Monday, October 11, 2010

Candidate Questionnaire: Gleam Davis (2 year Santa Monica city council seat)

1) Do you ride a bike, and if so, describe it?

I have an old Trek bike.

2) If you ride, what kinds of trips do you make by bike, how often, and do you ever ride with friends or family?

Between the time commitments of work and being on the City Council, I don’t have the time to ride very often. My 14 year old son rides around town quite a bit.

3) On the Council, what will you do to ensure the goals set by the LUCE plan for various bicycling improvements, are seen through to completion in a timely and accountable fashion as we move forward. Additionally for incumbents, what are any notable actions you’ve done on the council in the past to improve the environment for bicycling in Santa Monica?

In my brief time on the council, I have supported the Ocean Park Boulevard improvement project which includes bike-friendly features. I am hopeful that the Ocean Park model can be a template for other streets in Santa Monica. I also supported funding of bike education and bringing Cyclavia to Santa Monica. In the LUCE hearings, I repeatedly stressed the need for bike infrastructure (bike parking, bike rentals) to be a required part of any new development. I also have met with cycling activists regarding strategies to make bicycle transport safer and easier.

4) $20,000 was recently budgeted by the council specifically for bicycling education. How do you think that money would be best spent?

I know many parents do not allow their children to bike to school because they believe it is unsafe. We need to make sure that students and their parents know how to select a safe route to/from school. We also need to inform automobile drivers about the rights of cyclists.

5) How would you work to improve the safety of our streets for all users?

First, we have to look for solutions to our traffic problems. The heavy traffic we face in Santa Monica is a threat to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Second, we must ensure that our infrastructure promotes safety. The sharrows on 14th Street are a good example. We also need to rethink some of the street configurations to make sure that medians and other features allow sufficient space for cyclists and autos to share the street. Finally, we should emphasize enforcement of existing speeding and other traffic safety laws. Speeding and inattentive driving are the biggest threats to both pedestrians and cyclists.

6) In the interest of improving multi-modal connectivity, would you support upgrading Big Blue Bus racks to ones that can house 3 bikes? As some bus stops in the city are being upgraded, would you ensure bike parking considerations are made at important bus stops in addition to the coming expo-rail station stops?

As we purchase new buses, we should install the larger bike racks. I support increasing bike parking facilities at bus stops and at other locations in Santa Monica where there is space. When there is development along our busy, transit-rich boulevards, we should make sure that bike parking spaces are created. As Santa Monica’s alternate representative to the Expo Construction Authority, I regularly work with City staff to ensure that sufficient bike parking will be included at all the Expo stations in Santa Monica.

7) What will you do to ensure that resources for bicycling are distributed equitably through out the city?

As part of the zoning requirements, Santa Monica requires businesses to offer adequate automobile parking. As we draft the zoning ordinances to implement the new Land Use and Circulation Element, we should address the issue of bike parking as well. In new developments and significant renovations, regardless of where they are, the creation of adequate bike parking should be a standard requirement.

8) What would you do to ensure it be common knowledge that bicycles belong on the street, and that everyone, including drivers, understand the various rights, rules and regulations as they pertain to cycling?

Education of motorists and cyclists alike about the rules of the road must be part of our bike education program. Kevin McKeown has discovered that other cities use a painted “no bikes” symbol at corner curb cuts to remind cyclists that they should not use the sidewalks. Santa Monica should try something like that.

9) How would you propose improving bicycling connectivity to the beach bike path, to promote more
synergy with beach riders and local business, as well reduce driving trips to the beach by residents who live close enough to ride there?

The new pier bridge and the renovation of the California Incline provide opportunities to improve the connection between city streets to the beach bike path. Given the heavy bike traffic on San Vicente, I also would like to find a way to connect the northern end of Palisades Park to the beach bike path. I am hopeful that when Expo comes to Santa Monica, our neighbors to the north and south will be able to use the beach bike path as a means of getting to the Expo station at 4th and Colorado.

Bonus) Finally, you can also include any comment you’d like to say to my readers, on any topic you’d like.

If elected in November, I look forward to working with the community to make our streets more bike-friendly. Thanks for reading this!

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