|Name: Jamie Whitaker
Campaign Website: www.ElectJamie.com
Last month, all official candidates for the Board of Supervisors were contacted and given the opportunity to answer our Candidate Questionnaire. Any candidate responses edited for length and clarity have been marked as such. 1. Do you ride a bicycle in the city?
2. If yes, for what purpose(s) and how often? How do you most commonly commute to work?
I’m member #54 of Bay Area Bike Share (BABS), and I use bicycling to fill the void of local bus service in east SoMa. I’ve taken 227 trips on BABS as of 7/20/2014. I bike to parks, dining, shopping, and movie theatres. I commute to work via MUNI Metro primarily. I wish Folsom and Howard Street safety improvements reached the BABS stations near The Embarcadero instead of stopping at 4th and 6th Streets respectively.
3. The City has established a goal to at least double the number of bike trips in the next 4 years. Do you support this goal?
If yes, what would you do as Supervisor to help the city realize it?
Bike and pedestrian improvements need funding. I would support a weekday evening, outbound only congestion pricing pilot program implemented to help decrease traffic congestion and air pollution downtown while raising $60-$80 million per year in revenues that could be used for sustainable transportation capital improvements. I support standardized parking meter enforcement using the Port of San Francisco operating times of 7 days per week, from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. with demand-based pricing (SFPark).
4. After a tragic 2013 for people biking and walking, including 25 fatal collisions, City leaders have embraced Vision Zero, which aims to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero in the next 10 years through better engineering, education, and enforcement. This policy has now been adopted by the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor and many key agencies, such as the SFMTA & the Police Dept. Do you support Vision Zero?
As Supervisor will you prioritize funding and policy decisions based on Vision Zero, or safety-first?
5. It has been shown that the most effective way to boost the number of people bicycling and improve the bicycling experience is to designate dedicated space through physically separated bikeways and traffic-calmed streets. The SF Bicycle Coalition has set out its Connecting the City initiative, an ambitious but achievable vision of 100 miles of crosstown bikeways that are comfortable and inviting for people of all ages and abilities, connecting neighborhoods and helping locals and visitors to shop, work, and play more often by bike. Reconfiguring our streets to include crosstown bikeways and other “low stress” bike routes will draw concern from some citizens who are skeptical of this next-generation infrastructure and who oppose re-programming any existing on-street car parking or traffic lanes for safer biking. Do you support the creation of continuous crosstown bikeways — Connecting the City — even acknowledging that there will be some public pushback to inevitable changes?
6. The SF Bicycle Coalition has advocated for the City to increase its spending on bicycling improvements, so that it constitutes 8% of its transportation budget, given that the SFMTA’s Strategic Plan goal aims to reach 8% of trips by bike by 2018. In its most recent budget cycle, the SFMTA only increased the funding for bicycling from 1% to 2%. As Supervisor, will you support leveling the playing field by ensuring that the level of funding for bicyclists at least matches the proportion of San Franciscans that bike?
Yes [response truncated]
7. The affordability of transportation is a growing concern for many San Franciscans. For most SF residents, particularly low-income families, transportation is the second-highest cost of living after housing. As Supervisor, how will you promote bicycling as an affordable transportation choice, particularly for among households overburdened by expenses?
Connecting the growing redevelopment neighborhoods along the entire length of San Francisco’s eastern waterfront (Shipyard/Bayview, Mission Bay, and East SoMa/Transbay) via bicycling improvements on the Blue Greenway should be a high priority. This would connect tens of thousands of residents, many of whom will be living in below market rate or government subsidized housing, to hundreds of employers for a variety of job types (PDR, service, office, government, healthcare) and parks. More secure bike lockers.
8. Market Street is San Francisco’s most well-traveled corridor, with a quarter of a million daily transit vehicle boardings on or under it each weekday and more daily bike trips than almost any other street in the United States. The City is working on a Better Market Street plan that calls for limiting private vehicle thru-traffic, creating a continuous, physically separated bikeway the full length of Market Street, while also enhancing better transit and pedestrian travel. Would you support this plan?
9. This Fall, voters will have the chance to support the Transportation and Road Safety Bond. This bond supports $500 million of work to improve the city’s transit systems and make our roadways safer for all users, with a focus on improved bikeways and pedestrian safety. Will you publicly support and actively campaign for this measure?
No [response truncated]
10. Also this Fall, voters will be presented with a ballot measure called Policy Regarding Transportation Priorities Declaration of Policy or “Transportation Balance”, which aims to weaken San Francisco’s long-time Transit-First policy, and send more of our City’s scarce resources to further subsidize parking to the detriment of other, well-established priorities, including transit and the safety of people walking and biking. Will you support Transit-First and Vision Zero by publicly and actively opposing the Policy Regarding Transportation Priorities Declaration?
11. In 2016, San Franciscans will be asked to restore the Vehicle License Fee to 2% to provide an ongoing, progressive source of funding for transportation priorities in San Francisco, including safer walking and biking conditions and improved transit. Do you endorse this revenue source?
Yes [response truncated]
If yes, will you also support bridge-funding for the transportation funding gap until this funding measure is active?
Yes – but only if supported by new revenues, such as implementing 7 days/7 a.m. – 11 p.m. parking meter enforcement citywide so that the General Fund is not impacted.
12. San Francisco has recently joined a growing list of major cities with sophisticated bike sharing programs. To succeed, this program will require significant expansion to neighborhoods across the city, which will require additional funding and public space for the bike-sharing station. Do you commit to seek and secure funding and space to expand this cost-effective, innovative new transportation system to more San Francisco neighborhoods?
Yes [response truncated]
13. Double-parking in bike lanes is a major safety problem in San Francisco, causing people biking to have to swerve dangerously. Will you prioritize a significant increase in the SF Police Department’s and the SFMTA’s Parking Control Officers’ enforcement of this problem?
Yes [response truncated]
14. Concerns around police enforcement of safe driving laws in San Francisco is high. 1,700 people have signed a petition to urge George Gascon to prosecute the driver in the Amelie Le Moullac bike fatality case. Do you support increased enforcement and accountability for all road users focused around the five most dangerous driving actions (speeding, failing to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, improperly making a right hand turn, running red lights, and failing to stop at stop signs)?
15. Have you championed or strongly supported any other initiatives that are in line with the SF Bicycle Coalition’s mission of promoting bicycling for everyday transportation?
I set up my own petition asking Mayor Lee to make Folsom Street safer for bicyclists that garnered 290 signers at http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/we-want-safe-soma-streets. I also set up a petition to leave Sunday parking meter enforcement hours in place. http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/leave-sunday-parking I’ve been a pedestrian safety advocate ever since I moved to SoMa in 2006, and that’s my impetus for creating my www.RinconHillSF.org neighborhood blog. I managed WalkSF’s online communications for a time prior to Elizabeth Stampe’s stewardship.
1. As the Waterfront and especially the Embarcadero become increasingly popular with tourists and residents alike, do you support a continuous, physically protected bikeway along the Embarcadero to reduce congestion, increase comfort and safety and improve circulation?
2. The SoMa and Tenderloin neighborhoods are known as some of the areas where bicycling is growing at the fastest rate, yet they are also the most intimidating and dangerous neighborhoods for people biking or walking. Will you support a clear and well-funded Vision Zero mandate on SoMa and Tenderloin streets?
3. Specifically, will you support the addition of physically protected bikeways on the following key streets in SoMa and the Tenderloin, even knowing that there will likely be some loss of parking and/or existing travel lanes?:
- 2nd Street Yes
- 5th Street Yes
- 6th Street Yes
- 7th Street Yes
- 8th Street Yes
- Folsom Street Yes [response truncated]
- Howard Street Yes [response truncated]
- 13th/Divison Streets Yes
- Turk Street Yes
- Golden Gate Street Yes
- Polk Street Yes
4. When the Warriors arena moves to District 6, it will be very important to find ways to minimize congestion. Will you support significantly improved and expanded bicycle infrastructure around the proposed stadium site, in order to make it easy and safe for people to attend the games by foot or on bicycle, particularly from key transit stations like 16th and Mission BART and Caltrain?
Yes [response truncated]