Cloverdale City Council Candidates 2020

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition cannot endorse candidates for public office, but we are able to share information so that you can arrive at your own conclusion. Below are Cloverdale City Council candidates’ responses to our questionnaire on bicycling in Sonoma County. We have made no content changes. Thanks to the candidates for their time and thoughtful answers!

Note: None of the candidates below are current members of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition.


MELANIE BAGBY

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

I ride my bike regularly for pleasure, exercise, and to run errands in Cloverdale. We even have a bike trailer for the dog so she doesn’t get left behind. We’ve also brought Christmas trees and plants home from the nursery in that trailer! Before the pandemic, we would ride down to Geyserville for breakfast or to meet friends but we haven’t done it this year. We also often take our bikes with us on vacation or go on local day trips, but since we purchased our two electric cars, we haven’t gotten around to fitting them with roof racks. I really miss this but the pandemic has moved that down our list of priorities!

The cycling experience in Cloverdale is a mixed bag. We certainly have world class routes on our doorstep—including Geysers Road—but the city itself is a combination of antiquated portions of Cloverdale Blvd. with decent shoulder but fast cars, and newer neighborhoods with well designed, designated bike lanes. There are some really challenging large, controlled and uncontrolled intersections on Cloverdale Blvd. that are not appropriate for children and families. One of my favorite local rides is north through our River Park (dedicated pedestrian/bike trail), out of the park onto McCray Road (one lane country residential road), and back south on Cloverdale Blvd. That ride is great except for the one portion on Oat Valley Road where you have to navigate the Hwy. 128 turn to Mendocino while riding up a steep hill! Again, not great for kids or families but manageable for the seasoned cyclist.

What are your city’s biggest transportation challenges, and how does bicycling fit into your vision of future development?

With the caveat that the current pandemic will have a profound impact on our patterns well into the future, our biggest transportation challenge is that people who live here travel in their cars for jobs in other cities. This impacts our region’s net contribution to GHGs due to car traffic but also contributes to significant retail leakage as people tend to shop where they work. Now that those who can are working from home and many with weekend homes here have at least temporarily relocated here, right now, we actually seem to have more residents living here, shopping here, and walking/biking. Long term, our biggest challenge is ensuring that SMART will continue all the way north to Cloverdale so we can be part of our region’s transportation system. Bicycles will be an important part of getting people the last mile from the SMART station to their homes throughout Cloverdale because the station is located across the freeway from most housing. Cloverdale has significant unannexed acreage within its UGB and near the train station that would be ideal for dense, walkable/bikeable neighborhoods. This untapped potential could be a great incentive for ensuring SMART has the support and funding it needs to come north.

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

I would like to narrow the unimproved section of Cloverdale Blvd. with just paint and low-cost materials to calm traffic and improve bike and pedestrian experience and safety. I would also like to see a bicycle/pedestrian master plan that connects and prioritizes improvements along the routes from the River Park in the north to Porterfield Creek Open Space in the south, with our schools, parks and recreation centers in between so families have safe routes to travel throughout town for their various activities.

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

Cloverdale is really good at creatively leveraging multiple revenue sources and developments as they arise to achieve our goals. Bicycle infrastructure is always at the top of our priorities when considering new development and projects. Fortunately, some of the projects we need most have cheap solutions like paint and barriers. We just need to work to make those projects a priority with the entire council. I suspect that in the economic recovery from Covid-19, these low cost/high impact priorities will receive renewed attention.


MARY ANNE BRIGHAM
Has not submitted a statement


JENNY CANDELARIA-ORR

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

My family and I love to ride our bikes around Cloverdale. Isla enjoys riding in her carrier on the back of our bikes, while the wind whips through her hair. (Isla being our 2.5 year old daughter) We are currently trying to teach her how to ride her glider bike. It’s great exercise and an eco-friendly way to move around. We are lucky in Cloverdale to have so many wonderful trails and bike paths. There are also wide streets where there are no designated paths.

What are your city’s biggest transportation challenges, and how does bicycling fit into your vision of future development?

I think that one of the biggest challenges we face with transportation is that as our city grows, we need to make sure that our shuttle service expands as well as building in bike paths and trails for those new neighborhoods. Cloverdale has a lot of development opportunities and it is important that we build our new neighborhoods with biking as an essential mode of transportation.

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

If elected, it would great to have more bike to work and school days. I would love to see bike donations for underprivileged families as well. It would be great to partner with the school board and maybe set up some bike clubs too. We have one at Rincon Valley Middle School and the kids love it.

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

Fiscal responsibility and community building are two of the three pillars of my platform. I think that bicycle infrastructure and safety go hand in hand with my top priorities. It fits right into my vision of what our new neighborhoods should provide to the residents of Cloverdale.


NICOLE GARCIA-HINCHLIFFE
Has not submitted a statement


TODD LANDS 
Has not submitted a statement