Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Fletcher Pledges to Make Transit, Cyclist Access a Priority
San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher met with cycling advocates on Saturday, February 18, to discuss ways the city could become more hospitable to bicycle commuters. Fletcher told Bike San Diego that he envisions changing San Diego’s motto from “America’s Finest City” to the “World’s Most Innovative City” and that moving away from a car-centric culture to one that embraces multiple modes of transportation, including cycling, plays a part in that evolution.
Bike SD writer Sam Ollinger notes that Fletcher’s Republican Party has not been particularly sensitive to the needs of the cycling community, citing a transit bill currently stalled in the House of Representatives that would gut dedicated funding for transit, bicycling, and pedestrian modes of transportation.
Fletcher’s response was to remind cyclists that the mayoral race is officially non-partisan and stated that “in a partisan climate he had to pick one of the two [parties].” He noted that as a member of the California Assembly he’d shown a willingness to break party lines.
“I’m comfortable with the criticism,” Fletcher said regarding flak he could take from pushing to implement the city’s bicycle master plan or from pushing a progressive transit plan.
Fletcher further discouraged what was described as a style of “pounding one’s fist on the table” by fellow candidates Carl DeMaio and Bob Filner, or an aim to “uphold the status quo” favored by Bonnie Dumanis. Bike SD instead said Fletcher preferred the role of “coalition builder.”
Fletcher says he’ll release a plan to make San Diego more bike-friendly near the beginning of March.
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