“I’m a very pro-bicycle candidate.”
–Mayoral candidate Sho Dozono during a televised debate
In fact, during the City Club debate this past Friday, Dozono actually referred to his opponent’s support of the Sauvie project as catering to “special interest” groups — and that the 30-foot bicycle and pedestrian only crossing would serve just, “a handful of people”.
But during the KGW debate, he made a bold claim about his support for biking in Portland.
The moderator asked Mr. Dozono: Do you have any plans to help make Portland bicyclists safer?
And here’s how he replied (listen to the audio of the exchange below):
“Absolutely, I think any kind of safety issue is critical, whether it be bicyclists or motorists that may cause injuries to bicyclists — I’m a very pro-bicycle candidate.
As a tourism promoter…a place like Amsterdam, known as the most bicycle-friendly place in the world, Portland ought to be equal. We have opportunities to continue to improve our safety for bicyclists whether it be commuters or tourists who want to visit this city on a bike.”
Audio (38 seconds):
A pro-bicycle candidate? Make Portland equal to Amsterdam? These are ambitious claims from someone who has yet to explain — to the residents of the most bike-friendly city in America — how he’d accomplish such lofty goals.
(Photo © J. Maus)
On his campaign website, Dozono lists his position on several issues, and transportation isn’t one of them (besides a mention on how he supports a new fleet of hybrid taxi-cabs).
Is Sho Dozono really a “pro-bicycle candidate”?
During election campaigns it’s hard to tell what someone stands for (versus what they’ll say to get your vote) — but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give him the chance.
I met Mr. Dozono and his wife Loen at the Earth Day celebration this past weekend. I asked him if he’d consider sharing more of this views about bicycling on BikePortland.org. He said he would.
After someone else walked up and grabbed Mr. Dozono’s ear, I spent a few minutes chatting with Ms. Dozono. She vouched for her husband’s support of bicycling and we had a nice conversation about bike issues (she brought up bicycle licensing and I shared my extensive thoughts about that idea, which I will share with all of you sometime soon).
I am currently scheduling a meeting with Mr. Dozono to talk about bike issues. Stay tuned for that and more coverage of the local elections (I’m meeting Council candidate Jeff Bissonnette on Tuesday and I plan to ask all the candidates “5 Questions” about bikes and then share there answers here).