BikeSD is proud to endorse David Alvarez for mayor

I Bike. I vote. Photo from the last memorial ride die-in held at City Hall.
I bike. I vote. Photo from the last memorial ride die-in held at City Hall.

During Bob Filner’s (short and tragic) tenure, he implemented changes that radically changed the conversation in San Diego. His appointment of his trusted campaign manager, Ed Clancy, to the city’s Transportation and Storm Water Department resulted in a dramatic 9-month transformation that launched a much needed momentum to make our city more livable.

After careful consideration of both the councilmembers, David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer, their records, public statements and proposals and their responsiveness to us and our members, we are endorsing David Alvarez for mayor.

Councilmember Alvarez’s pledge to embrace the “Vision Zero” program to eliminate preventable traffic deaths, his commitment to holding our regional planning agency, SANDAG, accountable for a sustainable region, and commitment to increasing funding for bike facilities to $1 million played a key role in distinguising him from Councilmember Faulconer.

David Alvarez has laid out the most progressive vision for continuing to make San Diego’s city streets safer and more accessible for everyone, regardless of their transportation mode. Alvarez’s conviction that we can and should eliminate preventable road deaths makes him the clear choice for voters who believe in livable streets and a more livable San Diego.

BikeSD’s choice of Councilmember Alvarez was not made without careful consideration of his rival, Councilmember Kevin Faulconer. It is clear that Faulconer takes bicycling seriously and has been generally supportive of iniatives like bike share, the Bayshore Bikeway and the Mission Bay bike network. However, not only did Faulconer not lay out a vision but his record of being unable to champion or implement a key needed fix in his own district didn’t give us the confidence that he would be an effective mayor governing an entire city.

Our board member, Nicole Burgess, has had the opportunity to work with Faulconer and his staff in addressing barriers to bicycling in District 2 for over three years. However in the three years that Burgess has been involved in advocacy, despite repeatedly highlighting the urgent need to make bicycling safe on Nimitz Boulevard on the three critical blocks between Chatsworth and Wabaska – Faulconer and his team have been unable to direct city staff to make the needed improvements. In fact the improvements that were implemented were not requested by the District 2 bike/pedestrian advisory committee or the Peninsula Community Planning Board. The resurfacing contract for Nimitz has been postponed at least thrice in 2013 which has delayed any potential improvements on the above mentioned critical blocks. Burgess rides with school children every day and avoids Nimitz as much as possible in order to ensure a safe ride, but these three blocks along Nimitz are the unavoidable sections of her route. In short – we lack the confidence that Councilmember Faulconer as mayor would be as responsive as Councilmember Alvarez has been to date.

Achieving Vision Zero – the goal of reducing fatalities on our city streets to zero – would save hundreds of lives a year – whether those are the lives of bicycle riders, pedestrians or drivers. In fact, over the weekend our  local NBC affiliate reported this story:

“A 25-year-old woman was killed Friday evening after being hit by a vehicle in Kearny Mesa, according to San Diego police.”


“The Ford’s driver was not cited or arrested. “There will not be any enforcement taken on this accident,” [Officer David Stafford of SDPD] said in a media release.”

An innocent woman lost her life over the weekend when she was out walking in San Diego. This is not becoming of our city. But with David Alvarez as mayor committed to ensuring zero road fatalities, our city can continue the momentum toward becoming a truly livable city.

Much thanks to StreetsPAC, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and Cascade Bicycle Club for advice and inspiration.
Our endorsement policy is available here.