Candidate survey responses 2020 – Bancroft

1. In countless published lists of the best places to live, a common characteristic is a vibrant walking and biking culture. Why do you think that is?

Biking and walking strengthen the community by encouraging social interaction. Bikers and walkers bare witness and induce helpful collaboration among neighbors. The activities are low pollution and low cost, which is egalitarian. Most importantly, the exercise provides a long list of health benefits.

2. Do you consider Newark a walkable, bikeable community? Why or why not? If yes, how do you plan to sustain this? If not, what can be done to make our city more walkable and bikeable?

I think it is pretty good for pedestrians and bicyclists. It gets good walkability scores. I do feel this mostly applies to folks near the university. I think more could be done to make roads friendly to bikes and peds. Some intersections and railroads bridges/crossings seem too dangerous. I am not sure of the best remedies, but better signage and lane paint may help.

3. What do you see as the opportunities for bicycling to make a positive impact in Newark? What do you see as the problems associated with bicycling in Newark?

Positive impacts listed in #1. It is worth mentioning ones gasoline use is (unintentionally) giving money to terrorists and causing climate change. Bicycling and walking avoid these moral hazards. Can’t think of an unmittigated problem. The challenges to address are mentioned in #2 and in BikeNewark Planning docs.

4. What are your ideas (if any) for how to improve the bicycling experience in Newark for occasional cyclists, bicycle commuters, recreational cyclists, and avid (very experienced) cyclists? (Please be as specific as you can for each group mentioned.)

The 2014 Plan has survey results that list a bunch of items, with the specific “opportunities” being ones that may be readily addressed. I think the plan is well-detailed for downtown, but I’d like to see well-marked bicycle-lanes (shoulders?) on some larger roads to encourage bicycle commuting and recreation. (Residents send me your opinion?)

5. If elected, what criteria will you apply in order to decide whether to support a major road project (like improvements to South College Avenue)? What about for small road projects (e.g., addition of bike lanes, low-stress bike-route signage, or crosswalks)?

For any project a primary question is what are the competing trade-offs for tax-funding? Major projects like the Curtis mill bridge do seem pricey. I’d integrate bicycling and pedestrian considerations into all infrastructure projects, giving a long-term value added component. Small projects like those mentioned all seem quite reasonable to me, driven by the criteria of safety.

6. Are you familiar with the Newark Bicycle Plan? If so, what do you think are its most important recommendations?

Yes, on page 11, I especially like cost-leveraged ideas related to connecting neighborhoods and bike lanes along major roads: 896, 273, 2 etc.

7. Briefly describe your experience as a bicyclist (if any) over your lifetime and specifically in Newark.

When a teenager, I used to sneak out with friends and we’d bike all night all over Wilmington. I have been a pretty avid bicyler. In CO, CT, and KS I biked to work and school. In CA, I became a frequent recreational biker – in mountains and on roads. In Newark, I picked my house specifically for biking to work on south campus. I biked to work in south Newark for 8 years.