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East End – 7th District

For the 2016 City of Richmond elections, Bike Walk RVA administered a candidate questionnaire to each person running for City Council to see where they stand on issues relating to biking and walking in Richmond. We asked questions on the following five topics, and the responses from candidates running in the 7th District are recorded below:

Transportation Equity
Complete Streets
Vision Zero
Infrastructure Projects
Funding
Parks

Note: Sports Backers is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and does not support or oppose candidates or political parties. Bike Walk RVA’s candidate questionnaire is strictly educational in nature.

QUESTION 1 – TRANSPORTATION EQUITY

Biking and walking not only improves public health, but it is a prevalent form of transportation for people who can’t afford a car and/or gas, are too young to drive, or are not mentally or physically able to drive. According to Census data, nearly 22 percent of Richmond households do not own or otherwise have access to a car. The challenge for Richmond is to increase access to safe biking and walking opportunities for all citizens.

What measures can we expect your administration to take to expand access to safe walking and biking infrastructure for all residents?

Cynthia Newbille: During my tenure on City Council, I have supported and successfully advocated for funding to create a Bike/Walk infrastructure in my District to help mitigate the public health, transportation and economic challenges confronting our community. Similarly, I have successfully advocated for funding to create and/or upgrade several parks throughout the East End/7th District.

I will continue to work collaboratively, inclusively, and strategically with my City Council colleagues, City administration, non-profit and corporate partners and residents to implement the City’s Complete Street policy and Vision Zero safety plan; adopt a Bicycle Master Plan; and allocate appropriate resources.

Joshua Williams: No response.

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QUESTION 2 – COMPLETE STREETS

In October of 2014, Richmond City Council passed a Complete Streets Resolution (No. 2014-R172-170) that states the City will – within one year – modify street design and construction manuals, codes, ordinances, and standards to reflect that “all transportation improvement projects in the city be planned for, designed, and constructed to provide appropriate accommodation for persons of all ages and abilities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit passengers, and motorists, while promoting safe operations for all users.” Nearly two years later, these changes have not been adopted.

If elected to City Council, how would you work with the administration to help implement the City’s Complete Streets Policy?

Cynthia Newbille: See above response to Question 1.

Joshua Williams: No response.

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QUESTION 3 – VISION ZERO

Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. On March 7, 2016, Richmond City Council passed a Vision Zero Resolution (No. 2016-R011) that “supports the development of a Vision Zero program for the City of Richmond with the goal of reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries in road traffic to zero by the year 2030.”

If elected to City Council, what additional policy steps would you work to put in place to improve education, engineering, enforcement, and emergency response with the purpose of achieving zero traffic-related deaths and serious injuries by 2030?

Cynthia Newbille: See above response to Question 1.

Joshua Williams: No response.

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QUESTION 4 – INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

In May of 2015, the City of Richmond finished work on the city’s first Bicycle Master Plan, which calls for the implementation of 135 miles of new bikeways by 2025. By the end of 2016, the city will have 25 miles of bikeways on the ground, all of which have been “low hanging fruit”. However, the Bicycle Master Plan has yet to be officially adopted by Richmond City Council. In addition, few if any of our new bikeways connect to each other or major destinations.

If elected to City Council, would you support adoption of the Bicycle Master Plan? If so, how would you work with the administration to grow the mileage of bikeways in Richmond to fill in the gaps and form a connected network?

Cynthia Newbille: See above response to Question 1.

Joshua Williams: No response.

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QUESTION 5 – FUNDING

Establishing safe and accessible places for people to bike and walk for transportation will require additional funding for capital projects, either in the form of Federal grants, State revenue-sharing, or the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP). In May of 2016, Mayor Jones proposed $500,000 in the FY2017 CIP budget for bicycle infrastructure – more than any previous fiscal year – in addition to funding for sidewalks, crosswalks, and traffic calming. Furthermore, City Council added $300,000 to the FY 2017 CIP budget to fully fund the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge, a walking and biking bridge from Brown’s Island to Manchester.

Do you support pursuing additional funding (in the CIP or other sources) for biking and walking infrastructure? If yes, how much?

Cynthia Newbille: See above response to Question 1.

Joshua Williams: No response.

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QUESTION 6 – PARKS

Parks and recreation facilities provide opportunities for physical activity and can help people of all ages lead a more active lifestyle. People who live near parks are more likely to be active. However, some lower-income communities and communities of color tend to have less access to quality parks and recreation facilities. While park use has dramatically increased in the City of Richmond, the funding for maintaining the parks has stayed level or dropped.

Do you support the conversion of small parcels of city owned land into parks that serve the immediate neighborhood? Do you support increasing park maintenance funding? If yes, by how much?

Cynthia Newbille: See above response to Question 1.

Joshua Williams: No response.

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Want to know how other City Council candidates responded to our questionnaire? Review their answers here!