Scott Alonso

Name Scott Alonso
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 own a bicycle but I do use a bicycle occasionally for recreational purposes. I like to ride on trails in Sonoma County, including Helen Putnam Park. I think one of the biggest challenges for those enjoying riding a bicycle is the lack of adequate trails and bicycle lanes.
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? We need to fully implement our 2008 bicycle and pedestrian plan. We need more connectively along the Petaluma River for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Lastly, the Lynch Creek Trail should be a jewel for Petaluma to connect both sides of town. However, a lack of funding is preventing the trail from seeing its full potential. There are also safety concerns for users along the trail. We need to continue working with the Police Department to ensure the trail is safe.

As a Planning Commissioner, I work to identify ways a project can better implement pedestrian paths and bicycle infrastructure. We often require developers to build Class I and Class II lanes. We need to integrate with large projects better plans and infrastructure for those that have a direct impact on traffic. When we grow, we often are bringing cars to Petaluma. If we allow for better pedestrian and bicycle options we can get folks out of their cars. A benefit for transit orientated development is that we promote other modes of transportation besides relying on a car. I have voted in favor of TOD projects on the Planning Commission.

3.  What are Petaluma’s biggest transportation challenges?   What policies or projects would you promote to address these challenges? We have the worst roads in Sonoma County besides unincorporated portions of Sonoma County. We need to fund more road repairs and build the Rainer cross town connector to alleviate traffic congestion. With Rainer we should also promote bicycle options for folks wanting to use the connector to get across town. We also need more funding to implement priorities of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee and the city-wide Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan.
4.  Petaluma streets are increasingly congested and worn if elected, how would you propose to improve infrastructure in the City? We need to support a revenue enhancement with specific funding going to our roads and public infrastructure projects. The challenge with pursuing this type of tax measure is that this would require a two-thirds vote of the electorate. However, a general tax will not likely be successful. A specific tax would allow the public to see directly where the money would go for funding these important infrastructure projects.  Overall our infrastructure for city buildings is in very poor shape. We have an aging police station that is in a former mortuary. Our three fire stations are very antiquated, including the downtown station which was built under FDR in 1938. Hopefully a specific revenue measure would include funding for our public buildings.
5.  Why should people who care about street safety, bicycling and walking issues vote for you? I am a strong proponent of land use policies that support non car options for individuals and families. I believe that we can do better to improve our roads and bicycle infrastructure. I hope my record on the Planning Commission underscores for folks my commitment to finding unique ways to improve transit orientated development and safer options for cyclists and pedestrians.