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Cold Harbor District

Candidates James Doran and Michael Herzberg

On November 5, residents in Hanover County’s Cold Harbor District will vote for a member of the Board of Supervisors.

 

Hanover County boasts top ratings by residents as a quality place to live and a great place to raise children, but surveyed residents also point out that the No. 1 challenge to walking, running or biking in Hanover is unsafe streets.

 

The next member of the Board of Supervisors from the Cold Harbor District will have the opportunity to make the County’s streets safer for all users – people in cars, on bikes, and people walking. To find out where the candidates stand on issues of street safety, Bike Walk RVA administered a candidate questionnaire to James Doran and Michael Herzberg. Should a candidate decide to respond, their answers are published below.

 

Improving Biking and Walking in Hanover
Health and Equity

 

Question 1 – Improving Biking and Walking in Hanover

If elected, how do you pledge to improve biking and walking in Hanover County and in your district? 

James Doran:

“Hanover County is a beautiful place to get outside and bike, walk and run. I fully support making sure any new development includes opportunities for non-motorized transportation, including sidewalks and bike lanes. I believe Hanover should be leading the charge on the proposed Ashland to Petersburg bike trail because of the success of the Capital Trail from Richmond to Williamsburg. In the Cold Harbor District, many of our roads are rural without much of a shoulder and are dangerous for bikers and runners. While we probably can’t add bike lanes, we can make sure that the roads that do have shoulders designated for bikers are clearly marked and freshly painted.”

Michael Herzerg:

Did not respond to survey.

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Question 2 – Health and Equity

Do you believe that increasing biking and walking improves public health? Do you believe that safe biking and walking infrastructure provides an accessible mode of transportation for people of all income levels? 

James Doran:

“Absolutely. In fact, I submitted a letter to the editor of the Mechanicsville Local that talked to the health benefits from increasing biking and walking in a community. Providing modes of non-motorized transportation allows folks at all income levels to get to and from their jobs, their places of work, etc. Hanover should be forward looking on these opportunities because a community that prioritizes these improvements is very attractive to young families.”

Michael Herzberg:

Did not respond to survey.

 

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Question 3 – Funding

Making changes to roads in Hanover County will sometimes require funding for capital projects. Federal grants, state revenue-sharing, or local capital improvement dollars can be used in combination to both retrofit existing infrastructure and to build new, safe streets and multi-use trails. 

Do you support pursuing funding for biking and walking infrastructure projects? If so, how? 

James Doran:

“I do support pursuing funding for biking and walking infrastructure projects. This would need to be done in concert with our planning department and our public works department. I currently work as a budget manager for a state agency and have a great deal of experience working with the state Department of Planning and Budget so working on finding funding will not be new to me. Hanover needs representatives that will advocate for these improvements with the necessary stakeholders, whether that’s VDOT or the federal equivalent.”

Michael Herzberg:

Did not respond to survey.

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Question 4 – Policies and Programs

In addition to on-the-ground infrastructure, what policies and programs need to be put in place to make biking and walking safer and more enjoyable for people of all ages in Hanover County? What steps will you take to see that these policies and programs are approved or put into practice?

James Doran:

“There is an entire section of the County comprehensive plan dedicated to “Active Living and Healthy Neighborhoods”. There are a lot of policies and programs detailed in this section that, if Hanover acted on, would make biking and walking safer and more enjoyable for residents. I advocate for ensuring that we continue to pursue what’s already in our comprehensive plan.”

Michael Herzberg:

Did not respond to survey.

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Question 5 – Active Living and Healthy Neighborhoods

The Active Living & Healthy Neighborhoods chapter was recently adopted in 2018 as part of Hanover County’s Comprehensive Plan. The chapter outlines a goal of supporting the physical, social, and mental well-being of all its citizens by encouraging the creation of a built environment that provides residents with the opportunities for active living and by promoting easy access between neighborhoods, business centers, community facilities, and environmental and cultural resources.

Would you support the implementation of this chapter during your term in office?

James Doran:

“As mentioned in the previous question, yes, I fully support making sure that Hanover holds to its commitment outlined in the comprehensive plan for this. Easy access between neighborhoods, where practical, can be beneficial to a number of different stakeholder groups.”

Michael Herzberg:

Did not respond to survey.

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Question 6 – Vision Zero

Over the last five years, pedestrian deaths in Hanover County have climbed back up from a 0-1 low between 2015-2017 to 4 fatalities in 2018. Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.

Will you support the creation of a Vision Zero Action Plan by Hanover County leadership to coordinate the participation of multiple County agencies in contributing to eliminating fatalities and injuries on County roads?

James Doran:

“Absolutely. I know that the biking community in metro Richmond has been struck by a number of tragedies and Hanover is not immune. We need to do everything we can to make these activities safe for everyone involved (the bikers, walkers and drivers). As a runner myself, I’m very aware of the dangers from doing these activities on roads that aren’t equipped to handle them and often find myself driving to other areas of town to get my miles in (the Capital Trail is a favorite of mine).”

Michael Herzberg:

Did not respond to survey.

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Question 7 – Regional Connectivity

The Virginia Department of Transportation is currently pursuing the study of a new Ashland to Petersburg Trail, a north-south paved multi-use trail that has the potential to connect several localities and intersect with the Virginia Capital Trail and Appomattox River Trail, contributing to what will ultimately become a regional trail network. This project would have major safety benefits for people biking and walking, as well as significant economic development potential for nearby communities in Hanover County.

If elected, what will you do to advance this project?

James Doran:

“I would make sure that Hanover and all relevant county departments are involved, starting at the planning stages (which we’re in now) to completion. We’ve seen how well the Capital Trail has worked. Many businesses have sprung up to service the users of the trail – there’s no reason why this can’t be the case for the Ashland to Petersburg trail. I know there is a large community of bikers, runners and walkers in Hanover County (I’m part of it!) and will advocate for making this trail a reality.”

Michael Herzberg:

Did not respond to survey.

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Sports Backers is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and does not endorse candidates or political parties. Sports Backers’ candidate questionnaire is strictly educational in nature. For more information about safer streets projects and policies, join our email list! We’re always talking about opportunities to improve our region’s roads and infrastructure.