Mohamed Farah

1. Do you navigate Minneapolis by bicycle, walking, or in a wheelchair? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often? Please indicate how you commute to work.

I frequently navigate Minneapolis and Ward 9 by walking for various reasons including recreation and errands. Typically I commute to work by walking or driving.

2. Have you ever been transit-dependent or car-free? How do you understand the experiences of residents who don't have the option to drive, particularly children, seniors, and people with a disability?

Until recently, I was transit-dependent and many of my family members continue to be transit-depend. My experiences have shown that safe and accessible public transportation is a vital component of communities.

3. Describe any past work or accomplishments that you have been involved with around the areas of bicycling or walking issues in your community.

I have always advocated the safety of bikers around my neighborhood and encourage other to bike as well.

4. Last year, the City adopted a Complete Streets policy to make streets safer for everyone. The policy states: “Minneapolis is committed to rebalancing its transportation network by clearly prioritizing walking, taking transit, and biking over driving motorized vehicles, in a manner that provides for acceptable levels of service for all modes." Will you support the Complete Streets policy? Please share how you prioritize walking, transit, bicycling, driving, and parking in your decisions.

Yes, I support the Complete Streets policy. As indicated in the Complete Streets policy, I will prioritize walking, bicycling, and transit modes of transportation over people who drive and parking in decision making at the Minneapolis City Council. My public safety platform includes initiatives that emphasize the safety of residents walking and biking within Ward 9 in order to reduce the number of accidents that occurring between residents who walk/bike and cars. Additionally, I believe public transportation is a vital resource for Ward 9 residents. My pubic safety plan addresses safety concerns within public transportation routes to reduce crime activity occurring in and around transit stops by increasing community policing, developing new measures of reporting in 911 response, and advocating for additional resources in advancing community safety.

5. The 2017 Minneapolis capital budget includes $6.1 million for specific walking and biking infrastructure, which is 9 percent of the total capital streets-related funding. 2010 Metropolitan Council surveys estimated that 15.9 percent of all trips in Minneapolis were done by walking and 5.1 percent by bicycle. Would you support spending more, the same amount, or less on building and maintaining bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure?

When necessary, I would support spending on building and maintaining bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in order to promote the safety and accessibility of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. I believe it is imperative to invest in walking and bicycling infrastructure in order to provide quality transportation options

6. In 2015, the City adopted a protected bikeway plan that identifies 48 miles of protected bikeways to be prioritized for implementation. (Protected bikeways are a bicycle route where there is a physical barrier of some kind between bikes and cars, and have been shown to be safer and more comfortable than unprotected bike lanes.) Do you support implementing the protected bikeway plan even if it could mean losing parking or traffic lanes for cars in some corridors?

Yes, I support implementing the protected bikeway plan despite the possibility of losing parking or traffic lanes. As mentioned previously, my community safety platform includes addressing bike/pedestrian and car related accidents by supporting bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure that promotes safety for all modes of transportation. I believe protected bikeways are an important aspect of infrastructure that promotes the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.

7. In 2016, we published a report that looked at those stopped by police while riding a bike, and why. We found that it was very likely that police were profiling young black men, and were sometimes using minor infractions such as riding without lights or riding on a sidewalk in a business district as a pretense for a stop. Starting in 2014, Minneapolis police significantly reduced traffic enforcement of all kinds. Traffic violations continue to play a significant role in many biking and walking crashes in Minneapolis. With these factors in mind, how would you, or would you not, change how police enforce traffic laws in Minneapolis?

As part of my Public Safety initiative, I will seek to address police accountability as well as review and develop measures of reporting and response particularly in relation to traffic laws and infractions. Given the current reduction in traffic enforcement, I believe that community policing will also play a role in further community safety. Lastly, in order to address traffic violations in respect to biking and walking crashes in Minneapolis, I believe that both reviewing current traffic laws and regulations and utilizing data-driven traffic enforcement as well as improving biking and pedestrian infrastructure could address bike and pedestrian involved accidents and overall safety.

8. Public Works is currently studying policy options for winter maintenance of both bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. What changes, if any, would you like to see related to winter maintenance of sidewalks and bikeways?

I would like the City of Minneapolis to continue its work in developing efficient and manageable routes for residents with consideration to winter weather.

9. Since 2010, an average of about 250 bicyclists and about 250 pedestrians have been hit and injured in Minneapolis each year, and about 40 have been killed. A number of cities around the country are taking a “Vision Zero” approach which seeks to eliminate all traffic deaths by taking a proactive approach to improving safety and targeting resources to problem areas and proven safety improvements. Would you or would you not support Minneapolis setting and working toward goals to eliminate traffic fatalities?

As a Minneapolis City Council Member, I would support setting goals and working toward eliminating traffic fatalities in the City of Minneapolis through initiatives like Vision Zero. I believe that as pedestrian and bicycle traffic increase it is imperative that city infrastructure accommodates these changes and promotes resident’s safety for all modes of transportation through changes such as lowering speed limits, redesigning streets, and enhancing data-driven traffic enforcement.

10. What do you hope to accomplish to make Minneapolis and your ward better for bicycling and walking by the end of your term, if you are elected?

If elected, I will continue to fight for the safety of bikers and walkers. I will introduce and implement policies and that will strengthen our streets.

 

 

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