Rohnert Park 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 Rohnert Park 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: Jake McKenzie is current (and longterm) member of Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition.


JOSEPH T. CALLINAN
Has not submitted a statement


JACKIE ELWARD

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

I love to bike ride but the only times that we do are on weekends to the parks and back with my children. I don’t work close enough to home so unfortunately I don’t have the luxury. We love the experience of cycling here because we have paths that go directly to the G section park which we usually frequent. Thankfully each section has its own park close enough to bike to.

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

There is a lot of traffic along Expressway and closer to where our downtown is supposed to be developed. I would love for the downtown to be built so that we can actually have a central hub people could ride and walk to. The Smart train depot is right at this spot and would help reduce traffic from people coming outside of the city once it is finished. Most of the places people go to eat are scattered throughout the city and it makes it hard to bike from one place to the next. Having a central area where one could shop, eat, and live would be beneficial. Being that we are a college town we should be encouraging bicycling. There’s no reason we couldn’t be more like Davis!

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

I would continue to encourage participation in the walk and roll program at our schools. We could put together a weekend event(s) encouraging those in our city to ride a bicycle rather than take a car. Another thing is that unlike Petaluma or Santa Rosa we don’t even have a real bike shop. Cotati is the closest. Through my husband’s work, he interacts with the people at Mike’s Bikes every day. We understand the importance of a local shop to the culture surrounding cycling.

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

With everything going on right now with the pandemic and our climate it would be disingenuous for me to act like bicycling infrastructure is a top priority. People are having a hard time staying in their homes and putting food on the table. Basic human needs for our constituents are my top priority. However, I acknowledge that everything is connected. As someone who will fight for the environment alternative forms of transportation are included in that with cycling being the most accessible.


GERARD GIUDICE

Do you ride a bicycle in Sonoma County for transportation or recreation?  I do not. How would you characterize the experience of cycling in your city?

I believe the biking experience in Rohnert Park can be increased with the addition of more class one bike lanes. Every year we host and I am a sponsor of Waves to Wine a bike event that raises money for MS. I have worked closely with organizers and understand the importance, value and community bike events create.

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

We need to create more walkable communities through connectivity, creek trail improvements in every one of our developments. Our biggest challenge is connecting the west part of our town to the east for bike and pedestrian paths.

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

Commitment to long range strategic planning. Encourage input from residents and create that safe space at Council where residents and organizations feel comfortable sharing and collaborating with the City. Hold developers accountable to agreements in all of our specific plans we regards to alternative transportation. Be an advocate for safety.

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

A budget is a statement of your values, that said we need to move away from vehicle traffic and segue to alternative modes of transportation. This will help us reduce our carbon footprint and limit greenhouse gases. As a councilmember I will be committed to learn and engage and also be committed to sustainable long term planning.


WILLY LINARES

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

Currently, I ride a bicycle almost daily. My wife, daughter and I ride our bike around Rohnert Park for recreation. Covid-19 has limited the number of activities we can do, but we have fallen in love with biking. My experience cycling through Rohnert Park is generally positive. There are many trails that are bike-friendly. We love the creek bike trails and the SMART train path.

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

I have used public transportation to commute to work for the past 7 years. The SMART train to the ferry was the last form of transportation I used before Covid-19. As a “super commuter”, the public transportation options from Rohnert Park to San Francisco are plentiful. The one challenge I found was the final mile. I would love to find a way to make bicycling to and from public transportation or around town easier. Yes, there are bike racks and bike storage on the train and busses, but I am regarding to and from the station to my house. I am less than one mile from two stations. I am curious to see how viable a bike share program would work. I am not suggesting that is the solution, but eliminating the drive to the parking lot would be something I prefer personally.

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

If elected, I would love to encourage more people to enjoy our trails and try to highlight the benefits of cycling. Plus, improving cycling safety would be done by educating drivers and ensuring safe bike options are available on the streets.

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

There are many important line items on the budget. Some line items require a significant amount of budget allocation and some items do not. I do think it is important to maintain and improve the infrastructure of our neighborhoods. I would love to see the infrastructure and safety of sections A&B improved. The most historic sections of Rohnert Park need to be improved to the standards of other parts of Rohnert Park. The infrastructure of these sections is included in my top priorities.


JAKE MACKENZIE

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

legs are problem at moment- up until 2 years ago bike to city hall and Meetings.

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

wrote our BIcycle Master plan 25 years ago. New General Plan will require linkages.

If elected, what will you do to encourage more people in your city to bicycle and to improve cycling safety?
As part of that new General Plan , encourage alternate means of transportation .

Our dreams and goals generally exceed our budgets. How does improving bicycling infrastructure and safety rank against your other policy priorities?
through Budget process , Capital Improvement Plan(CIP)- multiuse paths replaced with concrete Fy20-21. MUP to Crane Creek Regional Park underway SMART MUP from North RP to Santa Rosa using our TIP $s . Overall , we’re an eminently bikeable city!


DAVID SOLDAVINI

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

I do not ride my bicycle as much as I should. I do like the fact that Rohnert Park has trails to ride on.

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

The City is starting to get more and more vehicle traffic. I think it would be a good idea to look into putting a bicycle/walking bridge over the freeway.

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

I think we could look into improving our bike paths. Create open dialogue with some local bike groups to see what might work for them. Put on some weekend events to encourage family bike events

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

If people try I think there is always ways to find or raise the money that would be needed to get things accomplished. I have never been afraid to ask people to help to get things done.