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?
CYIII: I usually walk to where I need to go, but sometimes I rely on an automobile to get from place to place. Baltimore has largely focused its resources on road improvements for automobiles. As someone who usually walks, this over-emphasis on auto transit can create hazardous situations for pedestrians and bicyclist alike. The City should prioritize its resources on quick fixes that improve safety, such as adding flexible posts, making sidewalks and entry ways ADA accessible and doing more to educate the public on the responsibility of between drivers and pedestrians and drivers and bicyclist. A transportation system that more easily moves people and commerce will result in a more economically and culturally vibrant metropolis.
What role do you believe biking and walking improvements can play in creating a safer, healthier, more livable Baltimore?
CYIII: Biking and walking both provide great exercise and are pollution free. The more people who are encouraged to walk and bike the less congestion there will be, and the healthier residents will be.
Are you supportive of the city’s plan to implement bike share in 2016? If so, what do you believe to be the critical components of success?
CYIII: I am in full support of the City's plan to implement a bike share program. In order to have a successful bike share program we must be mindful of: 1. station density, i.e. define the average spacing, and place a station within walking distance, 2. define the number of bikes per residents, 3. have quality bikes that are regularly maintained, and 4. have easy to use stations. A bike share program in Baltimore is something I am committed to, and I will work closely with community members to learn about what they want out of a bike share program.
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?
CYIII: Prudent use of city funds is must be the goal of every agency, including the Department of Transportation. Unfortunately, so little is known about the DOT's procurement and project management process. As mayor, I will work with the City Council to both ensure accountability and robust oversight of DOT.
What impact do you see increasing rates of biking and walking in Baltimore having on the public health and safety of our residents? In what ways will your administration invest in the creation of safe places to encourage more people to engage in physical activity?
CYIII: Increasing the rate of sustainable transportation will improve public health for our residents. My administration will focus on making sure that transportation plans and investments account for all modes of travel - this includes increase funding and making sure that city dollars are used more efficiently.
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?
CYIII: While residents are largely vehicle-dependent, those who do not have a vehicle are individuals who can't afford one. These are the individuals who are largely dependent on bus service, so making improvements to bus service is essential to reducing commute times.
Often road redesigns that improve the safety for people on bikes or people walking do so in a way that removes priority for single occupancy 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?
CYIII: Change takes getting used to. The goal is not to change for the sake of changing, or for replacing. Changes to infrastructure represent change, and can feel like a threat to what many know to be the way this city has felt and operated for the past couple generations. We can't ignore that, and we have to engage all people in the process of change. However there is a growing group of residents who want a more sustainable city - me included. In order to get to a more sustainable, and more people and future-friendly place, we have to invest in the infrastructure and transportation modes that get us there. Seeking understanding, being equitable, and being open minded should always be priorities in conversations about how our City evolves.
What other information about your candidacy would you like to share with our members?
CYII: I am running for Mayor because our City is in state of emergency, and needs bold and fresh leadership to get us out of the mess career politicians have created. There are so many aspects of our local government that have failed our residents, including transportation services. We must elect a Mayor who understands that we all benefit from a transportation system that can move people and commerce in a sustainable way.