Saturday, October 16, 2010

Walk Oakland, Bike Oakland, Questionaire

Oakland City Council and Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire

November 2010

Contact Information

Candidate’s Name: Don Macleay

Telephone: 510 290-1200

Fax: 510 645-1800

Candidate’s Email:


Campaign Manager name: Orlando Johnson

Campaign Manager phone number: 510 866-7488

Campaign Manager email:

Lifestyle and Culture

1. What initiatives would you develop or support to continue the growth of cycling and walking as every day modes of transportation in Oakland? (150 words or less)

I have not made a study of this. This answer is mostly based on personal experience. My main concern is to upgrade the type of bike path we set up and have safer places around town. Quickly following that I think we are still far away from having safe, convenient bike parking at most business and transit locations.

2. Do you support establishing a pedestrian and cyclist safety campaign in Oakland? (Yes/No)

I do, but I think the infrastructure plays a big role.

3. Do you bike or walk for regular transportation? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often? Please indicate how you most commonly commute to work. (300 words or less)

It depends the weather, the destination and if my 7 year old son is with me. I live upstairs from my work and can walk to most of my shopping, health care, dining and entertainment. I drive very few miles and my 94 has only 78K on it. That car sits for days at a time.

Most of my trips are walking, downtown bike trips are a couple of times weekly most weeks. Since I have been running for office I have needed to use the car more.

I bike a lot between Temescal and downtown/Chinatown/Old Oakland and Lake Merrit for my work or to go to things like Art Murmur.

I only bike with my son on small side streets over to Mosswood or inside of Temescal. By and large I find the “bike lanes” unsafe for a small child. A lot of them I find unsafe for myself and try to use smaller streets when I can. I used to take the bus from 40th and Broadway, but now find the service too infrequent and unreliable, so I bike more often.

Most of the time I take the car it is to pick someone up who would be very delayed by using public transit, or to get somewhere that is hard to get to, or for questions of safety, speed and access.


4. In your opinion is Oakland a bicycle-friendly city? (Yes/No)

Not in the way the bike paths are done, but yes in the way the public views bike use.

5. Do you support increasing funding for the City’s bicycle and pedestrian programs and projects? (Yes/No)

Yes after we clean up some of the mess. The safety of some of the current projects give me pause and the result over costs makes me wonder if we are not loosing a lot of revenue to the planning process that would be better spent on the bike paths, cross walks and signage.

6. For generations, State, regional and Oakland policies have prioritized traffic flow and space for private motor vehicles, to the detriment of walking, bicycling and transit. Around the world, many cities are reversing this priority and using the following hierarchy in transportation planning; pedestrians first, then bicyclists, transit vehicles, and lastly private motor vehicles. If elected, will you support this new hierarchy in the City of Oakland? (Yes/No)

I am opposed to ANY increase in the road infrastructure. Our nation needs to urgently put all of our transit resources into mass transit. This is an urgent problem for global warming, pollution, resource waste and quality of life.

7. If elected, will you help achieve the goals of Oakland’s Bicycle Master Plan and Pedestrian Master Plan? What would be your top three priorities for implementation in each of these two plans. (500 words or less)

I am not too familiar with both of these Master Plans.

I was very disappointed in the quality, cost and time delays, not to mention the quality of the final decisions that went into the 40th Street bike lane plan that is to run in front of my house. I heard the master plan quoted a lot during the public meetings and did not get a clear picture of what it is.

I really hope it is not another one of our city’s over elaborate, over budget plans.

As a regular rider my general feeling is not that some great plan is moving forward, but that could be the funding and permitting and not the plan itself. Some of the stuff I have seen looks very good and other parts seem dubious.

8. How would you prioritize the implementation of Oakland’s Climate Action Plan. If elected, what would be your top three priorities for implementation in this plan. (200 words or less)

1 Better zoning for live/work, walk-bike-bus to work neighborhoods. The lowest carbon footprint in the form of transit and commute is the one you do not have to take. My situation should not be a luxury or a stroke of luck, we should make it a lot easier to live locally.

2 Better building code and permitting. Simple things like skylights, and more advanced projects, such as photovoltaics should not face the current obstacles. The use of “gray water” is illegal for all practical purposes.

3 Trees. We need to line our city streets with trees. We need to buffer our freeways and pollution sources with trees. We need to use trees for our sound barrios. We need to use gray water for those trees and we need to plan native vegetation that will resist drought and require less upkeep.

Additional Thoughts

Are there any additional thoughts that you would like to share regarding bicycling and walking in Oakland?

As a long standing Green Party member, this is the kind of issue that is dear to me. As an Oakland Community organizer I want to mix these needed projects into the integrations programs, education projects and jobs we need to address the crisis that affects our youth.

The changes we need to make on where we work and how we get there are crucial and we need to avoid that becoming in any way in conflict with our URGENT need to address crime, education and employment. It should also not become a false trade off with economic development as a whole.

The city planning process is in need of an upgrade. Our transit goals should be part of that better management we have to provide the public if we are ever going to build an atmosphere of public trust in government. Bike infrastructure is very visible and we need to make sure it LOOKS viable, well thought out and practical to the average resident when they see it.

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