#IBikeIVote is designed to help you make the best decision at the ballot box. Voting local is the single most important thing you can do to make Baltimore a more livable city.
For the 2018 Primary Election on June 26th, Bikemore put out a candidate questionnaire to all primary candidates,asking about their priorities and visions for transportation in Baltimore.
43rd District Candidates Responding:
Regina T. Boyce, Delegate
Nilesh Kalyanaraman, Delegate
Maggie McIntosh, Delegate
Mary Washington, Senate
Maryland’s urbanized areas have limited space on streets, and some modes of transportation must be prioritized over others to make the most of this limited space. Please rank the below modes of transportation in order of importance:
The State of Maryland should incentivize smart growth via infill development, transportation oriented development, and adaptive re-use. Greenfield development should receive no state subsidy, and greenfield developers should pay the full share of any road, septic, stormwater, or sewer upgrades necessary for development.
Historically, regional transportation planning in Maryland has been structurally racist.
The State of Maryland should conduct an equity gap analysis and disparity study of transportation investment over the past 75 years, comparing investment in private automobile travel and public transportation, biking, and walking, including analysis of where these investments were made based on race and income levels.
The Baltimore Metropolitan Council and Baltimore Regional Transportation Board should include racial equity as a main outcome in all regional planning initiatives.
Data shows that expanding roadways induces demand on that roadway, negating the benefits of the roadway expansion. The State of Maryland should stop expanding highways and rural/suburban roadways, and instead divert that money to proven methods of shifting mode away from private automobile use.
The Maryland Transit Administration should immediately conduct an updated regional transit needs assessment and capital needs inventory. The needs identified should be prioritized for full funding, even if it means delaying or canceling planned road expansion projects.
The Maryland Transit Administration should update the 2002 Regional Rail Plan with a new regional transit vision, and projects identified within should be prioritized for full funding, even if it means delaying or canceling planned road expansion projects.
The MARC Growth and Investment Plan, delivering weekend service on all MARC lines, expansion to Wilmington, DE, and high-frequency express service between Baltimore and Washington should be prioritized for full funding, even if it means delaying or canceling planned road expansion projects.
The Maryland Department of Transportation should adopt a progressive Complete Streets approach, mandating all urban and suburban roadways under their control prioritize safety for people walking and biking over throughput for automobiles. These roadways should be retrofitted with ADA accessible sidewalks and low-stress, all-ages bicycle infrastructure, even if that means reducing roadway throughput for private automobiles.
Many zoning codes in urban areas require one parking space per new dwelling unit. This is:
Some cities have removed minimum parking requirements from their zoning code entirely, allowing the market to determine how many spaces of parking are needed in a new building. Local urban jurisdictions in Maryland should remove minimum parking requirements.
Some cities have instituted maximum parking requirements in their zoning codes, capping the amount of parking that can be constructed in a new building. Local urban jurisdictions in Maryland should enact maximum parking requirements in certain zoning areas.
Some cities mandate that the cost of parking be separated from apartment rent. This incentivizes living car free, and lowers the total cost of housing. The State of Maryland should mandate unbundling parking costs from housing.
Some cities require employers that subsidize parking also offer an option for employees to receive that subsidy as a cash payment. The State of Maryland should mandate parking cash-out.
Urban jurisdictions in Maryland should allow taller, denser, or larger buildings in areas they are now prohibited by zoning if that increase results in more affordable housing units.
Urban jurisdictions in Maryland should allow large residences to be split into apartments, increasing density in neighborhoods that were traditionally single family homes.
Speeds are too high on urban streets. In urbanized areas, Maryland should enforce a maximum speed limit of 25 mph on arterial streets, and 20 mph on local streets.
Automated Speed Enforcement Cameras are proven to reduce fatal collisions. These cameras should be able to be used on any street, not just near schools and construction sites.
The Automated Speed Enforcement Camera threshold is too high. Cameras should be able to issue citations for those traveling 5 miles per hour or more over the speed limit.
Do you use a bicycle for transportation? If so, for what purposes and how often, and what was your last trip by bicycle?
Regina T. Boyce: Yes, I bike depending on my day and the purpose: distance, weather, recreation and where I am going. I generally walk to work (too short of a distance to ride my bike). I love Bike Party and attend regularly. I began bike riding in 2009 when I tore my Achilles playing soccer. The doctor recommended bike riding as physical therapy because I usually ran. After this encounter I began riding my bike with a friend to work at city hall. After a while the friend couldn’t ride with me so I rode alone and began learning more about biking in the city going as far as getting a bike map and learning the routes. Before leaving city hall in 2015, I was appointed to the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Commission. Because I walk to work, and many other places, I ride my bike maybe once or twice a month during the winter months (I don’t ride well in the cold) and as much as once or twice a week in the spring, summer and fall months. The last time I rode my bike was in November, I believe.
Nilesh Kalyanaraman: I do not because of my need to travel during work hours.
Maggie McIntosh: I don't use a bicycle as my primary mode of transportation, but am an avid recreational rider. I've done the Seagull Century 4 times and have ridden from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC twice.
Mary Washington: I am primarily a recreational cyclist. These activities occur primarily around Lake Montebello, Gwynn Falls Trail and other trails created from rails in Maryland. Occasionally, I use my bicycle as a mode of transportation to run errands within a ½ mile of my house.
Do you use public transportation? If so, for what purpose and how often, and what was your last trip by public transportation?
Regina T. Boyce: Yes, I do when I need to. I’m multi-modal. I walk to work which is a luxury. This means that I drive my car maybe once or twice a week if at all (weekend family and church, week day out of city meetings). I sometimes have meetings downtown as well as dentist appointments, I ride the circulator downtown to my meetings and dentist’s appointments. I don’t often have the opportunity to take the MTA. The last time I took the MTA was in August. My license was expired, and I missed the renewal due to being out of town for my birthday. I took the bus (citylink red to #28) to the MVA. I was surprised how quickly I got to the MVA. The last time I took the circulator (purple) was February and January of this year.
Nilesh Kalyanaraman: I use it on occasion but cannot rely on it during the workday because I have to travel to multiple sites.
Maggie McIntosh: I use public transportation when it is convenient, but admittedly not as my primary mode of transportation. During the legislative session I mostly walk, but I have been riding the DC Metro often when visiting family in Washington. My most recent trip was on the Metro to the March for Our Lives on March 24th.
Mary Washington: I firmly believe that public transportation benefits all of us. I am a strong advocate because it reduces pollution, eases traffic congestion, and helps our communities thrive. Public bus and subway transportation is not my primary mode of transportation; however I am well aware that for many whose jobs require them to travel all around Baltimore, they do not have a choice. BaltimoreLINK system buses should be more frequent and reliable, and I believe more people would be able to use it more regularly if that was the case. I do use the MARC train when I travel to Washington DC and that last trip was in December 2017.
Do you agree with the 2015 Baltimore Bicycle Master Plan and 2017 Separated Bike Lane Network Addendum recommendations, and if so, what budgetary or policy commitments would you make to help Baltimore close its 47 lane mile construction deficit and achieve the yearly 17 mile construction milestones?
Regina T. Boyce: Yes, I agree with 2015 Baltimore Bicycle Master Plan and 201 Separated Bike Lane Network Addendum recommendations. I support the reauthorization of any funds that city DOT has lost or let lapse because of its delay in implementing proposed bike infrastructure. I also support complete streets in local and state-wide transportation planning and would support legislation to make it happen.
Nilesh Kalyanaraman: I do agree with the 2015 Master Plan and the 2017 Addendum. The annual cost for the next 10 years in $5.4M and I commit to allocating the funding needed for lane construction.
Maggie McIntosh: I agree that the Baltimore would be well-served expanding its bicycle infrastructure, and must make the necessary investments to do so. As chair of the Appropriations Committee, this session I helped to secure new Highway User Revenues for Baltimore City (and other counties) which are used by local governments for projects like separated bike lanes. I also made sure funding was dedicated for a road diet/complete streets project along the Harford Road corridor as a proof-of-concept, which will hopefully influence City policies and future priorities.
Mary Washington: In cities like Baltimore, and other urban areas across Maryland, public transit provides vital connections to jobs, education, medical care, and our larger communities. As a former member of the Baltimore City Commission on Sustainability, I agree with the components of the 2015 Master Plan and the 2017 Addendum which make bicycling a more feasible mode of transportation in this city. As stated in an earlier response, reducing the role of automobiles (i.e. public transportation) will improve air quality and protect our ecosystem. Making the city streets more bike-friendly will open new transportation options for people who can’t afford cars or prefer greener forms of transportation. The addendum does an excellent job at encouraging the more casual bicyclist to ride on city streets. If elected Senator, I will build on my work and relationships with local leaders to encourage the city to support and fund these measures. On the state level, I will sponsor legislation that sets policy and budgetary priorities to achieve these goals in Baltimore City and the region.
What are the biggest barriers to mode shift (getting people to choose walking, biking, or public transit instead of personal vehicles), and what should Maryland and Baltimore City do to address these impediments?
Regina T. Boyce: The biggest barriers to mode shift, in Baltimore City, is lack of investment, lack of information/education regarding the benefits of different modes especially to underserved and under resourced communities, the shame that is placed on any mode that isn’t car and the false perception that shifts in modes have for/against those of a certain class/race (ex. Biking is for white people). The lack of investment, like for instance the Red Line, reinforces the perception in Baltimore that all modes other than the automobile are second class, and exist only for those without a car. The city has historically failed to work with state transportation to prioritize bus traffic and has been slow and resist to approve innovative modes, especially bike infrastructure. To address these impediments, the City and the Maryland must make getting around the city and the state, without a car, a priority by creating and disseminating information (TV, radio, mailing, email, social media) about how “we get around”. The information will show how Baltimoreans “get around” through the very modes we want more people to understand and use. The more we cut down on vehicle traffic, the more buses can get to destinations on time and those interested in biking will bike.
Nilesh Kalyanaraman: Safety and ease of use are the two most important barriers to getting people to shift their mode of transportation from personal vehicles to walking, biking or pubic transit. A Complete Streets program that balances the needs of the various modes of transportation will promote a shift from personal vehicles to other forms of transportation.
Maggie McIntosh: The biggest impediments to choice riders choosing walking, biking, or public transit are reliability, safety, and time-savings. To promote bicycling and walking, we can pursue policies that prioritize street space for those modes of travel, and we can invest at the state and local level in bicycle infrastructure. For public transit, we need to make capital and operating investments into MTA to ensure that we can provide an adequate level of service and offer features that riders would use, like real-time bus tracking. Finally, we need to pursue policies locally and/or at the state level that take cars off the road and disincentivize car ownership.
Mary Washington: One of the major barriers to “mode shift” based on my observations as a Baltimore City resident, with school-aged children who have relied on public transit, and as a member of the Appropriations Committee for four years, is that MTA public transportation lines are poorly integrated, slow and unreliable. Secondly, most of our major city streets are designed to move cars as quickly as possible rather than to meet the needs of bus riders, pedestrians and cyclists. In order to remove these barriers, state and local government need to take strong steps to improve our public transportation systems and to re-design our roads on the complete streets model.
For example, properly funding the maintenance and improvement of Metro rail in Baltimore and the Baltimore Bicycle Master Plan will encourage people to either walk or bike to their metro station. With more cars off the roads, currently high stress streets will become easier to bike. While there are problems with the BaltimoreLINK bus system, merely tinkering with the bus routes will not encourage more ridership. In order to make public transportation work, priority has to be given to public transportation over private transportation. Providing guaranteed right-of-ways to buses or rail will make it a more efficient and attractive choice for commuting. Building the Red Line and taking other steps to improve cross-town public transportation would be a huge step forward, as would finding ways to make our existing bus routes, light rail and Metro systems work together much more effectively.
Describe your vision of a healthy, safe, equitable transportation system for Baltimore City and the roles walking, biking, and public transportation play in that vision.
Regina T. Boyce: My vision for a healthy, safe, equitable transportation system for Baltimore City and he roles walking, biking, and public transportation play in that vision is that all residents are within a reasonable commute to and from work, educational opportunity, family and play (social), by a mode of transportation that is affordable for all, and that does not rely heavily on car or even a need for a car. I vision a city where construction workers can jump on the transit to get to their worksite by 6am and late shift workers can jump on transit to get home in the late hours of the morning. For Baltimore City to grow and thrive as other cities with adequate transit choices have, it must have comprehensive public transportation supported by biking and pedestrian infrastructure that gets them around in and around town, vs the infrastructure we have now that heavily relies on vehicles and is built to get people in and out of the city, not in and around the city.
Nilesh Kalyanaraman: A healthy transportation system is one the encourages physical activity, limits pollution and is efficiently gets people to where they need to go. In Baltimore, we need to develop our infrastructure to provide faster and more comprehensive public transportation and low stress continuous bicycle routes. Every neighborhood should be walkable from both a safety and access standpoint.
Maggie McIntosh: First and foremost, our system needs to actually BE a system, where different modes really fit together to achieve some measurable goal. We need to expand bicycle infrastructure not just in well-off communities, but in places in our city where car ownership is not the norm. I believe we need bus service that is affordable, clean, and serves all communities equally. I believe that we need to expand light rail or metro lines to ensure that people can get North-South or East-West quickly. I believe we ought to expand Circulator service to neighborhoods where free, reliable service to downtown is a real need and would have a major impact. Finally, I believe we need to measure our transportation network against a measurable, achievable goal. One metric I would propose is working to where, via a combination of bicycle and/or different modes of public transit, a person can get from any point in Baltimore City to major employment hubs like BWI within an hour or less.
Mary Washington: The current system of public transportation does not meet the needs of those who need it the most. Neighborhoods must be linked to job centers. Further expansion of the current subway is critical to meeting this goal. Increasing access to transportation hubs like Mondawmin, and increasing the number of transportation hubs will also help to make public transportation work. The current bikeshare program has ignored these neighborhoods and links and must be expanded to work in concert with public transportation. The current bikeshare system should include neighborhoods that are lacking in transportation options and link East and West Baltimore to downtown. Ultimately, people should be able to find an efficient mode of transportation within a 6-block walk, or 1-mile bike ride. Protected bike lanes should be expanded to neighborhoods with few transportation options to make biking to work a safe and reliable form of transportation.
How does transportation fit in your overall plan for a healthy and economically thriving Maryland? Explain your transportation philosophy.
Regina T. Boyce: Transportation fits in my overall plan for a healthy and economically thriving Maryland because transportation has been a way of life for me since I can remember. While now I have a car, I often think about my life when I lived in Montgomery County and Baltimore County. My family walked and took the bus/subway everywhere. It was not a cumbersome way of life, it was the way of like. My friends and I look back at middle school (11-13) and thought about how at this age, as early as 11, we all took the bus and the subway to go to the mall, DC, the movies, the fairgrounds, etc. It was easy, and no one worried about us “taking transportation”. During a tough time in my family’s life, I briefly lived with my grandmother and aunt in DC.I took the bus from DC to Rockville to get to school every morning. I was at school within an hour to an hour and half. It was easy, I was 14, and it was possible because of a wonderful transportation system. When our family moved to Baltimore county we took the bus then too. I attended college and caught three buses to get from Security Blvd and Rolling Road to Towson University. My philosophy is that transportation shouldn’t be a barrier for the people who use it and use it the most. Transportation should get people to the places and spaces they need to get to safely and on time . . . after all that is what they pay for. Transportation should be easy and stress free. Transportation shouldn’t take an unreasonable amount of time. There should be no shame or stigma in using transportation. If we make similar investments in transportation as other cities have - bus, railway, biking and pedestrian infrastructure - we will see Baltimore, and Maryland, thrive in its own unique way.
Nilesh Kalyanaraman: As part of my public health approach to addressing Baltimore's needs, transportation improvements are critical in improving the lives of Baltimoreans. For many residents of Baltimore, personal vehicles or sub-optimal mass transit are currently the only meaningful choices for transportation. A combination of walkable streets, bicycle friendly streets and improved mass transit will decrease pollution, decrease stress and improve quality of life.
Maggie McIntosh: Whether it is for economic reasons or a matter of personal choice, I know that more younger people use bicycles or public transportation as their primary way to get around and that employers have taken notice. I view investments into our transportation infrastructure as a primary part of our state's economic development strategy, as well as our community development strategy.
Mary Washington: My transportation philosophy focuses on making more public transit options and other alternatives to car-based commuting available to more of the city to help build a cleaner, greener Baltimore and open up new economic opportunities for families and communities in need.
Creating a fast and reliable public transportation system will provide Baltimore’s workforce with a convenient mode of traveling to work and open up new opportunities for thousands of low and moderate-income area residents. In Baltimore today, more than 60,000 people do not have access to a car -- and many of them face commutes of an hour or more to get to job centers and find it very difficult and time-consuming to get access to education and job training opportunities or even reach the services their families needs. The Baltimore Metropolitan Council and other groups have identified this as both a major economic problem for city families and a major barrier to the region’s future growth.
Our current public transportation system, which focuses on often slow and unreliable bus service, leaves too many commuters stuck waiting too long, with little idea when their bus will arrive. So most area commuters who can afford to do so use their personal vehicles to drive downtown and commute around the area. This creates more car congestion in our central city, and helps make the streets unfriendly to cyclists and pedestrians.
A comprehensive public transit system will make it much easier for lower-income residents to get to work and access fresh groceries and other critical services. It will also enable more of those who can afford a car to choose a more environmentally friendly bicycle or public-transportation commute to work. By helping get cars off of the streets, this will make cycling and walking safer and more viable ways to get around the city as well.
This candidate survey is run by Bikemore In Action, Bikemore's 501c4 advocacy arm.