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The Boston Globe

Politics

Mayoral candidates’ responses to transportation questionnaire

FELIX G. ARROYO

1. The MBTA has cited financial issues as the primary reason why it can’t provide late-night hours on the T or expanded service on the Fairmount commuter rail line. If you propose a partnership with the MBTA to improve public transit options, where will you find the money?

The Governor’s proposal earlier this year would have been a long term, progressive solution to many of our transportation needs. I believe the legislature dropped the ball and should have passed a package that addressed our transportation needs without putting the burden on those that can least afford it. We cannot continue to ask MBTA users to pay more for less service. As Mayor, I will work with legislators and the Governor to implement a package that would raise funds in a progressive way to help fix our transportation long term.

2. It’s a common complaint: It’s too hard to find parking in Boston. How do you plan to fix this problem?

We rely on four basic modes of transportation--the car, public transportation, biking, and walking--and we need to make sure that each of those choices is accessible to all of Boston’s residents in an equitable and safe way. By incorporating multi-modal transportation into new developments, redeveloping existing residential areas and promoting “smart growth” development, we can help ensure that Boston’s burgeoning business and residential districts provide residents and visitors with multiple transportation options, including mass transit, bikes, and walking. Making our city’s hubs complete, compact, and accessible while encouraging alternative methods of transportation is essential to decreasing the number of cars on Boston’s roads and reducing the demand for limited parking options.

3. You’ve found the money to install five new Hubway bike-share stations. Where would you put them?

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As an organizer I practice “collaborative politics,” bringing people together so that everyone’s voice is heard. We have many opportunities to expand the Hubway stations and I believe in working with the cycling community and residents to determine the locations that fit into our vision for a bike network throughout the city and reach communities that do not currently have access to transportation.

4. Would you change Boston’s current policies on minimum off-street parking requirements for new housing developments and businesses?

We cannot talk about reducing parking until we ensure safe and equitable access to transportation. The more we can encourage alternative options of transportation, through public transportation, bicycling and walking, the more we will be able to relieve traffic and parking concerns. We must work with our residents and businesses to utilize the best opportunities and type of parking that should be available in our neighborhoods.

5. What is your best idea on how to make intersections work better?

We have to make sure that all modes of transportation are able to safely travel around our city. I believe we need to take a look at all of our intersections throughout the city as well as accident data through police and emergency response reports to identify the most problematic intersections in the city. By understanding our most dangerous intersections, we can prioritize places that need the most improvement and improve the safety for everyone who uses our streets.

6. What do you think is the biggest problem facing Boston’s taxi industry?

The Boston Globe spotlight on the industry exposed the many problems facing Boston’s taxi industry. At the core of the matter is that the workers, mainly comprised of immigrants have not been treated fairly. We cannot be a city where some freely accept the labor of immigrants, but stubbornly reject their humanity. An organizer at SEIU, I worked for janitors, security guards, and building service workers. Some do not see them, and many perceive them to be powerless, but by coming together, by organizing, and making sure that everyone’s voice was heard, we were able to win fair pay, good benefits, but - most importantly - the respect and dignity that everyone deserves. As Mayor, I will work to reform the industry to help improve the way our workers are treated.

7. Much of the rush hour traffic in Boston is a result of back-ups from state highways. How would you work with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to alleviate gridlock at highway on-ramps?

If we are serious about investing in Boston, we must be serious about investing in transportation. As Mayor, I will work with our state partners and residents who use our highways to identify the root of the problems we have and work to alleviate gridlock at highway on-ramps.

8. Boston’s bicycle community has asked for separated bicycle facilities known as “cycle tracks,” but there are many different ways to design those facilities. What, to you, does an ideal “cycle track” look like, and where, if anywhere, would you put them?

Thanks in large part to the Boston Bikes program, bicycle ridership has more than doubled since 2007. We can continue to ride the momentum, towards a goal of a 10% mode share for cycling by 2020, by making more infrastructure improvements including cycletracks, and linking neighborhoods with the “Bike Network Plan.” Forward thinking street design in tandem with safety education efforts, data collection, and collaboration can make Boston a model bike city.

Government works better when it works with you and not over you. As Mayor, I will work with the cyclist community to identify the best opportunities for cycle tracks and bicycling infrastructure that will help connect our communities.

9. Discuss one idea on how you would make Boston’s roadways more beautiful.

One of the major components to a vibrant neighborhood and attractive roadways is a successful small business district with a diverse and full set of businesses. As Mayor, I will implement legislation that I authored called “Invest in Boston” that will ensure that we only do business with banks that are lending to small businesses, to qualified homebuyers, to development projects, and that are helping solve our foreclosure crisis. Small businesses are the backbone of our neighborhoods, employing the majority of our workforce, contributing to the livelihood of our communities, and creating welcoming and attractive streets.

JOHN BARROS

1. The MBTA has cited financial issues as the primary reason why it can’t provide late-night hours on the T or expanded service on the Fairmount commuter rail line. If you propose a partnership with the MBTA to improve public transit options, where will you find the money?

I support the efforts to increase the state gas tax and implement a more progressive income tax as ways to address the overall transportation-funding gap, which includes the MBTA’s financial issues. As Mayor, I would advocate for MBTA at the state and federal levels. One funding solution that we can work on in the city is the U-Pass. As Mayor, I would work with our universities, hospitals, and other big institutions to offer a universal transit pass to their students and employees. These institutions would pay for these passes as a benefit for their people, but the result would be more funding for the T as well as more riders.

2. It’s a common complaint: It’s too hard to find parking in Boston. How do you plan to fix this problem?

Our parking infrastructure needs to be part of an overall transportation system in which people have real choices and not be as dependent on driving. The fix to the parking problem is improving transit and walking and biking infrastructure.

3. You’ve found the money to install five new Hubway bike-share stations. Where would you put them?

I’d prioritize putting the stations in an area that is currently underserved, but where the potential ridership exists. I believe that there are many areas of the city. I would consider concentrating all of the stations in the same area or corridor to enhance the network and boost ridership. The challenge is to get enough people using Hubway so that the system can pay for itself and fund future expansion.

4. Would you change Boston’s current policies on minimum off-street parking requirements for new housing developments and businesses?

I would start a community-driven process to comprehensively update the zoning code, which contains these requirements. Such a process needs to start at the neighborhood level, where each neighborhood can develop its vision, just like we did in the Dudley neighborhood. As I’ve said before, such a process needs to be guided by a new planning entity, that is not the same as the development agency. BRA currently does both. In this process, residents need to discuss and debate off-street parking requirements that they think will lead to a more livable neighborhood. I would encourage all to envision a 21st century city that is more livable, walkable, and bikeable, where we can reduce our over-dependence on the automobile.

In the short term, I believe we need to focus on Transit Oriented Development and incentivizing housing be providing density bonuses next to transit nodes.

5. What is your best idea on how to make intersections work better?

Our intersections need to work for all users, whether we are walking, biking, or in a car or bus, whether we live near the intersection or are just passing through. My best idea for intersections is to first identify the most dangerous intersections and then have our transportation department engineers partner with local users of each intersection to develop improvements. Local residents could help collect data and co-design better solutions. The users have the best data on what the problems are and can work with the city’s help to get to balanced solutions that work for all. For example, I have heard from our senior citizens that many of the crossing lights don’t give them enough time to cross wider streets.

6. What do you think is the biggest problem facing Boston’s taxi industry?

Taxi’s are a critical component of the City’s transportation system. The City needs to take a fresh look at how it’s licensing system and oversight responsibilities can be improved to ensure that taxi’s are reliable and safe.

7. Much of the rush hour traffic in Boston is a result of back-ups from state highways. How would you work with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to alleviate gridlock at highway on-ramps?

We need to look at the overall transportation system and not just as a City, but with all our neighboring cities and towns, and our state and federal counterparts. I will partner with MassDOT to improve current bottle neck and ramps that are create traffic congestion. I will work with MBTA’s commuter rail and other mass transit so that fewer folks have to drive. I will also urge MassDOT to enhance its carpooling programs and high occupancy vehicle lanes to reduce the number of cars on the road.

8. Boston’s bicycle community has asked for separated bicycle facilities known as “cycle tracks,” but there are many different ways to design those facilities. What, to you, does an ideal “cycle track” look like, and where, if anywhere, would you put them?

Boston is a on a great trajectory to become as bikeable as it is walkable. Cycle tracks are just one of the ways that we can continue to improve our bike system. As with other public infrastructure, I believe that no one size fits all and that there are certain high volume roads and intersection that should be prioritized. Commonwealth Ave, Washington Street, Columbus Ave and Mass Ave could be where we start.

9. Discuss one idea on how you would make Boston’s roadways more beautiful.

Portland, Oregon has a city program that enables residents to paint and beautify their intersections. A similar program in Boston would both tap into the creative talent of our residents, give each neighborhood even more character and calm traffic in more residential areas.

DANIEL F. CONLEY

1. The MBTA has cited financial issues as the primary reason why it can’t provide late-night hours on the T or expanded service on the Fairmount commuter rail line. If you propose a partnership with the MBTA to improve public transit options, where will you find the money?

The city of Boston already contributes over $75 million in assessments to the MBTA. The MBTA is also a true regional transportation service over which the mayor of Boston has no real authority or control. As Mayor, I intend to advocate vigorously for Boston and its residents, and will work with neighboring municipalities to achieve a unified, regional vision and agenda, to ensure that public transportation throughout Greater Boston safe, efficient, affordable and sustainable. I support extended operation hours for the MBTA because I see it as one part of a larger transportation challenge that, if handled correctly, is not a fiscal burden but an economic growth strategy. It’s in this context that financing for the expanded service should be considered. One way to inject cash into the system is by encouraging colleges and universities and major employers to purchase Charlie Cards at discounted rates in bulk for students and employees. I will also encourage Boston’s sports teams and cultural institutions to include Charlie Cards in the purchase price of season tickets and memberships.

2. It’s a common complaint: It’s too hard to find parking in Boston. How do you plan to fix this problem?

I think we need to maintain a careful balance between our desire for a greener city and the reality that we still have a lot of people who really must rely on automobiles. I’m very progressive on the environment, but I am also practical so I don’t reflexively endorse every policy aimed at decreasing parking. I think the way to approach this is via master planning and consider each neighborhood differently based upon proximity of public transportation, density, demographics (younger residents are far less likely to own a car) and other factors.

3. You’ve found the money to install five new Hubway bike-share stations. Where would you put them?

I would like to see new Hubway bike-share stations in Franklin Park, Upham’s Corner, the Forest Hills T Station, the Arboretum, and Hyde Square. I’d also like to see helmet vending machines and kiosks. Hubway is a great service that should be steadily expanded to our outer neighborhoods.

4. Would you change Boston’s current policies on minimum off-street parking requirements for new housing developments and businesses?

I believe this policy should be carefully tested before it is too broadly implemented. Let’s start in neighborhoods where there is easy access to public transportation and demographics showing residents who are more apt to take public and other forms of transportation. Boston’s population has more young people who are less likely to own car or even have licenses. In those places it makes sense not to force developers to create parking spaces that would go unused and instead apply those resources to create more open space and so forth to benefit a neighborhood. But for families with young children or people caring for an aging parent, their car is a necessity and a lifeline. And while many residents prefer to walk to work, many still also own cars that need to be parked somewhere. And in those neighborhoods where there is less easy access to public transportation, where competition for limited spaces remains fierce, and the local population is still growing, I would proceed with caution and would actively seek out the full input of neighborhood residents. Those might not be easy conversations. In many instances, city officials can fully expect that residents won’t tell them what they want to hear. But these conversations need to be had. It’s what leadership requires, and they are critical to building consensus and support over the long term.

5. What is your best idea on how to make intersections work better?

Providing more exclusive lanes for public transport and engineering traffic signals to enable their speedy passage through intersections is a low- to no-cost way of making intersections (and traffic overall) work better. New York City introduced express bus services that in one year reduced travel time by an average of 11 minutes and helped to increased ridership. This change compliments a larger move I support towards a Bus Rapid Transit system which is the most cost-conscious means of finally creating the long dreamed of, and critically important, Urban Ring. The Urban Ring system connects residents of Boston’s neighborhoods to jobs hubs like the South Boston waterfront and Longwood medical area – easing congestion while facilitating future jobs growth.

6. What do you think is the biggest problem facing Boston’s taxi industry?

Ensuring that its drivers are treated fairly is a major issue, and was highlighted in dramatic fashion by the Boston Globe earlier this year. Apart from those abuses, my office was part of an investigation into a scheme at Logan Airport where attendants who directed travelers to taxis were demanding bribes so they could jump the line, so to speak. While I applaud the declaration of the Boston Police to crack down on these kinds of abuses, like many, I am awaiting the results of a study of the industry ordered by Mayor Menino in order to determine next steps.

7. Much of the rush hour traffic in Boston is a result of back-ups from state highways. How would you work with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to alleviate gridlock at highway on-ramps?

We need to continue to encourage people to take public transportation. As our public transportation infrastructure crumbles, as the system itself continues to devolve into a less efficient, less pleasant but more expensive experience, it forces people back into their cars which adds to gridlock and costs Boston, its businesses and its workers, dearly in terms of lost productivity and increased pollution. Systemic solutions are required, including adoption of an Urban Ring based on an affordable and smart Rapid Bus Transit system which will immediately help to alleviate gridlock problems in vital and growing economic areas of the city, including the Innovation District and the Longwood medical area.

8. Boston’s bicycle community has asked for separated bicycle facilities known as “cycle tracks,” but there are many different ways to design those facilities. What, to you, does an ideal “cycle track” look like, and where, if anywhere, would you put them?

I don’t think there is an ideal cycle track in a congested city where cars, bicyclists and pedestrians need to share the roads and other space. For example, some designs might work well only on heavily traveled roads, with few intersections and a higher speed limit. I would rely on experts to make recommendations, depending on the street and the neighborhood.

9. Discuss one idea on how you would make Boston’s roadways more beautiful.

More trees. I’d like to expand the City’s investment in trees in a number of ways, including more aggressively seeking out private and non-profit partners, as well as public and private grants. In addition, I’ll enlist neighborhood, civic, business and advocacy groups to assist in the effort by helping to keep the trees healthy once they are planted – checking the trees for fungus, aerating the soil around the trees, and other measures that protect the investment and reduce tree loss.

JOHN R. CONNOLLY

1. The MBTA has cited financial issues as the primary reason why it can’t provide latenight hours on the T or expanded service on the Fairmount commuter rail line. If you propose a partnership with the MBTA to improve public transit options, where will you find the money?

We need to be creative about new sources of financing. A UPass program, wherein colleges and universities would purchase discounted T passes for all their students, was first proposed by advocates in 2012 and again this year, and it’s worth exploring. New Balance is funding the construction and operation of a new commuter rail station in Allston Brighton. We should look to leverage corporate and institutional dollars for things like expanded service hours. As mayor, I would also use the bully pulpit of the office to be a strong advocate for increased state funding for the MBTA and for holding the T accountable for wisely and efficiently using the resources it has. I would work with lawmakers and mayors from Gateway Cities, which have regional transit service, to create a coalition for transit across the Commonwealth.

2. It’s a common complaint: It’s too hard to find parking in Boston. How do you plan to fix this problem?

Given the cost of building more structured parking, this is not a problem we can build our way out of. We need to be willing to test different solutions. For example, by taking a smart approach to metered parking, we can encourage more turnover of parking spaces and decrease the time, traffic, frustration and wasted fuel motorists spend looking for spaces. Other cities like San Francisco are using new technology to control the supply and demand of parking, and we should explore whether those ideas would work here as well. We need to find ways to optimize the use of our parking and street space while also doing everything we can to provide people with safe, appealing alternatives to traveling by car. The Boston Redevelopment Authority reported recently that the number of registered automobiles in the city has dropped 14 percent in the last 5 years. We’re seeing that many Bostonians want to be able to take advantage of alternatives to driving walking, biking, and taking transit.

3. You’ve found the money to install five new Hubway bikeshare stations. Where would you put them?

I led the effort in the City Council to provide $5 million in funding for the Hubway bike share program, which I believe we need to expand farther out from downtown. It’s time for Hubway to start branching out into the neighborhoods, ideally near popular destinations like T stations, parks, health clinics and community centers, and our Main Street business districts. This will be a gradual process, because stations needs to be close to one another to really work effectively, but over time I believe our goal should be for every neighborhood to have Hubway.

4. Would you change Boston’s current policies on minimum offstreet parking requirements for new housing developments and businesses?

We will have opportunities to reexamine parking requirements, but we need to do it in a transparent way with meaningful community input. One of the biggest challenges we face in Boston is the high cost of housing. Reducing parking requirements, in appropriate places and with community buy-in, could be a key strategy for lowering construction costs and creating a true middle market for housing in Boston. This is not one-size-fits-all; in certain neighborhoods there is a real parking crisis that we must work to alleviate. Finally, we must recognize that any successful strategy must improve other modes of transportation.

5. What is your best idea on how to make intersections work better?

We need intersections that can accommodate all users cars, transit, pedestrians, and cyclists as safely and conveniently as possible. That’s what our planning, through what’s known as a “Complete Streets” approach, should accomplish. We also have to look at signalization. I will instruct the transportation department to review our signalized intersections and implement the appropriate solution for each situation. Signal times must be long enough for elderly pedestrians and pedestrians with disabilities to cross safely. Buses and trolleys should have signal priority at intersections.

6. What do you think is the biggest problem facing Boston’s taxi industry?

I think the Globe’s indepth reporting highlighted a number of issues that we really should not consider in isolation, including significant failures in the Hackney Division’s oversight; poor treatment of drivers, including classifying them as independent contractors; and inadequate liability insurance. We need to bring our taxi system into the 21st century so that it provides fair treatment for drivers, modern conveniences and reliable transportation for passengers, and adequate insurance coverage. We also need to make sure that Boston is friendly to alternatives, like Uber and car-sharing, that give residents additional ways to access a car without owning one themselves.

7. Much of the rush hour traffic in Boston is a result of backups from state highways. How would you work with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to alleviate gridlock at highway on-ramps?

Every day, Boston’s population swells as commuters come into the city for work. The single best thing we can do to alleviate traffic is to provide those commuters options to take public transit for all or part of their trip. That’s why as mayor I will prioritize bicycle infrastructure and be a forceful advocate for funding of the MBTA system. We need more parking at our outer T stations and commuter rail stations, and we need to invest in new trains and train cars so that the system is reliable and not overcrowded.

8. Boston’s bicycle community has asked for separated bicycle facilities known as “cycle tracks,” but there are many different ways to design those facilities. What, to you, does an ideal “cycle track” look like, and where, if anywhere, would you put them?

Cycle tracks will be an important part of Boston’s transportation strategy and I will prioritize them in the city’s capital budget. Studies have shown that these separated facilities are the single best thing we can do to improve the rate of casual cycling, especially among women and children. But the “ideal” cycle track depends on the specific situation, based on factors like how much space we have.

9. Discuss one idea on how you would make Boston’s roadways more beautiful.

I strongly favor a “Complete Streets” approach to planning our streetscapes, which can make our streets more beautiful by including in their designs things like planted medians, landscaping, and public art. We should also be open to fun innovations like holding community competitions to design benches and bike racks.

ROB CONSALVO

1. The MBTA has cited financial issues as the primary reason why it can’t provide late-night hours on the T or expanded service on the Fairmount commuter rail line. If you propose a partnership with the MBTA to improve public transit options, where will you find the money?

The city of Boston has numerous budget priorities, and while efficient and effective transportation is certainly a priority, the cost of expanding service on the MBTA is well beyond our other priorities. I will look to form public-private partnerships, similar to the construction and operation agreement between the MBTA and New Balance for the new Boston Landing Commuter Rail Station in Brighton, to help generate funds for transportation and to hold the corporate community accountable for improving the quality of life in our city. Also, I will advocate to the federal government for more transportation funding for our city.

2. It’s a common complaint: It’s too hard to find parking in Boston. How do you plan to fix this problem?

First, we need to recognize, that a lot of people in Boston have cars and they need them for their job, to take their kids to school and to go to the grocery store. Cars play a major role in many people’s lives and that isn’t going to change any time soon. We need to create incentives to get people out of their cars –through programs like Ride Share, flexible work-schedules and telecommuting – but we can’t penalize people who need their cars on a daily basis. I’m going to make sure that no one in Boston lives more than 5-minute walk from an accessible form of alternative transportation, so that everyone has options. That means moving HubWay out into the neighborhoods, making safe bike travel easier, working with the MBTA to make its services for efficient and looking for good ideas from our universities, other cities and countries. I would be willing to pilot innovative new technologies like those that actually allow people to reserve parking spots via their smartphone as a way to potentially alleviate parking congestion. At the end of the day, we need parking out in the neighborhoods.

3. You’ve found the money to install five new Hubway bike-share stations. Where would you put them?

In the neighborhoods – particularly around transit oriented housing and along the Fairmount Indigo line.

4. Would you change Boston’s current policies on minimum off-street parking requirements for new housing developments and businesses?

No.

5. What is your best idea on how to make intersections work better?

We have to stop people from blocking the box. You can’t drive through another vehicle when it’s parked in the middle of an intersection. As mayor, I’ll identify the worst intersection and we’ll make sure be the appropriate enforcement personnel there to direct traffic and fine offenders. We have to change the driving culture in this city when it comes to blocking intersections and I’ll stand out there myself if I have to.

I’ve also proposed creating illuminated sidewalks to help pedestrians cross the street and move through intersections and installing transponders on fire and police vehicles to make sure they always get a green light when they are heading to an emergency.

6. What do you think is the biggest problem facing Boston’s taxi industry?

Balancing the interests of passengers, drivers, medallion owners and businesses remains an ongoing challenge – not just here, but in any major city. As mayor, I will strive to ensure the safety, and fair and equitable treatment of all parties.

7. Much of the rush hour traffic in Boston is a result of back-ups from state highways. How would you work with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to alleviate gridlock at highway on-ramps?

Having worked in city, state and federal government, I have seen the debate surrounding highway funding from all sides. As government budgets continue to shrink, highway construction dollars will be less. As mayor, I will collaborate with federal, state and local governments to develop a modern transportation system that works for the entire region. While economic growth in our city is a good thing, it has also contributed to congestion and added traffic from neighboring communities and highway systems. I look forward to working with the MA DOT and local stakeholders who are involved in the Boston Ramps Study to determine the feasibility of new or revised ramp access to ease this problem.

8. Boston’s bicycle community has asked for separated bicycle facilities known as “cycle tracks,” but there are many different ways to design those facilities. What, to you, does an ideal “cycle track” look like, and where, if anywhere, would you put them?

Given Boston’s different neighborhoods and the condition of its roadways, there is no one-size fits all cycle track. In some areas, dedicated cycle tracks will work and in other neighborhoods, it is only possible to include dedicated bicycle lanes. As we work towards a “Complete Street” solution for our roadways, we will implement best practices for determining the appropriate type of track for the area. We have to remember that a lot of Boston residents still have cars that they need to use on a daily basis.

9. Discuss one idea on how you would make Boston’s roadways more beautiful.

The surest way to make a city street shine is to line it with beautiful blue Consalvo for Mayor signs!

Creating welcoming public spaces alongside our major roadways with street trees, greenscapes, street furniture, eco-friendly rubber sidewalks, planters and clean trash-free streets are other great ways tp add to a roadway’s beauty and should be incorporated into transportation design and engineering where possible.

MIKE ROSS

1. The MBTA has cited financial issues as the primary reason why it can’t provide late-night hours on the T or expanded service on the Fairmount commuter rail line. If you propose a partnership with the MBTA to improve public transit options, where will you find the money?

In 2001, working with partners in state government and the community, I led the fight to implement the MBTA’s late-night “Night Owl” bus service, which extended public transit service in Boston until 2:30 a.m. That extended bus service provided a safe, reliable, and convenient way home for third-shift workers coming home from jobs in our hospitals, restaurants, or dynamic start-up companies, for students studying late, and residents enjoying a night out in the city. As Boston continues to develop as a dynamic, global city, we need to reinstate the Night Owl to serve residents who are increasingly pushing Boston past its current closing time.

As Mayor, I will bring back the Night Owl service and commit to finding the funding to make it sustainable. Boston can no longer afford to shut down its transit system at 12:30 a.m.

To fund this service expansion, I will work with our area universities to implement the U-Pass program, which lets those institutions purchase MBTA passes for every one of their students at discounted rates. The U-Pass program has the potential to generate close to $50 million in revenue for the MBTA, more than covering the estimated $10 million cost of renewed and expanded late night service.

I also think we can consider offering special late-night licenses to bars and restaurants in some neighborhoods, which could provided added revenue for late night service.

2. It’s a common complaint: It’s too hard to find parking in Boston. How do you plan to fix this problem?

While I support the ultimate goal of getting people out of their cars and onto public transit or bikes, there are things we can do now to make parking easier.

I support the implementation of mobile apps that identify open parking spaces for drivers to reduce time spent driving in search of spaces. That means less congestion and carbon emissions from circling vehicle. We also need to replace coin-only parking meters with a city-wide transition to smart kiosks that accept coins, cash, and credit cards to make paying for parking more convenient and help increase potential street spaces by eliminating space-specific meters.

3. You’ve found the money to install five new Hubway bike-share stations. Where would you put them?

The subway network to all neighborhoods, especially those underserved by public transit. Right now, I’d favor expanding subway stations into Southie and Dorchester -- neighborhoods that are lacking in subway stations but close to the network.

4. Would you change Boston’s current policies on minimum off-street parking requirements for new housing developments and businesses?

I support reducing parking minimums where it makes sense. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to a city as diverse as Boston. As mayor, I would aggressively pursue more transit-oriented development, and support easing parking requirements near subway stations or transit hubs.

5. What is your best idea on how to make intersections work better?

I would establish a Problem Intersection Task Force to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians at key intersections across city. This multi-agency, community-connected effort will work to identify simple street improvements that can be implemented ahead of comprehensive “complete street” redesign efforts. Sometimes all that is needed is to move a bus stop 50 feet or install a turning signal to make a dangerous intersection safer.

6. What do you think is the biggest problem facing Boston’s taxi industry?

Today, Boston’s fleet of taxis and livery cars are managed and regulated by a special unit in the Boston Police Department – the Hackney Carriage Unit. Over 100 years after it was first established to oversee horse-drawn hackney service, it’s time to transfer these responsibilities to the City’s Transportation Department. We are more aware then ever that the Boston Police have very serious public safety concerns to focus on; managing a rapidly evolving transportation industry should not divert their attention from keeping our streets safe from violent crime. The regulation of the taxi industry also needs serious study and reform to protect both drivers and passengers. As Mayor, I will move taxi oversight to the Transportation Department and modernize it in a number of ways including more policies to protect drivers and riders.

7. Much of the rush hour traffic in Boston is a result of back-ups from state highways. How would you work with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to alleviate gridlock at highway on-ramps?

One reason highway ramps are backed up is because traffic is flowing directly off of them and into a street grid system with little to no signal timing, coordination of flow patterns, or plans for managing peak hour traffic. By improving our city streets brought smart traffic grid technologies, traffic coming off highways won’t be entering bottlenecks which cause the off ramp back ups. I would be sure to coordinate all of these improvements with our partners at MassDOT to make sure our networks are connected.

8. Boston’s bicycle community has asked for separated bicycle facilities known as “cycle tracks,” but there are many different ways to design those facilities. What, to you, does an ideal “cycle track” look like, and where, if anywhere, would you put them?

First, I would hire a transportation commissioner with a background in cycling and a commitment to multi-modal transportation and “complete streets” design principles. In an ideal world, cycle tracks should be separated from the street and connect our neighborhoods so that cycling can become a more viable commuting option.

9. Discuss one idea on how you would make Boston’s roadways more beautiful.

Following through on planting 100,000 trees in Boston as part of the Grow Boston Greener initiative, focusing plantings first in neighborhoods with the lowest levels of tree canopy.

BILL WALCZAK

1. The MBTA has cited financial issues as the primary reason why it can’t provide late-night hours on the T or expanded service on the Fairmount commuter rail line. If you propose a partnership with the MBTA to improve public transit options, where will you find the money?

Because of the nature of the MBTA, I believe funding should come from the state and federal levels. The MBTA is not relegated to Boston, it is a regional issue, one that pertains to outlying cities and towns as far as Worcester and Lowell. I support extended 24-hour transportation, but considering the fact that transportation is not relegated to city operation, the state has an obligation to provide funding for extended runtime.

2. It’s a common complaint: It’s too hard to find parking in Boston. How do you plan to fix this problem?

Our first step would be to reduce traffic in the city. Less cars on the road results in less of an need for parking. We can achieve that in two different ways. First, we must increase safety and access to cycling in the city. This means delineating bike lanes and expanding them to every neighborhood in the city. The more bikers on the road, the less traffic congestion and the less need for parking space for automobiles. Second, we need to employ a method of development called Transit Oriented Development, which orients housing near T stations and bus lines to not only provide easier access of the entire city to all of our residents, but also to increase ridership which will the again reduce the amount of cars on the road. In a metropolitan area, there are many easy ways to get from point A to point B, we must do our best to encourage and facilitate them to allow for safer, less congested roads and easier access to parking.

3. You’ve found the money to install five new Hubway bike-share stations. Where would you put them?

In all neighborhoods that need them that have limited access to public transportation –such as Roxbury, Hyde Park, and Mattapan.

4. Would you change Boston’s current policies on minimum off-street parking requirements for new housing developments and businesses?

No.

5. What is your best idea on how to make intersections work better?

I like what they do with “Block the Box” in NYC where they fine you for tying up intersection. I would like to see something similar put in place and enforced in Boston.

6. What do you think is the biggest problem facing Boston’s taxi industry?

The biggest problem with the taxi industry in Boston is the way it looks at its employees. We need to ensure that taxi drivers are looked at as full-time workers with wages and benefits instead of contractors. We also need to make sure that we have the right amount of medallions for the city. It takes too long to hail a taxi in Boston, and I understand the frustration that comes with needing quick access to a ride. I plan on bringing an independent group in to analyze and determine the proper amount of medallions for taxis in this city to make sure we are serving Boston residents in the best way possible.

7. Much of the rush hour traffic in Boston is a result of back-ups from state highways. How would you work with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to alleviate gridlock at highway on-ramps?

I think we need to encourage more people to commute through public transportation options and make those offerings more attractive. We can do this in Boston by working with the state and regionally with other municipalities to create commuter programs and transit-oriented housing so commuting into Boston is easier and people have options other than driving

8. Boston’s bicycle community has asked for separated bicycle facilities known as “cycle tracks,” but there are many different ways to design those facilities. What, to you, does an ideal “cycle track” look like, and where, if anywhere, would you put them?

I support the idea of cycle tracks. I believe cycle tracks need to be delineated by a different color with bicycle markings, they need to be separated by barriers from car lanes, and the must be expanded into every neighborhood in the city. If we are encouraging and increase in ridership, we must take all of the necessary measures to make sure that our riders are safe. There have been too many horrific stories because of lack of clarity and understanding between bikers and drivers in this city, and in order to have the healthiest, safest city in the country, in order to have a city that is devoid of crippling traffic and a lack of parking spots, we need to be serious about reforming the infrastructure for biking in Boston.

9. Discuss one idea on how you would make Boston’s roadways more beautiful.

I would like to create a crowdsourcing program for more public art in the Boston area – and this includes our roadways. I think there are numerous places to put art throughout Boston and crowdsourcing ideas for art along our roadways is a great way to start.

MARTY WALSH

1. The MBTA has cited financial issues as the primary reason why it can’t provide late-night hours on the T or expanded service on the Fairmount commuter rail line. If you propose a partnership with the MBTA to improve public transit options, where will you find the money?

I am a strong proponent of expanded late-night T service, and, as mayor, would coordinate with the MBTA and MassDOT and work with businesses (24-hour businesses, restaurants/bars) and colleges and universities to assess demand. The most realistic funding approach is probably a mix of state aid and creative public-private partnerships here in the city. Having represented Boston for 16 years on Beacon Hill, I am the candidate best positioned to win the necessary support from the Legislature. Beyond that, I would work with private institutions, especially universities whose students are likely to be major users, to fully fund the extended service.

2. It’s a common complaint: It’s too hard to find parking in Boston. How do you plan to fix this problem?

Parking presents very different problems depending on whether we’re talking about the downtown or the neighborhoods. I would work with the Boston Transportation Department, Technology Department, and private sector to develop applications that could locate available parking Downtown and in commercial areas. I would also work with the MBTA and MassDOT specifically to encourage residents and visitors to leave their cars at home and use public transportation, bicycles, or walk when applicable, helping to relieve parking constraints. The MBTA is underused by many commuters into Boston. I will work to make public transportation a more attractive option for commuters so that vehicle congestion is lowered in the city. This will not only help with parking but will also help to reduce pollution in the city that can impact public health and climate change.

3. You’ve found the money to install five new Hubway bike-share stations. Where would you put them?

I would favor locations that expand Hubway to more Boston neighborhoods, and would ask the Boston Transportation Department to review user data collected as part of the Hubway program to determine where demand is greatest. It will also be important to continue to coordinate with Cambridge, Somerville, and other surrounding communities that are currently part of the Hubway program, as well as those considering becoming part of the program to determine the routes and locations with the highest demand. Uphams Corner/Jones Hill seems like a natural spot, since it not too far from UMass Boston and South Bay Plaza, where there are existing stations.

4. Would you change Boston’s current policies on minimum off-street parking requirements for new housing developments and businesses?

Different policies should apply to different areas of the city depending on local parking situations. Minimum off-street parking requirements should be required for new residential development in neighborhoods where parking is at a premium. Incentives could be provided for those developers to promote transit-oriented development which would require less parking.

5. What is your best idea on how to make intersections work better?

Many of the intersections in the city are controlled with signals using old technology. The first step would be to identify the older signals and determine if they need to be upgraded. For newer signals, retiming may provide for improved traffic flow, especially on entry roads to the city such as Mass. Ave. If lights are timed correctly congestion will be greatly reduced. Other actions would be to increase the monitoring of busy intersections by the city’s traffic operations center to improve traffic flow on a daily basis.

6. What do you think is the biggest problem facing Boston’s taxi industry?

I think that the biggest problem facing the taxi industry in Boston is the way in which it is regulated. As the Boston Globe pointed out in a 2013 series, the system is currently not working and has created great inequality within the sector. I think we need to investigate taking the regulatory authority and shifting it to another part of city government. It has been suggested that the Transportation Department is a proper place for taxis to be regulated. I am open to talking about this change or any other ideas for improving the current system.

7. Much of the rush hour traffic in Boston is a result of back-ups from state highways. How would you work with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to alleviate gridlock at highway on-ramps?

I would continue to coordinate with MassDOT and the MBTA and find areas where Intelligent Transportation Systems and Technology can be used to improve traffic flow. Applications and communications allowing drivers to make decisions on the best routes to take to avoid congestion and determine the timing of their travel will prove extremely useful. We reconfigured Glover’s Corner in Dorchester (Freeport Street and Dorchester Avenue) and that’s working well. If that one could be fixed, they all can!

8. Boston’s bicycle community has asked for separated bicycle facilities known as “cycle tracks,” but there are many different ways to design those facilities. What, to you, does an ideal “cycle track” look like, and where, if anywhere, would you put them?

An ideal “cycle track” is safe and allows easy access for bikers to get through the city quickly. “Cycle tracks” can only be implemented where there is adequate right-of-way. There are many additional factors involved in choosing appropriate locations, such as parking and connections to other bike lanes and/or facilities.

9. Discuss one idea on how you would make Boston’s roadways more beautiful.

Landscaping and greenspace, including flower pots and trees, could make a big difference. Small changes can make Boston’s concrete jungle much less menacing. I would work with neighborhoods to develop an Adopt-A-Roadway or Adopt-An-Area program (much like the Adopt-A-Highway program on major roadways) to keep roadways and neighborhoods clean. Those big planters on Boylston Street near Mass. Ave always looks nice. There’s no reason why we can’t do something similar everywhere.

Martine Powers can be reached at mpowers@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @martinepowers.

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