Michael's Responses

Responses to Living Streets Questionnaire

  

Living Streets Alliance Candidate Questionnaire, 2019

1. What is your transportation and mobility vision for Tucson? If elected, what steps would you take to make that vision a reality, and how would you fund it? Please be specific.

As a former City of Tucson Transportation Engineering Signal Engineer and an avid transit and bicycle rider, I understand that Tucson residents are embracing more sustainable forms of transportation. My vision features the right mix of land and road use, with transportation policies that promote infrastructure investments that will significantly increase our ability to share our roads with automobiles and non-automobile (road/off-road bicycles and pedestrians), along with supporting a viable transit system in the City. 

I want to make sure that we improve our sidewalk connections with safe and continuous connections; create better bicycle connections along and separate from roadways; maintenance of bicycle lanes (cleaning); create better transit connections to the sidewalk, businesses, and life-line services (medical, social, etc..);

Improve our maintenance of our road network and signals (ITS) to include replacement.

1) I will work with local transportation coalitions for ideas on Transportation options. 

2) I will work with State and Regional partners to oppose any reduction in HURF funding that should come to Tucson.

3) I will work with City Staff on Transportation infrastructure maintenance funding needs.

4) I will explore expansion of Transit services (pedestrian, bus and trains) 

5) I will support the Complete Streets Policy and Guidelines

6) I will insist the enforcement of existing policies.

7) I will request and pursue a review of our existing Transportation and Development Services policies that might contradict each regarding programs as barricading, parking and transit, and make any and all necessary changes that are needed 

I am open to support the notion of creating a permanent funding source for Tucson’s Transportation system though a collective though process.


2. There are neighborhoods in Tucson where as many as 65%1 of residents don’t have

access to a car and rely on walking, biking and taking transit. People driving cars,

walking and using bicycles to get around are dying on our streets in increasing numbers,

and this disproportionately affects the elderly and young people, poor people and people

of color. What actions can City Council take to make Tucson safe and accessible for

residents who currently walk, bike and take transit as well as accelerate behavior

change so that we dramatically reduce the number of single-occupant car trips made

everyday?

When I’m elected as I stated in question 1, my vision would elevate much of the problems that was brought forward.

There are a number of actions that the City Council can do and promote: 

1) Enforcement, engage TPD’s Community officers in enforcing bad behavers

2) Incentivize businesses to provide public transit to their employees

3) Creating mobility hubs 

4) Continuing complete corridors

5) Flexible Fleets, East-West rail, rideshare, transit


3. When people move about Tucson they cross Wards and often other jurisdictions, without

realizing it. How are you going to work across Wards and within the region to ensure that

limited resources are distributed equitably, timely and where they will make the most

impact? How will you advocate at a regional, state and national level for Tucson’s

transportation priorities, especially if they might be different from other jurisdictions?

As the former Traffic Signal Engineer and ITS Manager, my job depended on my ability to work amongst:

1) Wards of Tucson

2) Neighboring municipalities; Marana, Oro Valley, South Tucson, 

3) Pima Associations of Governments

4) Arizona Department of Transportation

5) Federal Highway Administration, National Transit Safety Administration

Work involved discussion, planning and agreement with regards to traffic signal coordination, pedestrian and bicycle safety strategies. 


4. How do you plan to ensure that the Ward Office/Mayor’s Office engages directly with

constituents in addressing transportation? What are your ideas for how to get community members involved in transportation decisions that affect their community?

Currently Ward 4 and Ward 2 have a Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee group that is comprised of Neighborhood Association Leaders for the Houghton Road Projects. I would continue the work of this group and I would use their collaboration as a basis for forming other working groups.

Tucson Department of Transportation’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, have upcoming gatherings to encourage insightful discussions of bicycle boulevards and other transportation needs, these gatherings that include events as Ice Cream socials in the park, bicycle repair and movies in the park.


5. As Tucson continues to develop, access to plentiful parking is a common concern. Yet, research shows parking induces people to drive and leads to congestion. What can City Council do to manage parking resources and policies so they achieve our Plan Tucson vision for a vibrant, thriving, walkable community?

Direct Staff to review and change the City of Tucson’s Parking Policy requirements “not one size fits all”:

1) Removing the minimum parking requirements

2) Encourage businesses to create shared parking

3) Encourage developing buildings closer to the street where parking for bicycles and pedestrian access doesn’t have go through sea of parking lots to access the building. Vehicles will park on the side or rear of the building

4) Encourage development/redevelopment along business corridors where transit already exists and/or planned

These steps will save business owners money for:

1) Unused real-estate (parking lots are designed for maximum density and not always used) 

2) Enhances profitability with nice clean streetscapes and inviting business close to bike and pedestrian access 

SAHBA-PAC

  

1. Please describe your approach to evaluating policy and regulatory issues and how you determine your position on an issue. 

When I’m asked to review policies and/or regulatory issues, I solicit as much information from those who are involved and subject matter experts. I listen to others for their assessment of the policy or regulation being reviewed. I do not make decisions off the cuff, I’m thoughtful in my decisions


2. What is the role of the City in promoting redevelopment opportunities throughout Tucson? What are the redevelopment needs in your Ward?  

I will be an advocate for redevelopment. I want to bring Economic Development to all Wards in the City.  I will work with my team to accelerate the economic development in all City of Tucson Wards and all 5 Pima County Districts, through a 5-10 year buildout in EACH Ward/District of what we are calling “Technology Accelerator Industrial Parks” (TAIP). Each TAIP is expected to contain 300,000 to 500,000 square feet of space, will be focused on 21st century Smart Infrastructure & Photonics (SIP) Technology Areas, utilizing Public-Private-Partnership contracting and financing structures, ideally in Federal Opportunity Zones, and incorporating state of art local solar electric power generation and storage into Metro Tucson’s distribution grid.   

Major benefits to EACH City of Tucson Ward and Pima County District include:

1) Creation of 8,640 to 19,200 new jobs over 5-10 years, at a median salary between $ 65,000 and $ 100,000/Year, ie 1,440 to 3,200 new jobs in EACH ward/District, with Workforce Development co-located and coordinated with K-12, vocational college/university organizations.

2) Creation of up to $ 13.5 Billion in new economic activity (GDP impact is typically 7X Wages)

Each Ward/District Industrial Park will utilize 70 Million kilowatt-hour (kWh) of regionally generated electricity, increasing regional energy reliability/resilience, while reducing electricity costs by $22M/year and water usage by 220 million gallons/year.


3. What will you do during your term to encourage new home construction and promote homeownership in Tucson?  

I will work with City departments and developers so the processes can be streamline and consistent, this includes working with Tucson Water.


4. How do you see regulation and fees impacting the City’s ability to facilitate affordable housing for working families? 

I see them negatively affecting affordably. Again I’ll be working with City staff and SAHBA regarding regulations and impact fees.  


5. As a Council Member, how will you work to promote economic development and employment opportunities for City residents? 

One way is with our Tucson Area SIP Economic Development Initiative (TASEDI) as I briefly indicated in question 2. I have a white paper detailing how to make this happen.


6. How will you balance policy objectives, revenue needs and ensuring that the City continues to remain attractive to home builders? 

By insuring water and ease of the permitting process. I’m also open to listening to the home builders, SAHBA and others in finding innovated ways.