Pasadena Mayor Candidate: Jason Hardin
Jason Hardin is a long-time Pasadena resident who grew up using the bus as a primary mode of transportation. In his response to Bike The Vote L.A., he expresses his support for a Vision Zero initiative within Pasadena, protected micro-mobility lanes, student transit passes, and safer, more walkable neighborhoods. While we would like to see a stronger commitment and strategy from Hardin to take action to make Pasadena streets safer with roadway design rather than relying on costly and inequitable police enforcement, it is clear Hardin’s heart is in the right place with regards to safe streets, and that has an authentic understanding of the challenges people in Pasadena face using public transit and walking in Pasadena.
Bike The Vote L.A. 2020 Primary Grade: B
(See below for full candidate questionnaire response)
1. Spending by the oil and gas industry on local races casts doubt on whether voters can trust their elected leaders to protect them from the impacts of pollution and climate change. Will you pledge to refuse any donations from the fossil fuel industry?
I have no intention of accepting political contributions of any kind by the fossil fuel industry. I believe that I am the only Pasadena mayoral candidate that has already signed a pledge of this nature during a protest organized by local Sequoya High School student, Ozzy Simpson. I commend his effort to organize and take action towards creating greater accountability among our local leaders in the decisions they make that affect us all.
2. According to the most recent data from the California Office of Traffic Safety, in 2017 Pasadena had the second-highest number of senior pedestrians killed or injured in traffic collisions, and the fourth-highest number of people on bikes killed or injured, among 58 similarly sized cities across California. What can the City do to make our streets safer for everyone, especially older adults and children? Do you support a Vision Zero policy for Pasadena?
I strongly support the county’s Vision Zero initiative and I believe that it can drastically improve the quality of life and beauty of our city. As a former senior commissioner for the City of Pasadena and chairman of their standing committee on senior mobility, I’ve been a solid advocate for the safety and independence of our local older adult population. I know that the independence and freedom of most seniors rely primarily on their ability to get around, and helping them do that safely and efficiently benefits our entire community. Senior citizens are the fastest-growing population in our state, so we’re going to have to be much more aggressive in addressing their needs, especially regarding mobility. The City of Pasadena has to be more engaged with the senior commission and its senior mobility committee to identify and address needs and opportunities for improvement. Promoting Metro’s “On The Move” riders clubs and facilitating informative workshops are two very cost-effective ways the city can help seniors get out and get around. In areas of our city where senior housing is more concentrated, bus stops should be brightly colored, better lit, equipped with seats, and equipped with real-time bus signs. Traffic fines should also be increased around senior housing and schools to encourage safer driving and deter speeding and recklessness.
3. Pasadena streets around schools are frequently unsafe. This discourages parents from allowing their children to walk or bike to school, and makes the health benefits of active transportation inaccessible for many Pasadena youth. If elected, how would you prioritize student safety and mobility around schools?
To increase the safety of student commutes, I would push for more police patrols around schools during the start and end of the school day, I would assess the need for more nearby traffic signs and lights, and I would advocate for more carpools and “walkpools” to help get more cars off the road. Also to help minimize traffic and increase accessibility, I would fight to help bring back free bus passes for local students.
4. Pasadena Transit service is currently limited in many Pasadena neighborhoods, with service stopping at 7pm and not even provided to some neighborhoods on Sundays. In addition, many bus stops in Pasadena lack basic amenities like shade and seating. With so many older adults and other residents who cannot drive a vehicle, how can the City improve the comfort and convenience of its local bus service?
I admire all the recent effort Pasadena Transit has made to rebrand itself and extend services, but there is room for improvement. I believe that with greater assessment and more public feedback, Pasadena Transit can get all of its bus lines to be as utilized and depended upon as Route 20. Increasing the stops and coverage of other lines will also help reduce the crowdedness of Route 20 that leaves many seniors and disabled passengers forced to stand for the duration of their ride. Even with just a few more strategic stops and a bit of rerouting, our local bus service can drastically increase ridership, reduce crowded busses, and alleviate traffic.
5. According to Pasadena’s Climate Action Plan, transportation is the number one source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the City of Pasadena, responsible for an estimated 52% of emissions. Gas-powered mobility is also the largest source of greenhouse gases in California, with GHGs increasing in recent years as more Californians purchase larger and less fuel-efficient SUVs and trucks (almost 60% of new car sales in California were SUVs in 2018), and drive more miles. Despite the growing popularity of electric vehicles statewide, these developments are now threatening to derail the state’s 2030 climate goals. What can the City do to support greater use of sustainable transportation and reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions?
I am a supporter of “Strategy 1” in Pasadena’s Climate Action Plan. However, I believe this strategy could be much more progressive. The strategy fails to consider the use and safety of personal electric vehicles such as e-bikes and scooters. As mayor. I would help the council and residents understand the value these methods of transportation bring to a city with many learning institutions and a large student population in hopes of having the ban on these lifted. The accommodations the City of Pasadena is willing to make for bicycles are congruent to what’s needed to make the use of these personal electric vehicles safer for riders and pedestrians. In addition to using rebates to incentivize the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles, I would also explore the possibilities of offering free citywide parking for these vehicles as well. Parking is a serious issue in our city among residents, and this incentive alone may be good enough reason for some to trade in their cars and SUVs today.
6. Pasadena lacks a safe network of separated lanes for bicycling, scooting, and other modes of micro-mobility. The few existing routes too often consist of narrow, unprotected striped lanes placed directly adjacent to fast-moving cars or shared use lanes marked with ‘sharrows’ in which people on bikes are put in direct conflict with drivers. The lack of safe space for these users often results in sidewalk riding, where conflicts with pedestrians are more likely to take place. Do you support building out a robust and connected bike/roll network with protected lanes to enable residents of all ages and abilities to get around safely, and if so, how will you work to make this a reality?
I am completely open to the idea of protected lanes for bikes and personal electric vehicles, especially along Colorado Boulevard. To accomplish this, I would work closely with the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition and study the efforts of Los Angeles Councilmember, Jose Huizar, who has helped establish a comprehensive working model in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.