Bike the Vote — County Board of Supervisors

Local elections are an opportunity to voice your support for a more bike-friendly Sonoma County. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition cannot endorse candidates for public office, but we’re here to help you Bike the Vote by sharing candidates’ responses to our questions on bicycling issues.

We have sent a questionnaire to all five candidates for Sonoma County supervisor, and so far have only received one response. (If your candidates haven’t submitted a statement, contact them and ask that they do so.)

Rebecca Hermosillo, District 1

Do you ride a bicycle in Sonoma County for transportation or recreation? How would you characterize the experience of cycling here?

As the former executive director of the teen center, I would take kids on a monthly mountain bike ride to Tennessee Valley.  After that I would occasionally ride for leisure and enjoyed it.  I tried to ride mostly rural roads which felt safer for me

What are your district’s/Sonoma County’s biggest transportation challenges? How does bicycling fit into your vision of future development?

The biggest challenge facing Sonoma County transportation, in my opinion, is not enough investment in our roads and transportation infrastructure.  We have limited bikeable roads that are safe, and given the expansive geography of Sonoma County, a bike ride from The Springs or Sonoma area west to Santa Rosa is daunting, and often unsafe. As I think to the future of cycling, while I don’t see any quick fixes, there are longer-range plans that leave me hopeful for a more robust infrastructure for cycling…in the Sonoma Valley, through two projects: the long-range planning of a bike and pedestrian pathway adjacent to Highway 12 between Santa Rosa and Sonoma (similar to what Napa County is doing with the Napa Valley Vine Trail; and at the Sonoma Developmental Center, where future redevelopment could lead to a more robust network of bike and ped paths. I think there is greater opportunity to integrate bicycle and pedestrian pathways in new developments. As to our existing developments, given the relatively narrow streets in The Springs and parts of Sonoma, adding bike lanes within our existing infrastructure is more challenging. I am very excited about the Southeast Greenway Project in Santa Rosa, I’m excited for the prospect of a bike and pedestrian pathway stretching from Farmers Lane to Summerfield Road.

If elected, what will you do to encourage more people in the county to bicycle and to improve cycling safety?

I’ve met with some stakeholders who have an interest in cycling to have early planning discussions to see how I can better support and encourage cycling. I’ve also met with constituents who are avid cyclists and encourage them to join local boards to also help encourage cycling and advocating for safer roads for cyclists. In the City of Santa Rosa, as described in the response above, the Southeast Greenway project will be an opportunity to create a much safer route of passage from the Montgomery Village area to the Summerfield Road area that links Bennett Valley to the outskirts of Rincon Valley. I’ve met several times with stakeholders of that project to ensure I’m actively involved in the development of that project.  Other projects that I look forward to supporting is the bike bridge connecting Coddingtown (and the Guerneville Road SMART Station) to Elliot Ave/SRJC.  Working with Rep. Thompson’s office I assisted advocating and securing an earmark to enhance construction on 8th street east, enabling a safer route from Napa county through Southern Sonoma Valley.  These are all great project, but they won’t happen overnight, I will be supportive of looking to matching funds and grant.

Our visions and goals generally exceed our budgets. How does improving bicycling infrastructure and safety rank among your other policy priorities?

The safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and the residents of Sonoma County are the highest priority. By investing in our infrastructure and developing new bike paths while improving existing roadways, we can mitigate injuries and fatalities within our communities by encouraging alternative modes of transportation.  Doing this also helps meet our climate action goals. One of my priorities is investing in our infrastructure to improve the conditions of our roads and streets – which benefits not just the drivers of cars, but cyclists too.

Jon Mathieu, District 1

Chris Coursey, District 3

Omar Medina, District 3

Lynda Hopkins, District 5