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Mayoral Candidates answer 20 questions from BikePGH

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erok

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May 1 2013 at 10:56am #

Check it out!

http://bikepgh.org/we-bike-we-walk-we-vote-2013/


Mick

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May 1 2013 at 11:14am #

It’s great that you guys are doing this!

I pounced on the link!

But the link doesn’t have the answers to the questions. :(

Actually, the link doesn’t even list the questions that were asked.
:( :(

I await the results eagerly. I expect those answers to be my guide for voting.


erok

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May 1 2013 at 11:16am #

mick, did you read the page? each candidate has a link to their answers.


Mick

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May 1 2013 at 11:20am #

OOOOPS! Sorry! I misread it as asying “We’ll be posting the answers later”.

My bad.

Thanks for doing this. This questionaire is something to make me vote in the primary and otherwise I would probably skip it.

And thank you for your ongoing patience with the sPeCiAl members of the community such as myself that are slow with some things.


erok

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May 1 2013 at 11:28am #

gotta teach you kids everything


Lee

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May 1 2013 at 11:34am #

The primary decides the mayoral race, since the Democrat always wins.

It looked like Peduto gave the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic answers. I don’t think Bike Pgh. can endorse anyone, but I’ve been looking forward to hearing what other people have to say about it. I wonder if those more informed than me have an obvious choice or if there is a real debate about who will be the best mayor for biking in Pgh.


erok

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May 1 2013 at 11:40am #

Correct. We are not allowed to endorse anyone. We are allowed to provide education around political races, but we must be very careful to treat each candidate equally


rsprake

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May 1 2013 at 11:41am #

Bill Peduto without question.


cburch

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May 1 2013 at 11:45am #

If Peduto can even accomplish a fraction of his policy goals he’s going to transform this city into the international leader certain people like to pretend it already is. And I don’t just mean when it comes to walking and biking.


mpm

Private Message

May 1 2013 at 11:55am #

Luke Ravenstahl is behind ads attacking Peduto, incidentally: http://wesa.fm/post/mayor-ravenstahl-behind-ads-attacking-candidate-peduto

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/politics-local/chairman-of-secretive-group-behind-ad-attacking-bill-peduto-luke-ravenstahl-685660/

Interestingly, Ravenstahl commented on the article:

Breaking news: One of America’s (self-proclaimed) greatest newspapers actually takes the time to pull the records of an account that’s been in existence for years! Congrats to Tim McNulty and the tremendous work of the entire team from David Shribman on down. You really blew the cover off of this one. Yawn… Truth is no one is hiding anything, nor has attempted to. I have personally been the Chairman of this committee since its inception. In fact, its Chairman and intentions are much more transparent than your rag of a newspaper. At least I’m honest and truthful about my support and don’t attempt to hide behind a mantel of a “newspaper”. It’s actually laughable to think that you print your newspaper everyday with a straight face. It doesn’t take much to see who the P-G supports and doesn’t support. — Back to that in a minute… I was honored to receive tremendous financial support from hundreds of donors who believe in all of the wonderful things happening in our city. They (and I) want to see that continue. This effort is based on that — and that alone. It’s 100% factual and begins to expose the real Bill Peduto. Future ads will do the same. Finally – I love how the “haters” love to preach about the law and following it….. Except of course…. When it doesn’t benefit th! The facts are that this is legal in every sense of the law and nothing more than a committee expressing it’s first amendment rights. You 14th warders should love that right? Anyway – back to the P-G bias… The only question that remains is whether the P-G will endorse Peduto this Sunday or next. Curious about your thoughts… My guess is this Sunday — gives their man two whole weeks to talk about it!


Mick

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May 1 2013 at 12:03pm #

My take

I didn’t read the Republican.

For the Democrats, I didn’t read much of Richardson because I found his handwriting too difficult. Maybe he can fix that, but otherwise, I’m just “writing” him off.

Wheatly’s answers all struck me as oatmeal – general politician speil. No thanks! Maybe next time!

Peduto

Overall he struck me as good.

Good: Answers for Q 16 – Specific things to be done with specific money – was really good and specific. Peduto knows some stuff about the Allegheny Green Blvd.

Bad:
Doesn’t seem to mention much about specific trails.

Q20 Taking credit for the East End’s biking status. I dont’ knwo how much he has or hasn’t done, but way back when some of us were working on the city’s first biking map and issue was that all of us knew every alley and pothole on the east end and none of us knew how to bike to North Park. That wasn’t due to Peduto.

Wagner –

I was surprisingly impressed with him.

Good:

Q10 … take drivers off the streets who should not be driving
BRAVO! Props for saying something that is important, but could alienate some voters.

Q1: He had training as a safety engineer. To me this could mean more substance and not as much “feel good”

Q12: Mentions signage. Not so important to us folks that know our way around, but very, VERY important to folks newer to the city or to biking.

Q19-Q20 Mentions specifics about the GAP, coordinating with the Montour trail and such. This shows the truth of his claim that he has, indeed, ridden a bike in the city.

Bad
Q16 answers vague and mushy. He doesnt’ seem to know as much about the project as Peduto does.

******

Suggestion for a question: I’m a scientist (sort of) and I like specific quantifiable information. Why not ask each candidate “how many miles have you biked in Pittsburgh in the last year?”


Mick

Private Message

May 1 2013 at 12:12pm #

@ rsprake Bill Peduto without question.

That’s what I would have thought before the questionaire. Now I’m at least considering Wagner. I’m interested in hearing arguments either way.

Don’t know either of their history as far as keeping campaign promises, sucking up to moneyed interests, etc.


Marko82

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May 1 2013 at 12:57pm #

Thanks BikePgh for the info. I’m impressed that each of the candidates responded to the questionnaire this time – that alone is an improvement & shows that the politicians view us as a big enough group to pander to.


rsprake

Private Message

May 1 2013 at 1:26pm #

Mick wrote:@ rsprake Bill Peduto without question.

That’s what I would have thought before the questionaire. Now I’m at least considering Wagner. I’m interested in hearing arguments either way.

Don’t know either of their history as far as keeping campaign promises, sucking up to moneyed interests, etc.

Everyone I have talked to about Peduto that has personal experience dealing him supports him for mayor. I brought an issue in his district up to him on Twitter, he put me in touch with his office who then worked on getting it fixed after everyone else I talked to from the city passed it off to someone else. Wagner is backed by developers, the police union, etc, who want to keep things just the way they are. In my opinion we can do better than the way things are.

And lets also not forget that Wagner wouldn’t come out and say he wouldn’t allow gas drilling in the city. He beat around the bush. I think I know why.


Lee

Private Message

May 1 2013 at 1:38pm #

Peduto it is. When I dug around on the web it became obvious that he’s got a reputation as a more progressive candidate in general than Wagner and that suits my preferences. I tune out of politics most of the year, but try to brush up at election time. Apparently Wagner is more of an old time yinzer Democrat. I’m a yuppie from the 14th, so I guess I’d be crazy to pass up a chance to vote in my own lefty councilman especially in light of the bike development that’s happened there, and the fact that I want to see my neighborhood’s interests represented.


erok

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May 1 2013 at 1:55pm #

thanks for reading and discussing, it really means a lot.


gimpPAC

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May 1 2013 at 2:38pm #

I would agree with Lee, Peduto seems to have been thinking about these issues for a while now and actually has come up with some specific solutions. I like that he’s on board with the “complete streets” approach. I’m not worried about his lack of mention of particular trails perse, because it seems clear he’s going to lean on Bike Pittsburgh and the right folks to prioritize these plans. Besides that, I’ve just seen him everywhere around town and he genuinely seems passionate about doing good for Pittsburgh.

I was also pleasantly surprised by Wagner’s answers, but he seems less sure of the particulars. I think what might decide it for me is the whole connection to energy special interests. Here’s more specific info on that: http://www.pghcitypaper.com/Blogh/archives/2013/04/12/natural-gas-issue-flaring-up-in-mayoral-race

I also couldn’t read Richardson’s writing and didn’t bother with it, unfortunately.

Wheatley seems like he might be an interesting candidate for other issues, but not a strong candidate for this one.

I did read Wander’s replies and was a bit turned off by his “See Question 2″ as an answer to just about every other question. I’m glad that he walks and bikes a lot, but he sounds like every other politician I’ve heard who makes big generalizations about what they will do, but not really saying how they envision getting there.


HiddenVariable

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May 1 2013 at 2:54pm #

the thing that impressed me most with peduto was his breadth and depth of knowledge on this issue. more than any local candidate i’ve seen, he seemed to get it. his knowledge of what other cities are doing to improve in these areas far exceeds mine, and that’s something i can get behind.

i wasn’t really surprised that wagner was in favor of these things. the wheel’s rolling, and it’s going to be tough to be a democrat (read: anyone) in this city and not be in favor of these things, i think. he wasn’t nearly as specific or in-depth as peduto, though.

richardson…has face tattoos and a recent dui arrest. i didn’t read his answers, either.


Elmo

Private Message

May 1 2013 at 3:08pm #

I’m pretty on the fence between Peduto and Wagner, and I was impressed with both their responses.

I do agree that it appears Peduto has thought more about these issues, and the fact that he talked about Open Streets really got me excited.

Thanks for doing this, BikePGH.


rsprake

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May 1 2013 at 3:22pm #

He hasn’t just thought about these issues, he’s been thinking about a lot of issues. http://www.billpeduto.com/issues/


erok

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May 1 2013 at 3:25pm #

FWIW: Richardson’s pdf is the exact file that they sent us. We didn’t do the scan or prep the file, and that is exactly as we received it. I basically downloaded it, then uploaded it. We asked them all to return the survey in a Word Doc or in the body of an email, and specifically asked that they don’t send us a paper version.


Jacob McCrea

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May 1 2013 at 4:01pm #

This is for what it’s worth since Messrs. Wagner and Peduto both strike me as very capable candidates:

Jack Wagner visited my office recently and spoke to about 40 of us. He had a lot of good things to say, but three things in particular resonated with me: 1) he emphasized his strong connections with state-level government, and credibly touted his ability to be an effective advocate for the city at the state level; 2) he emphasized wanting to work with Harrisburg to establish a dedicated funding source for public transportation in Pittsburgh; and 3) he emphasized wanting to improve the responsiveness of city services to residents, which I will say from experience as a city property owner could use some improvement, especially in low income neighborhoods.

Bill Peduto is appearing at the office tomorrow to discuss his campaign and I may report his comments and my impressions here.


J Z

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May 1 2013 at 10:42pm #

erok wrote:thanks for reading and discussing, it really means a lot.

thanks for asking the questions and getting responses.


rsprake

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May 2 2013 at 9:06am #

http://www.keystonepolitics.com/2013/04/jack-wagner-i-support-sen-scarnatis-bill-to-weaken-pittsburgh-transit/


Jacob McCrea

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May 3 2013 at 10:07am #

^I’m not sure what to make of that link. It’s thin on details and I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the issues. I will say, for what it’s worth, that when Mr. Wagner spoke at my office he expressed strong support for improving public transit. He did explicitly criticize PAT for not running the T through Beltzhoover and Allentown anymore, despite the existing infrastructure, and recognized that cutting transit to neighborhoods was generally bad for property values and residents.

Bill Peduto appeared at the office yesterday. He spoke about his family background, and his decision to stay in Pittsburgh when a lot of his friends were departing for greener pastures. He also spoke about his work with developers and businesees to improve the East End, and in that regard spoke convincingly about wanting to take the sort of rebirth seen in East Liberty to every Pittsburgh neighborhood. There was also a good overview of cost-savings measures he would implement, from consolidation of city and county purchasing to more efficient HVAC systems and lighting in city real estate. His presentation of the cost-savings measures was very strong and convincing – his comments were more like an astute business owner than those of a politician. He also spoke at length about his efforts to court high-tech businesses and willingness to ensure that city government is not a series of roadblocks and red tape for anyone who wants to locate a business here.

The bottom line is that Mr. Peduto struck me as one of those rare individuals who has more good, viable ideas before he eats lunch on any given day than most people have in a decade. While Mr. Wagner would no doubt be a very honorable and capable leader for a litany of reasons, if I lived in the city I would vote for Mr. Peduto. He struck me as being equally capable, but also more of a visionary who could facilitate some long-lasting improvements for the city and the region. Regardless of who wins, the city should be in good hands with either of these two candidates.


gimpPAC

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May 3 2013 at 10:14am #

@ Jacob McCrea, Nicely written post! I value this kind of balanced perspective and analysis. :)


cburch

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May 3 2013 at 10:17am #

Jacob McCrea wrote:The bottom line is that Mr. Peduto struck me as one of those rare individuals who has more good, viable ideas before he eats lunch on any given day than most people have in a decade. While Mr. Wagner would no doubt be a very honorable and capable leader for a litany of reasons, if I lived in the city I would vote for Mr. Peduto. He struck me as being equally capable, but also more of a visionary who could facilitate some long-lasting improvements for the city and the region.

this is exactly why i finally gave up my unaffiliated registration and joined the stupid democratic party. at least until this primary is over!


reddan

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May 3 2013 at 10:35am #

this is exactly why i finally gave up my unaffiliated registration and joined the stupid democratic party. at least until this primary is over!

Every election year, I tell myself I should do the same thing, and never do.

I want open primaries. :-(


rsprake

Private Message

May 7 2013 at 11:32am #

Connect the quote with the mayoral candidate. These quotes are in reference to public workers caught sleeping in their city truck.

“Those individuals must be disciplined. We must set a new working principle on how things are done in city government,”

“We still have a city government that runs off of a 1980s system. What needs to happen, is we need to modernize it and it would stop things like that from happening,”


sarapgh2

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May 7 2013 at 12:06pm #

I read just Peduto and Wagner, and I thought it was impressive they responded to so many questions. The one thing that struck me was that Wagner’s answers mostly referred to his staff doing the work and Peduto’s answers used more “I”s which conveyed a sense that he, personally, had a vision and plan. It may be just semantics, and certainly neither mayor would do this work all on his own, but I liked that Peduto saw it from a personal perspective. Also liked his answer that City Planning Department needed to be rebuilt. Amen! It’s terrible.


Marko82

Private Message

May 7 2013 at 4:53pm #

From the Trib about Mondays debate:

“Peduto said he would expand on the mayor’s initiatives to make bicycle transportation easier and safer.

Wheatley said he would continue Ravenstahl’s economic development policies that have led to new construction Downtown and in East Liberty.

Wagner agreed, saying he also supports an expansion of biking.”

http://triblive.com/politics/politicalheadlines/3964385-74/peduto-wagner-ravenstahl#axzz2Se79aAN2


Ahlir

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May 7 2013 at 8:42pm #

@spake:

#1 says that the solution is to punish people.
#2 says the solution is to fix the system.

Both candidates say the wrong thing; but I would say Wagner is #1 and Peduto is #2.

What’s wrong with both is refusing to first address the details of the case [but maybe that's your selective quoting]. Often there’s a rational explanation for what happened. Were they a couple of the boy-mayor’s drinking buddies? Or, more likely, was it due to a really broken scheduling system that left a couple of people with no work to do all day, but prevented their effort being shifted to something else. I guess that’s a #2 explanation but maybe I’m just a bit tired that #1 people seem to get to run things in our society.

Ok, now I really have to know: who is who? And hope that the guy I’m planning to vote for is not #1.


scott

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May 8 2013 at 1:46pm #

Anyone see the debate last evening on WTAE. Lots of talk about bikes according to Erok. Peduto called the one good thing Mayor Luke did was partner with BikePGH to raise the profile of biking through bike lanes and racks etc and said it was a model. Wagner said bike lanes should connect every community in Pittsburgh. Wheatley raised the issue of walking and biking addressing equity issues.

The entire debate has not been posted yet, only a minute and a half rundown of the issues. We’re trying to at least get a transcript.


rsprake

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May 8 2013 at 2:41pm #

Ahlir wrote:http://triblive.com/politics/politicalheadlines/3964385-74/peduto-wagner-ravenstahl#axzz2Se79aAN2

Both candidates say the wrong thing; but I would say Wagner is #1 and Peduto is #2.

Ok, now I really have to know: who is who? And hope that the guy I’m planning to vote for is not #1.

You were right.


erok

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May 8 2013 at 5:14pm #

All- I just added the Council Candidates responses


Ahlir

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May 8 2013 at 7:46pm #

I went through the mayoral statements. Found this from the top two contenders.

Q10 … What is your plan to calm traffic and make our neighborhoods safer and more comfortable …

Wagner:
I will require the Public Safety Director and Chief of Police to become attuned to and fully knowledgeable as to the safety problem being experienced by bikers and pedestrians throughout the city. The best way to calm traffic is to work to expand alternative transit options and reduce congestion.

Peduto:
… We have to couple engineering improvements with a public awareness education campaign about sharing the road that is targeted towards cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers and we also have to start issuing more traffic citations.

Let’s try some (amateur) deconstruction:

1. How exactly do you require someone to become “attuned and fully knowledgeable?” Do you just order them? How do you know they did it? What are the observable correlates of attunement? of knowledge? Yes, you’ll know when the guy screws up but by then something’s gone terribly wrong.

2. How does reducing congestion contribute to traffic calming? People complain about congestion because it prevents them moving fast enough to get someplace. But traffic calming is all about slowing traffic down (right?) How is that supposed to work?

3. Is there only one safety problem? I guess that in the abstract that’s a reasonable way to put it. But the audience (bikers) can probably come up with lists of specific safety issues. It’s not just one problem, and the different problems need different solutions.

4. I don’t completely understand “public education” and its benefits. Yes, people may start thinking differently but it’s an uphill battle against a complex set of habits and assumptions. You’re trying to harangue people into doing something different. Good luck. Why not just trust the engineering solution (really). Here’s an example from Munich: bike lanes are separate from the street but are part of the sidewalk area. How do you keep the two traffic flows separate? Simple: the bike way is smooth stone, the pedestrian way is paved with small rough bricks that you wouldn’t want to ride on. People simply adapt since separation of traffics is the obviously easier thing to do.

5. I guess more traffic citations would make sense.. but only until the traffic calming and traffic separation work is finished. What’s with this punishment thing?

I also checked out the other candidates.

1. J.R. is sincere. But what can I say, he’s not ready for prime time.

2. Wheatley says he’s a runner, so I trust him when he says things about cars. But most of his answers are just boilerplate and don’t address the questions.

3. Wander. Oy. His answers to many of the questions was “see answer to Q.2″. The answer to Q.2 (in its entirety) was:
The Mayor has to develop a good working relationship with City Council to work as a team to first, hold community meetings and assess needs, then develop a long-range plan to address those needs consistent with funding availabilities and land-use requirements.

If you can discern any content in this statement, please let me know. What is it with these Republicans? I’m starting to think that those political bloggers claiming that the Republican Party is past its use-by date might be onto something. But I guess we have Wagner; at least he’s a professional.


J Z

Private Message

May 14 2013 at 2:50pm #

Interesting ground game. Someone came to the door today stating that our City Councilman from District 3, Bruce Kraus supports Peduto. Wonder what his positions on cycling infrastructure are?


buffalo buffalo

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May 14 2013 at 11:28pm #

Don’t know anything about his positions on cycling infrastructure, but it is true that Kraus has endorsed Peduto, as have Rudiak (D4, Carrick/Brookline/Beechview) and Dowd (D7, Lawrenceville/Bloomfield/Highland Park)–see the full list at http://www.billpeduto.com/endorsements/ .

Harris (D1, North Side), Kail-Smith (D2, West Hills), and Burgess (D9, East Liberty/Homewood) have endorsed Wagner (can’t find a current list, but endorsements as of 4/29 at http://jackwagner.org/2013/04/congressman-coyne-unions-jack-wagner-mayor/).

I’m not certain about Lavelle (D6 Manchester/Perry Hilltop/Downtown/Hill District), and don’t think O’Connor (D5, Greenfield/Hazelwood/Squirrel Hill/New Homestead) has endorsed.


quizbot

Private Message

May 14 2013 at 11:57pm #

Ahlir wrote:Why not just trust the engineering solution (really).

+1

If you build it, they will be forced to comply. Problem here is funding, planning, etc, and expediting common sense solutions.


scott

Private Message

May 15 2013 at 6:24am #

Did anyone listen to the WESA mayoral forum? Any mention of bike/ped?

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