2016 District 1 Candidate Marjan Philhour

Candidate Facts

1MP    Name: Marjan Philhour
   Campaign Website: www.votemarjan.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)?

Not regularly, but occasionally I do alongside my kids in Golden Gate Park.

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?

Generate and support research-backed policies that improve the safety and efficiency of transit by bicycle. Do the necessary constituent groundwork needed to ensure these policies move forward as quickly as politically sustainable.

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?

Work harder to make the political case and ensure stakeholders including residents and merchants feel listened to and part of the political process. Empower constituents to move forward with traffic calming measures in their own neighborhoods.

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?

John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park. If we can’t achieve significant safety improvements there, where can we do so? That part of the High Injury Network map includes sleepy, non-commercial, non-residential, JFK Drive, is just shocking.

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?

Some of these streets are in the Park – see my responses on that topic below. Others include Arguello, Fulton, California, Park Presidio, and Geary Blvd. In each of these cases, the street speed is simply too high, and I am in favor of physical calming measures that reduce street speed and therefore the number of collisions as well as the fraction of collisions that result in serious injury or death. As I’ve said elsewhere, I also believe greater involvement on the part of the Supervisor to make the political case is needed.

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?

I routinely walk my children to school in the Outer Richmond. In year after year of this, I have never witnessed a single case of traffic enforcement. There are simply not enough police officers in San Francisco, and the Department is insufficiently resourced. We need to properly resource the SFPD if we expect to see improvement in enforcement.

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?

I support this change. If we can’t accomplish this on JFK, where in the City can we accomplish it? I think we need to look seriously about reducing car traffic through Golden Gate Park in general and improving pedestrian and bicycle entry to the park especially. The entrance nearest to where I live – 43rd Ave / Chain of Lakes – is an extraordinarily dangerous intersection. A child was seriously injured there on a bicycle while in a crosswalk. There is actually no pedestrian access to the park at that entrance that doesn’t involve walking in traffic. [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]

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


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