In an effort to educate voters, we will be posting responses to our candidate questionnaire. Questionnaires were emailed to each candidate running for City Council, President of City Council, and Mayor. Candidates have until March 4th to submit. We are publishing results in the order they are received.
How frequently do you use a mode of transportation other than your car to navigate the city? Based on your experience, where should the city prioritize resources for transportation?
JP: I try to go across town without my car as much as possible. I take the train to work aNd back every day and every Saturday morning I go for a bike ride. We need to expand services into areas that need it most. Lets look and see how we fan expand alternative transportation options around all of Baltimore.
What role do you believe biking and walking improvements can play in creating a safer, healthier, more livable Baltimore?
JP: I am looking to implement the Bike Idaho Rolling Stop
Often road redesigns that improve the safety for people on bikes or people walking do so in a way that removes priority for single occupant vehicles. This can look like removing lanes for travel or decreasing available street parking. Can you describe how you would manage public expectations during project implementation, and handle any backlash from constituents that don’t share in the City’s vision for complete streets?
JP: We need to remember that not everyone has a car and that’s ok too. We have to share the road and we have to make sure we are including everyone when projects and its implementation come up. Just because the number of residents who ride bikes or walk less than the number of those who don’t, doesn’t mean that the majority wins in this. We have to work together and I refuse to accept the notion that compromise is a bad word.
Recent audits have discovered that the Department of Transportation struggles to measure key performance indicators. The city’s procurement and project management processes have also faced scrutiny. This has led to significant delays of key improvements to bicycle infrastructure in Baltimore. How will you work to improve performance and accountability of city agencies like the Department of Transportation under your leadership?
JP: The Dept of Transportation needs to do better, period. By delaying improvements to not just bicycle projects but all the projects, the only thing that is doing is hurting the people they too are suppose to serve. When elected, I am going to insist that there be more transparency from this agency. In addition I will work with them to host monthly transportation meetings with the neighborhood associations.
The percentage of people choosing to take public transit or ride a bike for transportation is increasing in Baltimore, while the percentage of residents without access to a vehicle is over 30%. How would you rate the city’s current investment in sustainable transportation solutions for its residents, and as a council person what would you do to support increased investment?
JP: It’s true more and more residents are taking public transit and with that the city needs to do more. This isn’t the time to cut bus lines, but expand them. This isn’t the time to have less bike lanes but see where we can put more of them. The city must do a better job and when I am elected, I will make sure that I am doing all that I can to help make that possible.
A recent study by Harvard economists found that the single strongest factor affecting the odds of a child escaping poverty is not the test scores of his or her local schools or the crime in the community; it is the percent of workers in his or her neighborhood who have long commutes. How do you plan to improve transportation options and commute times for our most vulnerable residents?
JP: I could not agree more with this. What is an 8 hour day for one person with a car becomes 11 to 12 hours a day for someone who has to take public transit. That means they work (traveling include) at least 60 hours a week. Now, take a large portion of their paycheck and now imagine they are only making minimum wage. This is an outrage and a simple fix. We want to grow the local economy? Give people money to spend! Allow more accurate bus routes and ensure busses are on time and go from where people live to where people work! This can help solve many issues of our city. I see this is an economic issues and I will do all that I can to fight for the people who elect me.
What other information about your candidacy would you like to share with our members?
JP: I think finding more alternative ways to get around town outside of a car should be encouraged. When I am elected I am going to talk with not only Bikemore but also any other agencies who want to reduce the carbon footprint and also find ways to make not only a better transportation experience for the residents who take it, but want to make a Better Baltimore.