| Name: Melissa San Miguel
Campaign Website: www.melissasanmiguel.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)?
I’ve been riding a bicycle in this city since back when I spent my youth borrowing my sister’s banana seat bike. Since then, I have upgraded to a trusty Novara bike, which I use to ride the Wiggle to enjoy Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach. I would like to go on longer rides more often than I do nowadays, but I have contented myself with taking my niece and nephew bike riding to the park in our neighborhood.
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 support efforts to improve bike safety, which means adding protected bike lanes and intersections. I would also work to increase affordable bike-share stations and support the expansion of efforts like Community Bike Builds, which make bicycles affordable and accessible. I would also work to increase bicycling education in our schools so our young people are encouraged to utilize bikes to get around the city.
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 will support enforcement of our laws to focus on the unsafe driving practices that are the main causes of death and injury. I will support citywide and community efforts to educate drivers on safer driving practices, and I will support increases in funding to improve our streets’ infrastructure so they are safer for cyclists and pedestrians to utilize. Holding city agencies accountable for their role in reducing fatalities is important, as well as having the data and evaluation components available to measure our efforts.
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?
The area including and surrounding Alemany Boulevard and San Bruno Avenue needs additional bike infrastructure to increase bike safety. This is an area where there are lots of cars hopping on and off the freeways, but where there is also foot and bicycle traffic. This area connects Portola residents to Bernal Heights and Bayshore Boulevard. If we make these improvements, we could increase the use of bicycles in this region and make it safer to travel between neighborhoods.
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?
Yes [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]
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?
Protecting cyclists and pedestrians is of the upmost importance to me as there are, unfortunately, many high-injury corridors in District 9. I would work to make the investments in protected/raised bike lanes and protected bike 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?
Yes [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]
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 would work with SFPD to understand what the challenges have been on-the-ground to the enforcement of these five violations. I would also work with them to support data collection efforts to better enforce these laws in the areas that need them the most.
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. 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?
Our city must be proactive in making street improvements that make it safer to ride a bicycle. I would utilize the data we already have on high-injury corridors and make investments there so that we prevent collisions and injuries. In other parts of our residential neighborhoods, we will need improvements that slow-down vehicles and increase education/enforcement to remind drivers that they need to slow down in these areas.
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?
I have ridden my bicycle down Valencia Street and know the dangers of a double-parked car in the bike lane. I would work with the Municipal Transit Association on how we can allocate our parking citation officers to this stretch of Valencia and what additional supports they need to curb double-parking on this corridor.
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?
Yes [RESPONSE TRUNCATED]
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?
I would make street improvements that make it safer to ride a bicycle in the District and provide the bike facilities that encourage cycling. I would also work to educate our young people in the district schools on bike safety and the positive impact of cycling on their health and the environment to increase their use of bicycles. Expanding affordable bike-share options is important for encouraging people who have lower-incomes to utilize bikes.