November 2022 Election 2022 Belvedere City Council Candidate Questionnaire

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Marin 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 the 2022 City of Belvedere candidates’ responses to our questionnaire on bicycling in Marin. We have made no content changes. Thanks to the candidates for their time and thoughtful answers.

Candidates’ campaign websites may be accessed by clicking on those with a highlighted name. Those who did not provide a campaign website are not highlighted.

Here are the candidates on the November ballot for the City of Belvedere:

Short Term (2-year seat):

Personal Travel

1. Do you ride a bicycle? If so, for what purposes and how often? (transportation/road/mtb)

Jane Cooper:

  • a. Commuting:

  • b. Errands:

  • c. Road recreational:

  • d. Mountain biking or trails:

I am not an avid rider – just around town. I support biking and certainly value the need for safety around bikes and cars.

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Mark:

  • a. Commuting: Never. I work from home.

  • b. Errands: 1 day/week.

  • c. Road recreational: 1 day/week, more when on vacation. 

  • d. Mountain biking or trails: Never

Richard Snyder:

  • a. Commuting:

  • b. Errands:

  • c. Road recreational:

  • d. Mountain biking or trails:

I no longer own a bicycle.  For years, I rode in Mill Valley, and when I moved to Belvedere in 1999, I continued to ride.  My morning ride was from home [near the corner of Madrona & Golden Gate on Belvedere Island], down and along Beach Road to Tiburon Blvd, then east on Tiburon Blvd as it becomes Paradise Drive, then around Paradise Drive to Trestle Glen Blvd, then down Trestle Glen to Blackies Pasture, then along the bike route east to San Rafael Avenue, then right on San Rafael Avenue to Golden Gate, and then a mile up Golden Gate back to Golden Gate and Madrona.   About 11 top 12, or 20 to 21aq1 miles each morning to “wake up”.  When I was younger, I made much longer rides.  In the 1970’s and 80’s, I lived on Marion Avenue in Mill Valley, and would go up Marion to Edgewood to Panoramic, or to Bella Vista to the Tenderfoot Trail, or I would ride into town to the Mill Valley Market for shopping.  Sadly, I no longer ride.  I am 78, with some health issues, and have not actively bicycled for about 17 years.  But I do remember that “2nd” wind when I just “took off’ while riding.  I still have a strong spiritual connection with cycling, and vicariously experience the thrill of it with friends, who are still active cyclists, and every time I see someone riding a bike.

Short Term

Carolyn Lund:

  • a. Commuting: Never

  • b. Errands: Never

  • c. Road recreational: 2/3 days/week when vacationing

  • d. Mountain biking or trails: Never

Sally Wilkinson: No response


2. If you own a bike, what type of bike(s) do you have and ride? If not, when was the last time you rode a bike, and where (on vacation, for example)?

Jane Cooper: No response

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Mark:

Serotta road bike, Specialized Vado e-bike.

Richard Snyder:

I used to ride a Motobecane, later adapted it for Shimano gears, and cycled almost daily so until about 2004, when I was run off the road on Paradise Drive, Tiburon Peninsula.  When I travelled, I would often rent a bike.  For example, in 1969, I studied in The Hague, and it was easy to cycle up to Amsterdam, or local environs, and the Dutch countryside.  Over the years, I cycled in Berlin, I loved to cycle [first in 1969 only in West Berlin], and in the French countryside in the Dordogne.

Short Term

Carolyn Lund:

We are a biking household. As I get older, I now only do city biking when vacationing (Paris, London), but my husband, Claus Lund, continues to bike almost daily with the Marin Cyclists
and participates in all Marin Century rides.

We own: 2 Giant, 1 Trek, 1 GT, 1 Motobecane.

Sally Wilkinson: No response


Vision

3. In your own words, describe your vision for the future of transportation in Belvedere.

Jane Cooper: No response

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Mark:

Belvedere is a very comfortable walking and biking community.  I would like to see more sidewalks and bike lanes on the major roads in the city. I think the adoption of e-bikes has and will continue to increase bike use not only in Belvedere, but throughout the county.

Richard Snyder:

Belvedere consists of two islands [Belvedre and Corinthian], the Lagoon, and the road connecting the islands [Beach Road]. Corinthian is very tight, and dangerous for bikes.  Belvedere Island is hilly, and has many good but narrow roads, although bike lanes are not clearly marked, the roads being narrow.  One has to rely on the road courtesy of auto drivers on the island, who are usually pretty good.   Ferry service is easily found at the port in nearby Tiburon, which includes service to Angel Island via the Angel Island Ferry, and is also provided by Golden Gate Transportation District ferry service from Tiburon to Sausalito and SF.  The Angel Island Ferry is very, very accommodating to bicycles.  The speed limit on much of Belvedere Island is 15 mph, which makes it safer than most towns.

My vision is for fewer cars, well-marked and copious bike lanes, and a complete Bay Area ferry system, in the manner of Sydney or Seattle, to facilitate travel around the Bay Area, emphasizing bicycle use of such service to explore more of the Bay Area.  Of course, that would be a long way off, but you did ask for vision.

It would also be very important to work with the City of Tiburon, which is much larger and has many trails, to work to make it safer for both gravel and road bikes.

I would also work with businesses, such as coffee shops, to offer discounts to solo and groups of bicyclists, put up bike racks, etc. to make cyclists feel more welcome.

In any event, all signs should be posed at the beginning of all roads that “Belvedere is a bicycle-friendly place”, and that “all cars are urged to be cautious”.

Every road should be striped so that drivers understand that it is two-way traffic, and that they should stay to the right of the road.  

One of my strongest campaign advisors has a strong background in cycling, and for half a dozen years, in the late 80’s and early 90’s, published and served as editor of the California Bicyclist, which at the time had the largest circulation of any cycling publication in California.  Additionally, his perspective is informed by being an elite masters level competitive cyclist.

I would welcome regular dialogue with members/leaders of the local cycling organizations to further understand their priorities and concern, so that I could be informed in evaluating issues that might come before the City Council that could affect the public interest and your constituency specifically.

I believe, and would work for, Belvedere adopting a more European view, emphasizing people as self-propelled: bicycles and walking more than autos.  There should be expanded Bay Area ferry service, and belvedere should consider a rotating midsize van which covers the island every hour or so, and which allows people to do errands without cars.  Such a van should have ample bike racks so that people who might have trouble with hills could get on and off the island to ride on the flats.   It could even connect with the Marin Airporter.

Further, the City should adopt policies encouraging delivery efficiency to reduce traffic.  In this regard, Amazon offers “package bundling”, which would result in fewer delivery trips with fewer vehicles.

Short Term

Carolyn Lund:

Topography & Traffic
Belvedere has narrow, winding, and steep roads with a typical traffic pattern of morning commute out of Belvedere for residents and commute into Belvedere for construction workers
and service works, most in vans and pickup trucks. In the late afternoon, the pattern is reversed. Delivery trucks race up and down the roads at all times of the day.

Future of Transportation

Today transportation is the number one generator of green house gas emissions (GHG). A Code Red for Humanity has been declared and it is imperative that the city transition to all-
electric vehicles for city staff, police, waste collection, and school buses.

Electric bikes mark a watershed in school transportation, now allowing children to climb and descend Belvedere island and readily access the Tiburon bike path, which connects to all
peninsula schools and the library.

The transition to electric transportation and getting all school children on, standard or electric bikes, is a real game changer and one that I’m excited to pursue as a council member.

Sally Wilkinson: No response


Traffic

A large proportion of peak hour traffic is made of people driving their children to school. While some people live too far to easily walk or bike to school, many parents are simply afraid to let their children travel by foot or by bicycle because of the high volume and speeds of car traffic.

4. What strategies would make more parents feel safe with their children walking or biking to school, thereby reducing traffic and making everyone else’s trip to school a little safer?

Jane Cooper: No response

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Mark:

I agree, the volume and speed of cars on Tiburon Boulevard is parents biggest concern about having their children walk or bike to school unattended.  I think increasing school bus ridership is a win for traffic congestion, and a win for those who choose to walk or bicycle to school.

Richard Snyder:

For the islands of Belvedere & Corinthian, where most roads a very narrow, a strict enforcement of the 15 mph limit would be very helpful, and for the Lagoon area and connecting streets, where the roads are much broader, clear bike lanes.  For San Rafael Avenue and Beach Road there should be ample signs to “share the road”.  In addition, on blind and dangerous corners, appropriately sized convex mirrors should be set up so that all directions of traffic can easily see each other.

More children cycling promotes safety.  Belvedere should coordinate with Tiburon, there should be incentives (such a local merchant gift certificates?) to families whose children cycle rather than carpool.  The more kids cycling makes cycling the norm.  As in the Netherlands, bicycle prevalence makes bicycling safer, results in drivers being more aware and cautious, likely resulting in fewer accidents.

Signs on the path should also ask pedestrians to stay on the shoulder, where possible, ratyher than monopolizing the pathway.

Short Term

Carolyn Lund:

We already have ready access to bike paths and safe crossings for older children and school buses for younger children through a joint program with Tiburon. School bus subsidies need to
be offered.

We have requested that the city create a safer crosswalk at the intersection of West Shore Road and San Rafael Ave, where cars, pedestrians, and biker riders crossing the street are not visible because of the bend in the road.

Sally Wilkinson: No response


A survey from the Transportation Authority of Marin (Figure 18, p. 51) found that over half of Marinites would like to bike more than they currently do. This backs up research that shows that over 50% of adults are interested in biking, but concerned about the threat of fast-moving cars.

5. What concrete steps can be taken to allay these concerns and make people feel safe on bicycles?

Jane Cooper: No response

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Mark:

As I mentioned above, walking and biking in Belvedere is already very comfortable. This is very safe within the city.  Leaving onto larger more congested streets is where the concerns increase.  I think expanded sidewalks and bike lanes on our major circulation streets would further give walkers and bikers more comfort getting around.

Richard Snyder:

Strict enforcement of speed limits by local police, clearly demarcated bike lanes, and setting up convex mirrors on blind corners so that traffic, whether bicycle or automoble, can see each other in advance of reaching the corner.

More dedicated and protected bike lanes, such as those now in Blythedale Avenue in Mill Valley between the bike path, mill Valley, and the 101 Freeway. 

The safety threat posed by fast moving cars is, perhaps, the most important issue to me personally, as I was run off Paradise Drive by a speeding car [see #2 above], and I do not want this to happen to anyone else.  One of my friends reported to me that just today [Labor Day] he had a very close call by a car coming around a blind curve on Main Street, Tiburon, passing a double-parked car, at 30+ mph, and my friend avoided injury by luck and deft handling of his bike.

Short Term

Carolyn Lund:

The European system of full separation of cars and bikes gets everyone on bikes. This is a long-term goal. In the meantime, visibly marked bike lanes, bike traffic signals, and selective
use of speed bumps can keep riders safe.

Sally Wilkinson: No response


Safety

Traffic deaths and injuries are on the rise, both nationally and in Marin (this includes all road users, not just bicyclists). Many cities in California have enacted so-called Vision Zero
resolutions, setting an explicit goal to eliminate traffic deaths.

6. If elected to City Council, will you support such a resolution? If so, what actions do you see as being needed to improve safety? What are the relative roles of infrastructure, enforcement, and education?

Jane Cooper: No response

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Mark:

I absolutely believe that public safety is the highest priority. I would support such a resolution.  There are a few intersections in Belvedere which do need to be improved and made more safe for pedestrians, bikers, and for drivers as well. In Belvedere, I believe infrastructure improvements would more effectively reduce the few traffic accidents we have than further enforcement or education.

Richard Snyder:

Yes.  Also, once again, strict enforcement of speed limits by local police, clearly demarcated bike lanes, and setting up convex mirrors on blind corners so that traffic, whether bicycle or automobile, can see each other in advance of reaching the corner.

In dealing with these issues, one must keep in mind that infrastructure, enforcement, and education are related, but independent.  Improving infrastructure to promote cycling safety is an ongoing process due to evolving conditions; insisting upon proper enforcement or laws and regulations requires constant communication and pressure; and education is an ongoing process.  All of this requires focus, and pressure from the City Council.

Further, there should be much stricter and severe consequences for any driver who strikes a bicyclist, including very substantial fines, loss of license, and massive community service hours.

Short Term

Carolyn Lund:

Absolutely. Highly visible bike lane markings and/or the separation of bikes and cars are key to this, paired with community or school “How to Cycle” and bike safety classes for all young
children.

Sally Wilkinson: No response


Climate Change

The latest IPCC report states clearly that greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced quickly in order to stave off the worst effects of climate change. According to Belvedere’s most recent Greenhouse Gas Inventory, transportation accounts for a majority (53%) of local greenhouse gas emissions. Given that battery electric cars make up 3% of California’s vehicle
fleet, and only 12% of new cars sold.

7. does reducing overall driving have a role in meeting our climate targets? If so, what policies can support transit, walking, and bicycling in place of driving for short trips?

Jane Cooper: No response

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Mark:

As much as I’d like to see overall driving reduced in Belvedere, I do not believe that is going to happen.  The adoption of more efficient vehicles, particularly EVs is the best way to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

Richard Snyder:

Obviously, installing electric charging stations throughout Belvedere would be an incentive.  Belvedere has a substantial elderly population, and since most of the population lives in two mountainous islands, it is difficult for many to walk into town and then back up steep hills, rendering transportation a necessity.  Therefore, the City Council should immediately study the implementation of ride share programs and other means to alleviate the overuse of gasoline automobiles.  Since much of the driving is related to delivery and pick-up of children from the schools, as evidenced by terrible traffic jams during the school year, again I would emphasize promoting kids to ride their bikes to and from school, as discussed above.  The City, and the schools, should emphasize promoting the health benefits of both walking and bicycling, at the least to do so going to and from school.

Here, I reiterate some of the points raised in my responses to Item 3 above, to wit:

My vision is for fewer cars, well-marked and copious bike lanes, and a complete Bay Area ferry system, in the manner of Sydney or Seattle, to facilitate travel around the Bay Area, emphasizing bicycle use of such service to explore more of the Bay Area.  Of course, that would be a long way off, but you did ask for vision.

It would also be very important to work with the City of Tiburon, which is much larger and has many trails, to work to make it safer for both gravel and road bikes.

I would also work with businesses, such as coffee shops, to offer discounts to solo and groups of bicyclists, put up bike racks, etc. to make cyclists feel more welcome.

In any event, all signs should be posed at the beginning of all roads that “Belvedere is a bicycle-friendly place”, and that “all cars are urged to be cautious”.

Every road should be striped so that drivers understand that it is two-way traffic, and that they should stay to the right of the road.

Short Term

Carolyn Lund:

The community of Belvedere is transitioning rapidly to electric cars and electric bikes. Approximate fifty percent of all households have at least one electric or hybrid car and all
households with children have bikes.

Several ways to cut down on driving is 1) to ensure that local services are readily available in Tiburon. (There is no commercial area in Belvedere). We need to work with Tiburon to ensure
that grocery stores, restaurants, banks, and barber shops are economically viable and easy to walk to, and 2) that affordable housing is available for caregivers and city staff.

Sally Wilkinson: No response


Project Delivery

Bicycle/pedestrian plan implementation is notoriously slow with typically fewer than one new bike lane project opening every year.

8. What steps would you take to hasten the project delivery process from inception to ribbon-cutting?

Jane Cooper: No response

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Lund:

As I mentioned above, Belvedere is a comfortable walking and biking community, particularly because there is limited traffic and speeds are moderated.  I do not believe we need to hasten projects.

Richard Snyder:

Belvedere should make it a budgeting priority, and invite input from citizen groups on the placing of such lanes.  An objective could be one new bike lane per quarter.

In this regard, the current City Manager for Belvedere has a background in infrastructure projects, so it would be important to engage with him to make this happen.

Short Term

Carolyn Lund:

We have a newly formed traffic safety committee that has scrutinized road crossings for walker and bike rider safety and made a number of recommendations. Now, we need to prompt the city to action by making bike and pedestrian safety a city priority through public comment and council election. Only massive public pressure can prompt real change.

Sally Wilkinson: No response


In all things, there is a tension between “perfect but slow” and “quick and good enough.” Recent years have seen a move toward so-called “quick-build” infrastructure, allowing reconfiguration of streets to facilitate safer walking/biking without a years-long engineering process. While quick-build projects may be less aesthetically pleasing than the standard process, they are cheaper and happen much faster.

9. How do you rank aesthetic concerns of biking/waking infrastructure in comparison to those of cost and project speed?

Jane Cooper: No response

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Mark:

I rank aesthetic concerns equal to practical utilitarian concerns.  Bike lanes need to work in conjunction with the size of the street and its relative traffic speed.

Richard Snyder:

This is not an “either/or” concept.  And even on an expedited basis, aesthetic considerations can always be balanced with biking/walking infrastructure, and, in fact, the aesthetics contribute to the biking/walking experience.   Aesthetics motivate use.  Good design applies at any price point.  Further, projects can be phased so that more aesthetically pleasing ultimate solutions can be planned for subsequent upgrades, once the broad quick build infrastructure is in place.

Short Term

Carolyn Lund:

Belvedere has a small town charm with single-lane roads, scenic outlooks, challenging inclines, and foliage. This charm regularly attracts experienced and recreational road bike riders. Creating bike lanes on the steep and twisting roads of Belvedere island is difficult; but creating bike lines on thoroughfares like Golden Gate and San Rafael Avenues and in the flatlands is important and can be done quickly with visible painted markings.

Short-term and visually less appealing bike lane markers, such as traffic cones, can and should be erected to address immediate safety concerns. Visibly attractive and unobstructive lane
markers can be added later.

Sally Wilkinson: No response


Car Parking

Much of Marin has narrow streets, but on-street parking typically takes up between 30-40% of the street space between the curbs, and is often in tension with the need for dedicated bike lanes.

10. In your mind, are bike lanes ever sufficiently important to justify removing on-street parking, and in what circumstances would you consider that to be the case?

Jane Cooper: No response

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Mark:

We have significant parking concerns.  Since people enjoy walking and biking in Belvedere quite a bit I would not prioritize bike lanes over parking at this point.

Richard Snyder:

Yes.  This can be “both” rather than “either/or”.   Certainly, bike lanes and parking can co-exist, with bikes passing around the cars.Where the bike/walking lanes contribute to both the local neighborhood and the broader city itself.   In this regard, remember that Belvedere is a tiny city of only about 900 households, with twisting and narrow roads, as well as some broader roads, such as Golden Gate and Beach Road, and their connectors, all of which provide the very best hills, views, and climbs in Belvedere.

Short Term

Carolyn Lund:

This does not really apply to Belvedere because many of the streets are too narrow for separate or separated bike lanes.

Sally Wilkinson: No response


11. Would you say that Belvedere has (A) not enough, (B) too much, or (C) just enough space dedicated to parking cars? If (A), what areas of town would you consider to convert to parking, and if (B) what would you do with the space that was previously parking?

Jane Cooper: No response

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Mark:

Not enough.  Were we hope to add additional housing is where we should develop the parking.

Richard Snyder:

Belvedere is tightly packed, with not much extra space except for the City Park and Childrens’ Playground, all west of City Hall at the Police Station level.  It is to Tiburon that one may seek additional parking space, such as the old BofA building and properties.

Again, this is, in part, an enforcement issue.  The limits of 3 cars per construction project should be strictly enforced.  Presently, such projects often have many times the limit on site and parking on the street.

If the idea of a midsize van rotating around the islands [see Item 3 above] were implemented, this combined with a policy precluding more than two vehicles at any one construction site, there would be less driving, fewer arks parked, and a safer, Bicycle-friendly ambience.  Construction projects could pay a fee to cover the van service for their workers, and a byproduct would be that all Belvedere residents could have access to such a transportation resource, all resulting in fewer cars and less driving.

Short Term

Carolyn Lund: 

The residents of Belvedere do not want more space dedicated to parking. Parking problems are mainly daytime parking for contractors and other service providers. A local church parking lot is available for daytime use by contractors.

Sally Wilkinson: No response


Bike Parking

Many MCBC members report challenges with bicycle parking in the downtown area. Racks are few and far between, or not easily visible from shops and areas with high levels of foot
traffic.

12. What steps or policies would you advance on the council agenda to bring about better bicycle parking and reduce the chance of bicycle theft?

Jane Cooper: No response

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Mark: No response to this question

Richard Snyder:

Additional bike parking should be provided at the City Hall, the City Park, and new bike racks in such places as the roundabout at the end of Golden Gate [which has wonderful views], and various other view spots on the islands.

There are no businesses or shops in Belvedere, and Belvedere relies on Tiburon for all such services.  I would hope to persuade the City Council to negotiate with Tiburon, and the Tiburon Chamber of Commerce, to provide more and better bicycle parking facilities along Main Street, and I the parking lot behind Main Street, and to negotiate parking bicycles for free.

In addition, for extra security, the City could provide locking racks, that could be paid for with credit cards, just like parking meters.

Short term

Carolyn Lund:

This is an issue for Tiburon. Belvedere has no commercial establishments.

Sally Wilkinson: No response


Due to recent changes in state law, the cities and towns of Marin are being compelled to zone for more multi-family housing. However, traffic is already unsustainable. To address this,
many cities have implemented what is known as Transportation Demand Management (TDM) in new developments, including replacing some car parking with bicycle parking, giving residents transit passes, or providing shared cars.

13. Do you support steps to require secure bike parking in new housing (and other policies to reduce driving), and, if so, how would you seek to implement them?

Jane Cooper: No response

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Mark:

I do support this, however realize the challenge to implement.  Public transportation and our lack of access to job centers makes the elimination of car parking.

Richard Snyder:

Yes, and I would have to study how similar communities have dealt with those issues, and determine how those might work in the unique context of Belvedere, which, as I have stated above, is two mountainous islands and a lagoon area [residential community built below sea level], connected to the Tiburon Peninsula via San Rafael Drive and Beach Road.

A major issue on traffic is all the parents dropping and picking their kids up. I would suggest that substantial front fees be charged for anyone who’s kid does not ride a bike, which could subsidize buses. It is important to promote the idea that parents who want to be sure the kids get to school safely should ride bikes with them.

Short Term

Carolyn Lund:

Yes, I am in support of such secure parking; implement would be the result of a condition-to-build.

Sally Wilkinson: No response


Wrap Up

14. Why should people who ride bikes (or those who want to ride bikes but don’t yet) vote for you?

Jane Cooper: No response

Brian Davis: No response

Peter Mark:

I ride a road bike and an e-bike myself.  I understand the concerns and frustrations bikers feel. 

Richard Snyder:

I support all biking, whether road, mountain, gravel, or basic, for all purposes, including commuting, errands, recreation, and fitness.  

I priotize cycling in a way that has not been seen by anyone who has served on the Belvedere city Council in recent memory.  My campaign advisers include individuals who have a very strong background, and credentials, in the bicycle community.  My supporters, in part, are attracted to me as a candidate because of my potential for leadership for bicycle policy and programming.  They, as I, will be engaged in supporting and implementing the positive changes which I advocate, and which, I believe support yours.

Short Term

Carolyn Lund:

Because my family and I take biking seriously.

Sally Wilkinson: No response


2022 Belvedere City Candidate Questionnaire


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