Alan Walden, Candidate for Mayor (R)

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?

AW: I use the light rail line fairly often and am a strong supporter of mass transit.

What role do you believe biking and walking improvements can play in creating a safer, healthier, more livable Baltimore?

AW: It depends on the definition of "improvements."

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?

AW: Bike share may make sense if enough people are interested.

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?

AW: Ease of transportation (all modes) is one of my principal concerns. We have to move people more easily around the city.

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?

AW: While the health benefits of exercise, walking and biking, are obvious, it is not, in my opinion, the job of government to require that people engage in either. Exercise is a personal choice. And while such activities can and should be encouraged, they cannot and should not be mandated.

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?

AW: Mass transportation must be realigned to serve those for whom long commutes translate into an unacceptable burden.

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?

AW: Like it or not, motor vehicle transportation is central to our society for the movement of both people and goods. Roads must not only be made safer for cyclists and walkers; they must also allow for the smooth transit of automobiles an trucks.

What other information about your candidacy would you like to share with our members?

AW: Drivers and cyclists/walkers can easily coexist as long as each respects the rights and life-style of the other. It has been my experience that far too many cyclists ignore traffic laws and display open contempt of motorists. A greater measure of mutual respect and civility in required.