Lizzie Wallack – 2020 City Council

On behalf of the group, we asked pertinent questions of the City Council candidates who are running in the Tuesday, November 3rd election.

The questions:

How do you get around Petaluma?

I bike as much as I can. When it’s safe for my children to ride with me, that is our preferred mode of transportation.  Unfortunately it’s not safe or convenient to ride our bikes across and so I do have to drive for my cross town errands.


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

We need to design and implement a much stronger network of bicycle and pedestrian avenues.

Focusing on more bike paths and walking routes that are not only connected to services but enjoyable to use. It is very much about the journey as well as the destination. We absolutely need to integrate these items in new projects as well as in repairs and retrofits of existing infrastructure. There is no reason why we can’t marry transportation infrastructural updates to the inclusion of bicycle/pedestrian considerations.  Likewise I would incentivise people powered transit by favoring proposals whose routes offer dedicated or direct connections to services/parks.


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

Petaluma is a town with many neighborhoods that are designed to favor the car. Similarly, connections to many of our destinations are only available to the car.  I will promote additional cross grid connectors such as the lynch creek trail, which is exclusively accessed by pedestrians and bikes and serves to stitch together many neighborhoods and destinations.  I will likewise advocate for commercially inclusive neighborhoods which in time could alleviate much of the need to drive across town for a specific service.


Petaluma streets are increasingly congested and worn if elected, how would you propose to improve infrastructure in the City?

We have to prioritize the repair and maintenance of streets and sidewalks which will in turn aid in the promotion of pedestrian and bicycle use throughout the city.  I support measure U and would want to fund a significant surface update project with the proceeds if passed.


What is your position on SCTA’s Go Sonoma sales tax measure and what should Petaluma use the money for if it passes?

I support measure U and would want to fund a significant road and sidewalk surface repair project.


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

People should vote for me because equitable access and a sustainable city are primary in my motives for running for City Council.  Viewing our town through a windshield limits what we see.   When we slow down and can look around, we see elements of our town for the first time, creating community, promoting safety for all, but particularly for our children and older residents, and becoming physically more healthy.


What role do you think bicycling and walking play in addressing the climate crisis? How can these forms of active transportation help the city meet its climate goals? 

Reducing the number of cars on the road is central to my goal of addressing the climate crisis on multiple scales.  As I intimated in previous questions, a network of cross grid pedestrian and bike avenues could not only supplement but improve access to different neighborhoods and services, while simultaneously providing healthy and rapid cross town transportation.


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

Everyone who lives in our city deserves to have what they need on a daily basis.  Whether it’s getting kids to school, family to work, visiting one of our parks or going shopping, our city can provide increased ease and access to all of these on several fronts.  By repairing our existing infrastructure we can promote more usage, by incentivising the development of cross grid pedestrian and bicycle connectors we can provide fast safe routes, and by a fundamental modification of our public transit system towards an all electric smaller vehicle model we can provide better, more frequent and wider reaching service.