Here are my answers to the Orlando Bike Coalition Candidate Questionnaire
(Q) What does smart growth look like to you? Consider economic, environmental, and social equity factors.
(A) Smart growth to me takes a holistic approach and takes into account a variety of factors to include but not limited to compatibility, predictability, location, existing infrastructure, dominating culture, socio-economic status, and sensitive waterways and/or lands.
(Q) Are you publicly supporting the transportation sales tax? Why or why not? What kind of projects will you support receiving this funding?
(A) I am supportive of the transportation sales tax. The decision will lie with voters to support this 1% sales tax increase. As with most decisions, there are pros and cons. This is a personal decision for many, as it will impact their personal economic situation. However, should this measure pass, it will bring additional jobs, place Orange County in a better position to remain competitive with other markets that are able to host sporting events etc, and bring a tremendous economic boost to our region. Not to mention offer an array of options for residents, visitors, and employers to reduce the carbon footprint, within our community. Such projects must provide equity, mobility, accessibility and connectivity options. Not all areas within our County may be conducive to some options and/or the needs vary from community to community.
(Q) Please name two streets you would switch to Complete Streets and what you would change.
(A) In general, District 4 has "newer" infrastructure as many of the communities that have been built contain designated bike lanes, side walks, and pedestrian walkways. However, there is an extension of Boggy Creek, south side of the 417, and Landstar Blvd where I would switch to complete streets. This would allow for additional amenities and a more cohesive way of transportation, with the nearby Sunrail Station.
(Q) In what ways do you see our current transportation system connected to our health and quality of life?
(A) Regardless of one's mode of transportation (drive, bike or walk), due to the congestion of vehicles on our roadways and the need for a heightened sense of awareness for safety- can cause stress, anxiety, and tension which in turn can negatively impact our health and quality of life. Furthermore, family life is impacted, as the amount of time spent in a vehicle reduces the time we spend with loved ones. Lastly, looking at ways to expand and/or implement bike/walk trails.
(Q) Most of our roads today are designed for speed. How would you change that to get pedestrian and bicycle deaths down to zero?
(A) We can significantly reduce the number of catastrophic injuries or deaths by ensuring we have the necessary safeguards in place for the various methods of one's mode of transportation: islands, medians or wider sidewalks. Install pedestrian bridges for people to safely cross high volume areas and consideration of barriers to prohibit walkers to cross at certain areas, as is done overseas. Work alongside organizations/coalitions whose primary focus is pedestrian/biker centered, to ensure we make the best data driven decisions.
(Q) Do you navigate Orlando by bike, foot, or public transportation? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often? If not, why not?
(A) There are times, for personal and professional reasons, I have walked and taken public transportation, a few times a month.
(Q) Most of the decisions made at the Board of County Commission meetings are related to development and land use. Meanwhile, suburban sprawl is paving over our natural areas which serve important natural disaster mitigation, recreational uses, and stormwater retention. How will you holistically integrate housing, transit, and preservation of natural resources into every land use decision?
(A) It is important to look at the current surrounding(s) and what has already been developed and/or planned. Look at existing drainage and ensure that new development will not negatively impact and/or affect surrounding communities and/or sensitive waterways/lands, as I did while working with Orange County.
Although the Board is not the only governmental body making these decisions, there are 13 municipalities that also have the ability to make decisions. Lastly, looking at ways in which municipalities can create inter-local agreements specific to annexation.
(Q) Orange County’s Housing For All Action Plan calls for an incremental 86,100 housing units to be built over the next ten years. However, the Orlando Economic Partnership estimates that we will have 1,000 people moving to the region every week, which would imply that we need 250,000 - 500,000+ new units in the region over the next ten years. If you agree with the premise, what policies will you support to ensure that we will build 500,000+ units over the next ten years?
(A) As local government, we would need to work with and provide incentives for developers; expedite permitting processes, and review internal procedures that are causing delays for such units to become available in the market, rehab existing properties, as well as, work to prevent annexation. In addition, continue to maintain a pulse on the amount of people relocating to and from our region in order to adjust accordingly.
(Q) Many cities across the US have taken historic steps towards ending exclusionary zoning, and the Biden Administration has promoted it as well. Minneapolis, Portland, St. Petersburg (Florida), and the entire state of California have recently amended their zoning codes to allow for more housing options (e.g. duplexes, fourplexes, and small apartment buildings) in areas previously zoned exclusively for single-detached homes. Do you support increasing our supply of housing by updating current single-detached exclusionary zoning to allow for diverse housing options? If not, where would you keep single-family exclusionary zoning in place?
(A) I am in favor of looking at plans and areas of where this type housing option could be successfully placed. Taking into consideration opportunity zones, compatibility, and predictability, urban core, as locations to build housing units and determine where only Single Family Residential should be placed.