Peninsula Transportation Alternatives sent seven questions to all nine candidates for the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on May 23, 2012 to help inform voters on the candidates’ positions on transportation issues.
Seven candidates (shown below) competed for the District 4 seat in the June 5, 2012 primary election. Warren Slocum and Shelly Masur were the top-two vote-receivers, and will compete in the November 6, 2012 general election.
The candidates’ answers are listed in the order in which each responded to the questionnaire.
Incumbents Dave Pine (District 1) and Adrienne Tissier (District 5) are running unopposed, and have not yet responded to the questionnaire.
1. What approach do you prefer to address the operational funding problems of Caltrain and SamTrans?
Andy Cohen: JPA must be reorganized with dedicated funding sources negotiated among 3 contiguous counties and approved by voters.
Warren Slocum: With it’s own revenue source (1/2 cent sales tax), SamTrans funding seems to be secure for the immediate future. In my opinion, public subsidies will continue to be necessary. As for Caltrain, we need to tap the gas taxes and excise tax generated by automobile usage to help defray its operational costs.
Ernie Schmidt: I want to start a dialogue for privatizing it. Though when it was once privatized in the early 80’s it didn’t do well because of the losses it was experiencing. But I believe that our community is VERY different now, we have many more residents that would prefer to take mass transit then sit in our congested freeways. Additionally, privatizing brings in a commitment to ensure that great customer service, additional and more frequent routes are in place, because it results in more profits.
Shelly Masur: Operational funding has been, and continues to be, a significant challenge for Caltrain and the Joint Powers Authority that operates it. Securing a dedicated source of revenue, such as a three-county sales tax recently proposed by Assemblymember Jerry Hill, is critical. Whether such a tax is levied on parcels or through sales, a dedicated source of revenue is a must for a sustainable system. The Caltrain JPA must also procure funding to electrify the system – such as that recently approved by the MTC to leverage the HSR monies. Electrification would allow for more efficient use of existing resources, improve ridership and decrease operating costs by replacing costly and dirty diesel fuel. Much of the funding for SamTrans has lost has been due to diversions by the state and decreases in federal funding. SamTrans has a dedicated tax but also relies on revenue that remains under state control. In order to reduce costs and improve ridership, SamTrans must also consider fuel efficiency, perhaps a conversion to electric vehicles, improved efficiency along major transit routes, working toward creating a bus rapid transit system, and promoting development along the major transit routes in collaboration with Grand Boulevard Initiative, Increased housing density will translate into higher transit usage. SamTrans managers and board members must also continue to work with state legislators to increase transit funding and reduce/stop the continued diversions of funds.
Carlos Romero: That we study and consider creating a dedicated source of funding for Caltrain, such as a half cent sales tax increase. I prefer a three county regional measure is preferable to address this but will require extensive discussions with Santa Clara and San Francisco counties. In addition, the counties tie the impact of driving automobiles and traffic congestion to an increase in the local gasoline tax. These revenues could be allocated to public transit. Lastly, improve the user experience on these public transit systems to raise ridership and reduce the need for subsidy—such as adding real-time, mobile device enabled tracking of trains and buses and on-board wi-fi service.
Kirsten Keith: SamTrans has a half cent sales tax approved by the voters in the mid 1970′s which has no sunset provision and is anticipated to collect $65 million for Fiscal 2013. SamTrans also relies on State and Federal Funds and fare box income which is anticipated to provide an estimated $154 million for the new Fiscal Year. These funds will increase the costs of providing Redi-Wheels and sedan service for seniors and will impact the SamTrans budget as the population average age increases in future years in San Mateo County. Funding will need to be identified to meet this future and growing need of seniors. The San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA) also has a half cent sales tax which began a renewed term with voter support for 25 years beginning 2009. The Renewed Measure A does provide some funding support for Caltrain Operating and Capital budgets and is picking up a major share to help SamTrans with its obligations in the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB) partner share for Caltrain. The prior original Measure A 1988 through 2008 did not provide any Caltrain Operating Funds. SamTrans as well as San Francisco and Santa Clara Counties need to work together on a regional funding solution for the $30 million plus annual shortfall to keep Caltrain service levels in the future to meet current rider demand as well as future rider needs for this crucial commute service. At present it appears a three County joint ballot measure for 1/8 cent might possibly provide the dedicated funding Caltrain needs to sustain operations and meet future demand. I would support the continued work of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Friends of Caltrain, other support groups and Caltrain in their efforts to find a possible funding solution to meet the annual shortfalls. Additionally, I am a member of a group of elected officials organized by San Mateo County Supervisor Tissier to analyze potential funding sources for Caltrain. Some of the ideas discussed in the past include a gas tax, high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, fees for trucking companies, and ballot measures, with and without a sunset date.
Memo Morantes: Caltrain needs a dedicated source of funding. Ridership is up due to higher gas prices and the lack of available parking in the City. One of the most difficult tasks facing Caltrain is that San Francisco and Santa Clara County have never paid San Mateo County back for the purchase of the rail. For all counties, though, they don’t view Caltrain as much as a priority given competing financial interests in their public bus systems like MUNI, VTA and Samtrans. But the train should be a higher priority given its ridership. However, I agreed with Caltrain’s decision to limit its hours and stops based upon smart, financial projections. I think more can be done in examining further cutbacks in cars and frequency on a cost basis and some stops need to be eliminated. These are tough decisions and they need to be based on fiscal prudence and not political pressure. As for SamTrans, there needs to be a way to tie in transportation funds and taxes into supporting our public bus system for the County. For some, it is the only means of travel to work, to school and to businesses for shopping. It is our best method for strengthening our east-west connections with our north-south corridors. There needs to be greater fluctuation in scheduling and services to better provide an adequate supply of buses and routes for a fluctuating demand for service throughout the weekday and weekend.
2. As Supervisor, what would you do to secure funding to make investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure? What type of bicycle/pedestrian projects do you think are the most important?
Andy Cohen: Bike lanes along major arteries to be made high priority.
Warren Slocum: The former and current 1/2 cent sales tax programs in San Mateo County have given us an opportunity to expand the county’s alternative transportation resources. Those funds can be used, jointly with city funding to leverage money from the federal government to continue that expansion. Also, as with public transit, gas taxes should be used. The more people bike, etc – the more traffic congestion is reduced. I would lobby state and federal officials to secure new monies for new projects – and would bring together various non-profits, cities and interested organizations to attempt to find creative solutions through collaboration and leveraging of assets. The Bay Trail is an awesome regional resource and the recent $5 million effort that Supervisor Kniss announced is a good example of how innovation and creative thinking can be used to solve public issues.
Ernie Schmidt: When President Obama signed the American recovery & reinvestment act, he made a available the Energy efficiency & Conservation Block Grant Program, to help reduce emissions. Applying for these types of grants along with partnering up with developers and other vested private entities will allow us to creatively move forward in providing the infrastructure for bikes and pedestrians.
Shelly Masur: As a supervisor, I would help secure funding by taking a leadership role in efforts to collaborate and coordinate among the various agencies and groups working on connecting our walking and biking trails. The county has already obtained, and will continue to seek, grant funding to extend trails that comprise segments of the Coastal Trail. I will work to ensure that all county properties that could play a role in the continuity of these trails will be utilized as well as possible. Our trails are a wonderful asset to our county. I personally appreciate the access to trails across the county and regularly take advantage of them. A system that connects our trails and makes it possible to use them safely could greatly increase bike usage to work and other locations. It will be important to examine the environmental impact of the construction, but I look forward to an enhanced and inter-connected trail network across the county. In addition, projects that improve east-west connectivity and safe crossings for bikes and pedestrians will be important to coordinate with cities.
Carlos Romero: In creating a countywide or multi-county source of public transit funding, I would make sure that a portion of the funds are available for bike and pedestrian infrastructure improvements. In addition, should High Occupancy Toll lanes on our freeways become a source of income for transit improvements, I would advocate that a portion of those dollars be used to improve our bike and pedestrian infrastructure. The bike and pedestrian improvements that I believe are more important, are improving intercity connections so that shorter bike and walking trips can be maximized. This will have a significant health and decongesting affect. In addition, residents will likely experience and appreciate the immediate affects of these type of improvements, and thus attracting more converts and adherents to non-vehicular forms of transportation.
Kirsten Keith: I would encourage the SMCTA, San Mateo County City/County Association of Governments (C/CAG), Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), State and Federal funding agencies with bicycle and pedestrian funds to support needed improvements within San Mateo County and our connecting regional travel corridors. While SMCTA has a specific funding amount in the renewed Measure A there are other opportunities in the Highway and Caltrain Grade separation projects to include in those projects new bicycle/pedestrian facilities as upgrades occur. I would also like to be appointed as a Supervisor to serve as a County representative on local or regional transportation agency Boards so I can enhance funding for these improvements. I am a member of the Roadway Safety Solutions Team and am hosting the next meeting of our team members in Menlo Park. This is a City/County collaboration that also includes police officers and public works engineers to address bicycle safety issues in the County and funding for infrastructure improvements. I personally bike ride for both transportation and recreation and enjoy riding the “loop” (Alpine Road/Sand Hill Road loop). My husband bikes to work regularly. When I worked on the Facebook Development Agreement, we made sure we included a clause about completing the one mile gap in the Bay trail. We also ensured that the pedestrian tunnel running under Bayfront Expressway would be open to not only Facebook employees, but to the public. This is a good example of public/private partnerships to improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
Memo Morantes: Similarly to the County’s Commute Alternative Program (CAP), the County and large private sector companies must find ways to incentive and accommodate workers to walk and bike to work. As the County’s CAP program helps subsidize employee use of public transportation, the same must be done for bicyclists and walkers who lessen our carbon footprint by doing something simple, healthy and rewarding. Lockers, showers and flexible schedules can enable employees to take full advantage of committing to these alternative modes of transportation that benefit the community as a whole. Also, I would work with the public and private sector in coming up with ways to link together bicycle routes on public and private land so that we could develop a series of pedestrian and bike paths that connect the major corridors with the surface streets. The Bicycle Coalition has done a phenomenal job of working with the cities and the County towards developing a proverbial road map for bicyclists to travel in safe, reliable, uninterrupted pathways throughout the bay side of the County.
3. Do you support the blended system plan in which California High Speed Rail shares tracks with Caltrain?
Andy Cohen: Yes.
Warren Slocum: Yes, I do support the “blended plan” but I am currently not in favor of the High Speed rail effort – funding issues and calendar driven performance issues continue to be sticking points for me personally. I do, however, support the concept of a high speed rail system.
Ernie Schmidt: Yes, I do support it. Modernizing our Caltrain is long over due. But as a Planning Commissioner, I see us moving way to fast. We need to slow down and not rush into starting the project. Rushing a significant and great project like this attracts only problems, which I would rather not see after the fact. As the Vice Chair of our Planning Commission, there have been several times, where I just said, “let’s slow down and make sure we get it right the 1st time”.
Shelly Masur: I support the blended system and hope that a combination of the MTC and HSR dollars will result in electrification of Caltrain. Electrification will make it possible to run trains more frequently and efficiently and make it more compelling for people to get out of their cars and onto the train.
Carlos Romero: I approach HSR from the perspective of “fix the local first.” In concept HSR is a sound, environmentally sustainable idea. In practice, however, the proposed expenditure of over $68 billion for a system to bring travelers to the Bay Area and not address local public transit systems in grave need of improvement, repair, and expansion. This requires that we rethink the inequitable allocation of the resources to HSR that would result in the oversight of local public transit needs. The blended system being considered for the Caltrain right of way might be a leap in the right direction. Upgrading Caltrain, our fixed rail public transit spine on the peninsula, to accommodate electrified trains compatible with an eventual convergence with HSR, seems to be a more sane approach to the issue. Doing so will preserve Caltrain’s valuable service to the South Bay, the Peninsula and San Francisco, reduce green house gases generated by the trains, and allow for the eventual expansion of the local service to include more riders and stops. The multiple obstacles required to implement a separate track system negate the benefits of pursuing it, as well local commuter train service could actually suffer from this approach.
Kirsten Keith: With the MTC MOU on the CHSRA Early Investment and support for the Blended System which most of the nine funding agencies have approved as of the end of May, the $1.456 billion in needed funding to electrify Caltrain has been identified with half from local agencies and half from CHSRA. The basic two track blended system with limited passing tracks needs to continue with Caltrain as the lead agency to define the Project Level EIR/EIS with local agencies, stakeholders and property owners involved in the planning process over the next 18 months based on the current Caltrain schedule. There is currently limited funding for grade separations available and local agencies need to pursue those funding opportunities to upgrade their current at grade crossings.This funding would allow Caltrain to become electrified and our local residents and commuting employees would benefit with this new improved service years in advance of sharing the Caltrain Corridor with CHSRA operations. The State Legislature needs to approve the Proposition 1A HSR funding and a portion by the California Transportation Commission to implement the MTC MOU Caltrain electrification project.
Memo Morantes: I fully support the blended approach promoted by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and Assemblyman Rich Gordon. It will create a cheaper alternative to the full-build; will cause less impact on existing cities and neighborhoods; it will accelerate the timeline for completion; and the time difference between the blended approach and the full build is negligible given the cost comparison.
4. Traffic congestion on highways and some local streets wastes time and money for residents and contributes to air pollution and respiratory illnesses. What do you think the County should do to reduce traffic congestion?
Andy Cohen: No answer.
Warren Slocum: The county has programs that get workers out of their cars. Overall, I think they have done a pretty good job and they should continue to be an example for other businesses and organizations. As with most other public issues, I believe in a collaborative/leveraged approach in this area. More public transit, bike and pedestrian resources would benefit the region. The county needs to continue to work to educate the public about the benefits that public transit offers – and that biking/walking provide.
Ernie Schmidt: Having come from Tesla Motors, I had the pleasure of meeting many people who were very interested and vested in the fight to reduce congestion on the roads. We have companies out there that provide ride sharing programs, EV car rentals, companies that provide a great shuttle programs, so in that regard we need to seriously start helping promote these companies and making sure that companies that do provide alternatives to employees, that they are aware of the programs, but even incentivising them to take shuttles or alternate means. As a County we need to continue to look for ways to improve our infrastructure within the boundaries that the County is responsible for. A great example of this was the creation of the North Fair Oaks Community Plan.
Shelly Masur: I have already delineated some approaches the county can support – improved public transit, increased housing density and better-connected and upgraded bike trails are all important to making it possible for people to get out of their cars and decrease traffic congestion. In addition, I recently participated in a Bike to Work day to better appreciate improvements that have been made and where upgrades are still needed. To that end, the county can work to make county roads more bike-friendly through development of bike lanes that are well articulated with the contiguous cities. For example, on Middlefield Road in the unincorporated area, there are no markings for bikes. But upon entering Redwood City, the lanes are marked to be shared by bikes and cars. This creates confusion for both bicyclists and cars and makes for an unsafe situation. The county can be a leader in this area by better marking and improving options for bicyclists and by coordinating with cities.
Carlos Romero: Fully assist in the implementation of freeway performance initiatives by closing HOV gaps in our freeway system, adding additional ramp metering and auxiliary lanes. Incentivize cities within the county to make intercity bike and pedestrian infrastructure improvements by using Measure A, Measure M funds, and State and Federal funds received from MTC to make these improvements. Promote land use policies that encourage the development of housing and jobs near public transit stations — encourage smart, sustainable growth.
Kirsten Keith: I serve as a member of the C/CAG Board which is the Congestion Management Agency for our County under State Law and our focus is on relieving congestion on the highways local roads. The SMCTA is currently conducting a “Measure A Highway Program Call for Projects” requesting Cities and the County to submit projects for funding consideration. $104 million is available and this funding can be used to provide relief to very congested areas of the County and can be matched by State and Federal funding through C/CAG. This funding can be used for preliminary study reports, environmental studies, final design and construction. Transit improvements, commute incentive programs, use of bikes and walking will also reduce congestion and improve our environment and air quality.
Memo Morantes: The County must continue to work with the cities in improving upon the further development of livable communities among the transportation corridor. With smart growth and regional planning, we can concentrate and steer new development into our more urban settings with existing infrastructure – jobs, shopping, entertainment and housing all blended together and integrated into public transportation. We must also electrify Caltrain and improve upon smart technology for buses to run on clean and renewable energy. We are fortunate to live in Silicon Valley where some of the greatest minds are pushing the technological envelope. We can foster that energy and, in return, utilize it to continue to make San Mateo County a desirable place to live and work.
5. San Mateo County has significantly more jobs than housing, requiring many workers to commute long distances. Do you support additional housing to address this jobs-housing imbalance? Where in San Mateo County should additional housing be built?
Andy Cohen: Secondary dwellings have been a state approved option for 30 years, but not adequately embraced by politicians and local government–this could be changed since elimination of RDA’s. Infill housing incentives by easing fees on secondary dwellings–also amnesty and multiple dwelling projects in urban centers.
Warren Slocum: Actually, because of the recession, the job/work imbalance has been reduced. Some firefighters, for instance, have recently moved back into the Peninsula area. But the affordability gap still exists. San Mateo County, with its various development restrictions, may be built out except for pocket developments and developments along transportation corridors, like the Grand Blvd Initiative.
Ernie Schmidt: I do support more housing, but keep in mind that the Supervisors are only responsible for unincorporated areas of the county. The vast majority of housing that Im sure you will see as we continue to grow, will be the responsibility of individual cities. That being said, you already have a great Community development plan in the North Fair Oaks neighborhood, which will provide up to a little more than 3000 dwelling units. Another great example and one that I support of areas to build housing in, is along the transit corridor, specifically along The Grand Boulevard.
Shelly Masur: I strongly believe that we need significantly more housing in San Mateo County so that young families, senior citizens, and moderate income earners have the opportunity to own a home and live closer to their jobs. Higher density and transit-oriented housing meet this need and reduce car travel and greenhouse gases. Without these important program objectives, the jobs/housing imbalance in San Mateo County will worsen and cause increased sprawl and longer commutes that contribute to pollution and climate change. As a County Supervisor, I would actively support the county’s involvement with the Grand Boulevard Initiative to encourage transit-oriented housing along the El Camino corridor. I currently sit on the Community Leaders Roundtable of the Grand Boulevard Initiative and will work to promote transit-oriented development along the corridor. Additionally, the Redwood City School District includes the unincorporated area of North Fair Oaks. And our families who live in this area need affordable housing. Recently, the Board of Supervisors approved the North Fair Oaks plan which includes increased housing density. This area is particularly well suited to both affordable and increased density housing. It is relatively urban, near transit and has existing structures that could be developed into mixed use. Areas like North Fair Oaks and county lands along the El Camino corridor that are close to transit, have multi-level structures, and mixed use development are the most appropriate places for increasing housing density. The Grand Boulevard Initiative is an example of a project that offers a good mix of transit-oriented housing that utilizes the opportunity to increase density without impacting open space.
Carlos Romero: Yes, I do support improving the jobs/housing imbalance we have in our County. We need provide a sustainable plan for where our new housing should be situated. We must look to infill housing sites that are located near our urban centers and job centers, transportation arterials, and public transit stations as future sites for additional housing. For example, building housing along El Camino as is envisioned within the Grand Boulevard plan is a good start. We must place new housing where residents can take advantage of existing public transit infrastructure and pedestrian and bike friendly environments.
Kirsten Keith: There are a number of things to do. We can make sure that riding on public transportation is convenient and efficient. Employers should be encouraged to sign up for Clipper cards and the Go Pass for employees. Smaller companies may utilize Commuter Check or other pre-tax employee benefit programs. I would encourage the use of Zip Cars and other car sharing programs. I encourage high density housing along the Caltrain corridor on El Camino Real. In Menlo Park, we are working on our Specific Plan, which calls for up to 40 units per acre on El Camino Real property near the train station. I would encourage analyzing the number of parking spaces required for new, high density housing. Fewer cars means less congestion. I would continue to support and speak at Grand Boulevard Initiative forums. I would encourage the implementation of bike sharing programs, such as the program the San Mateo County Transit District is participating in. Fortunately, this is a San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Clara County program to provide 1000 bicycles at over 100 kiosks. I hope it is wildly successful and I would encourage expanding it, so that it rivals the bike share programs of Portland and Washington, D.C. Many Peninsula cities plan to increase the housing opportunities along the travel corridors such as El Camino and other major arterials. Many of these higher density and mixed use developments in these cities provide employees with more choices to have their housing near employment centers or transit centers, thereby greatly reducing their commutes to work. At C/CAG there is an incentive program that rewards cities, or the county, that develop higher density housing near transit corridors/stations and provides an incentive of up to $2,000 per bedroom that a local agency can use to make transportation improvements anywhere in the City or County.
Memo Morantes: We are a growing community where there remains a need to build more housing, especially affordable housing. To me, communities make the most sense where people have access to existing infrastructure including roads, shops, public transportation and the like. I am a strong supporter of the Grand Boulevard plan, which just recently won a regional award from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) as a smart public-private partnership, where we build vibrant communities along the transportation corridor. I do recognize that that space is not infinite and that there have been times when housing was the best viable option. Regardless, whatever the final decision, it must be one that is best for our quality of life. We are very fortunate that San Mateo County is roughly 75% open space and we as a community must continue to preserve and build upon our pristine parks, trails and untouched lands for future generations to enjoy.
6. East-west travel in San Mateo County using transit, bicycling, or walking is currently inconvenient and/or unsafe due to poor transit service and lack of safe facilities for crossing highways. What can be done to improve east-west travel by alternative modes of transportation?
Andy Cohen: No answer.
Warren Slocum: By East-West travel, I assume you are talking generally about travel between the bayside and the coast side. The geography of San Mateo County makes this difficult to really find a comprehensive solution. But we could improve bike lanes, bus frequency and again use the collaborative/leveraged approach to generate solutions that could be incrementally implemented.
Ernie Schmidt: I have heard this concern brought up on more than one occasion in our forums, and I felt I really needed to get out there and get some feed back from Samtrans, Caltrains and community members that I know that actually depend on bikes and walking whether as a mode to get to work or for recreation, before I answered this question. Fact is there is a huge opportunity in the East-West travel and one I believe if we are able to successfully collaborate with our transportation departments and our neighboring cities to implement solutions such as shuttles, deviated services, good transportation network plans and smart pedestrian and Bicycle infrastructure, that our county can be an example to follow as being an easy and friendly county to alternative modes of transportation.
Shelly Masur: As indicated above, first we can improve out trail connectivity. Second, the county can look at some alternative forms of public transportation, perhaps using shuttles that connect to existing transit lines to meet the demand for east-west travel alternatives. And continuing to look at bike bridges over highways including 280 would help increase safety and improve access.
Carlos Romero: Promote, utilize, and coordinate our numerous publicly and privately funded shuttle bus routes in the County to address the east-west travel conundrum. Place emphasis and continue to prioritize bike and pedestrian connections over freeways by providing Measure A, Measure M funds and State and Federal funds received from MTC to make these improvements. Examine reopening some of the subterranean pedestrian under-crossings along 101 and utilize Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principals to make them safe crossings.
Kirsten Keith: Like Menlo Park, other cities have been expanding the bicycle routes within their city as they recognize more and more individuals are selecting this as a travel mode. Pedestrian safety is an ongoing concern and safety improvements at busy intersections should be upgraded for enhancing safety as well as crossing our highway system whether it is El Camino, Highway 101 or Highway 84. Where signalized intersections are located, an electronic countdown system would enhance use by bicycles and pedestrians. At C/CAG and SMCTA there are a number of transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects that come before us for consideration and support. Caltrans is also a key agency on enhancing bicycle and pedestrian safety and we must continue to work with Caltrans. Continued evaluation of transit service should be accomplished so that effective schedules and routes can be maintained or added.
Memo Morantes: Almost every day when I drive to work on Highway 101 I am thankful for the Ralston pedestrian and bike overpass. It is an inspirational model of what good can come from community and political will to connect an amazing recreation facility on the difficult-to-reach east side of town to the residential west side of 101. This model should serve as an inspiration to all cities and the County up and down the Peninsula as a way to further improve upon connector routes from the north-south corridor.
7. How often do you use public transit, bicycling, or walking for transportation? If you have school-aged children, do they take transit, bike, or walk to school? Why or why not?
Andy Cohen: Daughter bikes to work when possible; I take bus when possible.
Warren Slocum: When I travel to San Francisco, I most often use Bart or Caltrain. I have biked to work in the past and in my younger days, when I didn’t own an automobile, I rode the SamTrans 7F bus everyday to and from work in Redwood City. My family and I are fortunate to live close to a market and other neighborhood type businesses so that we are able to walk for coffee, walk to the drug store and walk for ice cream! More of these kinds of “neighborhood centric” type business developments could help reduce pollution and actually improve the health of residents. We do have two children – ages 23 and 21 – they go to Foothill and Canada College.
Ernie Schmidt: Not often at all. My campaigning for this election requires me to go from event to event 5 to 6 times a day, and when I was with Tesla, I was attending events that did not have me back to the office until after midnight at times.
Shelly Masur: I try whenever possible to stay out of my car. My husband and I chose our current home so we could walk to the grocery store, restaurants and other activities in downtown Redwood City. I live across the street from my office and whenever possible walk to meetings and work-related events. My daughter has walked to school for the last several years. My husband drops our sons at school on his way to work. Although they would like to ride their bikes, the 2+ mile route has no bike lanes, and I am concerned for their safety.
Carlos Romero: I use my bicycle daily for all of my commuting to and from work and Council meetings and all errands that are less than 8 or 10 miles. For most trips that are greater than 8 miles I will use a combination of my bike, Caltrain, BART, and occasionally VTA and SamTrans.
Kirsten Keith: My family enjoys walking and bike riding. My husband bikes to work, where they have showers for employees. We are also fortunate to live within walking distance of several grocery stores and cafes.
Memo Morantes: Truthfully, like most commuters, I have a job and schedule that demands private transportation to get to many different destinations on any given day. I am a solo driver because it is the nature of my job. However, I do try to take public transportation any time my schedule permits me, though this is typically for recreational purposes of riding the bus or train for fun to various activities during whatever free time I am able to muster.