Tom Nordyke

1. Do you navigate Minneapolis by bicycle, walking, or in a wheelchair? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often? How do you understand the experiences of residents who don't have the option to drive, particularly children, seniors, and people with a disability?

I walk, bike and run often, mostly for recreation since I work at home a lot. While I cannot understand the experience of seniors or the disabled, I have friends and family who are mobility challenged. They do not have very good things to say about public access or public transportation for our disabled residents. I think the MPRB needs to focus on accessibility and being more inviting to the disabled. Additionally, I spent 7 year without a car here in Minneapolis (by choice) so I do know what it's like to rely of your bike, feet and the bus. 

2. Describe any past work or accomplishments that you have been involved with around the areas of bicycling or walking issues in your community.

When I was the President of the Park Board in 2008-2010 we focused on separating all of the bike and pedestrian trails. Kind of hard to believe, but we had a number of places where bikers and pedestrians were expected to use the same path, which was very unsafe for everyone. We also worked with the County and City to integrate all of the various bike paths into a connected and cohesive system. That process is still going on today. I would say, however, that my greatest accomplishment "around the areas of bicycling" would be my participation in the San Fransisco to L.A. Aids Ride this past year! We road 550 miles over 7 days - Awesome:-) 

3. What is your view on people using the trails within the park system for commuting to work, taking children to school, running errands, etc - as opposed to using the park system for exclusively recreational purposes?

If you made the system exclusive for recreational uses it would be impossible to get around Minneapolis! We have 6,800 acres of park land. That's like having the entire ski resort of Vail all within our City. So, my view is that it would be impossible to restrict usage to strictly recreation. 

4. What strategies, if any, will you advance to promote racial equity in Park Board programming?

The Park Board passed a Racial Equity Action Plan in 2017. I would recommend people read it. I would implement the Plan and monitor it to make sure outcomes are being achieved. 

5. Currently, the Park Board maintains only some trails and sidewalks in the winter time for walking and biking. What changes, if any, would you like to see to winter maintenance of sidewalks and trails in parks?

To the degree that we need to increase the level of winter bike trails and paths, particularly in response to increased use for both recreation and commenting, I would support that. 

6. Park Board trails have a 10 mile-per-hour speed limit for people biking. The Board discussed potentially eliminating the speed limit in 2015, but decided against a change. What is your position on the bicycle speed limit on Park Board trails?

I think 10 MPH is too low and would support an increase. 

7. What do you hope to accomplish to make Minneapolis parks and trails better for bicycling and walking by the end of your term, if you are elected?

I do not have specific goals for either of those, but if elected I will be happy to work with Our Streets Minneapolis and others to develop an agenda for better trails for biking and walking 

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