Ask the candidates: Kirsten Keith

This year, SVBC has been working with our Policy Advisory Committee and our Local Teams to craft bicycling-related questions to ask candidates in select races in our area. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, SVBC cannot and does not endorse any candidate. We can, however, share their views with you. The answers are coming back, and we're publishing them here on the SVBC website.

Here are the responses from Kirsten Keith, candidate for San Mateo County District 4 Supervisor:

  1. Where do you see bikes fitting into the overall transportation plan?

I am a proponent of the Grand Boulevard Initiative and Cool Cities. I have been a speaker and moderator at functions promoting bicycling. Most recently, I was a moderator in San Mateo for a Cool Cities meeting to promote bicycling. Bikes are a key part of how people circulate and if we can make it safer and create a culture change in our youth, we will be moving forward. I just participated in Bike to Work Day last Thursday and will be putting up videos and photos from the event on my website www.kirstenkeith.com.

  1. If elected, what are three things that you would do to improve cycling opportunities for your constituents?

The same things I currently do as Mayor, as stated above. I am a cyclist and will continue to promote cycling and continue to work on making it safer, for kids and adults. We need to lobby for more funding to make infrastructure improvements to our roads. We also need to add sharrows on the roads and start using modern tools to assist cyclists and drivers. We need to educate drivers and cyclists about following the rules of the road. I will continue to work with cycling advocates, and have an open door to discuss issues and concerns about cycling. Cycling is a great way to get exercise, reduce stress, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and so much more. I am happy to promote cycling on so many levels.

  1. What have you done or worked on in the past that shows your record of being involved in bicycle, active transportation, or road/trail improvement campaigns?

As stated above, I have actively participated in forums promoting cycling. In Menlo Park, we are finalizing our Specific Plan and we have upgraded cycling routes all over the city. I have met and cycled with cycling advocates regarding Facebook cycling routes. I made sure that our Development Agreement with Facebook included cycling upgrades and improvements. These include making Willow Road safer to bike on and over the 101 overpass and getting Facebook to help complete a one mile gap in the Bay Trail. These will be great cycling improvements for all of us and will help Facebook meet its restrictive Traffic Demand Management goals. It is a win win for all. I have also worked on Safe Routes to School, which is a program that we recently funded through C/CAG (City and County Association of Governments).

  1. With dedicated funding for cycling projects under fire on the regional, state, and federal level, what would you do to keep those dollars flowing?

I sit on C/CAG and work with our executive director, Richard Napier, to leverage dollars around the county to be spent on bicycle improvements. It is exciting to see the improvements being made around the county and a renewed interest in cycling. It would be great to ensure that a bicycle path is created Coastside so that kids may bike to school safely. We also promote Safe Routes to School and have funded a position to help schools work through the process to provide Safe Routes to School. I would also look for additional federal grants and work with our elected officials at the Federal level to make sure they know this is important to me.

  1. A few years ago, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) adopted a Complete Streets policy which requires that all MTC funded projects consider the needs of all potential users including cyclists. Furthermore, local jurisdictions have been requested to pass a similar ordinance directing their public works departments to consider the needs of all users of the road. As a hypothetical example, the County applies to MTC to improve an existing 4-lane road. However, to comply with Complete Streets, a 4-lane county road could be reduced to 3 lanes to install bike lanes to accommodate existing bicycle traffic. Do you support the Complete Streets concept and would you vote for such an ordinance if elected Supervisor?

Yes, I do support the Complete Streets concept and would consider any ordinance presented to me carefully. I want to balance the benefits of any concept with unintended consequences. However, as I have said above, I support cycling and will do what I can to ensure better access for cyclists. Corinne had the opportunity to hear me speak Friday at the Roadway Safety Solutions Team Meeting, where I presented our groups ideas on Infrastructure Improvement. I look forward to remaining active in this group and I made time to attend this meeting because the issue is so important to me.

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