Streetscast: An Interview with New TA Chair Bevan Dufty

2981482045_4deea244df_1.jpgSupervisor Bevan Dufty aboard a streetcar recently named in honor of gay civil rights legend Harvey Milk.

District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty was elected the chairman of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (TA) this week, rounding up the necessary six votes to beat District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly. It’s a position Dufty says he’s excited about.

"It’s a very creative, energetic environment. It’s not at all bureaucratic. There a lot of young, hard-working transportation planners that are there. I would like to have a culture at the staff level that is positive and good and keep the talented staff that we have and hopefully get a lot of good things done."

Dufty, who is serving his last two years as supervisor, was first elected in 2002 and is a likely candidate for mayor in 2011. His District 8 encompasses an area stretching from the Lower Haight, to the Castro, all the way south to San Jose Avenue. 

Today we present our second Streetscast. The interview, with myself and reporter Matthew Roth, was recorded on Inauguration Day, January 22nd, a week before Dufty was elected TA chair:

[audio:http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/upload1/BevanDuftyInterview1.mp3]

Some highlights from the interview:

2494619289_ef7c6bbf01.jpgA rare bike ride for Dufty: "I never learned how to ride a bike so Bike to Work Day is always exciting for me because they get me a tandem bike and they always put a handsome guy in front of me."
  • On Muni:"We have the bones of a great system and hopefully we’ll continue making progress. The volume of Muni complaints  that I’ve gotten in the last six months has diminished quite a bit.”
  • On traffic calming: “I think we feel that this is a very pedestrian-oriented town and that speeding vehicles, unsafe driving habits, these are all things that are dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists and really creates a hostile environment for people living in a neighborhood."
  • On a car-free Market Street: "I’m excited and open to it," Dufty said. "I think that there is a lot of potential and a lot of questions…there are a lot of tools we can apply to Market Street to make it a better thoroughfare, a grand thoroughfare for the city."
  • On the Upper Market Community Plan: “What was important to me was that developers not be demonized, and looked at as money grubbing people and that people in the neighborhood not just be viewed as NIMBYs and people opposed to anyone’s related view by anyone at anytime.”
  • On Market/Octavia: "I’ve been very engaged trying to protect the safety of bicyclists and making sure we don’t have illegal right turns onto the Central Freeway entrance there and that’s important. My intersections in the Castro are not what I want them to be." 

Flickr photos: bkusler and alwaysupndown

  • Dufty terms out in 2010 but the next Mayoral race is in 2011. Or are you assuming Gavin will win the Governorship?

    Regarding traffic calming – the number one street I want Dufty to look at is Eureka. It’s the gateway to Noe Valley from Market St and is treated like an Interstate, not an “Inter-neighborhoods”. I’ve almost been flattened there a few times at crosswalks.

    Overall pretty happy with Dufty and he’ll be more adept at this job than Daly, IMHO.

  • Bryan Goebel

    A typo on my part. Thanks for catching that!

  • This is a great, fairly in-depth interview. I can’t say Mr. Dufty would have leapt to mind as someone to advocate on behalf of for chair of the TA, but he is a very approachable Supe, even for those outside his district.

    I suspect we’ll need to work hold him to his promises, but I’m optimistic he’s someone who will listen

  • “On the Upper Market Community Plan: “What was important to me was that developers not be demonized, and looked at as money grubbing people and that people in the neighborhood not just be viewed as NIMBYs and people opposed to anyone’s related view by anyone at anytime.””

    How does this square with a Planning Department that sees itself serving developers first and foremost and which puts forth plans that are nothing even close to a balance between the needs of developers and neighbors and Supervisor Dufty’s uncritical support for those plans? Developer economic feasibility is respected while the economic infeasibility of the new housing to pay for itself is not questioned, which results in outsourcing the burden attendant to developer profit on existing residents! If the numbers don’t add up, the numbers simply do not add up, money grubbing or nimby or banana characterizations aside.

    It is disturbing to see Chair Dufty giving with one hand homage to traffic calming and transit first while the other hand belonging to Supervisor Dufty taketh away by approving excessive parking near bike lanes and transit lines.

    -marc