Bike Petaluma Election Survey – Damon Connolly Candidate for Assembly District 12

How do you get around your district?

I drive a zero emission vehicle in addition to riding my Marin Nicasio Road Bike. I go 2 months every year without driving a car to see how our transit systems and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure are working, and I rely heavily on my bicycle to do this. It is a personal challenge I have been doing as #RideWithDamon for six years, and generally log over 1,000 miles while also encouraging others to join me. I also use my bike throughout the year at least 1 day/week.

What role does bicycling and walking play in your vision for the future development of your district? If elected, what strategies/tools/resources would you utilize to realize this vision?

Bicycling and walking play an integral role in my vision for the future of the 12th AssemblyDistrict. The North Bay is already well known for its beautiful open spaces, but it has been an ongoing effort to make the area more friendly to bikes and pedestrians. As we continue to transition off of traditional transportation by car, and towards Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs),bikes, and e-bikes, it will become increasingly important to invest in infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians, and ensure our communities are connected by safe pathways so that commuting by bike is possible from anywhere in the district. I work on these issues extensively in my current role as a County Supervisor, Metropolitan Transportation Commissioner andSMART Board Member. I am committed to completing the SMART multi-use path and providing first and last mile opportunities and seamless mobility in order to enhance my vision of a fully integrated transportation network with active transportation at its core.

What are your district’s biggest transportation challenges? What policies or projects would you promote to address these challenges?

Congestion is coming back fast on Highway 101 and our local streets and roads are also facing increasing traffic. We need to push for effective, affordable transit that is focused both on meeting the needs of transit dependent riders and bringing commuters back, including to theSMART Train. It also means creating a safe bicycle pathway system that ensures that cycling is a meaningful transportation alternative for riders at a range of abilities. The good news is that we have the opportunity to utilize a portion of budget surplus dollars and unprecedented infrastructure spending to prioritize these needs, including electrification of our transit fleet and increased emphasis on active transportation solutions.

Why should people who care about street safety, bicycling and walking issues vote for you?

Throughout my public service career I have worked to make Marin County a bike-friendly place out of my belief that biking is a healthy and eco-safe transportation alternative. I enjoy biking,and I also rely on it personally for enjoyment, health, and also as part of my job. As a CountySupervisor, MTC Commissioner, and Board Member on Marin Transit, SMART, andTransportation Authority of Marin, I ride to get a better sense of what is working and what isn’t for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in our communities. I believe strongly in pursuing VisionZero policies, and I will always be an advocate for bike-friendly roads and the creation of dedicated pathways. I am also a strong proponent of mountain biking and have worked on effective implementation of our County’s Road and Trails Management Plan, including the creation of new opportunities such as the Ponti Ridge Trail and Memorial Trail in Supervisorial District. As your Assemblymember, you can rest assured that you have an ally inSacramento who shares your passion and is looking out for bicyclists statewide. I’m proudly endorsed by Access4Bikes in this election, as I have been in previous elections.What role do you think bicycling and walking play in addressing the climate crisis?Biking and walking are healthy and eco-friendly transportation alternatives that are integral to addressing the climate crisis. We need to make our cities more walkable and bikeable, which will reduce the need for car travel and reduce emissions as a result.

How would you define transportation equity, and how would you work to improve it in your district?

Transportation equity to me, means that everyone has access to transit that is effective, safe,seamless and affordable, ensuring that no one is denied social or economic opportunities due to lack of transportation. It means that, while we move aggressively toward a greener transportation future for our state, part of equity will involve creating a robust secondary market for EVs and E-bikes and providing subsidies so that people at lower income levels will be able to afford them. I would introduce legislation for faster Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) adoption,current legislation establishes 100% ZEV by 2035. I authored a resolution in Marin County calling on the State to transition to 100% ZEV by 2030, a policy that this year was adopted into the California Democratic Party platform.

Do you support AB-1713 the bill for improving bicycle safety at intersections?

Yes, I support AB 1713.

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