The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and AARP Pennsylvania released a questionnaire to all mayoral candidates asking for their stances on a set of policy recommendations laid out in the 2023 Better Mobility Platform. We will be sharing responses to the questionnaire in separate blog posts per candidate.
1. Will you introduce legislation to create a new Department of Transportation that includes the Office of Transportation Infrastructure & Sustainability and the Office of Complete Streets?
As Mayor I will realign the existing OTIS portfolio to transform service delivery and efficiency. My comprehensive public safety plan calls for the Water Department to lead on our environmental justice infrastructure investments. I will realign our infrastructure work using zero-based budgeting so that departments are adequately funded to meet ambitious service delivery goals, focused on poverty reduction, public safety, and inclusion, but do not support the creation of a new department at this time.
2. Will you support hiring a commissioner who will allow for more transparency, efficiency, and accountability which will prioritize Vision Zero over congestion?
All hiring will be done with individuals who share our values, prioritizing poverty, public safety, and economic opportunity and inclusion.
3. Will you commit to hiring a third paving crew to reach a pace of paving 130 miles per year of local roads?
I am committed to zero-based budgeting. Department budgets will reflect clearly articulated goals and departments will be funded appropriately to achieve them.
4. Will you create a Sidewalk Safety Program, with dedicated staff, and create a $2 million grant program to help low-income property owners repair their sidewalks?
In the 7th Council District, we funded a $250,000 pilot with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to provide employment for returning citizens to remove trees, replant with appropriate replacements, and repair sidewalks – as Mayor I will scale this initiative citywide.
5. Will you commit to the 2030 Vision Zero goal and work to strengthen the program by increasing its capital budget to $ 10 million/per year?
My administration will develop a revised Vision Zero plan and fund it appropriately. I believe that speed reduction is the most critical component and best way to reduce traffic deaths. As 7th District Councilmember, I worked closely with communities in the 7th District to bring calming measures to dangerous streets. It is no surprise that traffic deaths are concentrated along with poverty, which is why Philadelphia’s first two funded Slow Zones were in the 7th Council District. I believe that in addition to traffic calming, the restorative investments we will make in historically disinvested neighborhoods will make them safer, not just from violent crime, but from the dangerous and reckless driving that often causes these deaths.
6. Will you support expanding automated speed enforcement to dangerous roads in addition to Roosevelt Blvd?
Yes – speed reduction is the best way to reduce traffic deaths and automated enforcement has been proven to work.
7. Will you support completing a 175-mile network of protected bike lanes and trails by building an additional 40 miles of protected bike lanes?
My administration will develop a comprehensive infrastructure plan to ensure connectivity and equity and adequately fund it. Using zero-based budgeting we will realign all department goals around equitable service delivery, poverty reduction, public safety, and inclusion.
8. Will you commit to building 29 miles of Circuit trails by the end of your second term?
My administration will develop a comprehensive infrastructure plan and adequately fund it. Using zero-based budgeting we will realign all department goals around equitable service delivery, poverty reduction, public safety, and inclusion.
9.Will you support implementing signal prioritization, stop location improvements, and dedicated bus lanes on 10 corridors identified in the oTIS Transit Plan?
My administration will review all existing plans and create an updated comprehensive plan which will be appropriately funded. Frequent and affordable public transportation is critical to a healthy city. It provides access to school, work, and recreation throughout the city for low income residents who cannot afford a car, it enables less car dependency, and it is one of the quintessential assets of city life compared with suburban life. Functional transit will help us retain residents, including young families, who might otherwise consider moving out of the city, and will help us draw new residents in from the suburbs and other metro areas.
As Councilmember I worked closely with SEPTA and SEPTA police to address issues related to the 10 El stops in my district. As Mayor, I will direct our departments to prioritize safety, infrastructure, and cleanliness around transit stops to provide a welcoming and safe environment for riders. I believe it is appropriate to reexamine our bus routes, particularly regarding stop frequency, in order to improve efficiency and reduce the infrastructure and service demands of bus stops very close together, each with trash cans that need to be emptied and cleaned. We should expand bus-only lanes and use bus priority signals to improve the flow of traffic and make buses a more attractive option.
I want to grow our population to two million, our transit system is critical to that goal.
10.Will you work with SEPTA, state, and regional stakeholders and support legislation that authorizes a regional or municipal tax to fund public transit directly?
No, I believe that working with federal and state partners we can identify new funding for transformative investment in transit.
11. Will you support fully expanding Indego to 7000 docks and 3500 bikes to achieve bike share equity?
Our administration will update the goals and efforts to ensure access and equity.
12. Will you support making it easier for citizens to transform and steward their streets by reducing the burdens associated with placemaking in the Right-Of-Way?
Our administration will create a community-led protocol to ensure a more open and transparent process for these amenities.
13. Will you support the growth of a portfolio of over 50 parklets, pedestrian plazas, art enhanced intersections and reduce barriers for streeteries?
In addition to a new community-led protocol, my administration will also create an interdepartmental task force to examine and improve our internal processes, to avoid creating burdensome, bureaucratic hurdles that lock communities out of public engagement and hamper neighborhood efforts to improve their spaces.
14. Will you create a dedicated budget line for bike lanes and traffic calming maintenance within the PHL DOT budget?
My administration will create a plan which will be appropriately funded.
15. Will you create a dedicated budget line for trail maintenance in the Parks and Recreation budget?
Post-COVID, these important city assets need to be expanded and maintained with lighting and public safety cameras. My administration will create a plan which will be appropriately funded.