the City of Alameda has already implemented many of them, such as purchasing electric vehicles and hybrids and using them for city business. (I usually drive a Prius hybrid when I am on the job at EBMUD and I am very familiar with their advantages.)
I support transit-oriented development (TOD) and “smart” growth in Alameda to take advantage of transit as well as bicycling and walking instead of driving. I am working to bring a sustainable TOD to Alameda Point and similar multi-family and mixed-use redevelopments in our Webster and Park Street business districts as well. The easier we can make it for people to walk, bicycle, and take transit instead of driving (whether to work, medical appointments, shopping, entertainment, or errands) the better off we all will be, in Alameda and in the region.

4. When making streets safe for bicycling, as called for in the Bicycle Plan, there are often conflicts between the needs for more parking, sufficient traffic flow, bus service, and safe bike access. This particularly happens on busy arterials where buses run and where there are many businesses that want sufficient parking for their customers. Yet, bicyclists need to patronize these businesses as well as use the streets to get to and from work. These streets are often the most direct routes and the safest for cyclists to use at night, which is why they are included in the City’s Bicycle Plan. Knowing that in many cases, streets will likely have to be reconfigured to accommodate bicyclists, reducing the number of conventional car lanes and/or converting space for on-street parking to make room for bicycle right-of-way, what ideas do you have to make our busy arterial streets safe for bicycling? (300 words or less)
Our new Transportation Master Plan and our Bicycle Master Plan Update make it easier to implement “road diets” and traffic calming measures in conjunction with wider curb lanes and bike lanes. As I councilmember, I voted to secure funding for Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) and Safe Routes to Transit (SR2T), and prioritize the installation of appropriate transit and bike facilities. The TMP also makes it harder to build parking garages or widen city streets simply for faster auto access.
I am in favor of implementing new bike lanes, paths, routes, and related facilities wherever and whenever possible according to the recommendations of the latest update of our Bicycle Master Plan. We need to look at lots of new options throughout Alameda for moving people, not just cars. I want the Transportation Commission to comprehensively examine all kinds of new strategies and opportunities to make our streets safer and more accessible for all Alamedans.

5. A worldwide trend to enhance the quality of city life and support economic development has led countless cities to create car-free space on city streets, providing opportunities for people to bike, walk and play safely in their neighborhoods. They have proven to be extremely popular around the East Bay. As Councilmember, will you commit to expanding pedestrian zones and to significantly increase funding for more car-free spaces in town? Yes/No
YES.

6. At the current rate of implementation, the Bicycle Plan will take many years to implement. A current challenge is limited staff time to devote to bicycle plan implementation. Will you commit to increasing staffing and resources directed toward implementation of the Bicycle Plan? Yes/No
YES.

7. For generations, state, regional, and even local policies have prioritized traffic flow and space for private motor vehicles, to the detriment of walking, bicycling, and transit. Around the world, many cities are reversing this priority and using the following hierarchy in transportation planning; pedestrians first, then bicyclists, transit vehicles, and lastly private motor vehicles. If elected, will you support this priority hierarchy in the City? Yes/No
YES.

8. Research has shown that 20 mph is the upper limit at which motorists can safely perceive and react to pedestrians and bicyclists. In fact, according to the Federal Highway Administration, a pedestrian is 8 times more likely to be killed in a collision with a car going 30 mph than with a car going 20 mph. Although most streets in Alameda have a speed limit of 25MPH, would you support taking measures to ensure maximum speeds on key city streets of 20mph? Yes/No
YES
Alameda does not currently have a regular program for measuring pedestrian and bicycle travel. This limits the ability to track the effectiveness of various safety, encouragement, and traffic mitigation endeavors. Given having data is important, how do you see the city addressing this deficiency?
The TMP now includes measures for evaluating the impacts of various projects, including proposed street redesigns and development projects, on pedestrian, bike, and transit modes as well as auto traffic (levels of service or LOS). It would be a simple matter to gather more detailed information on cyclists’ travel patterns, especially with the help of BikeAlameda, CASA, and other community efforts like Walk ‘n’ Roll to School Day. The data is in many ways either already out there or relatively easy to obtain.

9. When any kind of development or change to infrastructure is in progress, the public and city boards and commissions, including the city council, are asked to comment. In the past, we have seen that key bicycle and pedestrian components such as, bike parking, bike paths, and sidewalks, in those plans are not implemented or implemented in a substandard manner. It has been a challenge to fix errors during implementation, even when the city is made aware of those shortfalls. It seems that there are changes being made during construction with no communication given to the approval boards or public. What procedural improvements do you suggest to enforce correct implementation of the approved plans or better notification of changes?
The City of Alameda should consider raising the requirements for developers and business owners regarding the incorporation of secure and convenient indoor bike parking for employees and providing showers and lockers for bike commuters. Customers and visitors should also be provided with safe and secured bicycle parking. Too often bike parking racks are too few in number, are poorly designed, or they are located in unused locations away from building entrances. There is far too little bike parking at Alameda Towne Centre, and the bike racks that do exist are too far from store entrances.
We have already started looking into the apparent shortcomings in the construction of Wilver “Willie” Stargell Way and I look forward to seeing tighter controls being implemented to prevent future discrepancies. We need to end up with projects that are built as they were approved; that is fairly simple and straightforward. We should look into stronger penalties being incorporated into our conditional use permit and construction permitting processes in order to ensure compliance by development projects such as during the renovations at Alameda Towne Center.
The City of Alameda also needs to have stronger internal controls in place so that the staff cannot unilaterally make significant changes in any approved project. I believe that our Planning Board is already working on solutions to this problem and I will be monitoring the city staff’s responses as well.

10. The city has recognized the lack of transportation options for bicyclists and pedestrians from west Alameda to Oakland as one of its highest priorities. To find solutions, the city commissioned an Estuary Crossing Feasibility Study. The study’s near term recommendation is a water shuttle. Do you support it? Please explain.
Absolutely.
The City of Alameda, in partnership with the City of Oakland, the Port of Oakland, MTC, the Coast Guard, Alameda County, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), and other jurisdictions, needs to implement a convenient and accessible cross-estuary shuttle at the earliest possible opportunity.
Now that the Alameda Landing project has been restarted, the developer’s commitment to funding the water shuttle’s implementation will help a great deal with the shuttle’s associated costs. Since everyone in the region will benefit from a shuttle across the estuary we need to find additional funding and operational partners like the WETA who have the expertise to operate and manage a low-environmental-impact program with vessels that are as “green” and cost-effective as possible. We also need to coordinate the water shuttle service with any proposed changes in the operation of the existing ferries that serve Oakland, Alameda, and San Francisco.

11. Please respond to the following short questions:
a. Currently, the Alameda zoning ordinance for commercial development specifies one bike parking space for every ten car parking spaces. This kind of ordinance ties bike parking to auto parking and forces a reduction of bike parking when auto parking is reduced. A better method is to tie bike parking to square footage of the development. Do you support modifying the bike parking zoning ordinance as is specified in the pending Alameda Bicycle Master Plan update? Yes/No
YES.
b. Do you support establishing a bike parking zoning ordinance for new residential development? Yes/No
YES.
c. Do you support establishing a goal of cutting bicycle crash rates in half over the next four years? Yes/No
YES.
d. Do you support increasing local funding for bicycle projects? Yes/No
YES.
e. Do you support doubling the bicycle mode share in the City in the next four years? Yes/No
YES.
f. Do you support establishing an effective pedestrian safety campaign in the City? Yes/No
YES.
g. A bicycle boulevard is a street that has many useful destinations and is traffic calmed to allow for good throughput of bicycles while discouraging auto traffic. Alameda does not currently have any, however, the Alameda bicycle plan indicates several streets that could be converted. Do you support the implementation of bike boulevards in Alameda? Yes/No
YES.
h. Do you support the Sunshine Task Force and the Sunshine Ordinance? Yes/No
YES.
i. Alameda County has started work on Sustainable Communities Strategies as part of SB 375, which requires the state of California to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Do you support the goal of reducing the number of vehicle miles traveled? Yes/No
YES.
12. What other ideas do you have to increase the number of people bicycling in town? (300 words or less)
There are a number of strategies already in our TMP and Bicycle Master Plan for improving bike safety and increasing the number of cyclists and bicycle trips in and around Alameda.
I would also like to hear more on this from BikeAlameda, the EBBC, our local bike shops, and from CASA, and follow their suggestions. I believe that the Transportation Commission would be the ideal forum for discussing, recommending, and implementing different strategies – including those already in our TMP and Bicycle Master Plan – to increase and improve bicycle travel and cyclists’ safety in and around Alameda.
The City of Alameda faces a number of financial challenges right now that constrain our ability to increase the funding for bike-related projects, but there are a number of strategies already in our transportation plans that could be implemented without a high cost to the City of Alameda taxpayers. Our Public Works Department has been extremely successful in obtaining grants for bike-related planning and infrastructure projects in the past. I would wholeheartedly support any cost-effective programs and projects that we can implement in a fiscally responsible way.

Tracy Jensen

1. Do you use a bicycle for transportation? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often? Please indicate how you most commonly commute to work. (300 words or less)
I use a bicycle for transportation around Alameda at least 3 times per week. I use my bike for errands, to attend my son’s soccer, baseball and basketball games, to take my son to school, and to go to the gym. I also ride to the Oakland Coliseum in the spring and summer for As games, and I take my bike on BART to San Francisco for events such as the Golden Gate Park Bluegrass festival and to visit other attractions.
I do not commonly commute to work, as my job as the Senior Services Administrator for the City of Oakland requires that I visit 4 Oakland senior centers on a daily basis.

2. Do you feel your city is a bicycle-friendly city? Please explain (300 words or less)
Geographically, Alameda is a bicycle-friendly city due to the lack of inclines, the relatively wide thoroughfares, and the shoreline pathways. The City’s 25 mile per hour speed limit also makes Alameda bicycle-friendly, although the City could do more to support cyclists. Many of the streets do not have marked bike lanes, and driveways are often hard to view because of parked vehicles. I am aware of 3 young people who were hit in the past 12 months by cars exiting driveways. Finally, Alameda will never be completely bicycle-friendly until the City builds an alternate route for bicyclists and pedestrians to enter and exit the West End of Alameda.

3. AB 32, California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, was enacted in 2006 and calls for a reduction in Greenhouse Gases (GHG) to 1990 levels by the year 2020–a 25% reduction from 2005 levels. In addition, the Air Resources Board currently is selecting GHG reduction targets for the Bay Area. What will you do as a City Councilmember/mayor to reduce the City’s transportation-related GHG’s? (300 words or less)
I will make the Estuary crossing a priority so that bicyclists and pedestrians can exit the West End of Alameda safely and access downtown Oakland. This action will also make it safer and more attractive for pedestrians to access and exit Alameda.
I will continue to oppose development at Alameda Point that increases density and traffic without providing any traffic mitigation.

4. When making streets safe for bicycling, as called for in the Bicycle Plan, there are often conflicts between the needs for more parking, sufficient traffic flow, bus service, and safe bike access. This particularly happens on busy arterials where buses run and where there are many businesses that want sufficient parking for their customers. Yet, bicyclists need to patronize these businesses as well as use the streets to get to and from work. These streets are often the most direct routes and the safest for cyclists to use at night, which is why they are included in the City’s Bicycle Plan. Knowing that in many cases, streets will likely have to be reconfigured to accommodate bicyclists, reducing the number of conventional car lanes and/or converting space for on-street parking to make room for bicycle right-of-way, what ideas do you have to make our busy arterial streets safe for bicycling? (300 words or less);
I think that reconfiguring non-arterial streets would be a better way to provide bicyclists with safe access during the day. At night, it would be worthwhile to study the potential for having limited parking on certain streets to support cyclists.

5. A world-wide trend to enhance the quality of city life and support economic development has led countless cities to create car-free space on city streets, providing opportunities for people to bike, walk and play safely in their neighborhoods. They have proven to be extremely popular around the East Bay. As Councilmember, will you commit to expanding pedestrian zones and to significantly increase funding for more car-free spaces in town? Yes/No
Yes

6. At the current rate of implementation, the Bicycle Plan will take many years to implement. A current challenge is limited staff time to devote to bicycle plan implementation. Will you commit to increasing staffing and resources directed toward implementation of the Bicycle Plan? Yes/No
Yes

7. For generations, state, regional and even local policies have prioritized traffic flow and space for private motor vehicles, to the detriment of walking, bicycling and transit. Around the world, many cities are reversing this priority and using the following hierarchy in transportation planning; pedestrians first, then bicyclists, transit vehicles, and lastly private motor vehicles. If elected, will you support this priority hierarchy in the City? Yes/No
Yes

8. Research has shown that 20 mph is the upper limit at which motorists can safely perceive and react to pedestrians and bicyclists. In fact, according to the Federal Highway Administration, a pedestrian is 8 times more likely to be killed in a collision with a car going 30 mph than with a car going 20 mph. Although most streets in Alameda have a speed limit of 25MPH, would you support taking measures to ensure maximum speeds on key city streets of 20mph? Yes/No
Yes.

9. Alameda does not currently have a regular program for measuring pedestrian and bicycle travel. This limits the ability to track the effectiveness of various safety and traffic mitigation endeavors. Given having data is important, how do you see the city addressing this deficiency?
BikeAlameda is a tremendous resource for data collection and outreach, as are the City’s youth. I would establish a workgroup to identify ways to collect the information and I would be a part of it as a councilmember in order to ensure that the information collected was turned into an achievable plan.

10. When any kind of development or change to infrastructure is in progress, the public and city boards and commissions, including the city council, are asked to comment. In the past, we have seen that key bicycle and pedestrian components such as, bike parking, bike paths and sidewalks, in those plans are not implemented or implemented in a substandard manner. It has been a challenge to fix errors during implementation, even when the city is made aware of those shortfalls. It seems that there are changes being made during construction with no communication given to the approval boards or public. What procedural improvements do you suggest to enforce correct implementation of the approved plans or better notification of changes?
In addition to ignoring the recommendations of the transportation plan, the City Council has passed up the opportunity to receive federal funds for an estuary crossing. And has left the bay trail sadly underfunded and incomplete.
When development, construction, or infrastructure improvements are recommended to the City Council I would add a section to each report to detail how the project impacts pedestrian and bicyclists. Then the City Council and the public will know when they are approving or denying a project how it is affecting the residents who rely on walking and bicycling.

11. The city has recognized the lack of transportation options for bicyclists and pedestrians from west Alameda to Oakland as one of its highest priorities. To find solutions, the city commissioned an Estuary Crossing Feasibility Study. The study’s near term recommendation is a water shuttle. Do you support it? Please explain.
For the near term I support a water shuttle. But Alameda and Oakland must work together to develop an above-ground estuary crossing for the west end of Alameda. It is a critical issue that has been ignored by the City for more than 10 years, since the initial recommendation. Instead of working to construct an estuary crossing, using federal ARRA funds, the City repaved streets and actually eliminated several bike lanes. This is NOT what will make Alameda a family friendly, bicycle-friendly City. I am running for the City Council so that the City can prioritize bicycling and other non-vehicle transportation options.

12. Please respond to the following short questions:
a. Currently, the Alameda zoning ordinance for commercial development, specifies one bike parking space for every ten car parking spaces. This kind of ordinance ties bike parking to auto parking and forces a reduction of bike parking when auto parking is reduced. A better method is to tie bike parking to square footage of the development. Do you support modifying the bike parking zoning ordinance as is specified in the pending Alameda Bicycle Master Plan update? Yes/No
Yes.
b. Do you support establishing a bike parking zoning ordinance for new residential development? Yes/No
Yes.
c. Do you support establishing a goal of cutting bicycle crash rates in half over the next four years? Yes/No
Yes.
d. Do you support increasing local funding for bicycle projects? Yes/No
Yes.
e. Do you support doubling the bicycle mode share in the City in the next four years? Yes/No
Yes.
f. Do you support establishing an effective pedestrian safety campaign in the City? Yes/No
Yes. I am a member of the Transportation Planning bicycle and pedestrian subcommittee.
g. A bicycle boulevard is a street that has many useful destinations and is traffic calmed to allow for good throughput of bicycles while discouraging auto traffic. Alameda does not currently have any; however, the Alameda bicycle plan indicates several streets that could be converted. Do you support the implementation of bike boulevards in Alameda? Yes/No
Yes.
h. Do you support the Sunshine Task Force and the Sunshine Ordinance? Yes/No
Yes.
i. Alameda County has started work on Sustainable Communities Strategies as part of SB 375, which requires the state of California to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Do you support the goal of reducing the number of vehicle miles traveled? Yes/No;
Yes.

13. What other ideas do you have to increase the number of people bicycling in town? (300 words or less);
Give new residents a bicycle map from BikeAlameda. Develop partnerships between the City and the school district to provide classes and training for youth and children on bicycle safety. Make it safer to ride a bicycle by improving bike lanes, making it illegal to park at corners, and building an estuary crossing.




Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft

1. Do you use a bicycle for transportation? Yes! If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often? With my beautiful Bianci outfitted with panniers, I run errands around Alameda — going to the bank, post office, Farmers Market and some grocery shopping — by bike. Please indicate how you most commonly commute to work. By car.

2. Do you feel your city is a bicycle-friendly city? Please explain (300 words or less) — I addressed that question last year when I wrote a guest blog post on the Blogging Bayport site (there’s a link to my entire post on my website, under “Media”, www.marilyn4alameda.org) Here’s what I said: Based on my experiences riding around the island, and hearing from other cyclists, I’d say Alameda would be a more bike-friendly city if there was more “connectivity” of its bike lanes, as well as a “complete streets” policy that would require the city to accommodate cyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders when building or reconfiguring roads. But, our public officials can only do so much, even with the “political will”, “guts” and, oh yes, funding to look at transportation planning from more than a motorist’s perspective. Are we willing to change our habits, reconsider our “love affair with the car” and choose to bike or walk for short trips around town, in exchange for potential environmental, economic and health benefits? I hope next time you reach for your car keys, you’ll first ask, “Do I really need more than a ton of steel to move my rear end two miles?” (Hint: A “no” answer helps you and helps us all.)

3. AB 32, California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, was enacted in 2006 and calls for a reduction in Greenhouse Gases (GHG) to 1990 levels by the year 2020–a 25% reduction from 2005 levels. In addition, the Air Resources Board currently is selecting GHG reduction targets for the Bay Area. What will you do as a City Councilmember/mayor to reduce the City’s transportation-related GHG’s? (300 words or less) — As Planning Board President and a Planning Board member for the past four and a half years, I have advocated and voted to approve development that encourages people to get out of their cars and use public transportation, cycle or walk to their destinations. This is accomplished by locating residential development near public transit, making streets safe and welcoming for all forms of transit, and reducing the number of automobile parking spaces provided in retail areas such as Alameda Towne Centre shopping center and the future development of Park Street north of Lincoln Avenue.

4. When making streets safe for bicycling, as called for in the Bicycle Plan, there are often conflicts between the needs for more parking, sufficient traffic flow, bus service, and safe bike access. This particularly happens on busy arterials where buses run and where there are many businesses that want sufficient parking for their customers. Yet, bicyclists need to patronize these businesses as well as use the streets to get to and from work. These streets are often the most direct routes and the safest for cyclists to use at night, which is why they are included in the City’s Bicycle Plan. Knowing that in many cases, streets will likely have to be reconfigured to accommodate bicyclists, reducing the number of conventional car lanes and/or converting space for on-street parking to make room for bicycle right-of-way, what ideas do you have to make our busy arterial streets safe for bicycling? (300 words or less); — Some ideas the Planning Board has discussed in conjunction with the Bicycle Transportation Master Plan include not allowing automobile parking on Park Street during commute hours, to provide room for bicycle and transit-only lanes; and also converting Shoreline Drive from a 4-lane roadway to a 2-lane roadway and adding bike lanes in both directions, rather than expecting bicycles to share the beach path with pedestrians, joggers, dog walkers, and others.

5. A world-wide trend to enhance the quality of city life and support economic development has led countless cities to create car-free space on city streets, providing opportunities for people to bike, walk and play safely in their neighborhoods. They have proven to be extremely popular around the East Bay. As Councilmember, will you commit to expanding pedestrian zones and to significantly increase funding for more car-free spaces in town? Yes/No — Yes

6. At the current rate of implementation, the Bicycle Plan will take many years to implement. A current challenge is limited staff time to devote to bicycle plan implementation. Will you commit to increasing staffing and resources directed toward implementation of the Bicycle Plan? Yes/No — Yes. I have also encouraged the Planning Department staff to work with graduate students from UC Berkeley’s Departments of City & Regional Planning, and Urban Design on projects with limited funding for staffing. Last year, I attended the American Planning Association - California Chapter’s annual conference and saw many impressive examples of projects other Planning Departments around the state have undertaken with the assistance of graduate students from Urban Planning programs in their respective areas. In an era of budget constraints, we must find creative, effective ways to do more with less. I think implementation of the Bicycle Transportation Master Plan is a project that could benefit from this sort of resource sharing.

7. For generations, state, regional and even local policies have prioritized traffic flow and space for private motor vehicles, to the detriment of walking, bicycling and transit. Around the world, many cities are reversing this priority and using the following hierarchy in transportation planning; pedestrians first, then bicyclists, transit vehicles, and lastly private motor vehicles. If elected, will you support this priority hierarchy in the City? Yes/No — Yes. I agree with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood who, earlier this year, announced a “major policy revision” that aims to give bicycling and walking the same policy and economic consideration as driving. “Today I want to announce a sea change,” he wrote on his blog. “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of nonmotorized.” The new policy calls on state and local governments to go beyond minimum planning and maintenance requirements to provide convenient and safe amenities for bikers and walkers. “Walking and biking should not be an afterthought in roadway design,” the policy states. Transportation agencies are urged to take action on a number of fronts, including the creation of pathways for bike riders and pedestrians on bridges, and providing children with safe biking and walking routes to schools. They are also encouraged to find ways to make such improvements in concert with road maintenance projects and to protect sidewalks and bike lanes in the same manner as roads. Mr. LaHood also indicated the department is discouraging “transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians.” (NY Times, March 26, 2010)

8. Research has shown that 20 mph is the upper limit at which motorists can safely perceive and react to pedestrians and bicyclists. In fact, according to the Federal Highway Administration, a pedestrian is 8 times more likely to be killed in a collision with a car going 30 mph than with a car going 20 mph. Although most streets in Alameda have a speed limit of 25MPH, would you support taking measures to ensure maximum speeds on key city streets of 20mph? Yes/No — I would need more information to answer this question.

9. Alameda does not currently have a regular program for measuring pedestrian and bicycle travel. This limits the ability to track the effectiveness of various safety, encouragement and traffic mitigation endeavors. Given having data is important, how do you see the city addressing this deficiency? — I would defer to BikeAlameda for suggestions about effective data collection. Perhaps this is another area where graduate students from UC Berkeley could assist.

10. When any kind of development or change to infrastructure is in progress, the public and city boards and commissions, including the city council, are asked to comment. In the past, we have seen that key bicycle and pedestrian components such as, bike parking, bike paths and sidewalks, in those plans are not implemented or implemented in a substandard manner. It has been a challenge to fix errors during implementation, even when the city is made aware of those shortfalls. It seems that there are changes being made during construction with no communication given to the approval boards or public. What procedural improvements do you suggest to enforce correct implementation of the approved plans or better notification of changes? — This issue came up at the Planning Board recently, in connection with the construction of Willie Stargell Avenue and bike lanes and walking and bicycle paths not being built to specifications, or specifications being changed during the course of construction. Among the suggestions for preventing these sorts of outcomes in the future were that any proposed changes that arise in the field come back to the Planning Board to seek approval in a public forum, and also that a “walk-through” of the project with interested parties such as BikeAlameda be conducted at the completion of construction, before final sign-off, to avoid costly, after-the-fact remediation.

11. The city has recognized the lack of transportation options for bicyclists and pedestrians from west Alameda to Oakland as one of its highest priorities. To find solutions, The city commissioned an Estuary Crossing Feasibility Study. The study’s near term recommendation is a water shuttle. Do you support it? Please explain. — Yes. My father grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia and I have visited that beautiful city many times. There is an impressive area, Granville Island, a working industrial area with a large Farmers Market that is accessible to the Vancouver by water taxi. It is a well-used, efficient system that I think Alameda could successfully replicate.

12. Please respond to the following short questions:
a. Currently, the Alameda zoning ordinance for commercial development, specifies one bike parking space for every ten car parking spaces. This kind of ordinance ties bike parking to auto parking and forces a reduction of bike parking when auto parking is reduced. A better method is to tie bike parking to square footage of the development. Do you support modifying the bike parking zoning ordinance as is specified in the pending Alameda Bicycle Master Plan update? Yes/No — Yes; the Planning Board recently discussed this topic.
b. Do you support establishing a bike parking zoning ordinance for new residential development? Yes/No — Yes
c. Do you support establishing a goal of cutting bicycle crash rates in half over the next four years? Yes/No — Yes, absolutely!
d. Do you support increasing local funding for bicycle projects? Yes/No — Yes
e. Do you support doubling the bicycle mode share in the City in the next four years? Yes/No — Yes
f. Do you support establishing an effective pedestrian safety campaign in the City? Yes/No — Yes
g. A bicycle boulevard is a street that has many useful destinations and is traffic calmed to allow for good throughput of bicycles while discouraging auto traffic. Alameda does not currently have any, however, the Alameda bicycle plan indicates several streets that could be converted. Do you support the implementation of bike boulevards in Alameda? Yes/No — Yes
h. Do you support the Sunshine Task Force and the Sunshine Ordinance? Yes/No — Yes
i. Alameda County has started work on Sustainable Communities Strategies as part of SB 375, which requires the state of California to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Do you support the goal of reducing the number of vehicle miles traveled? Yes/No; — Yes

13. What other ideas do you have to increase the number of people bicycling in town? (300 words or less); — More and better connectivity of streets, bike paths and bike routes; cyclist education programs such as those sponsored by BikeAlameda; public advocacy of using bikes as alternative forms of transportation.