While the eyes of America and the world were on the contest for the US Presidency, our Willow Glen neighborhood in San Jose was locked in a passionate political race of its own. Our City Council seat will be opened up by term limits, so eight candidates ran for District 6 (Willow Glen) in yesterday’s election. In November 2016, there will be a run off between the two top-vote-earners, both of the women in the race: Helen K. Chapman (who earned 19.82%, with 3,247 votes) and Devora “Dev” Joan Davis (who earned 20.88%, with 3,421 votes). Four other districts held City Council elections yesterday but District 6 gathered the most candidates and the most votes (16,381 counted, with 52 of 52 precincts reporting). These numbers are based on 70% of the Santa Clara County ballots counted.
I did not see even one sign out in Willow Glen yards for any presidential or senatorial or Assembly candidate (US or California) but all eight candidates in our San Jose City Council District 6 race generated much signage. The most creative effort I saw was from candidate Reuben Navarro (or one of his supporters) who wrapped his car in political advertising (see photo below).
The Road Diet controversy was much discussed by the candidates and by Willow Glen. Chapman’s statement on the Road Diet says that a full review is needed. Davis does not give a statement about the Road Diet on her website but on 31 March 2016 told the press she was waiting to see its impact. Our incumbent City Councilman for District 6, Pierluigi Oliverio, proposed the Road Diet project in 2014 and it has probably been the most debated effort of his political career so far. In yesterday’s election, Oliverio unsuccessfully ran for US Congress, earning just over 4% of the votes in the current count.
I understand from the San Jose Department of Transportation (SJ-DOT) that a full analysis of Road Diet crash and safety data will be made available by the end of June 2016, updating the most-recent report now posted on their website (dated 1 June 2015). The SJ-DOT reported in a public meeting on 18 June 2015 that the Purpose of the Lincoln Avenue Road Diet is to:
- Improve safety for all users
- Create a calmer traffic environment
- Enhance travel for people walking and biking
Observation indicates that the Road Diet has failed in all three of its goals. I am looking forward to seeing the data and analysis from SJ-DOT – and to hearing the two remaining City Council candidates address this vexatious local issue.
Click here to see the entire Willow Glen Road Diet Series.
Images Copyright 2016 by Katy Dickinson