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Where They Stand: 2021 Candidates for Rochester Mayor & City Council

*NOTE: This list includes all candidates on the ballot for the June 22nd Primary.

 

In April, Reconnect Rochester surveyed all Primary candidates for Rochester Mayor and City Council to learn where they stand on issues related to transportation and mobility.

Questions were designed to give the candidates the opportunity to share their opinions, ideas and vision for a well-connected and accessible community.  We hope this information will help you make an informed decision when you head to the polls on June 22 and November 2.  We did our best to make contact with all of the candidates.

Click on the candidate names below to read their full, unedited responses. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Candidates for Mayor:

Malik Evans

Candidate Email: malik@malikevans.org

Website: www.MalikEvans.org

 

What are Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges?

Lack of reliable transportation for city residents to get all over Monroe County in a timely and efficient manner.

 

What are the top benefits our community would see by getting residents out of their cars and experiencing other modes of travel?

We would cut down on air pollution, greater physical health benefits can be gained by biking and walking.

 

What do you think City government can do to support public transit and create more equitable transportation options, especially in communities of color?

We need a real ride share program that targets minority communities that go beyond the pilot stage. We should also explore transportation options that service all corners of the county. Residents should have choices on where they want to work or live and transportation should not be a barrier.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for the 26% of Rochester residents who do not own or have access to a personal vehicle?

First off we need more businesses to locate in neighborhoods so that people can bike or walk to work if they choose. Secondly we must ensure that mass transit is efficient and widely available so that people can get to where jobs are.

 

What steps will you take to encourage/incentivize residents (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant vehicles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

I am a big fan of promoting walking. I usually walk to most of my appointments when I am in the downtown area. I would encourage carpooling and we must spread public awareness about biking and safety. It is still way too dangerous for many bicyclist and often pedestrians and that must change.

 

How will you lead the community in reducing our transportation carbon footprint? Do you or would you be willing to take the bus, bike or walk to City Hall?

I would love to be able to walk to city hall or to meetings from city hall. I would also like to take public transit from time to time to demonstrate the importance of mass transit.

 

How specifically will you support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034?

I would advocate for Rochesters share of infrastructure funding so that we could have a diverse range of transportation choices for walking, biking and public transportation. Also ensure land use and and transportation regulations are integrated. This can only be done by engaging all sectors of the community. I would make public engagement on transportation and infrastructure a centerpiece of my administration.

 

What land use and economic development policies would you pursue to encourage job creation and development to remain in the city core, and better connect people in the city to employment opportunities?

We would encourage and incentivize small and medium size businesses to locate in neighborhoods. A person should not have to travel long commutes for work. I have always had short commutes and this has allowed me to use that time constructively.

 

Are you satisfied with our current sidewalk and bus stop snow removal policies? What opportunities for improvement do you see?

We can always improve on ensuring there is adequate clearing for snow removal around bus stops and frequently traveled walking areas. I see an opportunity to engage the public with getting involved in highlighting the needs and possibly adopting a sidewalk.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes lowered speed limits and other traffic calming practices and policies?

Absolutely. I am very distressed by the lack of care on streets across this country. We regularly see people travelling above 40mph on streets across the city.

 

What specific actions do you suggest to make Rochester safer for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities?

Speed Bumps, lowered speed limits, and regular public awareness activities. I am still shocked by the lack of respect shown to bicyclist and pedestrians. We must work together collectively to change it.

 

Would you favor the establishment of a bike/pedestrian advisory committee with the power to review road projects and make recommendations?

Yes.

 

Rochester recently received a renewal of its “Bronze” level award as a bike-friendly community. One of the key steps to receiving “Silver” status is a dedicated budget for implementing our Bike Master Plan. Would you support a line item in the budget devoted to bike infrastructure?

Yes and if we work with are partners at every level of Government state and federal we can reach silver.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share about transportation and mobility in Rochester?

We can do better, we need high speed rail and easier transportation options. We should be able to get around without needing access to a car. I believe we can get there.

Mayor Lovely Warren

Mayor Lovely WarrenCandidate Email: Lovely@MayorLovelyWarren.com

Website: www.MayorLovelyWarren.com

 

What are Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges?

Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges are:
1) Ensuring safe, affordable and convenient transit for our low-income families.
2) Building our infrastructure to encourage alternatives to cars while recognizing that the transition to alternatives remains a lengthy process. That means continuing to support our Complete Streets model and build additional bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure as well as supporting ride-share, bike share and transit services to truly enable an alternative transportation network in our City.

 

What are the top benefits our community would see by getting residents out of their cars and experiencing other modes of travel?

The greatest benefit is the creation of community and the building of relationships between neighbors, local merchants/business and community/governmental organizations.

 

By getting people to truly think locally (walking/biking distance) we can enhance neighborhoods and increase demand for services in our City’s commercial corridors. This will create opportunities and drive investment to areas that have seen chronic disinvestment due to the suburbanization of America.

 

What do you think City government can do to support public transit and create more equitable transportation options, especially in communities of color?

The City is eager to relaunch bike share in our community to empower City residents to utilize the resources in their neighborhood or nearby neighborhoods. That street level activity will also build upon itself and spur creative ideas on how to enhance it both economically and socially. A bike share relaunch in partnership with RTS should happen this summer.

 

We should also continue investments like the reconstruction of East Main Street with dedicated bike lanes and sidewalks for pedestrians to demonstrate how such infrastructure can be the catalyst to rebuild and reconnect neighborhoods.

 

Also, the City should push RTS to consider eliminating fares, where possible, within its system to further encourage the use of public transit.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for the 26% of Rochester residents who do not own or have access to a personal vehicle?

We should look to all of the items expressed above: 1) Expand bike infrastructure. 2) Restore bike share service, which is forthcoming. 3) Support ride-share services and encourage operators to adopt equitable practices for drivers and riders. 4) Encourage RTS to eliminate fares, where possible, to encourage use of the transit system. 5) Support the development of our local commercial corridors, like Bulls Head, N. Clinton Avenue, Jefferson Avenue, etc. to create jobs and services closer to where our residents live.

 

What steps will you take to encourage/incentivize residents (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant vehicles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

Again, we should look to all of the items expressed above: 1) Expand bike infrastructure. 2) Restore bike share service, which is forthcoming. 3) Support ride-share services and encourage operators to adopt equitable practices for drivers and riders. 4) Encourage RTS to eliminate fares, where possible, to encourage use of the transit system. 5) Support the development of our local commercial corridors, like Bulls Head, N. Clinton Avenue, Jefferson Avenue, etc. to create jobs and services closer to where our residents live.

 

How will you lead the community in reducing our transportation carbon footprint? Do you or would you be willing to take the bus, bike or walk to City Hall?

Under my leadership, Rochester is one of only 43 cities worldwide to be named an “A” city for its work combating climate change. We were recognized for our notable efforts, including our Sustainable Homes Rochester program, our expansive number of electric vehicle charging stations and our 2-MW solar farm located on the former Emerson St. landfill.

 

We have also been driving the adoption of renewable energy through the creation of Rochester Community Power (RCP). RCP is our community choice aggregation program to provide access to renewal electricity to city residents at lower rates than legacy electricity sources. RCP is in the process of conducting its education and enrollment campaign throughout our city. I will continue to support its efforts to ensure our residents have the ability to improve our environment while reducing their utility bills.

 

As it relates specifically to transportation, in addition to the responses provided above, I have directed our Department of Environmental Services to seek to purchase electric or other green vehicles wherever possible. In addition, DES explores green alternatives during the planning and design of our capital projects to ensure we are leading the way with the adoption of sustainable alternatives wherever possible.

 

In addition, we must continue to implement Rochester 2034 and the Comprehensive Access and Mobility Plan that informed it.

 

How specifically will you support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034?

My administration was proud to complete Rochester 2034, our City’s first update to our comprehensive plan in over 15 years. I am committed to fulfilling this vision. The ongoing reconstruction of East Main St. is clear evidence of this work. With its dedicated and protected bike lanes, sidewalks and other traffic calming measures, the new East Main St. will serve as the first example of how we apply the vision of 2034 to future infrastructure projects.

 

In addition, I am creating a Rochester 2034 governance committee to ensure we implement the plan going forward and that decisions throughout City government are made in accordance with its principles.

 

What land use and economic development policies would you pursue to encourage job creation and development to remain in the city core, and better connect people in the city to employment opportunities?

My administration was proud to complete Rochester 2034, our City’s first update to our comprehensive plan in over 15 years. I am committed to fulfilling this vision. The ongoing reconstruction of East Main St. is clear evidence of this work. With its dedicated and protected bike lanes, sidewalks and other traffic calming measures, the new East Main St. will serve as the first example of how we apply the vision of 2034 to future infrastructure projects.

 

In addition, I am creating a Rochester 2034 governance committee to ensure we implement the plan going forward and that decisions throughout City government are made in accordance with its principles.

 

Are you satisfied with our current sidewalk and bus stop snow removal policies? What opportunities for improvement do you see?

No. There is more work to be done. However, it can’t be done by City government alone. We need partnerships with our businesses and community organizations. And, we need our residents to take responsibility where they can.

 

I am committed to exploring how to implement the following items from Rochester 2034; including:

  • Prioritizing facilities according to higher levels of non-automobile traffic, such as mixed-use corridors, bus stops, routes to employment centers frequented by those who cannot or choose not to drive, key trail segments, and areas around large residential buildings.
  • Creating partnerships with other entities to work together on snow removal.
  • Researching equipment and technology available to more effectively construct and treat the surfaces of sidewalks and bicycle routes.

However, despite the need to do more and the partnerships necessary, it is important to note that Rochester is the only upstate city with an extensive sidewalk plowing program that occurs when there are more than four inches of snowfall. This long-standing effort continues to require a great deal of funding and resources and I remain committed to it.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes lowered speed limits and other traffic calming practices and policies?

Yes!

 

What specific actions do you suggest to make Rochester safer for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities?

We need to continue to design and build projects like the reconstruction of East Main St. with dedicated and protected bike lanes and sidewalks. We need to install additional traffic calming measures throughout the city and fully embrace all of the tenets of our Rochester 2034 comprehensive plan.

 

Would you favor the establishment of a bike/pedestrian advisory committee with the power to review road projects and make recommendations?

Yes. I envision this as part of our ongoing Rochester 2034 governance committee discussed above.

 

Rochester recently received a renewal of its “Bronze” level award as a bike-friendly community. One of the key steps to receiving “Silver” status is a dedicated budget for implementing our Bike Master Plan. Would you support a line item in the budget devoted to bike infrastructure?

I support continuing to build out our bike infrastructure as envisioned in our Rochester 2034 and associated CAMP, as well as, demonstrated by our East Main Street reconstruction and other infrastructure projects.
As you likely know, physical infrastructure, including bike infrastructure is typically funded with capital dollars and not operating funds. Therefore, I support the consistent and annual inclusion of such projects in our Capital Improvement Program and Capital Budget, along with the appropriate operating budget expenditures for maintenance and repair of such infrastructure.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share about transportation and mobility in Rochester?

As I have shared throughout my responses, I am proud that my administration proposed, funded and completed our Rochester 2034 Comprehensive Plan, including the CAMP. In addition, I am glad we have shown our commitment to making these plans a reality via projects like the reconstruction of East Main Street. Prior to my administration, many of these ideas were proposed, but never realized. I am glad that together, with the support of our community we have made real progress in promoting walking, biking and other transportation alternatives. I understand there is more work to be done and there is more for me to learn. However, I know that I have worked in good faith to achieve these goals and would be honored by the opportunity to continue to work with you.

Candidates for City Council:

Luis Aponte

Candidate Email: Luisaaponte124@gmail.com

Website: www.facebook.com/LuisAponte4CityCouncil/

 

What are Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges?

Lack of routine financial support and city, county, and state educational programming.

 

What are the top benefits our community would see by getting residents out of their cars and experiencing other modes of travel?

One of the advantages is that it would have a huge impact on a person’s physical health. I also feel that by getting people out of their cars, it would give them an opportunity to actually see the assets of the community. With pandemic rules loosening slightly, I have witnessed many people taking advantage of not needing to find parking and visiting restaurants that have outdoor seating. People have a bigger tendency to visit local shops and may even help expand ridership amongst youth and children. Most novice riders usually are safe riders and I bet they will be more than willing to create some type of “community riding” programs.

 

What do you think City government can do to support public transit and create more equitable transportation options, especially in communities of color?

I feel that the city should make a budgetary line item for the promotion of a “safe riding’ program. Maybe it can be started through the City Recreation Department, and involve some type of partnerships with local bike enthusiast and bike shops. Many children in our poorer neighborhoods either don’t have bicycles or a safe place to ride. We need to get the right people at the table to brainstorm about how a system can be created. I think that having to apply for grant funding yearly makes some of the work already done not sustainable. We need to find funding by having the city and county leadership share the expenses.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for the 26% of Rochester residents who do not own or have access to a personal vehicle?

I think that the city should create a program with employers and RTS to give monthly stipends so that during inclement weather people could afford to get to work. The city may also do partnerships with businesses that ask employees to carpool. The city took the initiative to help transport people to a casino that was out of the county, so I think we should invest the same type of ideology to doing things within the city limits.

 

What steps will you take to encourage/incentivize residents (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant vehicles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

Obviously I didn’t read all the questions first, because I feel I added some ideas to some of the other questions. At the end of the day, things have to be made affordable. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! In doing a little research, other cities gave tax breaks to employees that took the bus or rode bikes to work. First step would be for the city to use all of its resources to promote bicycling. Supporting the grassroot neighborhood associations may also help build an inner city biking community.

 

How will you lead the community in reducing our transportation carbon footprint? Do you or would you be willing to take the bus, bike or walk to City Hall?

Educating the community on options available to them and showing price comparisons on how much they can save may be an incentive for some. With the price of parking downtown, I don’t know how people afford to park downtown daily. My sister in law and her friends all carpool together and work downtown, they have done it for years. I am lucky enough to work close to home and sciatica prohibits me from walking long distances. I have grown fond of taking a train to Albany vs driving.

 

How specifically will you support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034?

I feel that there has to be specific funding to help support the vision. Funding should include not only painting lanes in the road. Transportation studies need to be done to truly create safe riding lanes. We are blessed with the Genesee Water Ways and paths throughout the city/county. We need to continue supporting and creating new safe bike paths and an intermodal transportation center.

 

What land use and economic development policies would you pursue to encourage job creation and development to remain in the city core, and better connect people in the city to employment opportunities?

I would like to see new legislation that would help streamline the laws to get vacant and abandoned property issues resolved quicker. All proposals in regards to land use should always be presented to neighborhood residents for debate-approvals. Our city is rich in labor unions and a school district that is suffering. I am a supporter and a product of high school co-op programs that gave youth HOPE of having a good paying job and future after graduation. We must invest in our youth and the school district’s bright stars. Many will hopefully go on to become city home owners and becoming vested in their neighborhoods.

 

Are you satisfied with our current sidewalk and bus stop snow removal policies? What opportunities for improvement do you see?

I am not satisfied with the current processes used. I usually end up repairing my front lawn in spring because of damages rendered by the tractors. The front of my home is a bus stop for young children which is usually has to be cleaned in the morning by members of my family. I feel that there needs to be better equipment used and the job should be done by city employees so that there is a better accountability.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes lowered speed limits and other traffic calming practices and policies?

The city has used some of these practices already across the city. Changing two lane roads into single lanes with bike paths is a good start. Curb cutouts and “curb appeal” also seems to slow down traffic. I do support the approach, but more needs to be done. To me, safety will always be key.

 

What specific actions do you suggest to make Rochester safer for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities?

I feel that we must enforce the laws we have currently on the books, and maybe look into creating new legislation that may bring funding for enhancing street lighting. City forestry should also travel around the city to make sure tree limbs are not hindering lighting. Even with crosswalks and signage, it seems that some major intersections are horrendously unsafe. We need to do routine PSAs to remind motorist/pedestrians on the rules of the road. I would love to see the rails to trails program revisited to see if some of the areas could be paved like the areas near the canals.

 

Would you favor the establishment of a bike/pedestrian advisory committee with the power to review road projects and make recommendations?

I truly feel that this can be very exciting for residents that love cycling. Giving community members some ownership to programs like this would enhance many relationships, and may actually be a huge selling point for living in certain neighborhoods.

 

Rochester recently received a renewal of its “Bronze” level award as a bike-friendly community. One of the key steps to receiving “Silver” status is a dedicated budget for implementing our Bike Master Plan. Would you support a line item in the budget devoted to bike infrastructure?

This was my answer to one of the other questions. I must be honest, I thought we already had one that was run poorly! In order for this to grow and be successful, it needs to be funded and must have leadership that is passionate about the project.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share about transportation and mobility in Rochester?

Compared to where we were even 5 years ago, I feel that we have done some strides in certain areas. I wish we would have made one huge transportation hub which included rail and busing. I feel we missed the mark on putting the RTS station where it is. I always felt that the bike lane markings should have been reflective in some way for the safety of bicyclist. I would like to see yearly “bike rodeos” where kids could get free helmets and rider education. Including bike giveaways would be great in a event like that. Just some of my thoughts. As a paramedic, I have seen many severe injuries due to lack of bike education and head injuries.

I would like to say Thank You for the opportunity to earn your support. These questions actually made me think more about transportation safety. Please feel free to reach me with any questions or clarification.

Leticia D. Astacio

Candidate Email: astaciolaw@gmail.com

 

After several follow-up attempts, we did not receive a response from this candidate.

 

 

 

 

 

Mitch Gruber

Candidate Email: MitchForCityCouncil@gmail.com

Website: www.MitchGruber.com

 

What are Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges?

This city has been built for automobiles. People with cars get where they want to go, when they want to go there. People without cars struggle because of issues with public transit, bicycle infrastructure, and pedestrian walkways. The result is an issue of transit equity, which is the biggest transportation challenge we have.

 

What are the top benefits our community would see by getting residents out of their cars and experiencing other modes of travel?

Reduction in car travel would foster societal, environmental, and economic improvements. We’d see more connectivity between people, less emissions, and budgets that would focus more on people and less on cars.

 

What do you think City government can do to support public transit and create more equitable transportation options, especially in communities of color?

We can continue to invest in bicycle infrastructure and tighten the relationship between City and RTS.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for the 26% of Rochester residents who do not own or have access to a personal vehicle?

We must strengthen our routes for bicycle commuters. The upcoming bicycle boulevard initiative demonstrates a huge investment in commuter bicycling, but we have a lot more work to do. Most notably, we need an updated and improved bike master plan.

 

What steps will you take to encourage/incentivize residents (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant vehicles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

I will continue to try and model the behavior of someone who cares about multi-modal transit. In my time on Council, I’ve posted videos and talked at length about bike riding, walking, and taking the bus. In fact, pre-COVID I walked from my house to every City Council meeting, recorded it, and invited community members to join. I will continue to do this type of work.

 

How will you lead the community in reducing our transportation carbon footprint? Do you or would you be willing to take the bus, bike or walk to City Hall?

When we were still meeting in person, I walked to every single Council meeting and put it on Facebook live. I will continue to walk to Council, ride in every unity ride, and always make sure that the City is thinking about bike/peds in any construction project.

 

How specifically will you support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034?

I believe that my actions of the last 3 years should demonstrate to Reconnect my full, 100% commitment to the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034.

 

What land use and economic development policies would you pursue to encourage job creation and development to remain in the city core, and better connect people in the city to employment opportunities?

One of the core economic development policies that the City adopted in recent years was to strengthen REDCO and move it out of City government. The result is an organization with more flexibility to facilitate economic development in specific ways. REDCO must encourage job creation and development in the city core, to better connect people to employment opportunities. Moreover, REDCO has the opportunity to be a transformative funder for transit equity, as they will be investing into commercial corridors. We must advocate for REDCO to think about transit equity whenever they invest in a commercial corridor.

 

Are you satisfied with our current sidewalk and bus stop snow removal policies? What opportunities for improvement do you see?

No. We need to continue to plow bike lanes, sidewalks, and bus stops. The issue has been, and will continue to be, money and resources. I will continue to advocate for more snow removal as we went a new budget year.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes lowered speed limits and other traffic calming practices and policies?

Yes

 

What specific actions do you suggest to make Rochester safer for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities?

Continue to invest in new bike infrastructure (Roc the Riverway, Bicycle Boulevards) and wayfinding tools .The City should also be partnering with Reconnect to create some of the videos and content that help facilitate safer streets.

 

Would you favor the establishment of a bike/pedestrian advisory committee with the power to review road projects and make recommendations?

Yes.

 

Rochester recently received a renewal of its “Bronze” level award as a bike-friendly community. One of the key steps to receiving “Silver” status is a dedicated budget for implementing our Bike Master Plan. Would you support a line item in the budget devoted to bike infrastructure?

Yes. I’ve also advocated for a bike/peds specialist on staff, and I will continue to do so.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share about transportation and mobility in Rochester?

The City has made a lot of great improvements in the past three years, and I am proud of them. We also have a long way to go. I believe my track record has demonstrated my interest and ability to work with Reconnect to achieve shared goals. I will continue to do that work.

Anthony Hall, Jr.

Candidate Email: hallforcitycouncil@yahoo.com

Website: www.facebook.com/AnthonyHallforRochesterCityCouncil

 

This candidate declined to participate in the questionnaire.

 

 

 

 

 

Brittan Hardgers

Candidate Email: bhardgers4council@gmail.com

Website: www.peoplesslateroc.com

 

What are Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges?

Rochester City residents deserve a public transportation system that is affordable, safe, has accommodating schedules and is structured by location that they can get to their chosen destination with ease. Scheduling and location of stops makes it extremely difficult for residents to get to their jobs, especially outside of City limits.

 

What are the top benefits our community would see by getting residents out of their cars and experiencing other modes of travel?

Reducing each resident’s and our city’s carbon footprint is invaluable to our city’s future. And we live in a City that experiences extreme poverty especially within our Black and Brown community. Providing affordable and accessible alternative modes of transportation isn’t just a benefit to our City, it is a necessity to many Rochesterians’ who can’t navigate the City any other way.

 

What do you think City government can do to support public transit and create more equitable transportation options, especially in communities of color?

Make sure that our communities are always the number one priority in our decision making. They also should be working closely with the county to make sure Rochesterians’ needs are met when using public transportation to access locations outside of the city.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for the 26% of Rochester residents who do not own or have access to a personal vehicle?

Increase stops, expand schedules and ensure that Rochestarian’s are able to access jobs outside of the city limits.

 

What steps will you take to encourage/incentivize residents (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant vehicles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

Support businesses who work to provide incentives for their employees to encourage alternative transportation.

 

How will you lead the community in reducing our transportation carbon footprint? Do you or would you be willing to take the bus, bike or walk to City Hall?

I commit to fighting to extend routes, schedules and making public transportation more accessible for us all. With those aspects in place I certainly am willing to participate in the same transportation alternatives that we are encouraging the community to utilize.

 

How specifically will you support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034?

I support the study of how best we can serve underserved and marginalized populations within our community. Creating not just a utopian vision of Rochester, but a practical, substantial plan to make the average Rochesterians’ life better, easier and more successful. The elements that include assessment and implementation of providing economically beneficial options that also will benefit the environmental impact upon our world will have my full support.

 

What land use and economic development policies would you pursue to encourage job creation and development to remain in the city core, and better connect people in the city to employment opportunities?

I will support land use and economic development policies that encourage responsible business growth and economic growth without sacrificing the green standards and clean living that will sustain our community for generations.

 

Are you satisfied with our current sidewalk and bus stop snow removal policies? What opportunities for improvement do you see?

My Grandmother utilizes a walker to help her get around. Every winter, I worry about her ability to navigate the sidewalks safely. I was raised by my Grandmother. She saved my life and it was her that first taught me the importance of rallying and visiting legislatures and leadership to advocate for those most vulnerable in our community. Now is my opportunity to advocate for her and the rest of my elders to make sure their needs are met. I would love to see a more comprehensive plan to make sure that the streets, bus stops and sidewalks are clear and safe in all weather for our youth and elders.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes lowered speed limits and other traffic calming practices and policies?

Yes I do. All Black Lives Matter and we can’t afford to lose one more life for any reason. If there are inexpensive and feasible ways to make small changes in traffic and transportation that can save lives, there is every reason to make those adjustments.

 

What specific actions do you suggest to make Rochester safer for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities?

The increase of bike lanes to provide bicyclists a safe and convenient lane to ride.

 

Would you favor the establishment of a bike/pedestrian advisory committee with the power to review road projects and make recommendations?

I believe that we are all the experts of our own experience. By listening to the voices of those amongst us who are most affected by the decisions we make, we ensure that they make sense and are providing people what they actually want and need.

 

Rochester recently received a renewal of its “Bronze” level award as a bike-friendly community. One of the key steps to receiving “Silver” status is a dedicated budget for implementing our Bike Master Plan. Would you support a line item in the budget devoted to bike infrastructure?

By defunding the RPD and reallocating funds to various types of community programming, services and infrastructure changes, quality of life would most certainly improve for our city residents.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share about transportation and mobility in Rochester?

Jonathan W. Hardin

Candidate Email: mrjhardin@yahoo.com

Website: www.jonathanhardin.nationbuilder.com

 

After several follow-up attempts, we did not receive a response from this candidate.

 

 

 

 

 

Jazzmyn Ivery-Robinson

Candidate Email: jazzforcitycouncil@gmail.com

Website: www.jazzmynivery.com

 

What are Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges?

Although there are various transportation challenges that Rochester struggles with, I believe a large challenge is the way in which the City of Rochester provides transportation options for individuals with disabilities.

 

What are the top benefits our community would see by getting residents out of their cars and experiencing other modes of travel?

The top benefit for utilizing additional travel is an increase in mental and physical health.

 

What do you think City government can do to support public transit and create more equitable transportation options, especially in communities of color?

I believe that the city can work with RTS and other transportation services to all same day rides that allows for individuals with disabilities the ability to travel with reliability and the option to travel beyond Monroe County. I also believe in expanding the Uber services here to UberWAV which will allow for an additional alternative to an affordable wheelchair accessible vehicle.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for the 26% of Rochester residents who do not own or have access to a personal vehicle?

Advocating for and reallocating funds to expanding transportation services, increase bike lanes throughout the City of Rochester, and expanding employment opportunities throughout the city and closer to bus routes to allow for ease of access and less commute time.

 

What steps will you take to encourage/incentivize residents (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant vehicles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

Increasing education relating to transportation options. By talking with residents we can examine any hesitations that individuals may have and provide solution options. I will advocate to expand current transportation and bring new transportation options to the City of Rochester.

 

How will you lead the community in reducing our transportation carbon footprint? Do you or would you be willing to take the bus, bike or walk to City Hall?

I am not a stranger to using the bus system to City Hall. While a student in the Urban-Suburban program I had to utilize the RTS system to get from my home in the city to Pittsford Mendon. Throughout college I utilized the bus system provided by RIT, walked, or biked. I believe that we all can play a role in reducing our transportation carbon footprint. I would encourage the community to examine their personal needs, health, etc. and whenever they can to use an alternative method than a car. However, if a car is needed I would encourage carpooling, staying up to date on service maintenance, etc.

 

How specifically will you support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034?

If elected, I will support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034 by holding myself and accountable and my colleagues accountable in ensuring that we deliver on what has been laid out in the plan to ensure that we are providing a community where all residents can prosper.

 

What land use and economic development policies would you pursue to encourage job creation and development to remain in the city core, and better connect people in the city to employment opportunities?

I support a transit oriented development model. I believe in mixed use communities and while creating at minimum living wage jobs, affordable housing, grocery stores, etc. that are close to the bus terminal and within walking distance.

 

Are you satisfied with our current sidewalk and bus stop snow removal policies? What opportunities for improvement do you see?

I believe that there is always room for improvement. Right now according to the City of Rochester website residents are required to remove the snow in front of their homes when the snow is less than 4 inches. I believe there is an opportunity to reallocate funds for the removal of snow by city employees when the snow is less than 4 inches as this will help not only walkers, bikers, but also individuals within wheelchairs.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes lowered speed limits and other traffic calming practices and policies?

Yes

 

What specific actions do you suggest to make Rochester safer for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities?

I am a supporter in expanding bike lanes throughout the City.

 

Would you favor the establishment of a bike/pedestrian advisory committee with the power to review road projects and make recommendations?

Yes

 

Rochester recently received a renewal of its “Bronze” level award as a bike-friendly community. One of the key steps to receiving “Silver” status is a dedicated budget for implementing our Bike Master Plan. Would you support a line item in the budget devoted to bike infrastructure?

Yes

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share about transportation and mobility in Rochester?

Willie J. Lightfoot

Candidate Email: WillieLightfoot4CityCouncil@gmail.com

Website: www.WillieLightfoot.com

 

We did not receive a response from this candidate.

 

 

 

 

 

Stanley Martin

Candidate Email: Iknowstanleymartin@gmail.com

Website: www.peoplesslateroc.com

 

What are Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges?

Our challenges lie in the inability of our community members to cheaply, efficiently, and safely move throughout our city landscape. These challenges are felt most often and most harshly by Black and Brown communities and are inextricable from questions of class. There are people in our community facing hours of daily commuting in order to get to work on public transportation. Problems like this stem not only from our flawed public transportation system, but also the inaccessibility of walking and biking as reliable transportation and the fact that so many of our city residents do not have reliable employment within a short distance of their homes.

 

Like so many other matters, our transportation challenges are intersectional and must be view through a holistic lens if we are to come up with sustainable and equitable solutions. This starts with the centering of communities that are most affected by the flaws and allowing them to speak to the changes that would best serve them. It also means reallocating funding to enable bold and meaningful changes to the way we address transportation in our city.

 

What are the top benefits our community would see by getting residents out of their cars and experiencing other modes of travel?

When people walk, bike, run, or skate through their community they connect and interact with it in a very different way. Stopping to look through the windows of small businesses, taking a detour through a park or along the riverway to admire our incredible local landscape, saying “hello” to the person going by; these things help build a community. These modes of transportation are also cheaper, better for the environment, and better for the body than driving.

 

It is important that we make sure all of our city roadways and sidewalks are equally accessible to these modes of travel, and that all of our communities are given the same resources and attention as we improve on our infrastructure and cultivate green space.

 

What do you think City government can do to support public transit and create more equitable transportation options, especially in communities of color?

Bringing the most affected communities to the table in order to decide on the solutions, rather than deciding on their behalf is the most important part of any solution. Bus riders and drivers are not only the most affected by these, they are also the premiere experts on them. Additionally we can allocate funds to improve on the routes, the accessibility of our buses and stations, and reduce the cost for our riders.

 

We also need to find ways to keep our community safe while using public transport that does not involve policing. People using public transportation are disproportionate targeted by police, which is problematic enough without considering how many Black and Brown youth rely on public transportation. Equitable transportation means making sure that riders are being subjected to profiling and surveillance by RPD.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for the 26% of Rochester residents who do not own or have access to a personal vehicle?

A more efficient public transportation system is a part of this solution, but we also need to make sure that our communities have good, reliable jobs within their neighborhoods. Every person in Rochester should have the opportunity to support themselves and their family within walking distance.

 

What steps will you take to encourage/incentivize residents (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant vehicles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

When elected, I will advocate for commuter benefit programs where employees can use pre-tax income to pay for various forms of public transportation as we move towards a system where it can be permanently free for all our residents. If we are serious about reducing emissions, serving our communities, and reducing vehicle traffic for a Vision Zero approach to transportation then we need to get serious about solutions.

 

How will you lead the community in reducing our transportation carbon footprint? Do you or would you be willing to take the bus, bike or walk to City Hall?

I am certainly willing to take the bus, bike, or walk to City Hall. I also support the purchase of additional electric busses until the entire RTS fleet is fully electric by 2030.

 

How specifically will you support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034?

“I will support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034 through the following measures:

  • Advocate for complete streets, led by community design, that are accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and motorists.
  • Advocating that fees for public transit be eliminated
  • Exploring options for additional modes of public transit including a city-wide light rail
  • Partnering with advocacy organizations such as Reconnect Rochester and frontline community members to advocate that policies best align with community needs aspirations.”

 

What land use and economic development policies would you pursue to encourage job creation and development to remain in the city core, and better connect people in the city to employment opportunities?

Community Land Trusts (CLT) can be an invaluable resource for youth employment, community education, quality nutrition, climate justice and housing development without displacement. I fully support CLT initiatives to further community control of residential & commercial spaces. When elected I work to further empower CLTs through public policy.

 

I also support a new vision for civilian-led public safety that directly engages and employs folks from marginalized communities in Rochester in good paying, unionized jobs. In particular, creating Community Safety Centers that would provide a wide array of services including family assistance, conflict mediation, civilian crisis intervention, and funds to compensate individuals and families who have experienced racism and other forms of discrimination. This new vision would also develop sites offering paid peer counseling, treatment programs, legal services & case management to improve housing, health care, employment opportunities, immigration advocacy & public benefits.

 

This would include enacting a Civil Life Corps to work with communities to help resolve day-to-day programs and address community needs including access to quality transportation, housing, voting rights, environmental equity & conservation. It would also involve creating civilian response teams who are trained in first aid, car mechanics, and de-escalation & conflict resolution to respond to traffic safety incidents. This plan can help create real employment opportunities to uplift neighborhoods across Rochester and puts the control exactly where it should be: in the community.

 

Are you satisfied with our current sidewalk and bus stop snow removal policies? What opportunities for improvement do you see?

The City of Rochester must implement stronger snow removal policies. With such snow-intensive winters, whole City blocks can be rendered inaccessible to frail older adults and people with mobility disabilities. It can also pose a tremendous a risk of injury due to falls. When elected, I will fight to make sure that we have comprehensive snow removal policies in all neighborhoods that ensure accessibility throughout the Fall and Winter months.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes lowered speed limits and other traffic calming practices and policies?

Traffic-related deaths and injuries are not an inevitability, but are tied to planning and policy. I support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, including lowered speed limits, pedestrian zones, barriers that separate cars from bikes, and other measures. In addition, to re-imagine transportation & traffic safety, I support the use of civilian response teams who are trained in first aid, car mechanics, de-escalation & conflict resolution. I fully support community input and influence in determining appropriate policies needed to improve traffic safety in our neighborhoods. This includes consulting and soliciting input from neighborhood organizations, tenant unions, individuals & families, and faith communities.

 

What specific actions do you suggest to make Rochester safer for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities?

To make Rochester safer for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities, I support complete streets, led by community design, that are accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and motorists. These may include bike lanes, roundabouts, improved, comfortable & convenient transportation stops, median green spaces, street art, and other features.

 

Would you favor the establishment of a bike/pedestrian advisory committee with the power to review road projects and make recommendations?

I fully support the establishment of a bike/pedestrian advisory committee with the power to review road projects and make recommendations. I believe that we are all the experts of our own experience. By listening to folks directly affected by these decisions, we will ensure that public policies align with community needs.

 

Rochester recently received a renewal of its “Bronze” level award as a bike-friendly community. One of the key steps to receiving “Silver” status is a dedicated budget for implementing our Bike Master Plan. Would you support a line item in the budget devoted to bike infrastructure?

I am a strong proponent of transitioning funds away from policing and into community-based services and infrastructure, which includes investing in alternative modes of transportation such as bike infrastructure.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share about transportation and mobility in Rochester?

We have a long way to go before we achieve equitable, reliable, and sustainable transportation in this city, but if we continue to organize and work together towards real solutions with an intersectional mindset then we can achieve the kinds of changes that we all know our community needs and deserves. If you support this agenda, or have any input on how we can improve our positions regarding transportation here in Rochester, please visit Peoplesslateroc.com and get connected with our campaign.

Miguel Melendez

Candidate Email: melendezforcouncil@gmail.com

Website: www.melendezforcouncil.com

 

What are Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges?

There are a few… First, I believe our public transportation system is still challenging. I know that we are in the process of making changes but it still takes too long to travel in this City with public transit. I also believe that our communities lack public transit amenities such as street furniture and bus shelters. Over time, we have removed more and more of these features instead of repairing/replacing them. I also believe we have to increase our active bike lanes and “sharrows.” We have come a long way since that time and I believe the work of that committee helped set the stage for increasing access in Rochester. Since joining council, I have helped improve the bicycle boulevards efforts and sought increased wayfinding, something I will continue to advocate for as a sitting councilmember. We still have a lot of work to do. I think dedicated bike lanes and increased biking infrastructure are great next steps and hopefully the East Main Street project will be a great example of what we can do as we approve large road reconstruction projects. I also believe we have to improve walkability in our communities as part of the Roc 2034 comp plan. We need to couple our placemaking strategies with our transportation efforts to ensure people have access to new destinations.

 

What are the top benefits our community would see by getting residents out of their cars and experiencing other modes of travel?

I think it helps create a sense of community. Everything is different in a neighborhood when you have neighbors walking instead of driving past each other. I have seen this benefit with the opening of the international plaza, something that is near and dear to my heart as part of my work in the El Camino neighborhood at Ibero. In the neighborhood vision plan, residents were clear; they wanted a neighborhood that had destinations, walkability, and where they could recirculate their dollar. Creating destinations AND making those destinations accessible are both important. I worked with residents to apply for and implement a “Complete Streets Makeover” project on North Clinton Avenue. Through that project, we painted two crosswalks, bump-outs, a ramp for accessibility, and public art across North Clinton Avenue to the International Plaza site (before it was built) to demonstrate the vision of neighbors in the area. While we certainly wanted to do more with the project (such as add a temporary median on North Clinton Avenue), we have advocated for the city to add permanent crosswalks in the future. So the benefits from my perspective are improved quality of life, improved health, improved safety, cost savings for the resident and reduced negative impact on climate change.

 

What do you think City government can do to support public transit and create more equitable transportation options, especially in communities of color?

City government can improve transit by improving street amenities, advocating for the creation of more East/West bus routes (some of which is occurring in Reimagine RTS, such as the Upper Falls BLVD route), continuing to develop street infrastructure (dedicated bike lanes, bike lanes, sharrows, wayfinding, etc.), developing more transit options (PACE bikes, increased bus route frequency, etc.) and maintaining an affordable system for the public by investing in public transit, as needed and appropriate.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for the 26% of Rochester residents who do not own or have access to a personal vehicle?

I believe, wholeheartedly, there is an opportunity to bring some of the jobs our citizens take closer to home. For example, we have learned so much during the pandemic and working remotely is now a way of life. While not everyone has access to technology, we have access to vacant warehouse and old manufacturing spaces all across the city in our urban neighborhoods that could be repurposed. I do not understand why we need to have our citizens take two buses to work at a call center in Henrietta when people could work at a call center up the street. With that being said, let me answer the question. What I have said in my other responses rings true here. I also think we can encourage employers to help with incentives for employees. Major employers should be able to invest some resources in transportation. Training and placement programs like YAMTEP have figured out how to provide transportation to clients to employment opportunities. Coming out of the pandemic, I think rideshare/carpool options should be considered.

 

What steps will you take to encourage/incentivize residents (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant vehicles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

With the transit center being so close to City Hall, I think there are great opportunities for City employees to reduce their carbon footprint. However, there are many jobs do require constant transportation in the field (such as inspectors) where it would be hard to find an alternative. As a councilmember, I believe the best way to encourage and incentivize residents is to improve the amenities. If we can continue to invest resources to create a more robust system where citizens see themselves utilizing alternative transportation methods.

 

How will you lead the community in reducing our transportation carbon footprint? Do you or would you be willing to take the bus, bike or walk to City Hall?

I started my career riding a bus to and from work. I did not start driving until a year into my professional career. I drive now out of necessity and a packed calendar. However, I certainly would be willing to push myself utilize the bus more often, particularly to City Hall.

 

How specifically will you support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034?

I believe in connecting all the broken links in our trail systems. I will support existing bridges, advocate for the running track bridge to be completed, continue to invest in bike blvds and support the advancement of CAMP. I have been and will continue to do these things. As part of the Capital improvement plan for the City, many of these issues are in the current 5-year plan. I also believe that there is more opportunity with the American Rescue Plan to support infrastructure projects, we are still awaiting for guidance from the federal government. So, this is on the radar of the current administration and I believe current councilmembers do see the value in these efforts. What we have to do is bring transportation infrastructure to more of the side streets. I will continue to work on all of these things as a sitting councilmember and hope to do more to improve infrastructure over the next several years.

 

What land use and economic development policies would you pursue to encourage job creation and development to remain in the city core, and better connect people in the city to employment opportunities?

I would incentivize repurposing existing infrastructure to create more economic activity in city neighborhoods. I believe that ultimately we have to find new and innovative ways to keep more dollars in our community and recirculate those resources as often as possible. I feel we have too many chain businesses interested in locating on our commercial corridors (family dollar stores being a prime example) that put very little back into our neighborhoods. Vacant buildings are assets and we have to find ways to incentivize reinvestment in infrastructure to private owners. I also believe we have many jobs in our region but there is a disconnect. I will work to help fix the community to opportunity pipeline, so that inner city residents are aware and connected to available options. I believe the office of community wealth building under the Mayor’s office can be a tremendous asset in this space.

 

Are you satisfied with our current sidewalk and bus stop snow removal policies? What opportunities for improvement do you see?

I think the snow removal policy is decent but we need to improve in two areas. First, I would like to see better clearance for ADA ramps/cross walks and at bus stops/bus shelters. Too often we see people riding or walking in the street because of this issue. Second, I also believe the City should consider snow removal on sidewalks for residential streets. How we achieve this might be a challenge. I know it is the responsibility of the resident to remove snow in front of their homes, but often, people neglect that part of the responsibility. I think a policy that targets snow removal during major storms (i.e., maybe over 10 inches of snowfall?) should be considered, at a minimum. This could be similar to our high grass & weed policy.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes lowered speed limits and other traffic calming practices and policies?

I believe we should lower the speed limit on residential streets to 25 mph. I have been part of the drive 2 be better planning efforts and signed onto various advocacy letters/efforts to reduce the speed limit in the city of Rochester. I also believe we should invest more in traffic calming infrastructure such as bump-outs, tree plantings, raised crosswalks, painted crosswalks, and speed bumps. I understand there is a limit to some of these strategies but traffic speeds in a neighborhood certainly impact quality of life. It impacts play in neighborhoods too, as parents often site speeding cars as one of the reasons they do not allow their children to play outside. I do believe traffic deaths are preventable.

 

What specific actions do you suggest to make Rochester safer for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities?

1.) Lowering the speed limit on residential streets (25 mph)
2.) Increasing road infrastructure such as bump-outs and exploring more road diets on major arterial streets.
3.) Plant more trees in tree lawns (proven to slow traffic)
4.) Increase use of protective bike lanes as a future strategy
There are many other suggestions in other answers that I wont repeat.

 

Would you favor the establishment of a bike/pedestrian advisory committee with the power to review road projects and make recommendations?

I would be. I have been part of such efforts at community tables, but institutionalizing the conversation in government makes sense. I also know that in addition to the City, GTC and others have a say and sway in the process. We have to figure out how to make these things work together.

One of the issues you will always have to contend with is businesses and “their” parking. We have to find more ways to engage business owners in these discussions too, so they can understand the long-term value of the paradigm shift.

 

Rochester recently received a renewal of its “Bronze” level award as a bike-friendly community. One of the key steps to receiving “Silver” status is a dedicated budget for implementing our Bike Master Plan. Would you support a line item in the budget devoted to bike infrastructure?

Yes. I have supported various biking infrastructure projects in the past 6 months on council. I was part of the bike master planning process in a limited way as part of my work with Healthi kids. I fully support the plan.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share about transportation and mobility in Rochester?

I am accessible as a councilmember. Reach out. Include me. Invite me. If I can attend meetings or be helpful, I want to be. I know I have only been on council for 7 months but I feel I have already contributed greatly to these conversations at city hall and have a great relationship with PPW chair.

Miquel A. Powell

Candidate Email: miquelpowell@yahoo.com

Website: www.facebook.com/Miquel-Powell-BSW-for-City-Council-Rochester-NY-350270019114691

 

After several follow-up attempts, we did not receive a response from this candidate.

 

 

 

 

Jasmin Reggler

Candidate Email: Jasmin@jasminforjustice.com

Website: www.jasminforjustice.com

 

What are Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges?

Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges are timely and reliable transportation options.

 

What are the top benefits our community would see by getting residents out of their cars and experiencing other modes of travel?

Walking, biking and using public transportation are options that would reduce fossil fuel emissions in our city. Additionally, residents who reduce their car usage experience greater community contact and engagement while also getting more exercise.

 

What do you think City government can do to support public transit and create more equitable transportation options, especially in communities of color?

To support public transit and transportation options, the City government can approve funding increases for the RTS to operate more efficiently. City government can also increase the amount of bike lanes as well as maintain the current bike route system. Currently in Rochester there are many community organizations that provide bikes free of charge to residents. The City might collaborate with these organizations to support the efforts of providing bikes free of charge.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for the 26% of Rochester residents who do not own or have access to a personal vehicle?

As a resident without a personal vehicle, by choice, I have experienced first-hand the inadequacies of our public transportation options. Often the RTS runs late or misses stops altogether—this is unacceptable. I understand RTS is rolling out new routes and time standards this year and I will wait to comment any further until the changes have taken place. Consistency, reliability and abundant route options are the most important considerations here.

 

What steps will you take to encourage/incentivize residents (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant vehicles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

Within the City network I would encourage employees to carpool by creating a ride-share network. This online option would allow employees to offer/accept rides that were posted. In addition to offering incentives to riding public transportation, such as drastically reduced bus pass rates. More bike parking options would be needed to ensure employees had parking access.

 

How will you lead the community in reducing our transportation carbon footprint? Do you or would you be willing to take the bus, bike or walk to City Hall?

As a resident without a personal vehicle, I will lead the community by example. I will share my experiences and encourage others to do the same. I would be willing to commute to City Hall to raise awareness of our collective carbon footprint.

 

How specifically will you support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034?

I will support the transportation vision of Rochester 2034 by participating in community feedback sessions. As a community member I will be using my voice to represent and advocate for greater and more equitable transportation options for Rochester residents.

 

What land use and economic development policies would you pursue to encourage job creation and development to remain in the city core, and better connect people in the city to employment opportunities?

With the legalization of cannabis in NY there will be a revitalization of opportunities in that field. I’d be sure to advocate for those jobs staying in the city core for our residents–creating job creation and sustained employment opportunities right in Rochester.

 

Are you satisfied with our current sidewalk and bus stop snow removal policies? What opportunities for improvement do you see?

Clear sidewalks and bus stops are a must in our city. Due to the harsh winters, this must be made a priority.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes lowered speed limits and other traffic calming practices and policies?

I am comfortable with where the speed limits are at and would work in other area to reduce our carbon footprint.

 

What specific actions do you suggest to make Rochester safer for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities?

Improved spacing and visibility of bike lanes.

 

Would you favor the establishment of a bike/pedestrian advisory committee with the power to review road projects and make recommendations?

Yes, absolutely. Currently community groups are established and I will work alongside folks who are already working on these issues.

 

Rochester recently received a renewal of its “Bronze” level award as a bike-friendly community. One of the key steps to receiving “Silver” status is a dedicated budget for implementing our Bike Master Plan. Would you support a line item in the budget devoted to bike infrastructure?

Yes, I would support funding for the infrastructure to be improved. Not only is biking important to achieving our goals of a reduced carbon footprint, but the activity itself is a great benefit for quality of life.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share about transportation and mobility in Rochester?

I am a resident who does not own a personal vehicle. I believe more Rochester residents would feel comfortable to use biking, public transportation, car-pooling if they felt supported by the infrastructure. We can do this!

Victor Sanchez

Candidate Email: info@votevictorsanchez.com

Website: www.votevictorsanchez.com

 

What are Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges?

Rochester has a deep-rooted car culture which has unfortunately shaped the way we develop our City and the policies we have set in place. Shifting that culture and undoing the care-centric infrastructure we have developed, is a huge challenge and it will require community support, strategic planning, and dedicated funding. We are lacking the public transit system that is convenient and street/road systems that are people-focused making it easy to walk and bike as a way to get around.

 

What are the top benefits our community would see by getting residents out of their cars and experiencing other modes of travel?

Moving away from relying on cars as a way of travel will have great benefits on the environment as well as community and personal health. A majority of the carbon emissions come from vehicles and reducing the amount of cars on the road will only support the work that needs to be done to achieve cleaner air and combat climate change, both of which have a negative impact on the health of our communities. Reducing vehicles on the road would also create safer streets, and reduce the risk of vehicular accidents and maybe even shift the way neighbors interact and utilize the streets to do that.

 

What do you think City government can do to support public transit and create more equitable transportation options, especially in communities of color?

The systemic racism that has segregatedcommunities of color that have gone undeveloped and forgotten needs to be undone.The communities impacted need to be brought into the conversation. The citygovernment needs to work with other elected officials at all levels ofgovernment to continue and grow the support of our transit system and work withRTS to ensure that stops and routes are in all communities, especially thosethat rely on it most. We need to prioritize alternative modes oftranspiration, such as rideshare programs. We also need to shift ourdevelopment to assure our residents can get to resources and serviceswithin a short commute accessible by walking or cycling.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for the 26% of Rochester residents who do not own or have access to a personal vehicle?

The city needs to work with businesses, other municipalities, and RTS to assure that there are routes that go to where the jobs are. The city also needs to improve the development of businesses within areas of the city and work to develop business in a strategic approach where transit lines exist. We also need to assure that there is the infrastructure to support other forms of transportation like walking and cycling.

 

What steps will you take to encourage/incentivize residents (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant vehicles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

The main step to encourage anyone to use other modes of transportation is to assure other methods are convenient. The city needs to work with RTS to assure routes are accessible and frequent. The City also needs to make sure that any rideshare programs are easy to use for residents to get to their needed jobs. The city government should lead by example and incentive city employees to use public transportation by providing vouchers or bus passes. The city government also has the power to set a strategic plan to develop any new businesses on transit lines or setting codes prioritizing bike storage over parking in new development.

 

How will you lead the community in reducing our transportation carbon footprint? Do you or would you be willing to take the bus, bike or walk to City Hall?

I look forward to being able to take the bus to City Hall, I wish it was convenient and accessible to take public transit to my day job now. I will continue and do more to support events like Roc Transit Day, and cycling events as well as promote more when I use modes of transit that aren’t my car.

 

How specifically will you support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034?

As someone that was very involved with gathering input for the 2034 Plan, I am excited for the opportunity to support and facilitate the implantation of this plan. A majority of my conversations revolved around increasing walkability and multi-model transportation; I will assure that any remodeling and development of streets are done with this vision in mind and done in a way that highlights safety and transportation choice.

 

What land use and economic development policies would you pursue to encourage job creation and development to remain in the city core, and better connect people in the city to employment opportunities?

We have a great opportunity to prioritize and encourage the creation of small businesses through, zoning and eliminate barriers such as minimum square footage, parking requirements which can hinder someone from starting a business. We need to invest in our people encourage entrepreneurial ship through providing support, space, and resources. We have a mixture of industrial skills and innovative technical talent from our universities and industrial past. We need to be creative in finding innovative ways to bring those things together in two the new era.

 

Are you satisfied with our current sidewalk and bus stop snow removal policies? What opportunities for improvement do you see?

I am not satisfied with our existing work, it never feels like there is sufficient sidewalk snow removal, and don’t see much done when it comes to bike lanes or bus stops. I know resources and funding for this work are a challenge. We need to prioritize streets and transit as a matter of safety and equity and having dedicated employees to maintain our streets would be a priority of mine.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes lowered speed limits and other traffic calming practices and policies?

Yes, I fully support a “Vision Zero” style approach including reducing speeds. I have been very appreciative and supportive of some of the innovative ways to achieve this vision through the complete street work that has been going on. I do believe reducing the use of cars and car culture in Rochester is the best way to achieve this vision.

 

What specific actions do you suggest to make Rochester safer for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities?

We need to continue and increase our investment in biking infrastructure. I don’t agree that painted lines for bikes is enough and want to see dedicated bike lanes that are raised or have some kind of barrier from car traffic.

 

Would you favor the establishment of a bike/pedestrian advisory committee with the power to review road projects and make recommendations?

Yes, this would be a great opportunity to partner with organizations like Reconnect and the Cycling Alliance to assure those that have been strong advocates are part of the process. It will be important that there is true empowerment of the committee and not just symbolic

 

Rochester recently received a renewal of its “Bronze” level award as a bike-friendly community. One of the key steps to receiving “Silver” status is a dedicated budget for implementing our Bike Master Plan. Would you support a line item in the budget devoted to bike infrastructure?

Yes, dedicated budget and resources are important to achieve several of the goals in the previous questions.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share about transportation and mobility in Rochester?

We need to follow our plan and prioritizes walkability and multimodal transportation. We need to change our culture from being car-focused, we need to shift the mindset of having the need of people driving to the front door of their destination.

Kim Smith

Candidate Email: thepeoplesslate@gmail.com

Website: www.peoplesslateroc.com/

 

After several follow-up attempts, we did not receive a response from this candidate.

 

 

 

 

 

Alex White

Candidate Email: AlexWhiteforRochester@gmail.com

Website: www.AlexWhiteforRochester.org

 

What are Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges?

Rochester, like most American Cities has been built around the car culture. We allowed cars to destroy public transportation systems and gave it primacy over any methods of transportation that remained. Yet the future does not belong to cars and even the present is becoming filled with other diverse transportation options. So the problem of how to create a modern transportation system that moves people effectively with both public transit and wide variety of private options including, walking, bikes, scooters, skateboards, wheelchairs, as well as cars, is the fore most problem facing our city. Besides this Rochester has poorly invested in public infrastructure which has forced a hub and spoke bus system which is inefficient in every way and serves the public poorly. Finally we have almost no fixed route infrastructure aging bridges, and over built road system.

 

What are the top benefits our community would see by getting residents out of their cars and experiencing other modes of travel?

Abandoning cars has huge health benefits to a community. Besides the health value to an individual of any form of active transport, the Covid crisis has shown getting out of cars will rapidly improve the air quality. There has long been an understanding of the link between air pollution and asthma (https://www.epa.gov/sciencematters/links-between-air-pollution-and-childhood-asthma), but there also seems to be a link to heart disease (https://www.epa.gov/sciencematters/linking-air-pollution-and-heart-disease) and even cancer and dementia. An improvement in air quality would greatly improve the health of all the citizens and would also help fight global climate change which is straining the planets ability to support large mammals of all types including humans.

 

What do you think City government can do to support public transit and create more equitable transportation options, especially in communities of color?

The city has little power to change the RGRTA policy but it should be working with government officials at all levels to fight for additional transportation dollars to start building the fixed route transportation system which will someday have to replace personal use vehicles. Further it can pressure the county and RGRTA to try to improve its systems. It can also do some bus stop improvements like benches, shade, and snow shoveling of bus stops to make them more convenient for the users. Finally it can use small measures to encourage its own workers to use public transit.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for the 26% of Rochester residents who do not own or have access to a personal vehicle?

Of course the key to this is improving the public transit system but the city should also have ride share connections opportunities on their web page. They also need to get the bike share program to reach more at need neighborhoods. Of course transportation is one of the many facilitators that allow people improve their employment but there are others that the city can use to improve employment. Many employers are already on public transit lines but the jobs require training, degrees, or certification like Certified Nursing Assistant programs. The city needs to do more to make scholarship or training opportunities available for people so they can access jobs like this which would lift people out of poverty and are easily accessible to the population that most needs it.

 

What steps will you take to encourage/incentivize residents (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant vehicles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

I have long had a number of little things I think would improve the city and one is to eliminate free parking for employees. Instead the city should offer reduced rate or free bus passes, expanded bicycle lock up, storage and repair facilities, and work with RGRTA to have bus routes be more convenient for city services and their employees.

 

How will you lead the community in reducing our transportation carbon footprint? Do you or would you be willing to take the bus, bike or walk to City Hall?

I find myself frequently having to go downtown and I frequently bike or walk there from my house. For years I have been biking or walking to work at my business on Monroe Ave. As a business owner I have encouraged others to try to get bike rakes near their businesses. I fully intend to actively transport to city hall as often as I can and will encourage others to do the same.

 

How specifically will you support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034?

Guiding transportation principles seem to settle on two transportation ideas walk ability and multi-modal transportation. Both principles I believe in. I hope to bring this to city council so that every project in the city can further these ideas. Too often we develop solely to increase density without a focus on creating walk ability and provide for other transportation. Even though we have developed many trails and even a alternative bike routes these seem to be very secondary to other concerns in the city and I hope to change this.

 

What land use and economic development policies would you pursue to encourage job creation and development to remain in the city core, and better connect people in the city to employment opportunities?

For years the city has been subsidizing housing in the city core on the belief that that would create a more vibrant city center but that has failed to happen and is unlikely to work as the density needed for even a grocery store is unlikely to ever be reached in the city center. Further despite billions of investment there have been few full time jobs created. Instead of investing in buildings the city needs to invest in people, incubators and space designed for the 21st century. Further the zoning code needs to be modernized to fully recognize home businesses, urban agriculture, work from home spaces, and garage start ups. Of course there is also the opportunity to create jobs through aging in place and housing for persons with disabilities. As such all new construction should be meet the highest standards for persons with disabilities.

 

Are you satisfied with our current sidewalk and bus stop snow removal policies? What opportunities for improvement do you see?

No we are currently doing a worse job at sidewalk cleaning than we did 100+ years ago. Our plows are in many cases not the right tools for this and contracting it out has resulted in less plowing at higher costs. We can not rely upon residents to shovel as even one failure to do in a block renders the whole block impassable. So what we need is more wire brush cleaners, more frequent routes, and a taking this task back in house so we can prioritize it to the routes that most need it. Finally we need to have people who’s only job is cleaning curb cuts and bus stops.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes lowered speed limits and other traffic calming practices and policies?

Ideally I support zero cars, the regained parking space alone makes this a great idea but that is unlikely to happen. I feel that we need to do a better job of focused traffic calming to where it is important. After all some of these tactics actually make other active transportation methods more difficult or dangerous, such as narrowing streets which then interrupts bike routes. Yet we need to use a variety of tools to reduce speeds near parks, schools, and other places that children play.

 

What specific actions do you suggest to make Rochester safer for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities?

I like the concept of one way streets with a special lane for non motorized transportation but this is unlikely to happen. What is doable and something I really want to do is get bike boxes at all intersections that have a bike lane at any part of the intersection.

 

Would you favor the establishment of a bike/pedestrian advisory committee with the power to review road projects and make recommendations?

Yes I would and would work to do this.

 

Rochester recently received a renewal of its “Bronze” level award as a bike-friendly community. One of the key steps to receiving “Silver” status is a dedicated budget for implementing our Bike Master Plan. Would you support a line item in the budget devoted to bike infrastructure?

We need it, if for nothing else for maintenance of the infrastructure. Far too often the striping is worn off or the chevrons no longer visible. Further we need to have more information on signs and PSA’s to inform the public how alternatives to cars should work.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share about transportation and mobility in Rochester?

Patricia Williams-McGahee

Candidate Email: patricia4citycouncil@gmail.com

 

What are Rochester’s greatest transportation challenges?

1. Carbon Emissions-need for cleaner energy alternatives regarding transportation 2. Access to more affordable transportation for low income customers. 3. Need for more frequency in access to transportation in certain areas – only available during certain limited hours.

 

What are the top benefits our community would see by getting residents out of their cars and experiencing other modes of travel?

Decreased Pollution:Reduction of our Carbon footprint on the community-world. Help decrease cancers, respiratory aliments and various other poisonous toxin related conditions & diseases. If folks walked and/or bicycled more it would be a positive healthy lifestyle improvement , It would help reduce the community’s increasing obesity (ie. Cycling to work & school)

 

What do you think City government can do to support public transit and create more equitable transportation options, especially in communities of color?

Partner with Banks and other corporate businesses to push an initiative to help fund clean energy transportation alternatives ( ie. electric buses & cars, and even a faster, cleaner & energy efficient skyway development project etc…)

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for the 26% of Rochester residents who do not own or have access to a personal vehicle?

Provide free broad ban which could aid many people in working from home. Give incentives to businesses to provide corporate buses, vans and/or cars to transport their employees back and forth to work. Provide City supported ride shares etc… .

 

What steps will you take to encourage/incentivize residents (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant vehicles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

I will promote a Public Service Add Campaign Communicating this. I would pitch my idea to businesses to participate in providing transportation to their employees (they could pick up a bus or van of employees in energy efficient vehicles.)

 

How will you lead the community in reducing our transportation carbon footprint? Do you or would you be willing to take the bus, bike or walk to City Hall?

I would ride my bike when the weather permits. I also plan on purchasing an an electric automobile.

 

How specifically will you support the transportation vision outlined in Rochester 2034?

I will assist in furthering legislation to approve & allocate funds and partner with businesses and local residents to get it done.

 

What land use and economic development policies would you pursue to encourage job creation and development to remain in the city core, and better connect people in the city to employment opportunities?

I would champion policy that utilized empty lots and other City owned property in order to increase home construction and home ownership (creating jobs & a road to independence, community pride and personal wealth). I would champion policy and legislation to build a state of the art performing arts center to showcase our very gifted music & the arts community while creating jobs and attracting local art lovers, national and international big named-headliner performers, top investors and people from other areas to relocate and patron the performing arts center, our local restaurants and other businesses, all, which will-generate revenue, greater human capital and greater employment opportunities.

 

Are you satisfied with our current sidewalk and bus stop snow removal policies? What opportunities for improvement do you see?

The snow removal side walk, street & bus stop policies need to improve. The snow trucks block pile up snow in front of driveway hindering cars from exiting after a resident or businesses owner has shoveled. Bus stops are not regularly cleared well, causing bus riders to have to stand in the street, placing themselves in danger.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes lowered speed limits and other traffic calming practices and policies?

Yes. I am in great support in doing whatever is necessary to stop any traffic fatality. The name is odd though I would change it!

 

What specific actions do you suggest to make Rochester safer for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities?

Crack down on speed, alcohol and drug use while driving, auto theft, drag racing and confiscate mopeds, ATVs and other non-licensed vehicles driving illegally on the road. A park for such personal small vehicles (like the skate park) should be created. I would champion the creation of such a park

 

Would you favor the establishment of a bike/pedestrian advisory committee with the power to review road projects and make recommendations?

Yes

 

Rochester recently received a renewal of its “Bronze” level award as a bike-friendly community. One of the key steps to receiving “Silver” status is a dedicated budget for implementing our Bike Master Plan. Would you support a line item in the budget devoted to bike infrastructure?

Yes

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share about transportation and mobility in Rochester?

No

Reconnect Rochester would like to thank all of the candidates (and their teams) for the time and effort they’ve dedicated to our community, and for taking the time to answer our questions. We look forward to working with them very soon.

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Sidewalk Snow Removal: How Are We Doing in Monroe County?

Story by: David Riley
A Rochester resident and a former journalist, David is completing a master’s degree in urban planning at the University at Buffalo…

Winter sidewalk. Rochester NY.

For tens of thousands of Monroe County residents, a sidewalk isn’t just a convenience. It’s a vital connection to the world.

Nearly 12,000 people here walk to their jobs, U.S. Census data shows. Another 13,000 walk to and from bus stops in order to take public transportation to work, including as many as 1 in 3 workers in some city neighborhoods. Many people also rely on sidewalks to get to and from school, medical appointments or grocery stores, much less to go for a jog or walk the dog.

So for many people, it isn’t simply an annoyance if part of a sidewalk turns into a snowdrift during the winter. It’s a disruption that forces people going about daily routines to wade through snow or take a dangerous chance and walk in the street. For people with disabilities, a snowy sidewalk can make a usually simple outing impossible.

Yet keeping sidewalks clear is not always a priority for municipalities in the Northeast and Midwest. The City of Rochester does more than many other Snow Belt cities. While property owners here are responsible for clearing adjacent sidewalks of snow and ice, the city also provides supplemental sidewalk plowing anytime it snows at least 4 inches. The program has drawn some interest in recent years from Buffalo and Syracuse, neither of which generally plow sidewalks beyond public buildings. A handful of local suburbs also provide some municipal sidewalk plowing, including Greece and Irondequoit. Read more

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Where They Stand: 2017 Candidates for Rochester

Reconnect Rochester surveyed all candidates for Rochester’s Mayor and City Council to learn where they stand on issues related to transportation and mobility.

Questions were designed to give the candidates the opportunity to share their opinions, ideas and vision for a well-connected and accessible community. Surveys were sent to all campaign teams on August 2. We did our best to make contact with all of the candidates. After several follow up attempts, the responses we have received are posted below.

We hope this information will help you make an informed decision when you head to the polls this November – and/or next Tuesday (9/12) for the Democratic primary. Don’t want to wait until election day? Take our Voter Poll right now (just for fun).

Click on the candidate names below to read their full, unedited responses. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order…

Candidates for Mayor:

Rachel Barnhart

Rachel BarnhartCandidate Email: Rachel@rachelformayor.com

 

Website: RachelForMayor.com

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

Our current public transit system is not set up to address the needs of our residents, many of whom are forced to work and shop in the suburbs. We need a network that better connects people to jobs and services. We need a network with various hubs. We need a network that accommodates pedestrians and cyclists. We need a network enjoyed by all.

 

We must introduce planning and transit into discussions about awarding incentives to companies relocating or expanding. We need a mayor who will advocate for locating jobs and services in the city, near transit lines and population centers.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

Our greatest challenge is that we have a community that prioritizes the automobile. This has had enormous economic, social and environmental costs.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

We must fight for Rochester’s share of transportation funding from the state and federal government. We must prioritize pedestrians and cyclists when building infrastructure.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? And, what steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

In addition to building infrastructure, the city has to advocate to locate jobs in the city, on transit lines and near where people live.

 

The city should encourage the University of Rochester, Wegmans and other employers to give workers free bus passes. By adding infrastructure, such as protected bike lanes, more people will feel safe to ride bicycles.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

I don’t think downtown has a parking problem. It has a walking problem. People think nothing of parking at Eastview Mall and walking the equivalent of a half mile to get to a store. We need a mental reset about what it means to visit a downtown. That said, it’s worth exploring a downtown circular to transport people among venues and garages.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

Traffic deaths are not “accidents.” They’re preventable tragedies. They’re unacceptable. They’re not inevitable. That’s how the city will treat fatal and serious injury crashes under Vision Zero Rochester. The first Vision Zero program started in Sweden in the late 1990s. Now there are Vision Zero programs in many cities. The aim of Vision Zero is to have zero deaths and serious injuries in road traffic. Vision Zero takes a multi-disciplinary approach to traffic safety. It recognizes that people make mistakes. Instead of blaming victims, we will improve the system to mitigate human error. Using education, enforcement, design, technology and policies, we can make our streets safe for everyone – while not impeding mobility.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

Reducing reliance on cars makes for a healthier, more equitable city.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

See above.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

Adding bike infrastructure promotes activity, social equity, cleaner air and vibrant street life.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

Road diets slow traffic, making us safer, and they improve property values and walkability. East Main Street desperately needs a road diet.

 

What steps (if any) do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

As noted above, we should encourage employers to spring for bus passes. We can also ask them to include facilities for bikes and provide incentives for carpooling.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

Tony Micciche

Tony MiccicheCandidate Email: TonyForMayor.us

 

Website: TonyForMayor.us

 

Unfortunately we did not receive a response from Tony Micciche.

James Sheppard

James SheppardCandidate Email: info@sheppardforrochester.com

 

Website: www.SheppardForRochester.com

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

Rochester’s transportation network must address the needs of all of our citizens with an eye toward dramatically reducing carbon emissions (see my environmental platform, “Green Rochester Inside and Out,” available on www.sheppardformayor.com). My vision for the City is that all of our residents will have inexpensive and accessible choices for getting where they need to go, for work and play.

 

We are fortunate to have a community of smart, creative and engaged citizens who are passionate about this issue, the members of Reconnect Rochester among them. Within the first six months of taking office, I will hold a Transportation Roundtable to bring stakeholders together, including RR, RGRTA, Genesee Transportation Council, residents, business owners, transportation experts and others to evaluate our current transport network, review the plans that are in the works, and determine an action plan for moving forward. I don’t have all the answers but there are people right here in this community who have a lot of expertise and interest and are willing to share it.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

An aging infrastructure and high poverty. We have significant capital needs that are difficult to address when our tax base is shrinking, which often forces us to prioritize emergency repairs. That being said, other communities have gotten creative with their financing of transportation projects and aggressive with their State and federal funding requests, and we can too.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

The City needs to play a leadership role as transportation directly impacts the quality of life of our residents and the long-term environmental health of our community. The City in particular must demand equity in regional transportation planning efforts, as our residents are often the least served and most in need. We must ensure our residents are at the table, whether they want to put roads on a ‘diet’ and increase bike lanes, or increased bus service and updated shelters. We need to ensure that our residents are empowered and actively involved in solving Rochester’s transportation needs.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? And, what steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

We need to do a better job of working with major employers and the business community to identify the current and future needs of their employees. They know as well as we do the challenges their employees face in getting to work on time and on budget; employees who can get to work easily are more likely to show up and stay employed. Once we have a more thorough understanding of what our current and future needs are, we can plan accordingly, working with RTS, and using van pools, car sharing and bike sharing alternatives.

 

The City can be an active leader in promoting alternative modes of transportation through events such as “Bike to Work” days, free public transportation periods, and “Celebrity Van Pools,” as has been done in other communities. In promoting our own special events, information can be shared on the availability of bike sharing stations, bus and circulator routes, and openly encouraging attendees to leave their cars at home. Often the biggest barrier to using alternative transportation is the fear of the unknown – once people know others are using different options, and they try them for themselves, they become our most regular and vocal users!

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

Our downtown should be a place where people feel comfortable, and indeed enjoy, walking around. When they do, it will not be a problem for them to park farther away and walk; take the bus downtown and walk from a stop; or bicycle around as much as possible. Creating any new parking lots or garages will be a last resort as we promote alternative transportation and reduce our dependence on parking downtown.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

Parking enforcement should be prioritized as a quality of life issue. It must be enforced fairly, appropriately, and consistently.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

It just makes sense as downtown continues to grow.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

We need to make a serious commitment to neighborhood safety and this is one important way to do it.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

We need to encourage bicycling as a viable transportation alternative and make sure cyclists are safe.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

It will both improve safety and encourage alternative forms of transportation. We need to prioritize our major corridors using safety data.

 

What steps (if any) do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

We should pursue incentives for employees who use alternative forms of transportation – “dress down” days; restaurant coupons; Mayoral recognition, etc.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

Thank you for all of the good work that you do keeping transportation issues at the forefront and supporting neighborhood safety!

Lori F. Thomas

Lori F. ThomasCandidate Email: thomas4mayor@rochester.rr.com

 

Website: www.Thomas4Mayor.wordpress.com

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

Fewer cars, more public transportation, cleaner streets during winter months and pothole elimination.

 

Ride sharing, working with RTS to committ busses to larger areas with more work accomodating schedules, making sure street plows clear streets curb to curb, and patching potholes during winter months and creating a rotating maintenance schedule of repair during spring and summer months.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

The extensive traffic coming in and going out of Rochester from suburban neighborhoods, excessive speeds on neighborhood streets and the excessive use of school buses during peak travel hours.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

Advocating in Albany for a change in speed limits for neighborhood streets and appropriating enough funding to improve and maintain city streets.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? And, what steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

Working with RTS to committ to better scheduling of times and routes.

 

Providing incentives for ride sharing and the use of public transportation.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

Increasing public transportation and ride sharing opportunities will decrease the need for downtown parking.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

Traffic enforcement is key to reducing accidents and creating safer neighborhoods. This is a top priority.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

No.

 

Currently our population would not support these venues.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

This will decrease accidents and insure the safety of neighborhood children.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

Bicycle traffic has increased over the years and with the current cooperation with Zagster, bicycle lane expansion is a necessity.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

Rochester has undergone significant changes in road design that have impeded the effective and efficient travel of citizens and visitors. I believe that a more effective and efficient system needs to be considered in order to improve the safety of our citizens and reduce traffic accidents and tie-ups.

 

That would depend on the street and the traffic conditions. Both would be considerations.

 

What steps (if any) do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

Creating ride sharing opportunities and benefits for individuals who carpool and use public transportation. Working with the UofR, one of Rochester’s largest employers and RTA to create a more employee friendly public transportation schedules along with incentives such as reduced bus passes for city residents and Park&Rides for suburban residents.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

We can also reduce the number of school buses by re-instituting neighborhood schools which would reduce traffic congestion and save money.

Mayor Lovely Warren

Mayor Lovely WarrenCandidate Email: Lovely@MayorLovelyWarren.com

 

Website: MayorLovelyWarren.com

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

I envision a Rochester that is walkable and bikeable. A city with robust usage of the sharing economy. A city with an accessible public transportation network. I envision a city where single-occupancy car trips are all but unnecessary. And I envision a city that is ahead of the times in preparing its infrastructure for green – and eventually driverless – vehicles. I want our streets to be safe and accessible for not just cars but bikes, pedestrians and public transit, something we are well on the way to accomplishing with our “complete streets” policy.

 

We are well on our way. As we reinvent our city, we are doing so with the future in mind. Our complete streets policy means that whenever we build or rebuild a road, it must be accessible not just for cars but for pedestrians, bikes and public transit. We are constantly improving our city for cyclists by creating more miles of bike lanes, a bicycle boulevard network, and bicycle safety measures in all corners of our city. We brought ride sharing and bike sharing to Rochester, and are working to raise awareness about the benefits of green vehicles. We created a vanpool program to make it easier for citizens to reach job sites not on the bus line.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

As our city and our economy builds and improves, our transportation options must keep pace. My administration is working actively with RGRTA and our community partners to review our bus routes to make sure they meet the needs of our citizens.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

We must lead the way, and bring all community partners to the table. We must ensure that our transportation network works for everyone, and decrease our dependence on cars.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? And, what steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

We created a vanpool program to help our citizens access jobs in areas underserved by public transportation. We are also working with RGRTA to identify these underserved areas, and increase service. Our bike sharing program has improved accessibility for hundreds of residents, as does ride sharing.

 

The Downtown Transit Center was a crucial step toward this goal, as it made taking the bus easier and sheltered from Rochester’s winters. We are also seeing more residents use ride sharing and bike sharing to get to their destinations. We can encourage bike commuting by continuing to build bike lanes and installing safety measures to protect our citizens.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

We want to be a “park once” city, meaning that residents, workers and visitors only need to park once Downtown, then be able to walk, bike or take public transit to their destinations.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

Parking enforcement is necessary to both support businesses, and keep the streets safe for all. No one likes getting a parking ticket, but by enforcing our parking laws, we can ensure a more vibrant and active city.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

We must continue to look at all options.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

This is something that is already well underway. We have been putting many of our streets on a “road diet”, replacing traffic lanes with bike lanes, street parking, and traffic calming measures. We are exploring a lower speed limit.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

Because we love bikes! (And want to keep our growing number of cyclists safe.)

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

We are building a city that is less reliant on cars, so we must adjust our streetscapes to ensure the safety of our cyclists and pedestrians. Exchange, South and Mount Hope are just three examples of streets that we have improved, with many more to come.

 

All of the above.

 

What steps (if any) do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

The bike sharing program was a huge step in this direction, as was the Downtown transit center. We will continue to take measures to make Downtown safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

 

The filling in of the Inner Loop plays an important role in this as well. When complete, the Inner Loop East site will connect our eastern neighborhoods to Downtown, and we hope to do the same with the northern section of the Inner Loop.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

I would just like to thank Reconnect Rochester for all they do in raising awareness, and helping us prepare our city for the next generation.

Alex White

Alex WhiteCandidate Email: alexwhiteforrochester@gmail.com

 

Website: AlexWhiteForRochester.org

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

A comprehensive public transportation system which incorporates bus, light rail and active transportation.

 

It is important for the city to work with all the elected officials to try to obtain federal funding to start building this comprehensive system. In particular we need to start securing funding to start designing and building an effective light rail system which can provide the backbone for this system.

 

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

Rochester, though densely populated is surrounded by a suburban zone which was built to resist public transportation. Further the dispersion of retail has further complicated the development of comprehensive public transportation.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

Due to the way the federal government funds public transportation the city will need to take the lead on any attempt to obtain additional transportation money to help transform our system.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? And, what steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

The fact that RGRTA refuses to provide routes to large employers who do not pay for additional coverage is absurd. They to become more flexible with perhaps some smaller vehicles and more specialized routes. If RGRTA can not be changed than the city needs to recover funding and provide the needed services.

 

Improve public transportation.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

The solution is to increase public transportation and one of the way to do this is to create more attractive transportation options like light rail. This will help decrease the need for parking but in the long run this problem will solve itself as increasing fuel costs will decrease the need for parking.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

Though traffic enforcement is important is should be a low priority compared to other public safety issues.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

First it would decrease congestion and parking problems downtown and would help familiarize people with public transit.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

Decreasing the vehicle speed would help make streets safer for youth in our city and decrease active transportation accidents.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

Bicycling is an ever increasing part of the transportation network and should be encourage when ever possible.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

It is time that we stopped favoring cars in our transportation network and started to put public safety about driver convenience.

 

I do like providing bike lanes both in the road and adjacent to the sidewalk.

 

What steps (if any) do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

Perhaps the best way to do this is the encourage more employees to live in the city with homeowner incentives and tax credits. Further the health care options can use active transportation incentives to encourage other means of transportation other than cars.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

Candidates for City Council:

Pam Davis

Pam DavisCandidate Email: pam4cc@mail.com

 

Website: www.facebook.com/pg/PamforCityCouncil

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

I would like our network to actually WORK for the residents of the City of Rochester! Currently, the bus system is very time-consuming, and not convenient for riders. More folks would use public transportation if it made logistical sense.

 

I would like to collaborate with the RTS bus company and a large and varied sample of its regular riders. I would arrange informative brain-storming sessions to help iron out the trouble spots in the current system. Once such sessions have been held, I would like to work on the trouble spots, and find solutions to those challenges. The people who ride the bus each day know where the problems are, and will most likely be able to offer astute suggestions.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

I believe the greatest challenges to Rochester’s transportation stem from the sprawl that was allowed to occur decades ago. The majority of jobs are now located in our county’s suburbs, rather than in the heart of our county, also known as Rochester’s Center City. Because of the very large area that needs to be covered in Monroe County, our public transportation needs are not being met by the current system. The spoke and wheel design is not efficient for the average traveler’s daily needs.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

I see our City government supporting various transportation methods, to build a system that works for the people of the City of Rochester. From carpooling, to rerouting and rescheduling the RTS buses, I believe that the public transportation *could* be a million times better than it is right now. I also know that this will not happen unless the people who actually ride the buses are an integral part of the planning process.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? What steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

I would like the City to take a good look at the many great suggestions that we came up with on the Rochester 4.0 Planning Committees. There were many meetings held across the city, and ours in the NW District touched on public transportation as an area that needed improvement. We also noted the under-use of our city’s waterways. We made the suggestion to create a water taxi service (weather permitting, of course), as well as installing a light-rail system that could make access to and from Charlotte faster (for example), and be able to connect to a bus route, or another trolley line(s), that would serve more areas across our county. These, in partnership with carpool lanes on larger roadways, and offering free parking to carpool vehicles in the city might help reduce our city’s carbon footprint. Carpooling would be a great way to help get city residents to suburban job locations. As a council member, I will also do my best to try to get as many businesses to relocate to our inner city, as this would bring the jobs back to the people who need them the most. I especially want to see Rochester be a leader in the clean energy and renewable resource field, so I want to see manufacturing of solar panels and wind turbines (and their components) to be made in the city by city residents, and placed on city homes to help city homeowners with energy costs. Then, to help finance the whole program/initiative, the city can sell the extra energy generated to other municipalities, and can sell the panels and turbines, as we could be a world leader in this global economy.

 

I believe that the current bus system is inefficient, and this is a key reason most people do not leave their cars at home. It should not take two hours to go somewhere that is 20 minutes away. We need a better route for buses to travel, as well as increasing the frequency of the bus runs. When I visit NYC, the bus stop showed a schedule and route, and basically the time was listed as, “The bus will be here shortly.”, and it was! I don’t think we waited five minutes. Now, I completely understand that Rochester does not have the same dense population that NYC has, but our residents deserve to have that type of quality service. If you miss a bus after work in the evening, you are going to wait about an hour for the next bus. That is just not feasible for families and students, or for anyone. We need to get where we are going, and not be waiting for a ride everywhere. That is the main reason people drive their cars, rather than take the bus. There should also be ADA compliant public restrooms available across the city, and more bus stops along the routes rather than removing stop locations. There should also be simple shelters and benches available at bus stops. These could be paid for via sponsorships and advertising opportunities. The top 20 people who run the bus company, based upon salary rate, should use their own service. If they aren’t doing so, the question to ask is “Why not?” as the residents of the City of Rochester and the rest of Monroe County deserve to be treated with the same level of respect that they would expect to receive.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

I would like the downtown parking to be free, as the fee to park is prohibitive and unwelcoming to customers of our local businesses. Also, as a part-time worker when I was in college, paying to park a vehicle downtown was a larger percentage of my paycheck than I really could afford to pay. This doesn’t help hard-working people get out of poverty. I would like to see underground parking garages utilized, so that we can conserve our valuable green spaces, while using all space efficiently. I think that garages are better than parking lots, as a lot is taking up an area of space that could be used for social interactions with people, and with small businesses to support our local economy. A garage can be built onto a building, and could also have an ecological component, where solar panels and wind turbines could be mounted onto them, as well as green plants/trees could be grown on the side, to help improve the air quality around the building.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

Unfortunately, from my perspective and experience, I believe the City should prioritize traffic enforcement lower on the scale of urgency. The other issues facing the City of Rochester are on a life and death scale, the highest being the insidious drug use epidemic, and the violence that destroys our neighbors’ quality of life. I certainly encourage everyone to follow the current traffic laws, and to be mindful and courteous to others using our roadways. If these road rules were followed, our streets would be safer for all travelers, and our police could be deployed to more serious and timely matters, like getting guns and drugs off our streets and making better community connections between officers and city residents.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

I absolutely support studying these options! If public transportation was faster and convenient, most people would use it willingly, rather than out of necessity. These options could also bring more jobs to our city residents, which would lift more people out of poverty. The environmental benefits of using public transportation more often would also help our overall ecological health.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

 

No.

 

I do not currently support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, as 25 mph speed limits do not seem reasonable. I believe the current 30 mph limit suits our community. However, as a councilmember, I would ask my constituents what they want, and would support their desire. If a majority of our city residents wanted this “Vision Zero” style, then I would help create legislation to make it become a reality. My own personal opinion would not override the needs of the people I am elected to serve. Other traffic calming practices and policies would be investigated, and again, brought to the people to make the decision, as they would be directly affected by these changes. In some cases, narrowing of roads, or using round-abouts would make perfect sense, and be a benefit to specific areas; in others, not so much. Overall, I encourage educating the public on the current traffic laws and rules, and would expect people to take personal responsibility for their actions. When I rode my bike, I rode with traffic, near the curb, wearing a helmet and reflective clothing with lights on my wheels. I did not pull out into traffic from between two vehicles, or ride on the wrong side of the road. When committing these acts, people are putting their personal safety in jeopardy, as well as creating a hazard for others who are also using the road. Common sense and education is the key to saving lives.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

 

No.

 

I feel that there are many streets that are simply too narrow to add a bike lane, and keep the vehicle traffic moving safely. I have seen bike lanes that disappear, and bicyclists be put in danger as cars narrowly miss them. On larger, main thoroughfares, yes, bike lanes make sense, and are a wise investment, such as on Lake Avenue, where the bike lane is up next to the sidewalk, and well out of the way of motorized traffic.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

I do support road changes that are making travel safer for people in our City, but not across the board. I believe we need to act purposefully, and take care not to change something drastically that only needs a minor alteration.

 

I think the people of Rochester would be the perfect resource and sounding board for this question. From my experience, there are locations where crossing Monroe Avenue, Genesee Street, Lyell Avenue, and East and West Ridge Roads is harrowing, and these should be re-evaluated. In some cases, traffic lights might be the best solution, in others, stop signs. In others still, speed bumps or dips might be the best solution. Some other locations might benefit from a pedestrian island, or from a better timed crossing light. Each location has specific challenges, and a carefully thought out plan will make our city more inviting for all.

 

 

What steps do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

I will lead by example, as I intend to carpool to City Hall with Andrew Hollister (Republican candidate), as he is a neighbor who is also running for a seat on our City Council! For other downtown employees, I would think that offering free parking for carpool vehicles would make a huge difference to many employees in our downtown area. Again, I would like the RTS buses to have more effective and efficient routes, and to run with greater frequency. I would also like shuttle services enlisted, as that might entice more people to use the main forms of transportation, while getting around quickly between established bus locations/different routes. I would also offer enclosed bike parking, and not charge for these spaces. The bike locker I used when I worked downtown was secure, but it should not have cost the rate that it did, as the maintenance of a locker for a bicycle is not commensurate with the amount being charged. There also weren’t enough of them, at the time, and that didn’t encourage people to use that method of transportation as an option.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

As a council member, I will always keep the focus on what is in the best interests of the residents of the City of Rochester. I will encourage the study of different options and new ideas, and not dismiss out of hand any serious proposals to improve citizens’ quality of life.

Shawn Dunwoody

Shawn DunwoodyCandidate Email: ShawnDunwoody.com/contact

 

Website: ShawnDunwoody.com

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

My vision for Rochester’s transportation network really needs to take a look at transportation design. This would require a neighborhood study to determine the walk, bike, and public transportation patterns in each quadrant. For example, some areas of our city biking is used as a major means of transportation and delivery. I have seen and have been part of moving large objects about town using shopping carts, balancing beams on the handle bars, and ghost riding another bike while pulling a trash toter or lawnmower. Let’s observe our streets. Talk to those we see riding and walking in our neighborhoods and ask what/how do you use transportation? What would help you to better achieve your day-to-day goals using Rochester’s transportation network? With these questions, we can help to build a network that fits and grows with its community.

 

 

I will work with our City Planners, Urban design Centers, area colleges to assist in mobilizing the community members in developing ride, bike, and walking charrettes.

 

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

 

 

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

Well, how about supporting entrepreneurs and local businesses along transportation routes and the smaller (at first) neighborhood businesses that can hire small numbers from the area within walking distance.

 

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? What steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

 

 

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

 

 

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

 

 

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

 

 

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

 

 

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

 

 

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

 

 

 

What steps do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

 

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

Malik Evans

Malik EvansCandidate Email: Malik@malikevans.org

 

Website: www.MalikEvans.org

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

A network that includes buses, bikes, ride sharing that breaks down barriers so that everyone in the community can have the opportunity for prosperity.

 

Regularly working with like minded community organizations like reconnect Rochester and ensuring that our public transportation system is responsive and innovative. I will also advocate policies that encourage whenever possible that pedestrian zones get the highest priority.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

Buses that don’t route to where jobs often are in the far flung suburbs. This is a challenge for poor working families.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

The city has the ability to advocate and push for pedestrian friendly policies and advocate for things like car sharing, bike sharing and zoning policies that put an emphasis on pedestrian friendly streets.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? What steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

Van pooling and working to attract jobs that are in neighborhoods, so people can walk when possible. We also need to ensure public transit is accessible to everyone.

 

We need more public awareness about the benefits. We also need to make it fun in encouraging different modes of ransportation.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

Broadly we need to make it possible for people not to have to drive and park downtown. We need more options for a shuttle that travels downtown from areas where people can leave there car. The long term solution is a more robust transit system that can provide timely service to all areas.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

Traffic enforcement should be a major priority.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

This will cut down on downtown congestion, parking in particular. This will also encourage exploring downtown and can attract new businesses.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

This will make Rochester more pedestrian friendly.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

Bikes are a great form of transportation and promotes good health.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

This will help pedestrians.

 

East Main St., North Goodman, West Main St.

 

What steps do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

Rewards for using other forms of transportation.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

Scotty Ginett

Scotty GinettCandidate Email: ScottyGinett.com/contact

 

Website: ScottyGinett.com

 

Unfortunately we did not receive a response from Scotty Ginett.

Mitch Gruber

Mitch Gruber

Candidate Email: MitchForCityCouncil@gmail.com

 

Website: MitchGruber.com

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

I envision a #HealthyRochester, where kids can play actively, families can eat healthy, and anyone can get from here to there with diverse transportation options. We must have active, affordable, and convenient transportation options.

 

I will push for an Active Transportation Council/Committee, with representatives from many key local organizations: Reconnect Rochester, Conkey Cruisers, Rochester Cycling Alliance, HealthiKids, and more. This political body will liaise with City Council to develop effective legislation to improve our transportation system. In addition, I would recommend that the City hires someone dedicated to active transportation.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

I see two main challenges. First, our main transportation system (RGRTA) is controlled by the County, and they do not spend adequate resources in the City. Second, Rochester is neither a particularly bikeable or walkable city. We need to make some significant improvements in our bicycling infrastructure, and increase the walkability of our streets.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

Addressing the above challenges will require two different strategies. First, we must begin to elect officials that can bridge the relationship between City and County. RGRTA will continue to be run by the County for the foreseeable future, but we can continue to improve the working relationship between RGRTA and the people of Rochester that depend on public transit. Second, we can begin to build the right infrastructure in City Hall to improve our transportation infrastructure. I would start by advocating for a full-time active transportation specialist in City Hall, and an Active Transportation Committee/Council.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? What steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

My website (mitchgruber.com) includes a lot of information about Middle Skills job training. I believe that we have available jobs in our community, but we must be able to train people for those jobs. As part of that process, we must ensure that major employers are on the RGRTA bus line and encourage biking to work. We have done this at Foodlink, where many employees do not own cars. In addition, when possible employers should provide bus passes to workers instead of parking passes.

 

This city is clearly interested in biking, as evidenced by the apparent success of Zagster in the last month. We must invest in better biking infrastructure (bike lanes and blvds). I’d like to create a bike “highway” like in bike-friendly cities like Portland and Minneapolis. In addition, we must continue to work with RGRTA to make this a more viable form of transportation for people with cars by creating new, strategic routes.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

We need to stop investing in surface-level parking, and encourage the use of public/active transportation. Beyond that, I strongly believe that we need to have data and strategy to create a vision for parking downtown. That’s why I would use my voice as a councilmember to encourage the hiring of a full-time active transportation specialist and the creation of an Active Transportation Committee/Council.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

There needs to be a strategy when it comes to traffic enforcement. Currently, it feels like different authorities prioritize traffic enforcement in very different ways. We need to make sure that as a City and County, we understand the purpose and goals of traffic enforcement. Again, this is an opportunity for a Transportation Committee/Council.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

These are innovative solutions that must be addressed by City Hall.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

I support data-driven approaches that show evidence of creating safer roads and more sustainable transportation usages. I would want any legislation about transportation in Rochester to be data-driven and evidence-based.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

This is a critical form of transportation, and we need to do a lot of work to improve our bikability. I think this issue is significant in low-income communities, like where I live. Many people use bicycles to get to work and otherwise, but there are insufficient lanes in these communities.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

We need innovative, data-driven approaches to transportation planning.

 

I don’t have one particular version of the road diet that I am interested in, because I am not an active transportation specialist. I would listen to transportation specialists, and encourage the creation of a Committee/Council to help develop this type of legislation.

 

What steps do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

Improving commuter bus routes and bike lanes, and incentivizing the use of public/active transportation. This shouldn’t be difficult with City employees, since parking near City Hall is incredibly difficult.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

I don’t have all the answers to these questions, because I am not a transportation specialist. However, I will be the type of legislators that Reconnect Rochester wants. I have a track record of innovation at Foodlink, and I am data-driven as evidenced by my PhD in urban history. Most importantly, I know how to ask the right questions of the right people; that is why most of my answers alluded to the creation of an Active Transportation Committee/Council, which would include representation from Reconnect Rochester.

Dorian L. Hall

Dorian L. Hall

Candidate Email: Dorian@dorianleanderhall.com

 

Website: www.DorianLeanderHall.com

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

I have always like railways. i would like to see a rail system.

 

I think we should look at transportation in international city’s as they seem to have more experience.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

Having people willing to think out of the box and do something different.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

I think Rochester is tied to RTS and will not makes changes because of thier financial interest.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? What steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

The City can focus on added manufacturing business to neighborhoods which help them become walk able neighborhoods.

 

The city should create a rail system where people feel safe and spend less time in than if they had to drive a car.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

I think they should make parcel 5 green space .

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

I think city should focus on issues or intersection communities say are not safe because of accidents.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

An order to stop my from driving we need other transportation than bus, taxi, lift, and uber.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

I have seen speed bumps work in my neighborhood.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

No.

 

I have seen people almost hit by cars.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

If its for safety and saves lives it makes sense. Speed bumps seem to work well.

 

What steps do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

I would gives Bus tokens to employees.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

Safety and kids at play enriches a kids life.

Ronald Hall

Ronald HallCandidate Email: www.facebook.com/ronald.hall.1213

 

Website: www.facebook.com/ronald.hall.1213

 

Unfortunately we did not receive a response from Ronald Hall.

Tom Hasman

Tom Hassman

Candidate Email: Tom.Hasman@gmail.com

 

Website: TomHasman.com

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

Rochester needs to adapt our transportation network to meet the needs of its citizens. Many millennials are embracing public transportation over cars. Empty nesters moving into the city are also looking for transportation options that do not involve cars. Buses are the principal public transit method for many city residents and will remain that way for the foreseeable future. However, Rochester should consider bringing back street cars as another public transportation method. Bus lines can be started and stopped at will and thus can be a barrier to development. Having dedicated tracks serve a neighborhood shows a permanent commitment to that neighborhood and increases the chances that development will take place. Look no further than Washington, DC for a real example of how “dedicated tracks” can spur development. The DC metro system has spurred growth near each metro stop. They are also historical and can add to the visual landscape of Rochester. We also need to continue adding bike lanes to our streets, and maintain the bike sharing program.

 

The city could not solely fund a street car line. We would need help from the state and federal government. Buffalo received funding to build their metro system so there is no reason why Rochester could not receive state and federal funds to build a street car network. As for the bike lanes, I would work with city planners and group such as Reconnect Rochester to ensure that we choose the right streets to make dedicated bike lanes.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

Rochester’s greatest challenge is our sheer size. It can be difficult to get from one side of the city to the other without a car. Our bus system is also not particularly well-designed to move people around the city. It is also hard to convince people to give up their car, especially when they are limited public alternatives.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

City Council and the mayor’s office must reach out to the community to see what the residents are looking for in a transportation system. The city should also consult stakeholder groups such as Reconnect Rochester. Based on this input, a transportation plan should be created and carried out.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? What steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

The new bike-sharing program is great. It would be great to see this program expanded beyond where they are currently located. We have a bus system that is not effective at moving people around the city. Me must make RTS buses more usable for city residents.

 

We need bus routes that make sense. For instance, my wife happily took the 52 bus from our neighborhood to her place of work (Strong Memorial Hospital). This bus route was abandoned after less than a year. The City can also incentivize more ride-sharing. Lastly, the City can continue to create more and safer bicycle routes.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

Research has shown that as much as 30% of downtown traffic in some cities can be attributed to people looking for cheaper street parking. To combat this, some cities have implemented Right-pricing parking. According to Donald Shoup: “The right prices are the lowest prices that will leave one or two open spaces on each block, so there will be no parking shortages. Prices will balance the demand and supply for on-street parking spaces.” The city could also implement a “downtown circulator” to move people around downtown while alleviating the need for parking. Long term, creating a street car line that also serves downtown Rochester could encourage people to leave their car at home and take public transit instead.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

This is a tough question to answer (nice job!). While the easy answer is “of course we should prioritize traffic enforcement,” I understand that it is not that simple. The police force is stretched thin. When I was President of the ABC Streets Neighborhood, I worked with the police department to increase enforcement of the stop sign at Park and Colby (many cars weren’t stopping for the 4-way stop sign). The police increased the patrols and did what they could, but the reality is that they often had more pressing issues to handle and couldn’t be there was much as the neighborhood wanted. The city should look into creating a traffic enforcement division that could be a “wing” of the police department and have them focus on traffic enforcement.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

I think these are all great ideas. New Orleans and San Francisco utilize street cars/cable cars. These are not only practical ways of public transit but they also add to the downtown landscape. Rochester needs think “beyond the bus” for other methods of public transit that could work with a bus system.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

As the father of two young children, I cannot emphasize enough the need to lower the city speed-limit. On my street, which has a large number of children and dogs, it is discouraging to watch cars speed down our street. Speed bumps were added a few years ago and that has helped somewhat, but 30 mph is still too fast for our residential streets.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

It would encourage more residents to use their bicycles and also make bike riding safer by giving bicyclists their own dedicated lane to ride in.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

It is a common sense approach that doesn’t cost much money to implement and helps reduce accidents and save lives.

 

There was a lot of complaining when East Ave was reduced to two lanes (from four) several years ago but traffic runs smoothly and there is now room for bikes and dedicated left hand turn lanes for cars. I would like to see more of this type of change on other thoroughfare streets in the city where feasible.

 

What steps do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

Again, my wife lives and works in the city. Her bus route was dismantled less than a year after it began. The bus was packed during the AM and PM commutes but was mostly empty during the other times. Many residents who took the bus asked RTS to make the 52 bus a “commuter bus” providing service only during rush hour times but RTS refused and discontinued the route. We need much smarter bus routes for residents who also work in the city. We also need to work with employers to further incentivize ride-sharing.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

For my final comment, I would like to address driverless cars. This is not abstract idea. Some carmakers — Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan, Volvo, Toyota are all predicting fully driverless cars by 2020-2021. I would like Rochester to be a leader in this area. We need to begin to envision how our cities will change with this new technology, we must imagine and foster this new landscape.

Andrew Hollister

Andrew HollisterCandidate Email: Hollister4Council.com/#contact

 

Website: www.Hollister4Council.com

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

It’s tragic that a lack of affordable transportation options make it difficult for so many Rochesterians to find or keep a job. We’re a city where personal vehicle ownership has become essential for career success. Many voters have shared with me that our bus network fails to meet the needs of everyday commuters. But it does not have to be that way. By implementing new technology, our bus system can get the user data, route responsiveness, and convenience that modern consumers demand. We must embrace a plethora of affordable transportation options from bicycle networks to innovative ride sharing technology on a mass transit scale

 

We need to start with reforming our archaic city code in a number of areas to foster transportation innovation, smart development, and business growth. First, we must remove barriers to innovation that prevent transportation entrepreneurs from expanding and experimenting with ride sharing technology on a larger scale. City council must encourage RTS to embrace this technology as well and use the data collected to improve routes and meet consumer needs. Second, we can reform our zoning laws to allow for more mixed use development in neighborhoods. This will encourage the growth of office space, restaurants, retail, and other business opportunities in walkable settings. Third, removing burdensome requirements will encourage businesses to take advantage of mixed use development opportunities in the city, further incentivizing people to use alternative transportation options to access goods and services in their neighborhood.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

Decades of transportation policy at the federal, state, and local level have made owning a car essential for economic opportunity. We’ve invested billions in infrastructure that ensures this mode of transit. It will take a very long time to change that. In addition to this, public transportation has often been viewed as a service strictly for poor people (I hear this constantly). Public transportation must be built, viewed, and developed as a viable alternative to automobile transportation by people of all walks of life. It needs to be built with the goal of bringing people to and from work.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

Removing barriers to transportation innovation in the private sector will allow entrepreneurs to create unique and inexpensive options for everyone, including low-income residents. In the long term, working with city planners to create a infrastructure policy that encourages multiple modes of transportation will be essential for an equitable transportation network in the future.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? What steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

Allowing for mixed used development and removing barriers to job growth will create jobs right in our Rochester neighborhoods where they will be in walking distance from their jobs. Think of the neighborhoods that this is already possible. Very successful areas such as East Ave, Park Ave, Monroe, Alexander. All of these are zoned for mixed use and they allow for people in the neighborhoods to also work in the neighborhoods. The areas of the city that are Zoned R1 (most strictly) don’t allow for jobs to come into the neighborhoods. Instead you need to rely on transportation out of your neighborhood to find a job. City Council can and should revise our zoning so that it doesn’t prevent jobs from coming into our neighborhoods.

 

City residents will use alternative modes of transportation when it’s available, useful, and affordable. Although many people are willing to take the extra steps of biking, walking, or using mass transit for moral or environmental reasons, most people will continue to use personal vehicles as long as it’s convenient and makes financial sense. Big changes to transportation behavior require cultural and technical changes. By making the changes to mass transit approach, regulations, and city code recommended above, there will be situations where city residents are more likely to have access to alternative transportation options in their neighborhoods and throughout the city. There will be more situations where it will make more sense to walk, bike, or use a service than to take a personal vehicle.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

There has been a very diverse outlook on parking downtown. Some people (especially business owners) feel as if there isn’t enough parking for their customers, or parking that is convenient enough. While others believe there is an abundance of parking and that there should be less of it. Downtown is already extremely crowded when it comes to development. Adding more parking lots and parking areas isn’t feasible without more development and a significant cost to the Rochester community.

 

As I think about this issue I think both sides need to be considered for a solution. How do you provide the convenience of driving and owning your own vehicle while thinning out traffic and dense parking? Although the easy answer is we should have better public transportation so people don’t need to rely on their vehicles for convenience I don’t foresee that as an overnight or immediately available change. I do believe there is an opportunity for the private sector to create a park and ride option outside of downtown that provides ample parking services and shuttles you downtown to where you want to be, or to a zagster spot. Businesses can offer vouchers to their customers to cover the parking and they can maintain the convenience. If done right you could pay the same as you do for downtown parking without actually needing to find a spot while maintaining the convenience.

 

Another option would be to leverage technology and build an app that will track open parking spots, so that people can quickly find the closest available parking spot. Other cities have done this successfully. We need to be more innovative with our city government so we aren’t continuously behind the times.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

Aggressive traffic enforcement does not necessarily solve safety problems for the people of Rochester. We some traffic enforcement for a few reckless individuals, but it’s often used to generate revenue and it can lead to unnecessary conflicts between police and citizens. Traffic safety could be improved with better design. By designing our streets to slow down cars, respect cyclists, and draw attention to pedestrians, we’ll improve safety outcomes without needing to resort to ineffective punitive measures.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

No.

 

Building a mass transit network that is financially sustainable is incredibly difficult. When building a fixed route streetcar system, getting it right is critical. Studies aren’t conclusive but we can look to market behavior as our guide. City Council should reduce regulatory barriers to allow the private sector innovative rapid transition options in Rochester (think Uber, Lyft, and Zagster all of these are private sector solutions to problems that local government have failed to solve). These solutions may fill the need for mass transit solutions or demonstrate the need for public investment in costlier transit infrastructure in popular travel corridors.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

As mentioned in the answer on traffic enforcement, structural changes to our streets play a critical role in improving safety for our citizens.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

As someone who grew up riding my bike on the streets of Rochester and using my bike as a commuter, I know how important bike infrastructure is. My bike was my first mode of transportation to my first job, and I was hit by cars not once but twice while riding my bike. There’s a growing trend of people cycling in Rochester for commuting and recreation. The city should continue looking for affordable options to improve bicycle safety through defined lanes, protected lanes, and measures to encourage safe road sharing with vehicles.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

Every time a cyclist or pedestrian is injured or even killed by a driver, it’s heartbreaking. As I mentioned, I’ve been struck while riding my bike too. Many of these accidents are preventable. Our streets must be built for an urban environment where people live, work, walk, and play. Streets designed to slow drivers down and invite them to recognize potential conflicts will do far more to improve safety and livability in Rochester than traffic enforcement on roads that invite drivers to speed and drive recklessly. That’s why I would support road diets and changes to road configurations for select problem areas in the city.

 

There are so many busy streets to name off it would probably be easier to name the streets that don’t need it. Lake Ave and Main street are some of the first that come to mind, but there are so many more in every neighborhood in our city. Many of these streets are busy and dangerous for pedestrians simply do not have any space at all to be on the street with a bicycle.

 

What steps do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

I’m not a fan of handing out taxpayer dollars as incentives. I’d much rather use them on our residents and neighborhoods. If we remove any subsidies for parking and allow prices to reflect the actual cost of maintaining parking lots we will see people do this on their own. They will look to carpooling and ask for better transportation options themselves. They may even collaborate and come up with an amazing idea that hasn’t been thought of yet as a solution.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

Our government is constantly looking to reinvent the wheel with our public transportation. I have visited cities that we never once used a car in. We were able to get from one end of the city to another conveniently at very little cost in the same amount of time that we would have in a car. We must look to those cities and their infrastructure instead of trying to make new solutions that do not work. We’ve done that time and time again. It is consistently failing. Sometimes it is better to acknowledge that the solution has already been found and adopt it. An example of this is our downtown transit center. We spent a lot of money, lost service areas, and don’t have better transportation, why did our local government choose this over a model that has been proven to work in cities our size?

Matt Juda

Matt Juda

Candidate Email: Matt@mattjuda.com

 

Website: www.MattJuda.com

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

I would like to see Rochester’s transportation network include more alternatives to single occupant vehicles, while empowering and protecting cyclists and pedestrians.

 

While ride sharing services like Lyft and Uber are helpful in reducing the number of vehicles on the road, increased investment in bicycle infrastructure would further reduce automobile reliance. As a member of City Council I would push to continue expanding the number of bicycle rental kiosks and make sure they are distributed evenly among all our cities neighborhoods. I would also asses areas where speed humps, stop signs, and other traffic control devices could be deployed to increase compliance with speed limits.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

Rochester’s greatest transportation challenge is overcoming a highway system that was built to accommodate America’s reliance on automobiles. Filling in the Inner Loop was a vital first step towards reconnecting our neighborhoods and increasing pedestrian mobility throughout the East End/Down corridor which is vital to the economic success of our city. Prioritizing people over automobiles is the key to revitalizing our City and overcoming the legacy transportation system designed specifically for automobiles.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

Advocacy and providing some funding for programs that increase access to alternate forms of transportation.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? What steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

As a routine part of the City’s economic development efforts, businesses which seek tax credits and other financing assistance should be required to either demonstrate their location is accessible by existing public transportation options, or contribute to the cost of expanding public transportation. This would incentivize density, while preventing urban sprawl, and make jobs more accessible to city residents.

 

Increasing the number of bike rental kiosks is a great way to encourage people to move around without relying on vehicles. Similarly, partnering with local business to provide coupons and gift cards as incentives for residents to ride buses several times a month would both reduce traffic congestion and emissions, but it would also provide publicity for new businesses. Most importantly, incentivizing ridership on existing public transportations options increases familiarity and helps eliminate the psychological barrier of trying something new for the first time.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

My broad vision for improving the traffic situation downtown is to facilitate policies and planning decisions that ultimately reduce the total number of cars downtown at any given time. We should not be trying to make parking easier and encouraging vehicle dependence, we should be creating a more robust and holistic public transportation system that allows people to get where they want to be without taking a car.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

While traffic enforcement is critical to improving the safety of our families, pedestrians and bicyclists, I believe that the question of prioritization of enforcement is best left to the career professionals of the Rochester Police Department. I do however believe that by having one week every several months were RPD officers aggressively monitor traffic violations would go a long way towards changing motorist’s driving behaviors, especially in residential neighborhoods

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

Reducing the number of vehicles that are on city streets would make walkers and bikers more comfortable sharing the road and sidewalks. I support a feasibility study for transportation alternatives as a way to jump start the potential virtuous cycle that could result from the use of street cars, circulators, etc.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

Yes. I support a 25mph speed limit and the implementation of traffic calming practices because we need to ensure that pedestrians and cyclists feel safe sharing the road. By making roads narrower and building protected bike lanes, we can both protect our residents who already ride bicycles and encourage new riders to leave their car at home.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

The bicycle lanes provide a safer space for the use of bicycles to transit around our city. I believe we should work to provide more lanes like those alone lake ave in Charlotte where there is a path next to the sidewalk.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

The road diet or change in road ways will greatly increase the safety for all commuters.

 

Lake Ave, Main Street near culver, West Main Street, reconfigure Mt. Hope at Elmwood

 

What steps do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

Incentivize carpool through preferred parking and reduced rates. Stipend for alternate vehicles. Bus passes for commuters or reduced rate.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

 

 

 

 

Ann Lewis

Ann LewisCandidate Email: www.facebook.com/ann.c.lewis.12

 

Website: www.facebook.com/ann.c.lewis.12

 

Unfortunately we did not receive a response from Ann Lewis.

Willie Joe Lightfoot

Willie Joe Lightfoot

Candidate Email: WillieLightfoot4CityCouncil@gmail.com

 

Website: www.WillieLightfoot.com

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

My vision for Rochester’s transportation network is that every citizen will have adequate access to affordable transportation.

 

I plan to achieve this by working within my governmental capacities to work with our Federal , State, County and local leaders to make this a reality.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

Making sure transportation is convenient and affordable.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

I feel City government plays a major role in leading the way to helping to assure adequate transportation for all citizens such as recent roll that City played in Zagster bikes.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? What steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

I like the ride sharing program that the Mayor started with casino. I think more ride sharing programs can work in our community.

Encourage ride sharing.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

I think we have to look at how other cities our size are dealing with this situation and implement ideas that work.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

Look at whats working in other Cities our size.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

No.

 

I support surveying the community as to what the community wants to study so we don’t spend unnecessary public dollars on studies.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

For public safety I think it a good idea.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

I like whats been done on Jefferson , Thurston, Ford street.

 

What steps do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

Maybe some types of incentives would work?

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

 

Mary Lupien

Mary Lupien

Candidate Email: mlupien@gmail.com

 

Website: MaryLupien.com

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

My vision for Rochester’s transportation network is a system that is so accessible, user friendly, and intuitive that everybody uses it, not just those who don’t have other options. I also dream of a transportation system that creates equity of access for those same people without options so that they don’t spend hours away from their homes and children just to get to a job that barely pays the bills. I dream of a transportation system that is uplifting and brings people together, something that we can take pride in.

 

I plan to achieve this vision for Rochester by working with RTS and organizations like Reconnect Rochester as a city councilperson to re-imagine our transportation system and develop proposals that fit our city and our needs. We can also use van pools to save money where it makes sense and work to appoint people to the transit authority that are invested in and passionate about public transportation so that more dollars can be directed towards these projects.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?
What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

Rochester’s greatest obstacles are budget, system design, lack of transit oriented design and lack of comprehensive walking and biking infrastructure. Our transportation system also has an image problem where there is a negative connotation around using public transportation because it has been inefficient, hard to use, and poorly maintained for so long. Branding can go a long way in encouraging millennials and folks who have cars to use public transit and feel a greater sense of social responsibility in their transportation choices.

 

I think it is important for members of city government to actively advocate for improvements in our transportation network and not just wait for proposals to come across their desks. I will be a strong voice for transportation on city council as a climate and social justice activist and will work to educate my peers and other city leaders on the exponential benefits to a community like ours of having a robust and equitable network. Whether it is reducing segregation, lifting people out of poverty, taking care of the environment, or contributing to overall quality of life, there is something almost anyone can relate to and get behind in the list of benefits of a healthy, accessible public transportation system.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? What steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

Aside from expanding and improving access to public transportation, the city can incentivize businesses to build and develop along transportation routes that already exist. The new Zagster system is a great way of improving accessibility because the bikes can be locked at any bike rack, and I would like to see that program expanded. I would be thrilled to see the use of cooperative ride share and car sharing ventures.

 

First, it has to be accessible and intuitive enough for it to make sense to use for people who have busy schedules and limited capital in the areas of time and energy. Second, by rebranding our busses and running public advertising campaigns about the social and environmental benefits of using public transportation we can attract and capitalize on the desire for and understanding of public transportation that is already there in our community. I believe there are lots of people in Rochester who want to use public transportation and believe in the benefits for whom it is not yet a viable option. If we can give them a system that makes sense to use and fits into their lives, I believe they will make an effort to take advantage.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

By improving our transportation system and increasing multi-modal transportation options, we can reduce the number of cars descending on downtown. I’d also like to see more park and rides in the suburbs with regular service so that it is convenient for people to leave their cars and take public transportation downtown. I do not support building more parking garages.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

I believe that consistency in traffic enforcement is important – it affects people’s lives – but we can also reduce the need for enforcement by enacting traffic calming measures that free up human resources and energy, creating less conflict between citizens and police and sustaining a system that manages itself.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

These strategies have worked in other cities and are effective in bringing people together and connecting high traffic areas while increasing economic development, quality of life, and improving access to our most valuable assets.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

I agree with the Vision Zero initiative in that “no loss of life is acceptable” and that we can design our streets and city to be so safe and friendly to walkers and bikers that severe injuries and fatalities can be a thing of the past. Whether it is speed limits, speed bumps, road dieting, road painting projects, roundabouts, or protected bike lanes, there are so many thoughtful and strategic ways to plan our city for safety and we can learn a lot from other cities who have taken the lead on these initiatives.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

A bicycle lane network doesn’t just benefit the people who are already using bikes instead of cars, it will encourage people to bike and do so even more while reducing the negative effects of cars on the environment and getting people out of their cars and into their communities, interacting with and lifting the spirit of the town. There are definitely folks in the community who would bike to work if it was reliably safer to do so.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

The safety of our roads for everyone, especially pedestrians and bikers, is extremely valuable and we will reap the benefits for generations.

 

Main Street, Lake Avenue.

 

What steps do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

The city can incentivize public transportation for its employees by providing bus or Zagster passes to city workers who live in areas where transportation is already accessible.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

I think Reconnect Rochester is doing an incredible job of championing these changes and strategies and educating the public on why this matters and I look forward to working with them and elevating their voices and ideas in our city conversations.

Dana K. Miller

Dana K. Miller

Candidate Email: Dana@DanaMillerForCouncil.com

 

Website: www.facebook.com/dkmiller26

 

What is your vision for Rochester’s transportation network? How do you plan to achieve that vision?

Series of transportation options that includes walking, biking, ride-sharing, public transit and private vehicles. Available at all times to all people.

 

Have supported legislation to introduce uber/lyft, reduce regulations on taxis, increase bike lanes, improve public transit, introduce bike sharing.

 

What are Rochester’s greatest challenges in regards to transportation?

Transportation options for people with disabilities, transportation at all hours, transportation at all destinations.

 

What role do you see City government playing in building a more robust and equitable transportation network?

We are responsible for bike lanes, street construction, oversight for public transit.

 

What steps can the City take to improve accessibility to jobs for residents who do not own cars? What steps can the City take to encourage residents who own cars to increase their use of alternative modes of transportation?

We have implemented van pools, and supported ride-sharing/bike sharing. I will continue to lobby RGRTA to provide more off-hours service to non-city work destinations.

 

We can right-size parking, and possibly offer incentives (financial, or other) to residents who alter their transportation methods.

 

Broadly, what is your vision for improving the parking situation downtown?

We have more spaces now than are needed, but not in the right places. I will advocate for a circulator (bus/trolley) that can move people as required. We must be careful not to overbuild parking as options to private vehicles increase.

 

How do you think the City should prioritize traffic enforcement relative to other issues?

I would like to see traffic enforcement given higher prioriy.

 

Do you support studying the feasibility of modern streetcars, downtown circulators, and various rapid transit options for Rochester? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

Circulator, and streetcar optons could help resolve the parking concerns.

 

Do you support a “Vision Zero” style approach to road safety, which includes a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in the City and other traffic calming practices and policies? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

A Vision Zero approach could help improve road safety and help eliminate deaths due to road design problems.

 

Do you support the continued expansion of a bicycle lane network throughout the City? Why or why not?

Yes.

 

Bicycles are among the most democratic transportation options. They don’t require a license, insurance or inspections. I will continue to advocate for bike based transportation options.

 

Do you support road diets or significant changes to road configurations to improve safety on any major roadways in the City? Why or why not? If yes, which ones?

Yes.

 

Lane reduction measures such as bumpouts, roundabouts, and bike lanes have proven to increase traffic, bike, and pedestrian safety.

 

We are currently working on Main St, and I would like to see more work done on Lake Ave, Mt. Hope and Mt. Read.

 

What steps do you think we can take to encourage employees (especially City employees) to commute using transportation options other than single occupant automobiles (walk/bike/bus/carpool/etc.)?

We can look at providing subsidies or other economic support to employees who decide to commute using alternative methods.

 

Are there any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

We need to reduce the “stigma” of non-car transportation options. Our city, like most, is car centric and anyone not using a car is seen as “less than”.

Jackie Ortiz

Jackie OrtizCandidate Email: OrtizForCouncil@gmail.com

 

Website: OrtizForCityCouncil.com

 

Unfortunately we did not receive a response from Jackie Ortiz.

Loretta Scott

Loretta ScottCandidate Email: Loretta.Scott@cityofrochester.gov

 

Website: www.facebook.com/CouncilmemberLorettaScott

 

Unfortunately we did not receive a response from Loretta Scott.

Marcus Williams

Website: www.Marcus4Rochester.com

Unfortunately we did not receive a response from Marcus Williams.

Reconnect Rochester would like to thank all of the candidates (and their teams) for the time and effort they’ve dedicated to our community, and for taking the time to answer our questions. We look forward to working with them very soon.

Cast Your Vote (just for funsies):

Who will you be voting for Mayor?
  • Rachel Barnhart 33%, 58 votes
    58 votes 33%
    58 votes - 33% of all votes
  • James Sheppard 24%, 42 votes
    42 votes 24%
    42 votes - 24% of all votes
  • Lovely Warren 23%, 40 votes
    40 votes 23%
    40 votes - 23% of all votes
  • Alex White 10%, 17 votes
    17 votes 10%
    17 votes - 10% of all votes
  • Tony Micciche 9%, 16 votes
    16 votes 9%
    16 votes - 9% of all votes
  • Lori F. Thomas 1%, 1 vote
    1 vote 1%
    1 vote - 1% of all votes
Total Votes: 174
September 4, 2017 - November 7, 2017
Voting is closed

*Your vote will remain anonymous.

Who will you be voting for City Council? (Select up to 5)
  • Mary Lupien 20%, 103 votes
    103 votes 20%
    103 votes - 20% of all votes
  • Shawn Dunwoody 14%, 72 votes
    72 votes 14%
    72 votes - 14% of all votes
  • Mitch Gruber 12%, 63 votes
    63 votes 12%
    63 votes - 12% of all votes
  • Andrew Hollister 11%, 56 votes
    56 votes 11%
    56 votes - 11% of all votes
  • Jackie Ortiz 11%, 54 votes
    54 votes 11%
    54 votes - 11% of all votes
  • Matt Juda 7%, 34 votes
    34 votes 7%
    34 votes - 7% of all votes
  • Loretta Scott 6%, 28 votes
    28 votes 6%
    28 votes - 6% of all votes
  • Dana K. Miller 5%, 27 votes
    27 votes 5%
    27 votes - 5% of all votes
  • Malik Evans 5%, 26 votes
    26 votes 5%
    26 votes - 5% of all votes
  • Tom Hasman 3%, 15 votes
    15 votes 3%
    15 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Willie Joe Lightfoot 3%, 13 votes
    13 votes 3%
    13 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Dorian L. Hall 2%, 10 votes
    10 votes 2%
    10 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Pam Davis 1%, 4 votes
    4 votes 1%
    4 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Marcus Williams 0%, 2 votes
    2 votes
    2 votes - 0% of all votes
  • Ronald Hall 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
  • Ann Lewis 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 507
Voters: 185
September 4, 2017 - November 7, 2017
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