| Name: Ahsha Safai
Campaign Website: Ahshaforsupervisor.com
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)?
Unfortunately not as often as I would like. I enjoy riding bikes with my children on the weekend.
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 work with the SF Bicycle Coalition, other Supervisors and various organizations to continue to grow existing programs and improve infrastructure and implement many of the goals of Vision Zero to make riding safer to encourage safer riding experiences. Also, I would work with the Safe Routes to School program to encourage students to start riding their bikes to school early so as to encourage an early commitment to riding.
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?
Because District 11 is included an area within the Vision Zero High Injury Network, I would work closely with the SFCTA Vision Zero Committee, Vision Zero Task Force, and Vision Zero SF Coalition to further the goals of the Two-Year Action Plan through public education, safe traffic engineering, enforcing traffic laws, and changing public policy. I would support more projects in my District like the Mission/Trumbull Safety Improvements and the 14 Mission Rapid Project that will ultimately make streets safer and reduce fatalities.
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?
Alemeny Boulevard has many sections that would be ripe for this. Traffic moves extremely fast through both directions of this corridor making it unsafe for both bicyclist and pedestrians. Alemany Boulevard is a major connection point to our local farmers market but also an entrance to the freeway and runs almost the entire length of our district touching almost every neighborhood, so extra care must be taken to protect bicyclists to encourage greater riding.
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?
There are a few “high-injury network” areas in my District. I would work with SFMTA and the SF Bicycle Coalition and use Vision Zero data and information to install the recommended traffic calming solutions. I will do whatever I can to ensure safe roads for bicycles and pedestrians.
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 know that along the Mission Street Corridor and other areas of District 11, SFMTA parking officials are working really hard to prioritize bike safety by enforcing tickets on double parked vehicles. Also Capt. McFadden and the officers at Ingleside station have been working extremely close with the community to evaluate high traffic and speed zones throughout District 11. I would continue partnering with SFPD’s Ingelside station and SFMTA on their excellent work, as well as spread the model in District 11 to other Districts throughout the city.
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?
1. The Planning Department led the Ocean Avenue Corridor Design Study, which was completed in 2015 after extensive public outreach. Recommendations in the study included a redesign and plaza treatment for the intersection of Ocean, Phelan and Geneva Avenues as well as the inclusion of a westbound bike lane between I-280 and Phelan Avenue. Do you support the study’s findings?
If “Yes,” what would you do as Supervisor to advance the design and implementation of the Ocean Avenue Corridor Design Study?
As a City Planner and a longtime resident of District 11 I have seen many years of neglect. This plan is a thoughtful redesign of this area that is in much need of attention and better safety and flow for pedestrians, bicyclists and cars. I would fight for public funding for these improvements from federal state and local sources such as Prop B, Prop AA and Prop K and hopefully some of the future sales tax that is being proposed for transportation purposes this fall. All of these sources could be used to match other federal and state sources. [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]
2. As San Francisco becomes a more expensive city to live in, we know that biking provides an affordable and sustainable way to get around. To increase access to bikes, the SF Bicycle Coalition organizes and leads the Bike it Forward program. We reclaim unclaimed and abandoned bikes from the SFMTA, BART, the SFPD and other agencies, which are then repaired with the help of our volunteers. Neighborhood residents sign up with our partner organizations in advance to participate and receive a bike. As Supervisor, do you support this program and its expansion?
3. Do you agree that biking is an affordable mode of transportation?
If “Yes,” what would you do as Supervisor to increase biking in your District?
I think a bike shop along one of my merchant corridors would provide much-needed support and access for regular cyclists in my District, as well as provide an opportunity for others to learn more about the benefits of biking. I would also work with the SF Bicycle coalition to organize bike giveaways and to host safe ride workshop. Bike safety is extremely important and needs to go hand-in-hand with giving someone a bike. I would also support expanding Safe Routes to School program as mentioned before, but most importantly in the areas that bicyclists use. [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]