1. Do you navigate Minneapolis by bicycle, walking, or in a wheelchair? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often? Please indicate how you commute to work.
Yes, I navigate Minneapolis by bike for multiple purposes. My wife and I do recreational rides on the evenings and weekends throughout the City. I would commute by bike to my previous job in St. Paul, about once a week, via the Midtown Greenway. My current job is in Golden Valley and I will bike commute weekly in the summer and fall. I mountain bike in the summer primarily on the Theodore Wirth Park trails.
I also walk my dog around the neighborhood on a daily basis. We walk to local restaurants, businesses, and Lake Harriet as well.
2. Have you ever been transit-dependent or car-free? 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 took the bus everyday for my commute to downtown Minneapolis for a couple of years, although I still had the privilege of having a car.
Living in a City without a car can be a challenging experience if you do not have a regular transit connection. This is a reality if your stop is not on a major route destination like downtown. Many of those destinations require transfers. A delay or a missed bus can make it difficult to get to your job on time, pick your child up from daycare, or get your groceries. Alternative car services (taking a Car2Go, Lyft, etc.) have been a step in the right direction in terms of options, but can still be cost prohibitive to someone on a fixed budget.
3. Describe any past work or accomplishments that you have been involved with around the areas of bicycling or walking issues in your community.
As Chair of the East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association, I was involved in the remodeling of West 46th Street and Bryant Ave. Bump outs at this very busy intersection were added as a traffic calming measure.
I was also involved in the decision to add protected bike lanes from Lake Calhoun to Dupont on West 36th Street, and when Bryant Avenue was made into a bike boulevard.
4. Last year, the City adopted a Complete Streets policy to make streets safer for everyone. The policy states: “Minneapolis is committed to rebalancing its transportation network by clearly prioritizing walking, taking transit, and biking over driving motorized vehicles, in a manner that provides for acceptable levels of service for all modes." Will you support the Complete Streets policy? Please share how you prioritize walking, transit, bicycling, driving, and parking in your decisions.
Yes. I believe transportation is an issue of equity that needs to be addressed if we are going to make changes to how people can access all parts of the City. We need to have infrastructure that makes it easier for people to get to places they want to go, and do it in a fashion that is safe and convenient. If we are serious about wanting to allow people to age in place, we need to make it safer for pedestrians. If we are serious about wanting this to be a place for everyone, we must provide at least equal consideration for those that can’t afford to drive a car through our City. If we want to deal with the drastic impacts of climate change, we must provide incentives for people to walk, bike, or take transit over their car. We must build infrastructure that makes non-car modes of transportation more accessible for everyone and provide incentives for people to move in that direction.
5. The 2017 Minneapolis capital budget includes $6.1 million for specific walking and biking infrastructure, which is 9 percent of the total capital streets-related funding. 2010 Metropolitan Council surveys estimated that 15.9 percent of all trips in Minneapolis were done by walking and 5.1 percent by bicycle. Would you support spending more, the same amount, or less on building and maintaining bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure?
Yes, I would support increased infrastructure spending that builds out our pedestrian and bike infrastructure. My goal is to make it easier and more equitable for people in the City to get around and for people to have access into and out of Ward 13. One of the challenges in Ward 13 is that non-car options are not as available. I would like to see more infrastructure built to make it easier for people to get around the Ward whether they are walking or biking.
6. In 2015, the City adopted a protected bikeway plan that identifies 48 miles of protected bikeways to be prioritized for implementation. (Protected bikeways are a bicycle route where there is a physical barrier of some kind between bikes and cars, and have been shown to be safer and more comfortable than unprotected bike lanes.) Do you support implementing the protected bikeway plan even if it could mean losing parking or traffic lanes for cars in some corridors?
Yes, this is a bit of a, “If you build it, they will come” situation. There are many people I know who are still afraid to bike in the City because of concerns over safety and competing with cars on busy roads. I believe building protected bike lane infrastructure is an important way of making sure everyone is comfortable biking around and using bike lanes as a form of transportation.
7. In 2016, we published a report that looked at those stopped by police while riding a bike, and why. We found that it was very likely that police were profiling young black men, and were sometimes using minor infractions such as riding without lights or riding on a sidewalk in a business district as a pretense for a stop. Starting in 2014, Minneapolis police significantly reduced traffic enforcement of all kinds. Traffic violations continue to play a significant role in many biking and walking crashes in Minneapolis. With these factors in mind, how would you, or would you not, change how police enforce traffic laws in Minneapolis?
I would support and help to put in place the recommendations made in the report. I support the quarterly, independent analyses of the MPD data on race, ethnicity, and gender in bike, pedestrian, traffic, suspicious person, and juvenile stops. I would prioritize education and outreach to areas that are disproportionately prone to bike citations (e.g. targeted light giveaways). I plan to work with law enforcement and the Bike Coalition to make bicyclist safety a priority, and to ensure that regulations affecting bicyclist safety are being followed appropriately and are not abused.
8. Public Works is currently studying policy options for winter maintenance of both bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. What changes, if any, would you like to see related to winter maintenance of sidewalks and bikeways?
Adding additional protected bike lanes and ensuring bike lanes are plowed city wide to ensure they are accessible.
9. Since 2010, an average of about 250 bicyclists and about 250 pedestrians have been hit and injured in Minneapolis each year, and about 40 have been killed. A number of cities around the country are taking a “Vision Zero” approach which seeks to eliminate all traffic deaths by taking a proactive approach to improving safety and targeting resources to problem areas and proven safety improvements. Would you or would you not support Minneapolis setting and working toward goals to eliminate traffic fatalities?
Yes, I absolutely support the vision zero approach in reducing pedestrian and bike accidents every year.
10. What do you hope to accomplish to make Minneapolis and your ward better for bicycling and walking by the end of your term, if you are elected?
My vision is to help to create a Ward that is accessible for everyone, and to provide high quality infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians for people to easily and safely access the parks and small businesses that make Ward 13 such a great place to live. This includes the expansion of bike lanes, including restricted bike lanes, and to fully implement the bike master plan. Also, inputting high visibility signage, marking bike lanes and pedestrian crossings, and adding pedestrian bumpouts at busy intersections is a priority. I would investigate the cause of pedestrian-related crashes at high crash intersections and corridors, and add measures to ensure those intersections are safer for walkers and bikers.
Another priority area, is to focus on decreasing the dependency on cars as the primary mode of transportation in the city. Ideas for this include expansion of support programs to increase winter biking, targeted expansion of bus schedules, and exploring traffic calming measures at busy streets throughout Ward 13.
Ward Specific Questions
What specific corridor and/or street in your Ward do you feel is most in need of improved pedestrian and/or bicycle infrastructure? What kinds of improvements would you envision, and why is this particular connection important?
Two areas. First, I would look at providing a more permanent north-south option. While Bryant Ave is currently a bike boulevard, it is a bit of a challenge to bike there with regular traffic from cars and buses. I have heard that safety is an issue with how busy it is. We should explore whether we need to add protections on this street or whether we need provide a more permanent route on Aldrich or Colfax.
Second, I would like to see an East-West connection that would run through the entire Ward and that would connect to other parts of the city. I would work with the neighborhoods as parking and traffic are a concern, but I would look to see either an extension of the lanes that were put in on 54th or look at an additional options between 46th and 53rd.
On the pedestrian side, W. 50th and W Minnehaha Pkwy by Lynnhurst Parkway is an incredibly busy intersection, especially during the summer months when you have Minnehaha crosswalk used by both bikers and walkers and it can become quite congested and be a potential safety hazard. I would address that.