Watch: D10 Supervisor Candidates Weigh in on Muni, Parking, and Bike Lanes

The candidates running for District 10 supervisor this November gave some telling responses to transportation questions last week. The first debate of the D10 race was held at the Potrero Hill Democratic Club and moderated by SF Chronicle reporter Marisa Lagos, who asked some pointed questions on issues around Muni, parking, and bike lanes in SF’s eastern and southeast neighborhoods.

District 10 encompasses neighborhoods like Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Bayview-Hunters Point, and Visitacion Valley. Image: SFGov

The five candidates, as seen seated from left to right in the video above, included Ed Donaldson, Marlene Tran, incumbent Malia Cohen, Tony Kelly (the close runner-up in the most recent election), and Shawn Richard. The video was provided by Kelly’s campaign.

Here’s a summary of highlights from the transportation section:

  • 38:00: Lagos tested candidates on some transit fundamentals by asking them each to write down all of the Muni lines that serve Potrero Hill, then show their answers to the crowd. The responses, which acted as a score card of sorts, weren’t exactly uniform.
  • 40:30: Lagos also drew some differing responses with her follow-up question: ”What would you do to improve Muni service to the hill?” Notably, Donaldson was the only one to mention bringing back Sunday parking metering for Muni funding, and was met with hisses from the audience.
  • 43:00, Lagos asked, “Should private buses be allowed to stop at public bus stops?” The consensus from candidates is a resounding “no.”
  • 44:35: Candidates were asked whether they “agree with the current ratio of residential units to parking spaces in new developments.” All candidates except Kelly said they felt current parking maximums were too low. (On parking, it’s worth noting that Kelly pushed the idea of allowing nearby residents to park at new meters for free.)

  • 47:35: Lagos asked what candidates think of congestion pricing. Kelly and Cohen said it should be pursued, but that the pricing zone boundaries needs to be re-configured from the plan proposed in 2010. Donaldson said that “there are some tough choices we have to make” in reducing emissions, and Tran said it should be studied. Richard didn’t respond.
  • 50:00: Candidates were asked if a parking garage should be built in Potrero Hill, and if so, where. Kelly and Cohen suggested some locations, and Donaldson simply said it should be “left to the people.” Tran revealed her support for the “Restore Transportation Balance” ballot initiative, which calls for more car parking to be built.
  • 52:20: Lagos’ question, ”What do you think of the current bike plan?,” was a bit misleading since there isn’t a current bike plan. She may have been referring to the Bicycle Strategy, which the SFMTA is developing as a guide to prioritize bike safety improvements, with its sights set on increasing bike mode share to 10 percent by 2018.In response to the question, Donaldson said that “we have to look at ways to” improve transportation options to “get people out of their cars,” because of state mandates to reduce emissions. Tran said bike lanes confuse drivers sometimes. Cohen said “the bike plan we have now was ill-conceived,” because people shouldn’t bike on certain streets, and said the Hairball needs sharrows. Kelly called for “physical separation” to reduce conflicts. Richard says “we can all share the road.”