David Holsinger

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.

I frequently walk to errands in the neighborhood and occasionally bike as well. I commute by car to work in St. Paul. 

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?

As an adult, I have been car-free on occasion when living in major cities - in particular, in Chicago, I was able to commute by bicycle and complete the majority of tasks on foot or by transit. I used a car-share service when absolutely necessary. 

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

None. One of my priorities as a candidate is to force the city to change its zoning policies to enable creation of more mixed-use areas. 

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.

I will not commit to prioritizing one means of transportation over another. Within 10-20 years, we are looking at major changes in transportation technology - in particular, autonomous vehicles may significantly reduce levels of car ownership and facilitate easier access to non-transit routes. Given this impending technological change, it would be unwise to reconfigure our aging infrastructure to prioritize transit. Further, simply improving walking infrastructure will have little benefit; what the city really needs is the development of mixed-use zones that will reduce overall dependence on vehicles. 

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?

For most residents, especially families, walking and cycling are highly impractical for day-to-day errands. I would not expect that an increase in quality or extent of pedestrian and bikeways would have any significant impact in reducing car dependency. Given that 9% of the budget is going to 5% of all trips, this is clearly out of balance with the needs of most residents. 

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?

Absolutely not. The city is increasing in density but many residents still have to commute to jobs in the surrounding areas and have no option other than vehicle transportation. Prioritizing a "nice to have" bicycle infrastructure over the real day-to-day needs of car commuters is simply wishful thinking. Removing parking lanes will lead to increased frustration for motorists and potentially even diminished property values. 

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 prefer to avoid any police presence that could result in harassment and profiling. A reduction in traffic enforcement should lead to fewer civil rights violations overall, and I support any policy that reduces contact between the police and citizens. With that said, if police are enforcing traffic ordinances, they should hold cyclists accountable to appropriate laws. Cyclists riding on sidewalks or failing to stop at intersections are truly frustrating to pedestrians and motorists. 

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?

Given the marginal value of bicycle paths in the winter (dramatically reduced need and usage), I support only the barest minimum of winter maintenance required to keep paths usable during the warmer months. 

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?

Without details on the cost of implementing these plans, I cannot support them. Will this result in increased enforcement costs? Additional infrastructure expenditures? Additional licensing or other restrictions? 

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?

As stated above, one of my primary goals is to support creation of mixed-use residential-commerical-office zones; these should result in less dependence on motorized transit and a general improvement in quality of life for many residents of my ward. 

Ward Specific Question

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?

Either Stevens or 2nd, which have few traffic controls and could act as high-speed connections but have poor visibility.


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