Board Candidate: Ron Sher
A strong bicycling community is vital to a healthy way of living, where transportation is not focused on the auto commute and the community’s needs can be met within walking or biking distance. It is important to make density the most attractive and affordable living option, to get more people on bicycles, teach them how to get around, educate them, reduce their fear of bicycle travel, and introduce them to other cyclists by connecting them to groups. Bicycling has low impact on the environment. We need to encourage bicycling not only as a form of recreation, but also as a form of transportation. The best way to increase bicycle safety is to have more bicycles on the road. We need attention to bicycling infrastructure, appropriate regulations and the encouragement of riders by providing events, training, and consciousness-raising. Most of all we must change the pervasive autocentric mindset of our society, so that bicycling can become accepted as a major form of transportation. We must be determined, forceful and incessant, yet civil and respectful in pursuing our goals. The PSRC estimates an increase of 1,200,000 people in the Puget Sound region by 2040. Non-auto transit and high quality close-in living with sufficient, safe bike routes will be critical to maintaining the livability of our region.
I am well qualified to serve on the Cascade board. After an MBA and four years in the Navy, I returned to school for a PhD with a specialty in environmental economics. I have been successful in adding vitality to neighborhoods; creating public places that foster civility, such as the Crossroads Shopping Center in Bellevue, Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, and Ravenna, and the Pub at Third Place. I was instrumental in founding the Friends of Third Place Commons, and the Great Places Forum. One of my present projects is to help revitalize downtown Bremerton.
I feel the CBC board should contribute to the vision of the club, monitor operations, support, advise, and set priorities with the help of the management. It should oversee, not micro-manage. Its members should act as ambassadors, make connections, help promote the club, listen to the members, keep their ear to the ground, and lobby whomever can help.
I have spent many years on various boards, including the Cascade Land Conservancy, the Urban Land Institute, and the Project for Public Spaces, dealing with all sorts of issues, including those of the biking community. I feel these experiences will make me useful to the CBC. I work well with others and feel that I am a positive force in helping to create an effective and cohesive board. Needless to say, I am an avid cyclist. My vacations are by and large bicycling trips. Last year my biggest rides were RAMROD, the One Day STP, and a trip to the Pyrenees.