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.
Biking, walking and commuting to work. During the summer months I bike recreationally and also commute to work by car daily.
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?
Yes, when I became a single mother of 3 and was carless I needed to commute to my classes. My campus moved from Minneapolis to Saint Paul, so I had to figure out transportation. When the buses were running I put my bike on the bus and rode my bike from my bus stop in Saint Paul to my class. When the buses were not running, I rode my bike from my home in Brooklyn Park to my class to Saint Paul.
3. Describe any past work or accomplishments that you have been involved with around the areas of bicycling or walking issues in your community.
I have been a strong advocate for biking and connecting individual kids in poverty to resources to free bicycle programs. I have utilized and promoted Nice Ride memberships and also the Black Girl Big Booty Ride from Powderhorn to North Minneapolis.
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 think of bicycling, walking, and mass transit not as policy decisions but as inevitable. It is only a matter of time before the gas-powered automobile is phased out. In that vein, I look at infrastructure as the key to promoting alternatives to driving. If we do not have the infrastructure to reach that critical mass, we cannot get to a more sustainable transportation system. Alternatives to driving also prove to be more equitable for low-income families.
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?
Minneapolis has made great strides in this area, such as the modifications made to the Franklin Avenue Bridge. I also appreciate the new bike lanes and availability of Nice Ride. I greatly understand the importance of being walk and bicycle friendly to Ward 6 as a whole. I do believe we need to promote it to people who could benefit the most from it. Our current Nice Ride system requires a debit/credit card, which leaves many people out of the opportunity to fully take advantage of program. I acknowledge that many people use these means as a necessity. In completing research based evidence it may prove that more funding is needed and I am not against that.
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?
Inside the city, there will always be a trade-off between biking and cars, but I support the listed protected bikeways.
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?
Stopping men of color when they are on bikes, is only part of a much larger issue I am addressing in my campaign. We cannot reduce the number of black men being stopped without communication between our police force and residents. A huge step includes community meetings where, instead of forming two sides during the meeting, we come to a place where we can have discussions.
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?
When I biked in the winter, I surprisingly found conditions were fairly safe compared to traffic issues. As with many city issues it seems to be that it is important to shovel and sand where necessary and in a timely fashion for those transporters.
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. We learn more and more each year about bicycle/car interactions and each route can present unique challenges. I agree with Vision Zero that we need this as a priority.
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?
I would love to see a “Vision Zero” city.
Ward Specific Questions
a) Franklin Avenue is among the least safe streets in Minneapolis for people, no matter how they get around (its crash rate is 2.5 times what engineers consider “critical”). Safety improvements will be made this year from Bloomington Avenue to Minnehaha Avenue. How would you approach addressing safety and access concerns west of Bloomington Avenue?
Adopting a “Vision Zero” approach from Bloomington Avenue to Minnehaha Avenue to begin the “Vision Zero” Minneapolis makes sense to me.
b) 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?
I live off Franklin and 25th and there are huge issues with traffic accidents regarding all modes of transportation. I was warned when I moved to the area to be cautious due to so many collisions, again I seek the “Vision Zero” which makes sense to me.