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April 17, 2012 > Where do the candidates for Hayward City Council stand?

Where do the candidates for Hayward City Council stand?

Tri-City Voice Newspaper has given the nine candidates, who are running for four seats on Hayward City Council in the June 5, 2012 Municipal Election, the opportunity to state their positions on four local issues. One question will be published per week with respondents' answers to enable readers/voters to compare and contrast. This week we publish the third in the series.

TCV: Should the "mini-loop," which is part of the Route 238 Corridor Improvement Project, prove impractical, what alternatives are there to relieve congestion and improve traffic flow?

Peter Bufete: If the "mini-loop" proves impractical, I would like to see our City try to highlight other transportation routes that may relieve congestion in our Downtown area. I would like to see further analysis of this idea. By dispersing traffic evenly amongst surrounding traffic routes, we may find we may be able to reduce congestion in our busiest streets at peak hours. At the same time, we must make sure our new road system in the Downtown is more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly, in the name of public safety.

Ralph Farias: This Loop is a joke. It will kill business in Downtown and create more of a headache for commuters! Instead of making it difficult for drivers to get through the overly congested streets of Hayward, they should divert the traffic to our local businesses! Not make them get out of Hayward quicker! Our main goal is to somehow find out a way to capture these people's money and put it in Hayward's budget!

Barbara Halliday: The mini-loop is expected to significantly improve automobile travel times through the Mission-Foothill corridor, particularly at the "five corners" intersection. It will also bring new traffic into the Downtown that previously stayed on Foothill Boulevard. The worry is that cars will go too fast through the Downtown during non-peak hours, endangering pedestrians. Once the project is completed, we will have to evaluate its effects on Downtown pedestrian traffic and make adjustments, if necessary. In response to questions I have raised, local transportation officials have already indicated a willingness to consider funding for recommended changes needed to enhance pedestrian safety.

Greg Jones: Moving traffic through Downtown while encouraging a more pedestrian-friendly shopping district requires balance. Restoration of two-way flow on 'A' Street would improve local access. Some advocate other one-way streets in the Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods but these need careful evaluation. The project includes enhanced signal synchronization. Signal-metering might be an option to displace/discourage regional traffic from Hayward's streets. A flexible, centralized system can respond to changes in traffic patterns. Re-thinking what we consider as "Downtown" is also important. Pedestrian and bicycle-friendliness are essential. A footbridge across Foothill Boulevard would improve access to a "Greater Downtown" district despite the mini-loop.

Al Mendall: I did not support the mini-loop as a Planning Commissioner because I felt it would increase traffic and damage the character of our Downtown but the loop was approved, so we must try to make it work. If does not, then we should return to bi-directional traffic flow; shrink the loop streets to add parking, wider sidewalks and give the Downtown a more walkable and welcoming feel. We can never widen our streets enough to accommodate all the commuter and cut-through traffic and we should stop trying to do so.

Francisco Zermeno: I am still not impressed with folks driving through our City without stopping for some shopping, a meal, a visit or a movie. This is not our traffic and I would rather we spend our time, efforts and money on making the driving experience of our residents a better one. We are more into Destination driving, to and from their home to our Downtown or to our Retail Rectangle & Handle (A, Hesperian, Tennyson, Mission and Foothill). We would need to sit down with staff to look at any and all possibilities.

[Candidates Shahla Azimi, Olden Henson and Fahim A. Khan did not respond.]

Candidates for Hayward City Council (four seats)
Listed according to California Secretary of State's Randomized Alphabet Drawing

Shahla Azimi
Francisco Zermeno
Fahim A. Khan
Greg Jones
Barbara Halliday
Olden Henson
Al Mendall
Peter Bufete
Ralph Farias Jr.

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