Peninsula Transportation Alternatives is a new non-profit organization "dedicated to the idea that all modes of transportation (walking, bicycling, transit, and driving) should be safe and convenient in the San Francisco Peninsula region".
The volunteer-based organization's first action was to ask San Mateo County Supervisor candidates a set of seven questions designed to help voters decide which candidate is best suited to deal with the County's transportation challenges. On May 23, the questions were sent to all 9 candidates running for Supervisor.
The questions, reprinted below, are available on the Peninsula Transportation Alternatives website along with the candidates' answers. The group has also publicized the questionnaire through the Friends of Caltrain and Drive Less Challenge organizations, other news sites and e-mail lists, and social media websites Facebook and Google+. An estimated 5,000 residents will receive direct notification about the questionnaire.
As of June 1, five of the seven candidates running for the highly competitive District 4 seat (Andy Cohen, Warren Slocum, Ernie Schmidt, Shelly Masur, and Carlos Romero) had responded to the questionnaire. Candidates Kirsten Keith and Memo Morantes had not responded.
The two candidates who are running unopposed (Dave Pine, District 1 and Adrienne Tissier, District 5) had also not responded.
The June 5 primary election will narrow the field of candidates for each Supervisorial seat to two, unless any single candidate receives more than 50% of the votes, in which case that candidate will win the seat.
Peninsula Transportation Alternatives Supervisor Candidate Questionnaire
1. What approach do you prefer to address the operational funding problems of Caltrain and SamTrans?
2. As Supervisor, what would you do to secure funding to make investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure? What type of bicycle/pedestrian projects do you think are the most important?
3. Do you support the blended system plan in which California High Speed Rail shares tracks with Caltrain?
4. Traffic congestion on highways and some local streets wastes time and money for residents and contributes to air pollution and respiratory illnesses. What do you think the County should do to reduce traffic congestion?
5. San Mateo County has significantly more jobs than housing, requiring many workers to commute long distances. Do you support additional housing to address this jobs-housing imbalance? Where in San Mateo County should additional housing be built?
6. East-west travel in San Mateo County using transit, bicycling, or walking is currently inconvenient and/or unsafe due to poor transit service and lack of safe facilities for crossing highways. What can be done to improve east-west travel by alternative modes of transportation?
7. How often do you use public transit, bicycling, or walking for transportation? If you have school-aged children, do they take transit, bike, or walk to school? Why or why not?