2016 District 5 Candidate Dean Preston

Candidate Facts

5DP DeanPreston-Divis    Name: Dean Preston
   Campaign Website: www.votedean.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)?

I ride a few times a month, mostly on the weekends. For me, nothing beats a bike ride through Golden Gate Park with my daughters. I joined the Bike Coalition with a family membership when my kids started riding, mainly to support efforts to make San Francisco a safer place for families and riders of all ages.

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?

Almost two thirds of San Franciscans say they want to bike more, but choose not to because of safety concerns, according to the SFMTA. That’s why I believe we must focus first on making our streets safer with infrastructure improvements, such as adding raised bikeways and installing better lighting, and making sure existing plans like the Masonic Avenue Streetscape Project are completed on schedule. We must also improve access to cycling by expanding Bay Area Bike Share to new neighborhoods, such as Hayes Valley and the Haight Ashbury.

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?

To achieve the goal of Vision Zero, we need serious improvements to our City’s infrastructure. Separated bikeways, wider sidewalks, bigger medians, improved paving, and better lighting are all concrete steps we can take to make streets safer. Additionally, a recent study by the National Association of City Transportation Officials showed that the more bike riders we have in San Francisco, the less likely they are to be involved in an accident. I will fight to expand access to cycling so that we can continue making progress toward Vision Zero.

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 fully support efforts to add protected lanes to Masonic Avenue, and as Supervisor I will do everything in my power to see the Masonic Avenue Streetscape Project to completion. In addition, I believe Golden Gate Avenue and Turk Street from Divisadero to Polk, both of which are highinjury corridors, are excellent candidates for protected bikeways. Not only would this improve safety, it would also connect a number of neighborhoods and routes: the Tenderloin and Downtown (via Market and the Polk Street bike lane) to the Western Addition, Japantown, Hayes Valley (via the Webster lane) and out to the Richmond. [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]

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?

The unfortunate reality is that some of the most dangerous streets cut through the heart of District 5. We need to do more to make sure safety is the number one priority as we plan for the future. As Supervisor I will advocate for the following: 

  • More bike lanes and improved bike lane visibility 
  • Added buffer zones between bikes and car traffic 
  • Protected curb extensions for bicycles 
  • Increased green bike boxes at intersections

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?

The SFPD has been talking a good game about Focus on the Five, but we’ve seen their results are mixed. We need oversight to make sure they provide fully detailed reports, and we must monitor their progress and create measures for accountability if goals are not met.

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. Last year, District 5 was home to a bike crackdown along the Wiggle, a popular bike route through the Lower Haight. This targeting of people biking was antithetical to SFPD’s commitment to smart, data-driven enforcement through Focus on the Five. As Supervisor, what would you do to ensure SFPD uses their limited resources wisely to enforce the known, dangerous behaviors on streets in your District?

I opposed the crackdown on rolling stops and minor cyclist infractions, and fully supported commonsense legislation to legalize the Idaho Stop. Police need to focus on the dangerous conduct of drivers, the primary cause of injury and death for cyclists and pedestrians. I would schedule regular meetings with SFPD to make sure we do not unnecessarily target safe bike riders on the Wiggle and that SFPD maintains Focus on the Five. I would also work on passing an ordinance to create a twoyear pilot program for the Bike Yield ordinance. [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]

2. In the last few years, there has been a significant desire from the community and our SF Bicycle Coalition members to see protected bike lanes continue on Fell and Oak Street to connect alongside the Panhandle all the way to Golden Gate Park. This would create a comfortable and welcoming bike route in the area while relieving the Panhandle path of the large volumes of people biking. Do you support the advancement of this proposal?


3. The Masonic Streetscape Project was approved in 2012 but is only just now beginning construction, over a year from its original start date. What would you do as Supervisor to ensure the timely delivery of critical projects such as this?

Delays on critical projects like the Masonic Avenue Streetscape Project are extremely frustrating. As Supervisor, I will bring together all parties involved in improvement projects like these, develop a comprehensive plan to make sure they’re finished on schedule, and quickly remedy problem areas that cause delay. We’ve known for years how dangerous the corridor is for cyclists, and there’s no excuse for not having made improvements sooner.

4. In the coming year, the City will be launching a bike project for Page Street to prioritize biking along this popular route that connects Golden Gate Park all the way to Market Street. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will be making recommendations based on member input, which may include traffic circles, traffic diversion for drivers and reallocation of space to provide a high-quality and welcoming bike experience here. As Supervisor, would you support these recommendations?

I support these commonsense improvements for biking on Page Street, as I believe they would significantly increase those who commute to work by bike, and get us much closer to our mode share goal of 8%. When it comes to projects like improving Page Street, as Supervisor I will look to the Bike Coalition and its members for ways to make sure we do everything we can to encourage more cycling in our City.


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