Chuck Turner

1. What is the most unsafe aspect of the current transportation system in your district/in the city, and what do you propose be done to improve the situation? 

Councilor Turner: Speed and habits of drivers are the most unsafe aspect of transportation. Speed is a very difficult issue. I think placing those machines on major thoroughfares that document the speed of your car would be helpful.
Testing on manual every ten years by the registry might be an effective means of improving driving behavior.

2. We know that lack of physical activity leads to overweight, which leads to rising health care costs.  How would you make it easier for people to incorporate physical activity into their everyday activities by making it significantly easier for Boston residents to move around their communities by foot or by bicycle? What would you do to encourage the Safe Routes To School program or other ways to increase the number of children who walk or bike to school?  What would you do to make it safer for seniors to walk or bike on our sidewalks and across our streets?

Councilor Turner:I think we need to develop dialogue in the District with different populations to answser these questions--churches, senior centers, and community centers could be places to conduct the dialogue.

What would you do to help get increased public transportation services in your district/city?  In particular, how would you help bring rapid transit to the large sections of Roxbury and Dorchester that currently lack it?

Councilor Turner: Building coalitions is the best means. It is a strategy that worked well recently in terms of improving service on the Purple Line.

4. How would you apply "complete streets" design concepts, already being discussed by city agencies, that meet the needs of all travel modes including bicycle, pedestrian, transit, and automobiles, to all city streets, rather than just to those being repaired?  How would you prioritize which streets are to be dealt with first?

Councilor Turner: I need to know more about the concept before I can give an opinion.

Street space is the largest physical asset owned by the city.  Devoting almost all of it to car traffic has a major impact on neighborhood quality of life.  On what streets would you propose that pedestrian and cyclist use be prioritized, for example through the creation of temporary "cyclovias" that only allow non-motorized travel, or more permanent "shared spaces" and "bike boulevards" that allow cars but at reduced speeds?

Councilor Turner: I think there needs to be a discussion in different parts of the district regarding these issues. Thereby the plan is being developed by those who will be effected by it. The community/BRA used such a process twenty two years ago when developing a rezoning process.Given the reliance of people on cars, we need to help people think through the issue.

6. Currently, it is technically illegal to ride a bike in city parks; and many neighborhood parks are underutilized.  What would you do to increase access to parks by foot or bike or public transportation, and to facilitate cycling in the parks?

Councilor Turner: I think that a hearing on the issue would be a good way to explore potential changes.

Better parking management is even more of a need in many commercial centers than more parking spaces. Reduced parking requirements (in zoning ordinances), Parking Benefit Districts, and other market based policies that price city-owned curb parking to reflect market rates are methods that can help to alleviate parking congestion and shortages. How would you better manage commercial parking areas in your district/in the city?

Councilor Turner: I would propose that the BRA as the City's Planning agency and the Boston Transportation Department conduct forums in the major business districts of the District in order to assess the ideas of the business owners and the patrons of area stores.

How would you leverage opportunities for Federal stimulus funding to create a more "active transportation" infrastructure in our city?  What federal programs do you consider most able to be used for this purpose?

Councilor Turner: The elected officials of Districts 7 and 4--state and city--are working together to develop a plan that the community believes will enhance bus travel along the route 28 Corridor. Problem is trying to get the state to follow our concerns rather than their view of what is appropriate.

Many bicyclists feel under assault on Boston roads and many drivers view bicyclist as serious nuisances. How would you address the attitudes of drivers and bicyclists to promote a more civil atmosphere of road sharing and cooperation on city streets? How would you incorporate driver and bicycle training programs into the educational system of your district/city?

Councilor Turner: Businesses that sell bikes and/or repair bikes in Boston should be required to distribute information on bike safety and rules of road. This could be done by city ordinance, I believe. Driver education could be done through a homerule petition that new drivers be required to answer questions regarding driving courtesy toward bike riders.

How do you personally get around the city?  Please give percentages for walking, bicycling, public transportation, and automobile.

Councilor Turner: automobile-90;public transportation:10% in the 80s: 80% bike; 20% public transportation