City Council District 3 Candidates respond to biking and walking issues
Since 2009, BikePGH has been educating our members and facebook and twitter followers on how committed the candidates are to improving your experience and safety while biking and walking.
We’ve collected questionnaires from nearly every City Council candidate for the upcoming general election in November. If you are unsure what district you live in, please see the City’s website. You can also find your polling location here. You must be registered in order to vote.
BikePGH is not allowed to endorse candidates. Answers have been lightly edited for formatting, otherwise these are their words.
Bike Walk Vote the General Election on Tuesday, November 5
District 3 Candidates
Council President Bruce Kraus
Question 1: What roles do you think the city council can play in making cities safe, accessible and friendly for residents to walk and bike?
Bruce Kraus: I believe City Council plays a significant role in developing walkable/bikeable neighborhoods because as more walkable/bikeable neighborhoods are developed we see that there are opportunities to realize benefits for the environment, an individual’s health, economic development, and real estate property values.
Walkable/bikeable communities foster a greater sense of safety and community. Walkable communities encourage fewer car trips and minimize air and noise pollution since residents can easily walk to anything they may need on a day-to-day basis.
The growth of walkable communities will continue as more young residents move into the real estate market, since the benefits of these communities are especially attractive to younger generations.
Jacob Nixon: Have more police officers walk and bike to interact with all citizens not just law breakers to work together to make the city a better place and safer.
Question 2: We’d like to hear your thoughts on the expanding bike lane network over the past decade. What’s working? Where can the City improve?
Bruce Kraus: We have done a great job of encouraging city residents to walk and bike. Access and expansion of our bike lane network is key to shifting mindset and culture. We will continue to work with residents and businesses to encourage alternate means of transportation and reducing traffic congestion and parking pressures.
Jacob Nixon: It is a difficult task to have bikes and cars share space it could be a goal to try to create separate spaces for bikes with possibility of partial cover.
Question 3: There’s been some progress towards addressing the City’s public steps. What is still needed and what is not being addressed?
Bruce Kraus: Ensuring that city steps and roadways between the South Side and Hilltop neighborhoods are accessible for cyclists and walkers is a means of encouraging commercial and residential development in the Hilltop neighborhoods, as people find that these remarkable communities are only a short walk or ride from downtown and the South Side. Many of these stairways have become overgrown and fallen into disrepair, thus making them unsafe for use and limiting the ability of people to walk between the neighborhoods of the district. My staff and I have, and will, continue to work diligently with constituents to track the condition of city steps and address their repair and revitalization.
Jacob Nixon: It is difficult to share space with biker and pedestrians, also because of different speeds and needs. Again it would be best to find ways to create separate spaces.
Question 4: What’s a particularly dangerous problem or location in your district for walkers, bikers, or people with disabilities that you’d like to see addressed?
Bruce Kraus: I am excited that the PennDot/City East Carson St. project to address unsafe conditions for pedestrians and bikers is underway, in large part because East Carson St. was found to be the sixth most dangerous stretch of road in the state for pedestrians, vehicles and bikers. Making such investments in our infrastructure will keep our streets safer for all and ultimately lead to healthy, vibrant and contributing business districts.
Jacob Nixon: This would be drivers parking in bike lanes.
Question 5: In conclusion, why do you think people who care about bicycling and walking issues should vote for you?
Bruce Kraus: I firmly believe that investments in cycling and walking as an alternative means of transportation are extremely important for the city on many levels – environmentally, economically, and as a matter of having a healthier population. These types of investments deserve the continued commitment of the city as they are crucial for the continued success of the city.
Jacob Nixon: I respect bikers and will continue to share the road.