Michael Regan

Name Michael Regan
Candidate for: City Council
1.    Do you ride a bicycle in Petaluma for recreation or transportation?  Why or why not?  What has been your experience? I do not ride my bike as a primary mode of transportation, but I do ride my bike for recreation.  My experience has been a positive one and been a fun activity for myself and my wife & young kids.  However, we do not typically ride on surface streets for safety reasons (particularly given my kids are young and not quite ready to bike on the road).
2. 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? I am supportive of the increasing number of bike lanes in Petaluma, and as roads are repaved and if the space is available, am generally supportive of incorporating bike lanes into road improvement projects where they don’t exist, as enacting such a policy would be simultaneous to existing plans and cost little extra given it’s just striping and marking costs.
3.  What are Petaluma’s biggest transportation challenges?   What policies or projects would you promote to address these challenges? Aside from the widening of Highway 101, we need another cross-town connector at Rainier Avenue to reduce congestion on East Washington specifically as well as at our other cross-town overpasses, and for those on bikes, also create an easier pathway to travel across town.  Regionally, I’m supportive of the eventual build-out of a walking/biking path alongside the SMART tracks as funds become available and would also like to explore public-private partnerships for a bike sharing program in the city.
4.  Petaluma streets are increasingly congested and worn if elected, how would you propose to improve infrastructure in the City? Aside from the 101 widening and Rainier Avenue cross-town connector outlined in the previous section, I recognize that our existing infrastructure is largely inadequate, with many pothole-laden streets and roads not designed for bicyclists in mind.  While I do not believe Petaluma can solve this problem on its own, I’m cautiously optimistic that SB1 transportation funding will survive past November’s election, and we have an additional funding stream in the coming years.  Looking ahead a few years, I am hopeful that the county will ask voters to reauthorize Measure M for much-needed transportation dollars, with a greater percentage of revenues in a sales tax extension going to repaving and improving our network of roads and streets.  In addition, as previously discussed, I’d like to see the City of Petaluma explore a bike-sharing program similar to the one being considered in Windsor (potentially as a joint partnership with Healdsburg) and Santa Rosa and one that’s in the works in Healdsburg.  It could encourage those who don’t want to get in their car and combat traffic to quickly rent a bike and run errands using a carbon-free transportation source that’s also a good source of exercise!
5.  Why should people who care about street safety, bicycling and walking issues vote for you? I served as the Chair of Petaluma’s Transit Advisory Committee and have a deep understanding and commitment to improve our transportation infrastructure, not just on the 101 but on our city streets as well. I’m a huge proponent of the Rainier Avenue cross-town connector, but my support of transportation improvement projects spans beyond that and includes additional bike lanes and better-maintained streets in our city.  I’m proud to have earned the support of Supervisor David Rabbitt, who has also been a major advocate for transportation improvement projects in the City of Petaluma, County of Sonoma, and North Bay region as a whole, and feel I have a more in-depth understanding of transportation issues than many of my competitors running for City Council.  I’ve also been endorsed by Ken Quinto, a member of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition.  I would be honored to earn the votes of those in our biking community who share my passion to improve Petaluma’s transportation infrastructure in the years ahead, something that will be one of my top priorities if elected to the City Council.