Ann Arbor City Election Candidate Survey 2022 Responses: Ward 3
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.
Ayesha Ghazi Edwin
What proportion of your weekly trips, on average, are done by single-occupancy vehicle, carpooling/ridesharing, transit, walking, or bicycle? Explain
I’m lucky to work from home and don’t have a commute. In terms of dropping off my son to school (which is about a 15 min car ride), I drive once a day - we do ridesharing mostly for either pick-up or drop-off. We are lucky to live within walking distance of our local grocery store, pharmacy, parks, etc. Most of my errands are done by foot/with a stroller. I am interested in purchasing an ebike to use for longer distances.
What are your thoughts on the current bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in Ann Arbor?
It needs to be built out more & safe. We need protected bike lanes on especially busy streets, sidewalks that are repaired & safe on every street, sidewalks cleared year round, and we need to create small neighborhood communities where basic needs & beyond are within walking/biking distance. As someone who works for a disability policy organization, I know that we need to think of our bikeable and walkeable infrastructure as safety and accessibility issues.
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?
I believe if a greater budget would allow us to decrease car emissions, increase pedestrian safety, and decrease traffic, we should increase the budget. I believe in road diets, and I think closing downtown streets to driving was a great initiative and needs to continue. I would like to see it expand to cover other areas of downtown. I would like to see us lower the speed limits on city roads, and would find other ways to incentivize biking and walking.
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?
I would support this - we need a complete picture of transportation systems to understand where we can make roads, bike lanes, and sidewalks safer.
Do you support reducing vehicle lanes for a low-stress bicycle and pedestrian network, assuming it increases vehicle travel time?
We need to make it safer for all ways people move around our city. Increasing vehicle lanes increases traffic due to induced demand - thus increasing pollution & pedestrian accidents. We should make our streets more people - and less car - centric. We also need to examine & address how our housing crisis is adding to our commuter population and traffic congestion. Relevant here, I believe expanding E. Medical Center Dr. was not the right decision from a safety and accessibility standpoint.
What are your thoughts on eliminating or reducing current parking minimums for new developments in Ann Arbor?
I fully support eliminating or reducing current parking minimums for new developments.
What are your thoughts on Vision Zero (striving towards zero fatalities or serious injuries)?
Every pedestrian and vehicle accident is a policy decision. I agree with striving towards zero fatalities or serious injuries - this must happen with creating more walkable and bikeable infrastructure that is protected and safe.
Should a portion of road millage money be allocated towards crosswalks, pedestrian infrastructure, and a bicycle network? Why or why not?
Yes. We need to upkeep and build our infrastructure that helps people move around in a variety of ways, driving, waking, biking, wheeling, or however one moves around.
Should Ann Arbor have a specialist staff member devoted to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure?
Yes and this person should work closely with a staff member dedicated to accessibility and disability - something I hope to push for.
Please share your short- and long-term vision for transportation and mobility in Ann Arbor.
Short term we need to increase our funding to public transportation and we need a solution on snow removal for sidewalks. We need more sidewalks and we need more sidewalk repairs, and we need more bike lanes. I would like to see the city incentivize and provide subsidies to people who want to buy an e-bike, for example. I also believe we need someone at the city level who specializes in accessibility issues for people with disabilities, and we need someone who specializes in creating a more walkable and bikeable infrastructure here in Ann Arbor.
Long term I would like to see us be a city that is more people-centered, and less car-centered. I would like to see less pedestrian accidents and fatalities. I would like us to have a more built out comprehensive public transportation infrastructure, and a more built out and safe bikeable and walkable infrastructures. I would like to see more dense housing built along transportation lines and communities built next to and in close proximity to businesses they frequent. Our community should be one where walking, biking, wheeling, or however you move around, is a pleasant and safe experience.
What makes you a strong candidate in regards to walking and bicycling in our community?
I work for a disability policy organization, and am able to view this issue from an intersectional lens. We know that people with disabilities, people of color, & those who are low income, are more likely than others to be pedestrian accident victims. I believe that pedestrian friendly streets - more walkable and bikeable streets - is an economic justice, racial justice, a disability justice issue, and a climate justice issue.