HOW CANDIDATES STAND ON WALKABILITY: 2014

 

During election season the Feet First Policy Committee reaches out to candidates about their perspective on creating more walkable communities. Take a look at the candidates’ answers to our questions. We hope this information will help you when filling out your ballot. This year 19 candidates responded to our annual Feet First Candidate Questionnaire, which was distributed to all candidates in state legislative races that we identified as being competitive or in a district where Feet First has taken action around walkability (151 total). Last year’s questionnaire responses are available here.

 

Questions

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding: Washington’s Safe Routes to School program provides technical assistance and grants to cities, counties, school districts, and state agencies for improvements that get more children walking and bicycling to school safely. In your district, Feet First provided Safe Routes to School Training for the Eatonville School District. The Washington State Department of Transportation reports that between 2005 and 2012, the Safe Routes to School Program received over $137 million in requests. However, only $32 million was made available, funding 23% of the projects (i). In the next biennium, would you vote to increase, maintain, or reduce funding to Safe Routes to School projects (please choose one)? Please explain.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding: The Safe Routes to School program has historically funded both capital projects, such as sidewalks, and education and encouragement efforts, such as walk to school campaigns, walking school buses, and safety education. Education and encouragement efforts are cost-effective program elements that have been proven to measurably increase the rate of students walking to school.

 

In past years, the Washington State Department of Transportation has followed the federal government’s lead in requiring that a portion of Safe Routes to School projects be dedicated to education and encouragement. However, the federal government removed this requirement with the MAP 21 transportation package in 2012. The Washington State Department of Transportation may still opt to pay for education and encouragement work, but it is no longer required. If elected, how would you advise the Washington State Department of Transportation to approach this issue, and why?

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding: Smart Growth America reports that between 2003 and 2012, 678 people in Washington were killed while walking, including 41 children under age 16 between 2003 and 2010. Pedestrian improvements can increase safety. The 2008-2027 Washington State Bicycle Facilities and Pedestrian Walkways Plan identified more than $1.6 billion in unfunded bicycle and pedestrian improvements statewide. Would you vote to increase, maintain, or reduce funding for pedestrian infrastructure in a state transportation package (please choose one)? Please explain.

 

4) Equity: Smart Growth America reports that in Washington from 2003 to 2010, the pedestrian fatality rate for Hispanic people of any race was 1.43 per 100,000 capita, for black people and African Americans was 1.64, and for American Indians and Alaska Natives was 6.77. Comparatively, the pedestrian fatality rate for non-Hispanic whites was lower at 1.36. (ii)

Please provide an example of how you have applied, or how you have seen others apply, a lens of equity and racial justice around pedestrian issues.

 

5) Local Authority: Across the state, localities suffer from inadequate pedestrian facilities, yet have limited authority to raise funds for pedestrian improvements.

As a member of the state legislature, would you take action to provide more transportation funding authority to local jurisdictions (Yes or No)? Please explain.

 

6) Light Rail: A frequent criticism of Sound Transit’s light rail stops, such as the Mount Baker station in Rainier Valley, is the difficulty in walking between the stations and other destinations, including bus transfer stops.

 

a) How would you support local efforts to make the regional light rail network more accessible to people on foot?

 

b) In the scope of transportation issues in your legislative district, is this issue (please choose one): Very Important, Somewhat Important, Somewhat Unimportant, Not Important

 

7) Northgate Bridge [46th district only]: Sound Transit and the City of Seattle have agreed to partially fund a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across I-5 to connect North Seattle College to the Northgate light rail station. The agency estimates that the bridge will be used by 7,000 people per day.

 

a) The state could provide additional funds to ensure the bridge’s completion. What would you do as a member of the state legislature to help accomplish that?

 

b) In the scope of transportation issues in your legislative district, is this issue (please choose one): Very Important, Somewhat Important, Somewhat Unimportant, Not Important

 

i. Washington State Department of Transportation Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety & Safe Routes to School Grant Programs 2013-2015 Prioritized Project List and Program Update

 

ii. Smart Growth America, Dangerous by Design 2014 – Washington

 

Links to Candidate Responses

 

Greg Hartman, House, Position 1, District 2 (Eatonville, Yelm. South Pierce County)

Donald Dover, House, Position 1, District 6 (Medical Lake, Cheney, West Spokane)

Mohammad Said, Senate, District 13 (Ellensburg. Lincoln, Grant, and Kittitas counties)

Monica Stonier (incumbent), House, Position 1, District 17 (Eastern Vancouver. Southwest Clark County)

Mike Briggs, House, Position 1, District 18 (Ridgefield, Battle Ground, Camas. Clark County)

Chris Reykdal (incumbent), House, Position 1, District 22 (Olympia)

Laurie Jinkins (incumbent), House, Position 1, District 27 (Tacoma)

Steven Cook, House, Position 2, District 27 (Tacoma)

Maralyn Chase (incumbent), Senate, District 32 (Shoreline, Lynwood)

Jeanne Kohl-Welles (incumbent), Senate, District 36 (Seattle – Northwest)

Louis Watanabe, Senate, District 37 (Seattle – Southeast)

Pramila Jayapal, Senate, District 37 (Seattle – Southeast)

Joy Monjure, House, Position 2, District 42 (Bellingham. Whatcom County)

Jessica Spear, House, Position 2, District 43 (Seattle – North-central)

Gerry Pollet (incumbent), House, Position 1, District 46, (Seattle – Northeast)

David Frockt (incumbent), Senate, District 46 (Seattle – Northeast)

Ross Hunter (incumbent), House, Position 1, District 48 (Redmond, Kirkland. East King County)

Joan McBride, House, Position 2, District 48 (Redmond, Kirkland. East King County)

Anson Service, House, Position 1, District 49 (Vancouver)

 

Greg Hartman, House, Position 1, District 2

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

I support the Safe Routes to School Program, and should support an increase in the budget for the program. Transportation to and from school is just as important as what happens during school. Obviously, if it was a simple matter to fully fund the program, it likely would be fully funded now, and everyone is aware both of the mandate to fully fund education and of the court’s ruling that the legislature is in contempt for failing to fully fund the education budget last session. I will work hard and do whatever is possible to secure as much funding as possible for Safe Routes to School.


2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

I believe this two-tiered approach is a good one, because it is more complete, and I would encourage the Department of Transportation to fund both capital projects and education/encouragement projects. An approach balanced between the things you build and the way people actually use them is more effective than simply building things and leaving a population of school kids to figure out how to use them. It’s easy to underestimate the importance of education and encouragement in a system, but it is always more effective to help people learn how to use a system in addition to building it.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

My sincere hope is that we will be able to increase funding for all kinds of infrastructure, including especially mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and I will vote to support these improvements whenever possible. Not only is this good for our economy in multiple ways and good for the health of our citizens, but it enhances safety and improves livability in basic and important ways, not the least of which, of course, is a reduction in pedestrian accidents and fatalities.

 

4) Equity:

One does not have to look too hard to find out how these numbers are created, if one is willing to see the reality. Generally, our opponents have been unwilling to do so for reasons of their own. However, it is, in the main, a fairly simple and plain truth. The neighborhoods that are the most economically depressed are the ones that receive the most inadequate representation, the fewest and least significant improvements in urban design, the least effective advocacy in Olympia, and therefore little to no improvement in walkability, resulting in a more dangerous environment for pedestrians.

 

The history of institutional racism in our state and our country has resulted in segregated neighborhoods – not universally so, but generally. Poorer populations are forced to live in poorer neighborhoods, and the lines between populations also delineate differences in the quality of urban design from one neighborhood to another. Equality of opportunity for all – women, racial minorities, the differently abled, economically depressed populations – is a tremendously complicated goal, but it is one we can, and must, achieve progress towards.

 

5) Local Authority:

Yes, but with qualifiers. The qualifiers are not unique – every local funding authority needs to take things like this into account, and they include, but are not limited to:

  • Is the method by which the locality wants to raise funds likely to be set up in a way that allows it to be interrupted or made ineffective by forces hostile to the particular purpose of the funding, or hostile to any funding of community projects?
  • An analysis of the likely effect on the state budget and on the locality’s tax burden would be appropriate – and recommendations from budgetary authorities and from transportation experts would need to be considered – in order to answer the question, “Is this change likely to actually improve the situation it is designed to improve?”
  • Is the method by which the locality wants to raise funds likely to be misdirected away from the intent? In other words, if the legislature grants the city of Eatonville the ability to raise fees in order to improve pedestrian walkability, what is the mechanism by which we are to ascertain that the money will be, and is, actually used for that purpose? Or is it written in such a way that it is too easily “borrowed” from?

Donald Dover, House, Position 1, District 6

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

Increase. While not possible to predict all the budget issues facing the elected legislators during the next biennium, I very much hope to be able to facilitate increasing the support for the Safe Routes to Schools program.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

The Safe Routes to School programs, including the educational and encouragement aspects of the program, should be a part of the Washington State Department of Transportation policies and budgets. I would question any effort to have this program’s support reduced.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

Increase. Washington needs to be a safe place for everyone. Making the transportation infrastructure more efficient for motorized vehicles should not come with an increased danger to human powered modes of transportation.

 

4) Equity:

The numbers presented are enlightening and frightening. Unfortunately, I have no insight as to the cause or the solution for reducing the fatality incidents. Part of being a good legislator is listening, and I would welcome an opportunity to listen to anyone with insight into this troubling issue.

 

5) Local Authority:

Yes. Funding towards improving pedestrian safety should never be turned down. Local jurisdictions should be allowed to fund those improvements.

 

Mohammad Said, Senate, District 13

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

Increase. I believe the program is good for kids, as they will be more active, doing some exercise, and it would be cost effective.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

I would advise them to pay for education and encouragement work as it is cost effective, as long as we have funding.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

Increase, or at least maintain if there is not enough funding to do this increase.

 

4) Equity:

I feel strongly that those minorities, particularly the American Indians and Alaska Natives, are at a significant disadvantage. This should be addressed to apply equity and racial justice. Though the African Americans have some disadvantage related to non-Hispanic whites, this difference still should be addressed. If I am elected, I will be studying this issue more deeply.

 

5) Local Authority:

Yes. As far as funding, there should be some way to get more money, as this issue is important.

 

Monica Stonier, House, Position 1, District 17 (incumbent)

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

I would vote to increase funding for Safe Routes to School projects. Safety and education are two of my biggest priorities in the legislature. Safe Routes to School promotes healthy and environmentally friendly activity while ensuring that students arrive at their destination safely and ready to learn, this is a program for which I would advocate funding.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

I would encourage the Washington State Department of Transportation to continue delegating funding to education and encouragement work.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

I would vote to increase funding for pedestrian infrastructure in a state transportation package. The funding for these projects will go directly to assisting Washington citizens and improving safety, one of my top priorities within the legislature.

 

4) Equity:

Ensuring the safety of ALL Washington citizens is the first goal of the legislature, and working to guarantee the safety of all communities is something I have always supported and will continue to support.

 

5) Local Authority:

Yes, I would take action to provide more transportation funding authority to local jurisdictions. Ensuring that local government has the power and resources they need in order to address the issues facing their community is of the upmost importance.

 

Mike Briggs, House, Position 1, District 18

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

I think our future of transportation will be leaning more heavily on pedestrian and bicycling when possible for local transportation issues. If the budget permits, I would lean toward increasing if at all possible.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

It’s no secret the next session of our legislature will be in deep water as far as the budget goes. I believe most legislators will be looking for any place they can to cut. When a former mandated budget item suddenly becomes non-mandated- I think it will be immediately considered for cut. And most of these cuts will go directly to the hole of trying to find the money for the McLeary Decision, which is also an education issue.

 

As I stated above I do support a Safe Routes program but if the Feds drop it from being mandatory- I know most of the legislators will want to cut it.

 

As for me, I will try to save it—but this will be a tough one.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

As above stated, we are in a tight budget atmosphere. My gut feelings tell me to support bike and pedestrian measures when possible. But is it possible? That will be the question that rules all. At the least, I would vote to maintain- given the scenario you outline above.

 

4) Equity:

I am a challenger to the incumbent. I have not applied, nor have I seen others apply, any, “lens of equity and racial justice around pedestrian issues.” However, we must always be cognizant of the differences that life is for others here in America, that are not white nor privileged. If 5x more Amerian Indians and Alaska natives pedestrians are dying from pedestrian accidents- something is definitely wrong here and I believe attention needs to be given that issue.

 

5) Local Authority:

I would do my level best here. I have seen first hand the troubles of my own community of Washougal has, in trying to get State help with transportation issues, to include sidewalks. I would like to see the local communities have more of a say in taxing or finding ways to finance infrastructure projects in their own communities. And this is mainly because the State has had to raid the Public Trust Fund for a short-stop funding measure to try and deal with the McLeary Decision. I would be more prone to help the local communities to help themselves in these tough economic times.

 

Chris Reykdal, House, Position 1, District 22 (incumbent)

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

Increase. This is an effective program being used in our community. To make it even better, we MUST partner with local communities to better prioritize sidewalk infill strategies.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

I would maintain the educational and outreach programs and then establish a generous grant program to encourage local communities to put up local resources to leverage state and federal dollars for sidewalk infill.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

Increase. Too many communities are unsafe to walk and bike. We can’t meet our healthcare outcome goals if we can’t be active in our own communities.

 

4) Equity:

I have seen equity and racial justice lenses used in higher education, K-12, military services, and a host of other government services and functions.

 

5) Local Authority:

Yes. Our comprehensive transportation solutions will require federal, state, AND local help. Our local governments are strapped under the oppressive 1% property tax cap. We need to remove this cap and let local revenues grow with inflation so critical investments can be made.

 

Laurie Jinkins, House, Position 1, District 27 (incumbent)

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

I feel this is a very important program, but the only way to increase funding of this program – and fulfill our duty to fully fund basic education – is if we can increase revenue.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

I assume the research shows that education and encouragement works to get more kids walking to school. If that’s the case, I would advocate that we include education and encouragement since they are cost-effective.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

I feel transportation projects are most effective when they include all modes of transportation. And historically, the portion of funding going to non-motorized transport has been quite small. But again, the only way to increase funding of this program – and fulfill our duty to fully fund basic education – is if we can increase revenue.

 

4) Equity:

Research shows that the #1 predictor of a person’s health status is the zip code they live in. Place matters. And, one of the things that matters is that many of our neighbors who are disproportionately affected by poor health outcomes live in places that are not safe for outdoor activity, do not have access to healthy foods and do not have the time to engage in these activities even if they are available because they are too busy trying to make ends meet. And, many, many of these neighbors are people of color. We need equity when it comes to our community planning. It doesn’t mean every neighborhood gets the same amount of money to address pedestrian issues. It means that neighborhoods should get investments based on need. Need for sidewalks. Need for safe environment. Need to have other disparities addressed.

 

5) Local Authority:

Yes. I believe that this is a problem best solved locally.

 

6) Light Rail:

a)Since we don’t have much light rail in Tacoma I haven’t studied this much but am interested to hear from advocates about what works.

 

b) Very Important.

 

Steven Cook, House, Position 2, District 27

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

MAINTAIN – as there are two other major issues that need to be properly funded at higher levels this next Biennium: Education and Mental Health Care. At the same time, we need to fund proper maintenance and functionality of our highway system. After the economy recovers some more, and more funds become available – this would be a high priority for funding.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

I would recommend to the WSDOT that they continue to fund the education and encouragement process, as it is cost effective, and with limited resources, it would accomplish more.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

This again would have to be a maintain – due to the limitation on funds availability. That said, if we can bring about some cost saving concessions from the DOT on other projects, there may be a way to increase funds here. The better option is for us all to work together to get our state out of its continuing doldrums, so that everyone is working again, as good paying jobs, so there is more revenue available for projects such as this.

 

4) Equity:

I do not have an example to give, but since one of my aunts was 100% Yakama Indian, and two of my half cousins are also – I am very concerned about racial inequalities.

 

5) Local Authority:

No – Not until the economy has more fully recovered.

 

6) Light Rail:

a) By encouraging the regional transportation groups to look into doing better job of connecting their various offerings.

 

b) Somewhat Important.

 

Maralyn Chase, Senate, District 32 (incumbent)

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

I support Safe Routes to School but cannot say what will happen to the funding in the next session or what the competing claims will be.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

WSDOT should continue the program. However, competing claims for infrastructure projects may overwhelm the Safe Routes to School needs.   Remember, we were unable to pass the funding package for DOT last session and I expect that resistance from the Republicans to continue as long as the Democrats do not control the majority in the Senate.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

Where is the money coming from to fund $1.6 billion in bicycle and pedestrian improvements? I ride my bike to work in Olympia and support safe routes. But I also recognize that my paramount responsibility is to fund public education.

 

I wish you had presented an analysis of the Neo-Liberal world view that prevails in the legislature as a background for your asks for safer routes to school. We cannot continue to keep asking for more money for worthy projects unless we also acknowledge that the Neo-Libs are attempting to privatize all infrastructure projects.   The shortsighted sweeping of the Public Works Trust Fund which funds projects necessary for a civilized community is an indication of what is in store for us.   I believe that sidewalks and safe routes for walking are important infrastructure in our communities.

 

4) Equity:

A lens of equity and racial justice is not applied around pedestrian issues, at least in my experience. Or, as a matter of fact, around any public policy in the state legislature. It is my contention that all policies proposed by the legislature should be viewed through a lens of cultural competency and equity for all citizens and also for differing impacts on women and men. Another way of viewing the issue would be through the lens of human rights. By starting with the idea that all people are equal and then measuring the disproportionate impact on different groups, we might make some progress toward equity and justice,-

 

5) Local Authority:

It depends upon the local proposals for raising funds. Our state has the most regressive tax structure in the United States. Local authorities tend to ignore the fact that local citizens are financially exhausted.   We cannot continue the tax shift policies of letting wealthy people shift their tax responsibilities onto poor people. Local municipalities, as an example, are in a financial crisis along with most of their constituents, It would be good if your organization supported a fundamental tax reform package that required all people to contribute to the common good.   Only through tax reform will we be able to address all our challenges – and overcome them.  

 

6) Light Rail:

a) I am not familiar with this issue since we do not have light rail in the north end, yet,  I will look into it.   I am surprised that Sound Transit does not address the needs of foot traffic.

 

b) Very Important.

 

Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Senate, District 36 (incumbent)

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

Increase. I believe it is critical that everyone does her or his part in promoting physical fitness, exercise as a lifestyle, and reduction of greenhouse gases and the deleterious effects of climate change. Providing opportunities and positive reinforcement for children to walk and/or bicycle is an essential “step” in the right direction.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

I will inform the WSDOT of the importance of funding public safety and education campaigns regarding the health benefits of walking to school when combined with safe ways to do so. I will sponsor and vote for related legislation.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

Increase. Fatalities involving walking and bicycling are tragedies, especially if they could have been avoided through safety improvements—such as with the recent bicyclist fatality on Second Avenue in Seattle, one week prior to the new safety improvements to have begun. They’re heartbreaking, particularly when children are the victims. It’s extremely disturbing that there is so much unfunded needed for improvements statewide.

 

4) Equity:

Although I have worked for decades on social justice and equity goals, including economic, educational, and access to justice in the criminal justice system to reduce/eliminate disproportionality, and bias, I have not applied these to pedestrian issues. In fact, I unfortunately had not even contemplated these. I will from now on.

 

5) Local Authority:

Yes. In fact, I have consistently sponsored and supported legislation to provide local funding authority for transportation funding.

 

Louis Watanabe, Senate, District 37

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

I would vote to increase the funding as a way to increase safe alternative transportation options for children going to school.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

My wife and I like to walk in our neighborhoods and infrastructure like sidewalks is an important priority because student and pedestrian safety is paramount. As a statistics instructor, I like data that prove education programs to encourage student use of well-maintained sidewalks are cost effective.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

I like safe alternatives to cars that allow children to experience their neighborhoods and get outside so I support increasing funding for pedestrian and bicycle improvements, particularly in light of recent tragedies in our region.

 

4) Equity:

The range of fatalities by race is striking and so I would want to explore the causes. In the 37th LD, we already know that there has been underinvestment in our district that disproportionately affects people of color.

 

5) Local Authority:

Yes, I believe that the local communities should have more authority to solve problems directly.

 

6) Light Rail:

a) I encourage local planning that carefully considers development that makes it easy for people to live and work in their neighborhoods while leveraging light rail. The state’s Growth Management Act requires that local land use decisions provide for open space to offset density and this offers the opportunity to make the neighborhoods more accessible by foot or bicycle.

 

b) Very Important.

 

Pramila Jayapal, Senate, District 37

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

I would work hard to try and increase funding for Safe Routes to School Program. Every community deserves to have healthy and safe ways for their children to get to and from school. The Safe Routes to Schools Program is an extremely effective at reducing risks and cost-effective. Fully funding schools also means helping kids to get to schools safely. Given the state’s budget issues, however, we will need the community’s help to ensure we are at a minimum maintaining all the other essential supports kids needs—at home and on their way to school.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

I would urge the Washington State Department of Transportation to continue using a portion of Safe Routes to School funding for education and encouragement projects. While infrastructure is of course critically important for these issues, spreading knowledge and organizing campaigns to get kids to school safely and healthily should also be a priority.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

I would vote to increase funding for pedestrian infrastructure in a state transportation package. We need to fight against efforts to cut any transportation funding not related to building more roads and highways. Our state needs diverse transportation solutions that will serve all our communities and citizens.

 

4) Equity:

I have not specifically worked on pedestrian options with people of color, but my whole life has been dedicated to working with immigrants and refugees on a whole host of issues. I would be happy to champion a discussion on this topic. I have been involved in some other bicycle and transit projects with a racial equity lens, including working on a project to increase the ability for immigrants to own bicycles and to create safe routes to school and work, and making sure that any transit measure has materials translated into different languages and that the outcomes of transit routes (including bus routes, etc.) that are added back actually service communities of color areas.

 

5) Local Authority:

Yes, communities should have the right to determine a level of funding for pedestrian facilities that they feel is adequate without the state restricting them.

 

6) Light Rail:

a) Pedestrian funding can play a huge role in making regional light rail more successful. With greater improvements to sidewalks, signs and signals between stations and residential areas, we can encourage ridership and make sure that our transportation networks remain heavily used.

 

b)Very Important.

 

Joy Monjure, House, Position 2, District 42

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

I would work to prioritize local community systems like public walkways and accessibility for individuals to be independent in our communities. Our budget has many requests and limited funds, but I do hold a value in being able to walk through our communities safely.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

“Walking distance” has gotten shorter and shorter as vehicles have become more dominant in our culture, but the benefits of walking are immense. I would advise the WSDOT to invest in education so that our capital projects become successful.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

Increase. Our communities need to utilize the efficient nature of bipedal transport to reduce traffic congestion. Bicycles also improve traffic flow and encourage healthy lifestyles. I support safe bike lanes and crosswalks where they are needed.

 

4) Equity:

Our tribal lands are renowned for their lack of sidewalks and pedestrian infrastructure. Our Tulalip reservation near Marysville is dotted with “in memory of” warning signs against drunk driving, many from pedestrian collisions from lat night hikers. We must understand the socio-economics and local infrastructure, and work to address the places where people travel on foot, and local infrastructure has not built pedestrian access areas.

 

5) Local Authority:

Yes, local jurisdictions should be able to pass measures more easily to improve their community accessibility. This type of local action removes the cumbersome legislative process of the state, and puts the opportunity to improve with the cities.

 

Jessica Spear, House, Position 2, District 43

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

I would vote to increase funds for Safe Routes to School. Providing a high quality education includes safe and reliable travel to and from school and afterschool activities. We need more local schools that families can walk to and safe routes for them to do so. We should fund such programs through taxing the super-wealthy and large corporations.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

Our state needs a massive investment in public transportation, to make it easier for working families to travel around the city and to reduce emissions caused by cars. I support funding first public transit and infrastructure projects related to public transit and pedestrian and bicycle traffic. We should fund both the capital projects and education efforts.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

Increase. Investing in pedestrian and bicycling improvements encourages the growth and life of local neighborhoods. I firmly believe our lives are better when we get to know our neighbors and feel we can get involved in the political, social, and cultural lives of our neighborhoods.

 

4) Equity:

It seems that in Seattle, all pedestrian improvement projects are located downtown, or near more affluent areas. Where in African American, immigrant, and native peoples neighborhoods have poorly kept up sidewalks, pedestrian unfriendly shopping/commercial areas, and inaccessible affordable housing. This usage of resources needs to be reversed.

 

5) Local Authority:

Yes, localities need the option to raise money, however the current funding systems are completely inadequate as they focus taxing squarely on working people and the poor. We need a completely revised system that will allow the state and localities to raise money by taxing big businesses and the super rich.

 

6) Light Rail:

a) We need to increase bus service to light rail stops as well as adding new bus lines that include transit centers. In addition, all new infrustructure projects must include review and plans for pedestrian accessibility and improvement.

 

b) Very Important – as a part of improving and building a larger public mass transit system.

 

 

David Frockt, Senate, District 46 (incumbent)

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

I would vote to increase funding if at all possible and I supported increased funding in the proposed transportation package that failed last session. We have to make our streets walkable and safe for our students and we have had a series of bike-ped tragedies in Kenmore in my district. This funding is crucial.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

See answer above–I am not why the WSDOT is changing the policy but would be interested to find out and will support them encouraging safe walking/bike routes for both health of our kids and reduction of congestion.

FYI – I helped pass the Neighborhood Safe Streets bill in 2013 and also have advocating for including health as a factor in our transportation planning process.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

I sought to maintain as many hundreds of millions of dollars for bike ped projects (including Complete Streets grants) in the proposed transportation package. I am very supportive.

 

4) Equity:

Not sure I have a strong response for you here, but would be interested to learn how I can be helpful.

 

5) Local Authority:

I have repeatedly sponsored and voted for TBD authority for Seattle and the other cities in my district. Strong supporter. I even amended the TBD statute two years ago to insure that a rebate authority was included for the low income. Its being utilized now in the proposed Seattle transit measure.

 

6) Light Rail:

a) More grants for dedicated sidewalks, paths, or bike lanes between the station and the bus transfer stations. Better crosswalks and safety infrastructure. I think this is very important as we want to increase our user base for mass transit and thus the connections have to be seamless and accessible.

 

b) Very Important.

 

7) Northgate Bridge:

a) This is very important and I have been advocating and working for it for the last two years. I strongly support it.

 

b) Very Important.

 

Gerry Pollet, House, Position 1, District 46 (incumbent)

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

Increase. We have many school walking routes here in the 46th District that lack sidewalks, despite having steep hills and ravines, flooding, and numerous pedestrian and bike hazards. This is a microcosm of our state’s need to increase support.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

Adding health as a goal for DoT is important – and includes encouraging walking or biking to school. Walking school buses and safe routes have been shown to increase attendance, and are important integrated educational and transportation policies.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

Increase: I have been a longstanding advocate to increase pedestrian, bike and transit funding to ten percent of our state’s transportation budget.

 

4) Equity:

I have been leading a statewide effort to have state agencies and programs demonstrate that they do not have a disparate impact on the health of minority and low income populations. This includes, of course, the disparate impact on health of communities due to risks from not having safe pedestrian routes, safe routes to school… as well as the disparate impacts on communities from exposure to air pollution from transportation. Legislation and our proposed Executive Order would require reviews compliant with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to demonstrate that agencies’ programs and projects do not have such impacts and to provide minority, immigrant, Native… communities with enhanced tools to be involved in decisions which may further impact the communities’ health.

 

5) Local Authority:

Yes. I have been a leading advocate for local option transit, pedestrian and bike funding, and will continue to do so.

 

6) Light Rail:

a)We need to provide circulator transit station transit service, which was promised and has not materialized in ST and Metro plans.

 

It has taken community organizing to get ST and Seattle to plan improvements to sidewalks and safe routes to walk to the Northgate Transit Station, and will continue to require organizing for this at all the stations. I will continue to work with community organizers to press for planning and improvements, including the Northgate pedestrian and bike bridge over I-5.

 

To pay for these improvements in the walkable area around transit centers, Seattle should have developer impact fees for transit and pedestrian access, charging the new growth benefiting from the public investment for its fair share of the cost of providing safe access to walk to transit stations.

 

b) Somewhat Important (It is very important to me, but the overcrowding of busses and inadequate service is the greatest concern of residents).

 

7) Northgate Bridge:

a) I have encouraged turnout at public meetings, and worked with advocates for the Northgate Transit Center – North Seattle College bridge for several years, including working closely with North Seattle College officials to advocate for it.

 

Representative Jessyn Farrell and I have been the leading advocates for funding the pedestrian and bike bridge across I-5. We have insisted that the State Transportation Revenue package – approved twice by the full House but not voted upon by the Senate – include $5 million for the bridge. We will continue to advocate for it in the State Transportation budget. I have lobbied City Hall to have the City of Seattle support and fund the bridge in partnership with Sound Transit and led efforts to keep the City’s funding when one Council Member proposed eliminating the funding from the budget.

 

b) Very Important.

 

Ross Hunter, House, Position 1, District 48 (incumbent)

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

As a budget chairman I don’t make specific promises about budget actions. It creates expectations that I often cannot fulfill as I have to get the Republicans in the Senate to agree to the increase. I voted for the last transportation improvement bill which funded safe routes to school. Just like walking routes for children, demand for investments in road and bridge infrastructure, as well as transit service outstrips our ability to pay for it.

 

I support a transportation package in the 2015 legislative session that does the following:

  1. Finishes the 520 project on time and with the same scope as currently designed, including bicycle and pedestrian access across the bridge.
  2. Funds adequate road maintenance using a nationally-recognized metric for investment per lane-mile of roadway using cash resource, not bonding, so that it is sustainable.
  3. Funds adequate transportation alternatives to driving, including local options for transit funding in King County and the kind of local government support that would include safe routs to school.
  4. Does all this with a responsible coverage ratio on the gas tax or other funding sources so that we do not damage the state’s credit rating.

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

I urge them to make rational decisions, and have no reason to believe that they would do otherwise.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

You have to have a transportation package with revenue to do anything. As I stated above, I support a gas tax increase or other revenue source to pay for what we need to do. Most pedestrian infrastructure is a local government responsibility with the exception of things like the 520 trail (which I support as I ride on it all the time.) We should provide funds in a transportation package to make these things work.

 

4) Equity:

My guess is that for the American Indian and Alaska Native populations the statistics suffer from a small sample problem. Without knowing the detailed circumstances of why the rates are higher for these populations I cannot offer a useful policy prescription. I think we can choose to make pedestrian safety improvements in a way that benefits all Washingtonians, and do so in a way that leverages the money into projects that have the most value to everyone.

 

5) Local Authority:

You have asked the same question 5 times so far. YES, I support a transportation package with local tax options.

 

6) Light Rail:

a) Sound Transit is a local agency, and I do not think it is a good idea to have the Legislature try to write policy about King County. I do not want to have legislators from Yakima weighing in on transit issues, as they are usually wrong. I do think there is some value in ensuring that the areas around stations have very high density and requiring the city to allow for this. I think district elections for city council will solve this problem.

 

b) I will have several light rail stations in my district. It is important to have the area around them walkable. Bellevue and Redmond are responsible for making this happen and it won’t actually be valuable to have the Legislature weigh in for the reasons I cite above. I see every evidence that the cities are going to do a good job here.

 

Joan McBride, House, Position 2, District 48

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

Safe Routes to School projects are a fantastic way to make sure that our children can get to school in a safe, healthy way. With so many requests going unfunded, it is clear that we should increase funding for these projects as soon as our revenue increases enough to do so.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

I believe that the education and encouragement efforts of Safe Routes to School is an important portion of ensuring that the projects benefit students and their families as they are intended to. I would advise the Department of Transportation to include the education and encouragement portion anyway.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

As Mayor of Kirkland and on the City Council, I was a champion for ped and bike facilities in our community. I am a proponent of Complete Streets, which makes sure that roadways are safe and welcoming for all users—cyclists, pedestrians, and transit users included. When I go to Olympia, I will continue to advocate for building transportation infrastructure that works for pedestrians and bicyclists.

 

4) Equity:

The data makes it clear that we cannot ignore social, racial, and economic factors when it comes to pedestrian and other transit issues. Providing quality ped, bike, and transit to underserved, ethnic, and rural communities should be a priority—it is a matter of justice and equality. I look forward to working on equity and racial justice around pedestrian and other transit issues when I go to Olympia.

 

5) Local Authority:

Our state legislature is in gridlock and the State Senate has blocked quality, comprehensive transportation packages. Our communities can no longer wait for Senate Republicans to do the right thing. While it is not a cure-all and cannot be construed to let the legislature off the hook, our communities need to transportation solutions now. As a former local official, I know the importance of local options and I support giving more funding authority to local jurisdictions.

 

6) Light Rail:

a) As stated above, local jurisdictions should have the funding mechanisms and the flexibility to address their own, local transportation needs. Safety and efficiency should be the hallmarks of a good transportation system and we need to ensure that, even without state action, local communities can make that happen for their community members.

 

b) There is no light rail network in my district; however, connecting various transit options to each other in a safe and efficient way should be a priority everywhere. I will support ensuring that transportation works for everyone—bike, ped, transit, and car—across the state. I look forward to working on issues of transportation justice when I serve in the legislature.

 

Anson Service, House, Position 1, District 49

 

1) Safe Routes to School Biennium Funding:

I would support any efforts to help children be safer as they get more movement. Especially in this era of “screen time” where children are more dormant than ever. This would provide a safer option than dangerous roads and would provide a healthier option than being driven or riding the bus. Whether that means increasing or maintaining, I do not know without an in depth study of what is on the table. Too big of a question for a sound bite answer.

 

2) Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Funding:

I would advise the state to re-enact the education and encouragement portion of the program because without the education component, the program is cut off at the knees. Education of this program is the fuel to get the kids going. Without utilization due to lack of education, we would see less participation.

 

3) General Pedestrian Funding:

I would choose to privatize the construction of these projects, thus increasing what can be done with the current funding we have so we could maintain it. Over the coming decade we would make headway in making up for the unfunded projects simply by being smarter with our money.

 

4) Equity:

The key here is understanding the roots of prejudice. While I have encountered being the target of prejudice little in comparison to many others, I have been the victim of religious prejudice. I taken every opportunity to educate myself and empathize with those who are the targets of racism and prejudice. Regarding pedestrian issues, the problems is systemic and problems with pedestrians being hit by vehicles are a symptom of the larger problems of violence, substance abuse, and the necessity to walk or bike more often rather than a choice.

 

5) Local Authority:

It depends on what they wanted to do. As we have seen with the Columbia River Crossing, providing seemingly unlimited funds does not mean we will get a positive result. Imagine what that $200 million could have been used for in your organization. I cannot say yes to a blanket statement like that. It must be met with wisdom and information.