2015 Pasadena Mayor Endorsement: Terry Tornek

Election day: Tuesday, April 21, 7am-8pm
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The race for a new Pasadena Mayor after four terms under Mayor Bogaard has been an interesting one. As we pointed out in advance of the March 10th Primary, both run-off candidates – Terry Tornek and Jacque Robinson – provided thoughtful and encouraging statements to the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition (Tornek + Robinson responses). Pasadena residents have an exceptional opportunity to choose between two bike-friendly candidates that can lead the city towards making streets safer and to make bicycling and walking more attractive for people of all ages. We appreciate both candidates’ commitment to safer streets, improving the lives of all residents.

Terry Tornek, however, stands out as the best choice to implement complete streets in Pasadena. As a member of the City’s Municipal Services Committee, Councilmember Tornek has advocated for the last two years for protected bike lanes in Pasadena, even challenging city staff to incorporate protected bike lanes and greenways when the draft bike plan primarily recommended only shared lane routes (link). Tornek’s willingness to engage with the bike community at the ground level by participating in a ride-along for Bike Month (link) and attending a memorial ride for fallen bicycle commuter, Phillip O’Neil (link), has given him a depth of experience in understanding what it will take to make streets accessible and safe for everyone. Unlike Robinson, who expressed a hesitancy to implement bike lanes at a recent debate (link), Tornek is in favor of adding bike lanes to Colorado Blvd. and is committed to encourage cycling as a form of transportation within Pasadena, including making the city “more bicycle friendly” as a central element of his platform.

With Tornek receiving 38% of the vote and Robinson 30% in the March Primary, this election will be extremely close. We consider it a success knowing that both candidates have expressed an interest in complete streets and a Vision Zero goal. But Terry Tornek’s long track record of support for complete streets has set him apart and earned our endorsement.