I think Tom Ammiano is the best choice for the next mayor of San Francisco.
I'm providing some clips of him from the debate to give you a better idea about who he is and where he stands on the issues. (Complete transcript available below.)
This clip is from the Mayoral Debate that aired on KPIX Channel 5 on Tuesday, October 14, 2003.
Tom Ammiano On Parking vs. Public Transit (Small - 6 MB)
Question from Rachel Gordon:
Gordon: "Supervisor Ammiano. You've been a solid supporter of the city's "Transit First" policy, but there are a lot of people who live in San Francisco, who visit the city, who have stores in the city, that say "There's just not enough parking." It's really a maddening situation for a lot of folks. Number one: Do you think that there's a parking problem in San Francisco? And if you do, how should that problem be addressed?"
Ammiano: (Holds up his Muni Fast Pass high, and then puts it back in his pocket.)
"I think there is a parking problem in San Francisco, and I think we need to revisit some of the issues. You know, depending on what part of the city you live in, the parking takes on a different complexion. If you're in a part of the city that is not served by public transit as often as the Downtown area, then you're gonna rely on parking more. And we need to look at that and try to change that. If you're in a part of the city that has a lot of public transit, but somehow it's not reliable enough, or perceived to be not safe enough, then you need to put monies into that. I think it's also a regional issue among the metropolitan transportation commission, and I really lobbied hard for more money for Muni. Muni has a 730-750,000 ridership. I think it deserves more money from regional bodies. At the same time, we need to look at what might convince people to leave their cars. And that would be alternative transportation, such as high speed rail, which is going to be coming to San Francisco we hope next year. Looking at what we can do in terms of bicycle lanes, alternative ways of getting people to and from, and also, I think the dedicated funding to Muni is starting to show improvements, but I think that more improvement is needed. And when that happens, we may in fact be able to reduce that reliance on whether or not there's a parking space or not.
Gordon: "Can I ask just a quick follow-up question? Would you support the construction of parking garages or parking lots in neighborhood commercial corridors, if that's what the residents and the merchants demanded? Like the inner Sunset, or Northbeach, or the Richmond District?"
Ammiano: "It's not my druthers. But believe me, and you know, if you looked at the whole equation and there wasn't that kind of reliable public transit. If they wanted some combination of retail, car share in-fill on top of the parking lot with affordable housing or senior housing, it might take the sting out of it for me. But I would rather work primarily on providing alternatives to that. But, obviously, that should be on the table, because I know it is important to people."Posted by Lisa at October 27, 2003 09:47 AM | TrackBack