2015 District Attorney Candidate George Gascón

Candidate Facts

Name: George Gascón
Campaign Website: www.georgegascon.com

Candidate Questionnaire

All official candidates 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?

Yes occasionally

2. If yes, for what purpose(s) and how often? How do you most commonly commute to work?

I ride for recreation – exercise.

It varies.

Automobile.

3. The City has established a goal to at least double the number of bike trips in the next 3 years. Do you support this goal?

Yes

4. Civic leaders, agencies and departments embraced Vision Zero in 2014, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2024 through engineering, education and enforcement strategies. Do you support Vision Zero?

Yes

5. Research has 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 bike lanes 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 bike lanes 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 bike lanes 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 bike lanes — Connecting the City — even acknowledging that there will be some skepticism to inevitable changes?

I believe that as District Attorney, I’m most effective in serving our community by focusing my efforts on criminal justice matters, community safety, and the general duties of my office. Therefore, I’m not taking a public position on initiatives not directly connected to my work.

6. The SF Bicycle Coalition has advocated for the City to increase its spending on bicycling improvements to better reflect the SFMTA’s Strategic Plan goal to reach eight percent of trips by bike by 2018. As Mayor or Supervisor, will you support leveling the playing field for all modes of transportation by ensuring that the level of funding for bicyclists at least matches the proportion of San Franciscans who bike?

Not applicable

7. The affordability of transportation is a growing concern for many San Franciscans. For most residents, particularly low-income families, transportation is the second-highest cost of living after housing. As Mayor or Supervisor, how will you promote bicycling as an affordable transportation choice, particularly among households overburdened by transportation and housing expenses?

[Not Applicable]

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 transit and pedestrian travel along the corridor. Would you support this plan?

I believe that as District Attorney, I’m most effective in serving our community by focusing my efforts on criminal justice matters, community safety, and the general duties of my office. Therefore, I’m not taking a public position on initiatives not directly connected to my work.

9. Next Fall, voters will have the chance to support a ballot measure to restore the Vehicle License Free to pre-Schwarzenegger levels and most likely an accompanying Equity Charter Amendment to provide an ongoing, progressive source of funding for transportation priorities in San Francisco, including safer walking and biking conditions and improved transit. Will you publicly support and actively campaign for this measure?

I believe that as District Attorney, I’m most effective in serving our community by focusing my efforts on criminal justice matters, community safety, and the general duties of my office. Therefore, I’m not taking a public position on initiatives not directly connected to my work.

If yes, will you also support bridge-funding for the transportation funding gap until this funding measure is active?

Not applicable

10. San Francisco has recently joined a growing list of major cities with sophisticated bike sharing programs. To succeed and bring access closer to many of our residents, this program will require significant expansion to neighborhoods across the city. This will require additional public space and right of way, and may require additional funding to provide low-cost access for low income residents. Do you commit to supporting and, if necessary, securing public funding and right of way to expand this cost-effective, innovative new transportation system to more San Francisco neighborhoods?

I believe that as District Attorney, I’m most effective in serving our community by focusing my efforts on criminal justice matters, community safety, and the general duties of my office. Therefore, I’m not taking a public position on initiatives not directly connected to my work.

11. Double-parking in bike lanes is a major safety problem in San Francisco, often forcing people biking to swerve into dangerous traffic conditions. Will you prioritize a significant increase in the SF Police Department’s and the SFMTA’s Parking Control Officers’ enforcement of this problem?

I agree this is a public safety concern. However, as DA, I have no control over either Department.

12. Significant concern exists around police enforcement of safe-driving laws in San Francisco. 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)?

Yes

13. 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?

Under my direction and leadership, my office has taken a very strong approach to traffic safety education, and aggressive prosecution of vehicular manslaughter cases.

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