2016 District 1 Candidate Andy Thornley

Candidate Facts

1AT    Name: Andy Thornley
   Campaign Website: Thornley2016.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?


If “Yes,” how often do you ride and for what purpose(s)?

Nearly every day, for every reason, shopping, commuting, visiting, joyriding.

2. 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?


If yes, what would you do as Supervisor to help the city realize it?

I would energetically prioritize funding and resources and political support to elevate the bicycle transportation system to a high level of continuity and comfort and completeness, via bicycle system infrastructure (bikeways, secure bike parking, wayfinding systems, etc) and programs (bike education for kids and adults and drivers, safe routes to school, measured and meaningful safe streets enforcement, etc). At the same time I would work with focus and energy to improve and strengthen transit in the city, Muni and regional systems, and other sustainable mobility choices to allow more San Franciscans to get along with less car.

3. Our City has embraced and adopted Vision Zero, the goal to eliminate all fatalities and serious injuries on our streets by 2024. Do you support Vision Zero?


If “Yes,” the city has yet to make significant progress since the introduction of Vision Zero in 2014. In fact, fatalities are on the rise. What would you do as Supervisor to help the city achieve Vision Zero?

I would champion the implementation of proven engineering countermeasures on our streets (sidewalk extensions, intersection daylighting, intersection fixes, etc); support automated speed enforcement legislation in Sacramento, and implementation here once it’s approved; work with the SFPD & SFMTA to carry out consistent, measured, and sensible “safe streets” enforcement (SFPD Richmond Station has been a leader on Focus on the Five), support and prioritize Geary Blvd pedestrian realm enhancements, Fulton Street fixes, Arguello Blvd fixes (paint now and more soon); provide Safe Routes to JFK Drive; and dramatically constrain car circulation in Golden Gate Park.

4. Research and data has shown that building high-quality protected bike infrastructure is the most effective way to increase the number of people who bike. Despite this, there remain very few streets and corridors in San Francisco with protected bike lanes. Do you support the significant expansion of protected bike infrastructure, recognizing that this is often achieved by reallocating space on our streets that may decrease on-street car parking or vehicle travel lanes?


If “Yes,” what is at least one street or corridor in your District that you think would most benefit from a protected bike facility and why?

I support transforming Arguello Boulevard into a true greenway that connects the Presidio and Golden Gate Park and moves kids and families and commuters and shoppers to neighborhood and crosstown destinations. Arguello Blvd has already benefitted from an early road diet (2001) and I’m fully supportive of the SFMTA’s proposals to further tame and re-shape Arguello in the near term, and I’ll work to make even more ambitious physical changes to Arguello for safer and more comfortable biking for all ages and abilities.

5. The SF Bicycle Coalition participated in the Mayor’s Transportation 2030 Task Force, which identified significant funding gaps for a safe, reliable transportation system. To continue building out the bike network, the original need until 2030 was $360 million, which has now increased to $660 million, by City estimates. Do you support increased allocation and funding for bike projects to at least match the percentage of San Franciscans who bike?


6. The Department of Public Health has used data to develop the “high-injury network” to show the 12% of city streets where over 70% of the collisions occur. This map has also shown that low-income communities are disproportionately affected by traffic collisions. If Supervisor, what would you do to prevent collisions in your District at these known locations?

D1 is cursed with deadly streets as much as any district in SF – Geary Boulevard is one of the most perilous streets in the city, and Fulton, California, Arguello, and JFK Drive are likewise dreadful and sometimes deadly. Not surprisingly, but inexcusably, kids and seniors are overrepresented in the numbers of people seriously injured and killed on D1 streets. We know what to do, they’re the same things we need to do to realize Vision Zero – I would energetically support engineering, enforcement, and legislative changes (e.g. automated speed enforcement) to realize real safety improvements in D1 and citywide.

7. Market Street is San Francisco’s most-biked street, with nearly 7,000 trips by bike counted here every day. The City is working on the Better Market Street project, which calls for limiting private automobiles, creating a continuous, protected bike lane for the full length of the project from the Embarcadero to Octavia Boulevard and significantly advancing transit and pedestrian-friendly street design. Do you support this plan?


8. Data has shown that the five most dangerous behaviors are all driver-related offenses: speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians, improper right-hand turns, running red lights and failure to stop at stop signs. The San Francisco Police Department has committed to maintaining 50% of their traffic citations to “Focus on the Five,” a goal they have yet to meet citywide. Do you support Focus on the Five and smart, data-driven enforcement?


9. As Supervisor, what will you do to ensure SFPD focuses enforcement on Focus on the Five or other known issues that make our streets unwelcome to bike on, such as double-parking in bike lanes, rather than ad hoc, complaint-driven enforcement?

SFPD Richmond Station has been a leader in focusing traffic enforcement resources on the most dangerous behaviors and locations in D1, and I would guide SFPD commanders to build on Richmond Station’s example for all districts. I’ll continue to advocate for SFPD’s Traffic Company realignment to a true “Safe Streets” unit (with energetic coordination and engagement from SFMTA and DPH and advocates) – getting more officers patrolling on bikes more of the time is essential, toward reducing “windshield perspective” and building empathy and effectiveness in addressing widespread pernicious hazards like double-parking and failure to yield at intersections and elsewhere.

10. Bay Area Bike Share is in the middle of a game-changing, tenfold expansion of its system to become one of the densest bike share networks in the United States. Do you support the expansion and placement of bike share stations in your District, even if this may mean repurposing of on-street vehicle parking?


District-Specific Questions

1. A recent tragedy occurred on June 22, where a person biking was hit and killed by a driver on JFK Drive near 30th Avenue, which is located in District 1. The SF Bicycle Coalition is advocating for protected bike lanes for the western half of JFK Drive to make Golden Gate Park a place for people rather than vehicle through traffic or on-street parking. As Supervisor, would you support our ask, and what would you do to prevent such crashes on JFK Drive?

Probably, I’d have to see the proposal; JFK Drive west of Transverse is narrower than the eastern extent, and there were few cars parked on JFK Drive at 30th Ave on the evening of June 22, so effectively no parking buffer to protect a bike rider. As a near-term action I recommend making key segments of JFK Drive one-way for cars to eliminate through motor traffic, as well as one-waying 30th and 36th Avenues and a few other segments; see Thornley2016.com/FixJFK for details. This fix can be implemented quickly – this year – with paint and signs and enforcement.

2. In addition to improved infrastructure, we are advocating for an expansion of car-free, open streets space in Golden Gate Park, similar to Car-Free Sundays or Healthy Saturdays. As Supervisor, would you support this ask?


3. We support a recommendation from the Ocean Beach Master Plan, which calls for a road diet of Great Highway, given the high levels of sand erosion. The result would be to repurpose two lanes of travel to become open streets for people biking and walking. Do you support this recommendation?


Return to November 2016 Candidate Summaries


Become a member and you'll improve your commute and get discounts at shops across the city.