2016 District 9 Candidate Hilary Ronen

Candidate Facts

9HR    Name: Hilary Ronen
   Campaign Website: www.hillaryronen.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?


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?

Unfortunately, most San Franciscans are afraid of biking in our City. We must make our streets safer to achieve our goal of 8% of trips by bicycle. I believe the best way to achieve this goal is to hold the SFMTA and other city agencies accountable to what should be their number one priority: public safety. As Supervisor, I will work to ensure transparency between City agencies responsible for implementing safety initiatives like Vision Zero. I will fight to make our streets safer by improving our infrastructure through road redesign like protected bike lanes, raised bikeways, and modernized traffic signs. [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]

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?

The Bike Coalition has done the work to identify our City’s desperately needed infrastructure improvements, but the City has been slow to implement most of these projects. As Supervisor, I will work with the Vision Zero Committee to closely monitor the progress of the MTA and other agencies to ensure implementation timelines are being met and that barriers to progress are eliminated. I was successful pressuring the Mayor to dedicate $50 million of the housing bond for D9 and getting the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to promise funding for affordable housing projects in D9. [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]

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?

Valencia Street is the principal bicycle corridor in D9 and in dire need of improvements, as evidenced by the disproportionate number of collisions on this street. We must create more protected bike lanes that physically separate car traffic from cyclists and pedestrians, and as Supervisor I will fight to identify funding for these projects and ensure full implementation. If elected, I will work hand-in-hand with the community, the Vision Zero Committee, and the MTA to ensure Valencia Street safety improvements at least match the improvements Supervisor Campos supported on Potrero Avenue.

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?

When pedestrians faced unsafe conditions crossing and biking Cesar Chavez, I worked with day laborers in the Mission to win the Si Se Puede safety improvements. As Supervisor, I will continue mounting and supporting community-driven campaigns to make our streets safer by fighting for protected bike lanes, raised bikeways and subgrading, more lighting, modernized street signs and signals, and more traffic enforcement. If elected, I also want to improve how the City handles traffic accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians. The time between when collisions occur and when they are investigated is insufficient. [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]

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?

If elected, I will request transparency from SFPD to ensure our police are being held accountable to their pledge. Police precincts should regularly report on what they’re citing for and where they’re citing drivers. The biggest impediment to full implementation of Focus on the Five has been SFPD’s failure to utilize the Vision Zero Committee, as well as the MTA’s slow progress to implement the program. If elected, I will work to designate divisions within each D9 station to regularly report directly to the D9 office and the Vision Zero Committee on traffic enforcement activities

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. In December 2015, Franklin Ling was hit and killed while biking at Woolsey and Goettingen Streets, an area that was known for high vehicle speeds through a residential neighborhood. What would you do as Supervisor to prevent such tragedies and ensure people driving through your District slow down in residential neighborhoods?

I was incredibly saddened to hear of Franklin Ling’s tragic passing just a few blocks from where I live. Unfortunately residents rarely get action on traffic calming requests. When MTA refused to put a stop sign on 24th Street, Supervisor Campos and I called a meeting with Department Heads and threatened to take the traffic-calming program away from the MTA. This led to a policy change within the department, where the MTA reviews not just police reports of accidents but also 911 calls from a particular location, resulting in the MTA installing the stop sign. [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]

2. District 9 is home to Valencia Street. Despite being one of the city’s most-biked streets with a dedicated bike lane, it remains as one of the most complained about streets given the non-stop issue of double-parking in bike lanes. Do you support the next generation of biking on Valencia Street to plan and design protected bike lanes here?


What would you do as Supervisor to enforce this known issue of vehicles double-parking and dropping passengers off in the bike lane?

DPH analysis has shown that Valencia is one of the most dangerous streets in SF. While the Bike Coalition has requested that Mission Station enforce double-parking more regularly, we know that enforcement itself just isn’t enough. As Supervisor, I will work with the Bike Coalition and the Vision Zero Committee to implement more white loading zones for passenger drop offs. I would also like to undertake a more long-term project, implementing protected bike lanes with curbed subgrading to protect bikers from car traffic. [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]

3. 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?


4. 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?

As Supervisor, I will look to the Bike Coalition and existing programs like Bicis del Pueblo and the Affordable Bike Share to connect working class communities with bikes. If we remove barriers to access, we can ensure more San Franciscans are biking and achieve our mode share goal of 8%. If elected I will fight to keep these programs fully funded. Partnering with the community on projects like the Si Se Puede improvements will increase safety and incentivize biking, and as Supervisor I will continue mounting and supporting campaigns to hold the MTA accountable. [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]

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