Ann Arbor City Election Candidate Survey 2022 Responses: Ward 1

The WBWC's mission is to make Washtenaw County a national leader in bicycling & walking by improving facilities, policies, and community support through advocacy and education. Each Ann Arbor city election, we send a survey to council and mayoral candidates in an effort to illuminate their perspectives on walking, biking, and overall mobility issues. The responses to the survey are published on our website in advance of Election Day. We do not editorialize on the responses. The survey is for informational purposes only.


​Cynthia

Harrison

Angeline

Smith

What proportion of your weekly trips, on average, are done by single-occupancy vehicle, carpooling/ridesharing, transit, walking, or bicycle? Explain

A very small proportion of my weekly trips are done by single occupancy vehicle, in part because I am currently working mostly from home. I bike and walk and use public transit as much as possible.

​​​The candidate did not respond to the survey despite repeated requests.

What are your thoughts on the current bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in Ann Arbor?

I appreciate how far Ann Arbor has come and the awards we have won, but there’s a lot left to do! I feel like we need to advance the goals laid out in our recent Transportation Plan more quickly to make Ann Arbor as safe, accessible, and enjoyable for everyone, no matter what mode of travel you choose.

What is your impression of the current traffic calming tools the City is using? Current traffic calming efforts are budgeted for $30,000 per year. Is this adequate? Would you propose to adjust this budget item?

We need to significantly increase the budget for traffic calming on small and major roads. Physical changes to roads that lower the speeds of vehicles seem to be the most effective and efficient way to improve safety.

Other communities factor cut-through traffic into their rubric for Traffic Calming qualification. Would you support addressing cut-through traffic by adding diverters and bicycle boulevard treatments to problem locations?

Public streets are for everyone and should be able to be safely used by everyone. I’m not qualified to weigh in on the wisdom of using diverters or stopping certain streets from carrying cars or its impact on other streets. Every neighborhood has streets, and none of them should have a speeding problem.

Do you support reducing vehicle lanes for a low-stress bicycle and pedestrian network, assuming it increases vehicle travel time?

I would defer to our Vision Zero experts on specific road configurations, but personally I would gladly drive more slowly in exchange for greater safety for everyone around me! I believe there was a large study done that showed the majority of Ann Arborites are willing to do the same. We need a robust and safe bicycle and pedestrian network.

What are your thoughts on eliminating or reducing current parking minimums for new developments in Ann Arbor?

I support this effort, which is a recommendation of the A2Zero Plan. My understanding is that requiring developers to build excessive parking increases rents and traffic.

What are your thoughts on Vision Zero (striving towards zero fatalities or serious injuries)?

I support Vision Zero. It makes sense that the way our transportation network is built needs to allow for human error, and that these errors shouldn’t cause injuries. Cities have been able to dramatically improve safety by using a Vision Zero lens, and we should too.

Should a portion of road millage money be allocated towards crosswalks, pedestrian infrastructure, and a bicycle network? Why or why not?

I’m learning about the legal constraints on different funding streams, but it makes sense that non-motorized transportation should be aggressively funded if we are going to meet our climate and safety commitments.

Should Ann Arbor have a specialist staff member devoted to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure?

It makes sense to me that it would be valuable to have in-house expertise in this area, as these improvements will be ongoing and iterative.

Please share your short- and long-term vision for transportation and mobility in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor should be a place where people of all ages and abilities can choose how they want to get around the city and have the confidence they can do it safely and conveniently. I agree with the vision and goals laid out in the new Transportation Plan and are being considered by the implementation committee. It’s important to address high-crash locations urgently with the tools and budget at our disposal, while at the same time pursuing more major street and intersection changes. I’m excited that we are in a process to potentially gain control of MDOT roads and improve their safety and operation.


What makes you a strong candidate in regards to walking and bicycling in our community?

I enjoy biking and walking and consider both a healthy option to get around. I have enjoyed the freedom to safely walk and bike in this city since childhood. As we’re now a growing job center and attracting increasing commuter traffic, we need to make sure our transportation options are safe and accessible for everyone. We need to make sure we have staff that are implementing best practices and electing council members with the political will to see them through.


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