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?

The most unnecessarily dangerous element of Boston’s current transportation system is our signage. We lack clear and consistent labeling of our many of our streets and important tourism routes. As a result, Boston is notorious for being too difficult to navigate by car. People have a hard time getting around safely because they often can’t tell where they are going. As drivers are confused and trying to find signs or looking on their phones for maps, they are not paying as much attention to the cars, pedestrians, and bikes around them. Making Boston more navegable will improve public safety and decrease urban car insurance rates.

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?

Boston is already a very walkable city, but we can do more to make it even more pedestrian and bike friendly for our seniors and children. I support adding more countdown crosswalks – crosswalks that display how much time a person has to safely cross the street. I also would like to see more embedded crosswalks. These crosswalks are created by using basic street materials in different colors. The crosswalk is permanent and requires little maintenance, rather traditional crosswalks in which the strip of paint on top of pavement requires frequent repainting. We also need more crossing guards who will work for extended hours to make it safe for more children to walk to school. I would finally advocate for a highly visible, dedicated bike lane to connect all parts of the Emerald Necklace and the Southwest Corridor Park path without physical impediments. Not only are these parks great natural resources, they represent important commuting corridors.

3. 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?

The MBTA is cash strapped and planning with it is challenging. Projects that I believe that it can and should take on given its situation are 1) reinstating the Night Owl bus service and extending its operation to 4:00 AM, 2) ensuring that the Silver Line extension which is currently underway is successfully completed so that residents in our underserved communities have a one-seat ride to the airport and additional job opportunities, 3) maintaining current service during the day when the bulk of its ridership is our seniors. I am also in favor of gradually phasing out our current system and moving toward light rail. Light rail should come to our most underserved communities first, such as the Blue Hill Ave corridor. Ample vacant properties exist along Blue Hill Ave which could be repurposed for rapid transit.

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?

I agree with the City’s focus on streets that are being repaired – it makes good fiscal sense. But we can do more to develop “complete streets.” In addition to roads under repair, I would look at two additional factors. First, I would focus on those streets that are most frequently used. Changing over our most heavily used streets will have an immediate safety impact and will encourage a shift in the usage culture of Boston’s streets. Second, I would focus on areas that have the least diverse transportation options because they are most in need of a complete approach. Areas with very little parking or access to public transportation would be priorities.

5. 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?

This is a question that can only be answered with serious study. Closing streets to traffic or reducing their traffic flow can kill local businesses if not approached very strategically. We can consider these options if the increase in traffic that comes from the closure positively impacts the foot and bike traffic and the vibrance of the streets in question. The places I can imagine testing a program emphasizing pedestrian and cyclist use are in Brighton from Packard’s Corner to Cambridge Street, in JP from the Monument to the post office, and on parts of Dorchester Ave when it is resurfaced this year. However, parking would be a major issue and must be addressed. Places where closing streets to car traffic could be tested include Newbury Street, and extending the Downtown Crossing area closure to more streets. Deliveries would still be a necessity.

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?

I’m going to borrow from Jane Jacobs to answer this question. Neighborhood parks aren’t underutilized due to law or because there is anything physically wrong with our parks (although clearly the law against cycling in parks should be changed). Neighborhood parks are not used because the land uses around them are not supporting foot and cyclist traffic through them. A diversity of uses (housing, storefronts, churches, office space, etc) encouraging traffic flow through parks at a diversity of times during the day will attract more recreational use and will make parks safer. Yes, changes can be physically made in parks to provide bike racks or better walking space, but ultimately the land use around parks determines use rather than what is inside the parks themselves. Zoning and economic and neighborhood development around park perimeters are key in promoting park use.

7. 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?

Congestion and parking shortages are challenging, and I agree that there are many ways to address these issues in addition to creating more parking, which I support. Stepping up the enforcement of our parking code is one important way. Ticketing people who have overstayed their metered time or are parked illegally is one of the strongest tools that we have to encourage an overturn in parking spaces. If we allow drivers to get away with illegal parking there will be no incentive for them to free up their parking space for another driver. I also support expanding metered parking use and making neighborhoods more pedestrian and cyclist friendly to encourage those types of transportation use. I will be a strong advocate for planning for and creating dedicated commercial delivery space. Large trucks load and unload in the middle of our streets because they have no other options, and this creates significant congestion. We must take deliveries into better account in our planning.

8. 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?

I will join with the many excellent organizations in Boston such as the LivableStreets Alliance, MassBike, WalkBoston, the Rails to Trails Conservancy, and more that are already involved in transportation advocacy to advocate to the state and federal government for stimulus funds. Stimulus funding emphasizes infrastructure. The main type of funding that I believe is relevant supports Transit Oriented Development. Increasing density round transit stations supports increased use of public transportation and more active forms of transportation.

9. 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?

The conflicts that occur between cyclists and drivers are preventable. We need to begin educating both groups early on that cyclists must obey the rules of the road and that urban drivers must pay special and careful attention to the safety of our cyclists. Driving schools, driving exams, and our traffic code should reflect an emphasis on sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists. The City must reach out to and more actively partner with organizations that educate cyclists - from CycleKids, a start-up Somerville-based nonprofit that teaches Boston’s kids about cycling and safety, to MassBike, an organization that partners with the police to promote cycling safety for bike commuters.

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

One of the downsides of running for office is the amount of time I spend driving. Driving has had an impact on my physical health, and I wish I had more time to take walks with my dogs and my kids. Unfortunately driving is usually the most efficient way to get to the places I need to be. I estimate that I currently spend about 80% of my transportation time in a car, and the remaining 20% is spent walking the neighborhoods and knocking on doors. I have spent many months doorknocking in some of Boston’s most underserved neighborhoods, and it has given me a deep appreciation for how much work we need to do to improve transportation choice for Boston’s residents.