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?
Yes, I will, and I have signed the Green New Deal pledge to review fossil fuel donations.
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?
Yes, I definitely support a Vision Zero policy for Pasadena and would work toward this goal as a member of city council. I think we can use best practices to slow traffic down, create safer bike and pedestrian lanes, adjust walk signals to give pedestrians a head start, and create a lot more “no right on red” restrictions. I also support the road diets that are part of the transportation element in the general plan.
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?
There should be crossing guards at intersections around all schools. There should be 10-15 mph speed limits in schools zones with highly visible flashing lights, and enforcement of speed limits in school zones. When I lived in the suburbs of Philadelphia there were strict 15 mph zones around schools when they were in session and everyone obeyed them. The fines were steep.
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?
You mentioned the most important things: more routes, more frequent, and FREE to the user. I have said publicly in two different forums that Pasadena buses should cover the city and they should be free. If they were clean, on time, ADA friendly (not just accessible but truly a pleasure for folks to use) and convenient, people will use it more. I also agree that we need more bus stops with shade and seating. Shade, in general, is an important element of city infrastructure that exists in abundance in affluent communities and is in short supply in poorer neighborhoods.
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?
The city has done a nice job incentivizing electric cars and improving the number of charging stations. We should expand on this. But still, many Pasadenans, including me, cannot afford to purchase an electric car, even with the subsidies. Eventually we need to get people out of their cars and using alternative modes of transportation. I think the city should lift the ban on electric scooters and, as I said above, make public transportation more convenient, more frequent, and free. Perhaps the city could also look at a kind of use tax on vehicles that are the worst GHG emitters as a disincentive.
I’ve also been saying we should ban gas-powered leaf blowers and create a buy back program for landscape companies that operate in Pasadena. We can start by following South Pasadena’s lead and make sure that the city is not using these extremely dirty devices.
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?
Yes, I absolutely support micro-mobility lanes that are protected and separated from car traffic and pedestrian traffic. I have been very grateful for the work of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition. They are advocating for this very thing and I would enthusiastically support such efforts in Pasadena. These are the positive changes we can make to our cityscape that will make alternative modes of transportation feel fun and safe rather than punitive.