2023 Pittsburgh City Council District 9 Candidate Survey
🗳 Update: The results of the 2023 municipal primaries are in! Check the county’s website to see all the details, and see below where we’ve made note of the winner. Thanks again to all of the candidates who participated in our survey.
District 9 covers East Liberty, Garfield, Homewood, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington, and Point Breeze
Biking and walking are not only quality of life issues, they are political issues. Elected officials determine how much is invested in our streets, and whether or not those investments make biking and walking safer and less stressful. Biking and walking are healthy, affordable ways to get around, and positively address air quality and climate change. They are good for the economy, and biking and walking infrastructure make our streets safer. If our streets are dangerous for biking and walking, the outcomes affect us all.
In Pittsburgh Council District 9, Councilman Reverend Ricky Burgess decided not to run, leaving an open seat. Two candidates have thrown their hat in the ring: Khari Mosely and Khadijah Harris.
We wanted to be sure to give these candidates an opportunity to talk directly to the voters on these issues, so that you can better understand where they are coming from and make an informed decision for who to cast your vote for on the May 16 primary and November 7 elections.
The candidate’s answers are presented in the order in which we received them. We’d like to offer a sincere “thank you” to the candidates for participating.
1. We envision a Pittsburgh where people can thrive without needing to own a car. What role do you think city council plays in making Pittsburgh an easier place for people to live and visit without a car?
City Council plays a significant role in reducing the overreliance on automobile use in the city in several ways:
1. The city can improve public transportation signage and bus shelters to provide safer and more comfortable amenities for transit users.
2. I also support investment in the entire toolbox of infrastructure solutions where appropriate, including conventional bike lanes, painted buffer lanes, contraflow bicycle lanes, protected bike lanes, separated bike lanes, cycle tracks, and off-street bike paths. In addition, I support using traffic calming devices such as sidewalk extensions, neckdowns, and diverters to ease all forms of non-automobile travel. I also emphasize the importance of ensuring development is at a human scale instead of an automobile scale during the placemaking process.
3. I support working with Pittsburgh Regional Transit to make our public transportation system more efficient and easier to understand for new riders and create non-English printed materials and signage.
These are all essential steps to make Pittsburgh less automobile reliant and more pleasant to experience without a car.
I believe City Councils role should be to educate city residents on all the positive things that biking riding, scooters and walking provide for the overall health and wellbeing of the city and the city residents. For example bike riding is great for exercising, sightseeing, saving money on gas, helps control pollution and building relationships with other city residents in different communities. City Council should also have strong relationships with the city’s tourism sites to ensure that visitors know all the transportation options in the city.
2. As with roads, sidewalks and public transit, biking only works well when there are complete networks of safe streets people can use to get around. What are your thoughts on the current bikeway network. What’s working? Where can the City improve?
Pittsburgh’s bikeway network has made significant improvements over the last decade. We have a strong foundation for a system where bicyclists can relatively safely get around the city. The city can improve by prioritizing expanding and connecting our on-street and off-street bike path systems to the greatest extent possible. As an avid urban cyclist who enjoys the GAP trail, I would like to see the city establish a system where one can ride around the city utilizing as much off-street infrastructure as possible.
I just returned to Pittsburgh two years ago and I was so excited to see all the different options for getting around the city. The scooters were the most fascinating to me because you seen city residents from all communities using these scooters to go to work , school and just for fun and the scooters are very fair in price. I also think the new bike lanes are great to but I would like to see the bike lanes in all the city communities. I would also like to see a bigger push for city residents in vulnerable communities to use bikes more often because the health disparities in vulnerable communities are so great that the bikes will be a nice start to healthier communities. City Council has to work on safer communities so that residents in all the city communities will feel safe walking and enjoying the sites.
3. What transportation project in your district are you particularly excited about? How will it benefit people who get around without a car?
I am excited about Pittsburgh Regional Transit’s proposed upgrades, the establishment of new stops, and the potential of installing bike infrastructure on the route. The enhancements, new transit stops, and bike infrastructure will connect more East End residents to the busway and create an alternate trail option for bikers.
The transportation project I am excited about would be the Healthy Ride Pittsburgh. I would love to see them in all city communities. Bike riding is great exercise and the fact that you can catch public transportation with your bike takes away any barriers for residents to get around the city and thats the best benefit for the residents and it’s awesome.
4. What’s a particularly dangerous problem or location in your district for walkers, bikers, or people with disabilities that you would like to fix?
The Penn Avenue corridor between Braddock Avenue and Fifth is very dangerous for walkers, bikers, or people with disabilities. This corridor needs traffic calming measures to slow drivers down and protect pedestrians, bikers, and people with disabilities when crossing Penn Avenue in this corridor.
The dangerous problem I have in my district that I would like to fix would be to support the community residents that are dealing with drug and alcohol abuse and living on the streets with supportive services. So the other community members can enjoy walking and sightseeing in their communities without feeling unsafe.
5. Why should people who care about safe streets for biking and walking
I strongly advocate making our city more friendly for pedestrians and cyclists. Our city has needed more non-auto connectivity in transportation since the demise of the street car. The overreliance on automobile use and accelerated suburban sprawl isolated many communities from economic prosperity. Although Pittsburgh’s hilly topography and riverways present challenges to improving our connectivity and infrastructure within our financial means, these challenges are not our destiny. We must think bigger and understand that our ability to rethink our multimodal transportation and infrastructure will be the key to future success and prosperity. There is no world-class city that lacks world-class biking and walking options. I am committed to investing in creating a multimodal transportation that helps us attain the world-class status that we have the potential to achieve.
City residents that care about safe streets for walking and biking should vote for me because I care about all people and I believe walking and biking is the best way to stay healthy and to be active and involved in your community. I also walk and ride bikes in my community so I live what I preach. Voters should also vote for me because I will support any new programs that will benefit the health and wellbeing of any city community.