The housing development boom in our Ward is a huge opportunity to give more people access to life in the center of the city, and we need to expand transportation options to achieve this vision. The more people can reasonably live car-free in our city, the better off we are from an environmental standpoint, an economic standpoint, and a quality of life standpoint. Whether you’re someone who has to drive every day for any number of practical reasons, or you’re someone who would stop driving if you had reasonable alternatives, we all benefit from creating more transportation options.
Residents are rightly frustrated with some of our city’s recent failures to plan ahead as new density is added and to adjust our road maintenance and traffic plans to meet the new needs of our neighborhoods. As your representative on the City Council, I’ll work to make sure departments are coordinating better, and that we’re planning ahead and keeping our Capital Improvement Plan for transportation infrastructure in alignment with our housing and business growth. That especially means reassessing pedestrian crossings as intersections get busier to ensure we’re maintaining safe streets for everyone.
Walkable, bikeable neighborhoods with access to reliable public transportation have several positive impacts for our city. They make the city more accessible to residents who cannot or prefer not to drive. It means we can eliminate the cost of car ownership from working families’ budgets, and close the affordability gap for more people in our ward. And, it means we can reduce traffic, fossil fuel consumption, and our carbon footprint in the process.
More people need to be able to use buses and light rail and bikes to get around. To get there, we’re going to need more frequent buses on more routes, and new routes to better connect our neighborhoods. We heavily subsidize car travel with our taxes, and we need to be willing to do the same for public transit. Fares cover less than 30% of the cost of transit, and I support eliminating fares altogether for local buses and trains. If the state won’t do it, I will support city investment in reducing the cost of transit for low-income riders.