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Local News / Your 2021 Voter Guide To Cincinnati City Council, CPS School Board And Hamilton County Ballot Issues

Cincinnati Council candidates talk transportation

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Cincinnati Council allocated nearly $1.3 million for pedestrian safety in the latest budget, saying the issue has become a top concern for Cincinnatians.

This year also brings the results of last year's Issue 7, a county-wide sales tax increase to fund the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority. The levy funds are split into two pots:

SORTA's first round of infrastructure grants includes $8 million a year for the Western Hills Viaduct replacement, totaling $205 million over the next 25 years.

Despite the boost in funding, Metro officials say a driver shortage is to blame for the controversial decision to eliminate XTRA routes reserved for Cincinnati Public Schools students.

Here's how candidates for City Council answered the question: What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

Scroll through this page to see all the responses, or click a name in the list to jump directly to that candidate.

RELATED: See how candidates responded to all 5 questions in our survey

WVXU has only edited candidates responses for style and clarity. All candidates are listed alphabetically.

City Council Candidates

RELATED: View our full 2021 voter guide to the candidates, levies and charter amendments on the ballot

Jalen Alford

Party affiliation: Democratic
Age: 19
Neighborhood: Bond Hill
Campaign website: jalenalford.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

When it comes to pedestrian safety and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city I think we should start by converting underused or inactive spaces into pedestrian plazas. Inexpensive and beneficial pedestrian plazas have a track record of decreasing accidents and speeding. Data from New York City shows that once implemented, neighborhoods with
these plazas had speeding decreased by 16% and accidents decreased by 26%. An added benefit of these plazas is that they support local businesses by providing additional outdoor sitting for local restaurants and/or space for local food trucks, vendors etc. while also boosting neighborhood interaction. We can also create pedestrian-only streets, following the trend some cities put in place in response to COVID-19. Pedestrian-only streets not only improve overall safety for those on foot, but they can also boost local air quality, land value, store sales and overall health, while reducing noise levels. A 2016 study of more than 100 cities around the world that maintained multiple pedestrian-only streets found that retail sales increased 49%. Cities in Austria, Germany and Scandinavian countries had more than 60% increase in sales.

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Tom Brinkman

Party affiliation: Republican
Age: 63
Neighborhood: Mt. Lookout
Campaign website: gobrinkman.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

We need more dedicated bike and walking trails. Just painting little while lines or four inch curbs and plastic sticks on the road is not good enough.

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Jaime Castle

Party affiliation: Democratic
Age: 44
Neighborhood: Mt. Washington
Campaign website: castleforcincinnati.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

We really need to bring experts together to craft a long-term vision plan that puts into place infrastructure and goals that will take Cincinnati into the future where we cannot be so dependent on individual vehicle transportation. It will require better public transportation options and better/safer pedestrian, multi-modal, and bike transportation. A light rail system would take the city to the next level. We could tie that into the existing streetcar, but we need to connect neighborhoods to the urban core. Protected bike and pedestrian lanes are needed and will take some investment. More immediate solutions would be the creation of pedestrian plazas, accessible and continuous sidewalks, turning some one-way streets into two-way streets, add sidewalk extensions, reduce the corner radius on turns, and surface treatments. Safety zones must be created in high pedestrian traffic places like schools utilizing signage, painted crosswalks, sidewalk bumps, and good lighting.

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LaKeisha Cook

Party affiliation: Democratic
Age: 36
Neighborhood: Westwood
Campaign website: votelakeishacook.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

Currently the number one issue with transportation is Metro not providing support for public schooling. SORTA Metro CEO explained there was a hiring issue and I agree. City of Cincinnati needs to ensure an administrator is looking over the contracts for metro employees to ensure they are being adequately paid and receiving good benefits. * We need to ensure that the people who live in Cincinnati are getting paid adequate wages and benefits. As far as our part time workers for crossing guards, pool guards, etc. will be reviewing their pay wage and I will be advocating for an increase. Part time city employees are essential to having a functional city and we need to ensure they are being paid adequately. Secondly I’m in support of a walkable and bikable city. I will continuously be in support of extending the walking trail to connect to all 52 neighborhoods alongside a biking trail. We will be in support of more biking lanes additionally with bike racks throughout the city. Finally, addressing all parks in Cincinnati with a maintenance budget to ensure that more outdoor space is used.

* Reporter’s note: The city of Cincinnati (either administration or City Council) does not have authority or input over Metro employee contracts. 

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RELATED: Cincinnati City Council candidates on affordable housing, economic development issues facing the city

Jeff Cramerding

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Democratic
Age: 47
Neighborhood: West Price Hill
Campaign website: jeffcramerding.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

We have to correct the city’s structural budget imbalance and stop raiding the capital budget to pay for what are clearly operating expenses. This has led to hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred maintenance and unsafe bridges, sidewalks, streets and steps. With a structurally sound capital budget, we can invest in accessible transportation and connecting people to resources, including recreation opportunities and green spaces. Funding the CROWN trail plan and connecting Uptown and Downtown with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and other transportation alternatives are priorities.

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Michelle Dillingham

Party affiliation: Democratic
Age: 48
Neighborhood: Evanston
Campaign website: votedillingham.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

When elected, I will be an advocate for safer public spaces through policies focusing on pedestrian safety, bus-only lanes, protected bike lanes, traffic calming and accessibility for all people on foot or on wheels. Safer public spaces build stronger communities, help businesses grow, and prove the tools necessary for people to thrive. As a working mother with an adult son who was born with cerebral palsy, it has been frustrating to witness firsthand some of the many ways this city fails to provide access for its residents, especially those with disabilities. To be a welcoming city, our built environment must reflect our values of inclusion for all. The recent decision to eliminate dedicated routes for our public school 7th – 12th graders has created an unacceptable public health and safety crisis for our city’s school children. This is an issue that needs to be prioritized by the next council.

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Kevin Flynn

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Charter Committee
Age: 60
Neighborhood: Mt. Airy
Campaign website: flynnforcincinnati.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

Transportation planning must be done on a regional basis. Working with our partners in the region and utilizing SORTA, OKI and The Port, we can provide a balance of projects that include expediting automobile use, while at the same time providing Bus Rapid Transit options for more suburban commuting. Instead of sidewalks, we should be building "shared use" paths, providing safer travel for all non-motorized modes of transportation. We need to have public transportation connect people needing transportation with jobs.

The streetcar should only be considered for expansion when realistic plans for capital costs (construction and maintenance) and operations are developed. I had developed a plan that would use electric busses that looked like streetcars, had limited stops like streetcars, and followed a fixed route, to reach into the Uptown area from the northern extremity of the streetcar route. The plan relied on institutions of Uptown paying for operational costs, in exchange for routes that stopped at satellite parking lots, resulting in net savings to institutions (which all have their own separate transportation for employees) and would help ameliorate congestion in Uptown.

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Jackie Frondorf

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Charter Committee
Age: 35
Neighborhood: Westwood
Campaign website: jackiefrondorf.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

Issue 7 provided funding for infrastructure improvements. I would push for these improvements to include money for bus-only lanes to add efficiency to our roads and build incentive for utilizing public transportation.* As a mother of five young children, pedestrian safety is a sincere and real concern. In my neighborhood of Westwood, I can walk 3,000 feet along Boudinot Avenue without reaching a crosswalk. We need to provide safer options for our citizens, and the state of Ohio Department of Transportation’s infrastructure and pedestrian safety program can help provide a solution, as it often funds 90% or more of local projects. I would fight to ensure new infrastructure projects include the safety measures required to pursue these funds.

Groups like Tri-State Trails have done a great job in recent years on bike and walking trails in Cincinnati. Wasson Way is outstanding and continues to grow! Though, as a West Sider, I feel we have been left off most of the planning. The CROWN Cincinnati plan to construct more pedestrian paths around the city barely dips across the Mill Creek and excludes most West Side neighborhoods. I would work to find funding for paths to reach into all of our neighborhoods.

* Reporter’s note: Issue 7 is a county-wide sales tax passed by voters in 2020. Of the 0.8% total rate, 0.2% is reserved for road, bridge and sidewalk improvements in the Metro service area. Cincinnati City Council is not involved in decisions about how that money is spent. 

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Bill Frost

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Charter Committee
Age: 59
Neighborhood: Pleasant Ridge
Campaign website: frostforcinci.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

I would ensure the full implementation of all phases of the Metro plan is completed.* The expansion of the public transport system in Cincinnati needs to be seriously considered in the light of climate change. This should also include studies of expansion of the streetcar (UC, Western Hills, Kentucky, etc.) plus investment in light rail in selected areas. This is going to be more and more acceptable as the Cincinnati electorate becomes more prone to use public transit. Safer roads, less congestion, and harmful emissions are all great selling points for public transit. These changes all require the city to invest in a future where a diverse public transit system is widely used. The continuation of the bike paths all over the city are vital, and the Vision Zero approach to street calming is a life-saving program that must continue.

* Reporter’s note: Cincinnati City Council is not involved in implementing the Reinventing Metro Plan, which is funded by the county-wide sales tax approved by voters in 2020. Metro is operated by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), a political subdivision of the state of Ohio. SORTA is governed by a 16-member volunteer citizens’ board of trustees. Eleven trustees are appointed by Hamilton County and five are appointed by the city of Cincinnati.

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RELATED: Where Cincinnati Public Schools Board candidates stand on the issues facing the district

Brian Garry

Party affiliation: Democratic
Age: 56
Neighborhood: Clifton
Campaign website: briangarry.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

Pedestrian safety is an important issue to me, as my brother was killed when he was hit by a car while riding his bike. I am one of the city’s biggest advocates for pedestrian safety and founded a group called Just Slow Down Cincinnati. We advocate for safer, more walkable streets by holding rallies on dangerous streets and intersections where pedestrians have been injured or killed. We have demanded new car and traffic infrastructure, protected bike lanes and raised crosswalks. We spoke up on behalf of Matthew Garza, Gabby Rodríguez and many others.

Public transportation is vital to improving opportunity in our city. I was an original member of the Better Bus Coalition which initiated Issue 7. I personally placed solid, secure homemade bus stop benches around Cincinnati at high frequency bus stops which had no benches. I will continue to help transform our bus system. I also support light rail, subway and elevated rail transportation.

We need protected bike lanes all over the city. When elected, I will oversee the completion of CROWN, the 34-mile multi-use paved trail that will connect communities all over Cincinnati. Once CROWN is completed, I will ensure all communities are within walking distance of these trails.

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Steve Goodin

Party Affiliation: Republican
Party endorsements: Republican, Charter Committee
Age: 51
Neighborhood: Clifton
Campaign website: goodinforcincinnati.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

I have long supported Vision Zero and fought for (and secured) increased funding for pedestrian safety initiatives in our FY 2022 budget. I remain concerned with the bureaucratic approach some city officials take to delivering these improvements, and intend to continue to pursue ways to streamline those processes.

I have also been a voice of reason in the battle over the Clifton bike lane, which I believe should be maintained beyond its trial period. I have found for funding for the CROWN trials and have been an active supporter of the Lick Run and Mill Creek initiatives (which resulted in new trails and paths in under-served parts of the city). Equitable distributions of new paths will be a major issue as we move forward.

The streetcar remains a sore point for many of us — great idea, but more of a tourist attraction than functional piece of public transit at this point. We need to continue to find private and philanthropic support for this project.

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Galen Gordon

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Charter Committee
Age: 45
Neighborhood: West End
Campaign website: galenforcincinnati.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

Issue 7 is great for our region. We need even more frequency of bus routes that connect to our employment centers. We need to expand the streetcar up the hill and across the viaduct. Let's work harder to exceed our goals for Vision Zero. Road diet initiatives that are successful Downtown can start getting implemented in other neighborhoods.

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Kurt Grossman

Party affiliation: Democratic
Age: 66
Neighborhood: Downtown / Central Business District
Campaign website: grossmanforcouncil.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

As an engineer, I am comfortable with infrastructure planning and projects. We need to redesign and redevelop our roads and bridges to include a broader range of transportation options, while making it safer for bikes, pedestrians and other modes of individual movement. We need to gradually build out our streetcar system to reach into the neighborhoods and interface with a regional bus transit system to reduce the need for cars while effectively connecting people to schools, offices, hospitals, universities, and attractions. At the same time, transit needs must also be built around multi-modal forms of transportation to make sure that we can safely walk, bike and mobilize in all of our neighborhoods. Dedicated bike lanes, traffic calming measures and rebuilt roads are necessary to bring all of these different concepts together into a viable, long range transportation plan. In the end, a modernized transportation system will improve the quality of life for Cincinnatians, and entice others to visit, live and work in our city.

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Reggie Harris

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Democratic
Age: 39
Neighborhood: Northside
Campaign website: reggieforcincinnati.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

I believe in a comprehensive approach to transitioning our transportation system to a more equitable and sustainable place. We must stop passing zoning laws and transit policies that treat low-income and middle-class communities as an afterthought in transit planning. Many of our city’s essential workers, the backbone of our city, rely upon public transit and walking for their livelihood. We must end minimum parking requirements for new development projects and ensure a successful implementation of Issue 7* and future ballot initiatives.

I want to see a more connected Cincinnati. We have 52 beautiful neighborhoods, but they are not interconnected in a way that a truly dynamic city would be. Cincinnati’s bus, streetcar and bike infrastructure should support robust usage from work commute to moving people to and from large events. As the city continues to develop and grow, we must stop subsidizing automobiles and use our resources to create dense, transit-oriented development in the interest of our city’s future. Every new infrastructure project should take density, mobility, and sustainability into account.

* Reporter’s note: Cincinnati City Council is not involved in implementing the Reinventing Metro Plan, which is funded by the county-wide sales tax approved by voters in 2020. Metro is operated by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), a political subdivision of the state of Ohio. SORTA is governed by a 16-member volunteer citizens’ board of trustees. Eleven trustees are appointed by Hamilton County and five are appointed by the city of Cincinnati.

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Rob Harris

Party affiliation: Democratic
Age: 43
Neighborhood: Carthage
Campaign website: robharrisforcouncil.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

I would address the SORTA bus driver shortage by increasing bus drivers' pay.* In addition to the transportation reform goals that the city of Cincinnati currently has.

* Reporter’s note: The city of Cincinnati (either administration or City Council) does not have authority or input over Metro employee contracts. Metro is operated by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), a political subdivision of the state of Ohio. SORTA is governed by a 16-member volunteer citizens’ board of trustees. Eleven trustees are appointed by Hamilton County and five are appointed by the city of Cincinnati.

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K.A. Heard

Party affiliation: Non-affiliated
Party endorsements: Green
Age: 30
Neighborhood: Westwood
Campaign website: stayheardcommittee.weebly.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

I want interconnecting bike lanes and walking trails to every neighborhood. I don't want our city to continue to be unable to get to a part of the city without a car. We need our Metro XTRA Buses back for our students.

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Evan C. Holt

Party affiliation: Democratic
Age: 33
Neighborhood: North Avondale
Campaign website: holtforcincinnati.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

We need to transition Cincinnati into a less car dependent city, not just for our environment, but for improving accessibility for everyone. Thankfully, there is a lot of bipartisan support for traffic calming via organizations like Vision Zero. However, I will also fight for expanded public transit. I'd like to see dedicated bus lanes as well as ultimately seeking to expand the streetcar. The streetcar was conceptualized as having FAR more miles to connect more neighborhoods in this city, connecting Cincinnatians to jobs and resources. I was a supporter of Issue 7's expanded Metro service, but we must hold them accountable to make sure they fulfill their commitments.*

* Reporter’s note: Cincinnati City Council is not involved in implementing the Reinventing Metro Plan, which is funded by the county-wide sales tax approved by voters in 2020. Metro is operated by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), a political subdivision of the state of Ohio. SORTA is governed by a 16-member volunteer citizens’ board of trustees. Eleven trustees are appointed by Hamilton County and five are appointed by the city of Cincinnati.

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READ: Explaining Issue 3 and its pros and cons

Nick Jabin

Party affiliation: Non-affiliated
Age: 23
Neighborhood: Mount Washington
Campaign website: jabinforcouncil.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

I want new ways of accessibility for all Cincinnatians for work transportation and local transport. We have to be able to afford to get to work and back home if we are going to survive and maintain our daily lives.

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Mark Jeffreys

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Democratic
Age: 52
Neighborhood: Clifton
Campaign website: votejeffreys.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

My vision is a Cincinnati where active transportation (public transportation, walking and/or biking) is so irresistible that it’s the preferred choice. To do that, we must first execute the plans with Issue 7 funding to expand bus service to new destinations, 24/7 service and make it more reliable/efficient. Second, we need to create a holistic Safe Streets & Active Transportation plan that covers 52 neighborhoods leveraging the LEAD framework. That means: Limit speeds on residential roadways. A 35 or 40 mph speed limit with residential houses on that street is too high. We need to enforce speed limits that exist; create an integrated network of active transportation solutions — meaning 100+ miles of protected bike lanes tied in with the CROWN. We know that protected bike lanes also reduce crashes by 41%, which is good not just for cyclists but also pedestrians and passenger cars. Next, deploy proven solutions across the city such as road diets to calm traffic on a larger scale so families and children can walk safely in our city.

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Scotty Johnson

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Democratic
Age: 59
Neighborhood: Mt. Airy
Campaign website: scottyforcincinnati.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

I was a strong supporter of Issue 7 to properly fund our public transit system. This is just the start. We need to work closely with SORTA, business and the community to find out what the needs are for public transit. There are jobs available, but people can’t get to them. If they can, it can sometimes take them over an hour. We additionally need to invest in our neighborhoods. There is no one-size-fits-all for every neighborhood. Some may need more bike lanes; others may need a new transit hub. I will work with local community councils to see where their needs are and make sure that we can come to a solution that fits. Investing to make our neighborhoods more pedestrian friendly is also one of the best ways to grow our neighborhoods back. The city has started to do a great job when it comes to pedestrian safety with the new speed bumps and narrowing of roads, and I intend to improve on the work that has been done, but we must get community input on every project that we do. Issues arise when we think we have all the answers. I will make sure that every solution I give has the input of those more impacted by its decision.

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Liz Keating

Party affiliation: Republican
Party endorsements: Republican, Charter Committee
Age: 37
Neighborhood: Hyde Park
Campaign website: votelizkeating.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

I have supported pedestrian safety upgrades throughout our 52 neighborhoods. I believe we need to continue to invest in safer, more innovative infrastructure — from trails to roundabouts. As we continue to connect our 52 neighborhoods through walking and riding paths, we’re reuniting neighborhoods once separated by highways, we’re making transportation more accessible, we’re making it easier to get to and from jobs, and we’re boosting quality of life.

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Andrew Kennedy

Party affiliation: Non-affiliated
Age: 38
Neighborhood: Pleasant Ridge
Campaign website: voteforkennedy.org

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

I was skeptical of building a streetcar from the get-go. We need to be smart with our city dollars. However, now that is built, I can appreciate the tenacity of those who worked so hard to make it happen. Lately though, I’ve noticed very few people riding on the streetcar and my skepticism has returned. We need to keep funding for now. After all, we committed to building the darn thing and it was expensive. Because of this, I have to be committed along with all Cincinnatians to work to make it a success now. It would have to really tank now for me to quit funding it now, BUT that is still not entirely off the table. Use it or lose it Cincinnati. I am all about more safe bike lanes for Cincinnatians. I bike and run a lot. We need to focus on repairing roads and bridges and making it easy for our truckers and motorists to safely deliver payloads around the city and get people from point A to B. Lots are falling apart.

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Greg Landsman

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Democratic
Age: 44
Neighborhood: Mt. Washington
Campaign website: greglandsman.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

In 2019, I called on Cincinnati to adopt Vision Zero – an internationally recognized strategy for eliminating all traffic-related deaths and severe injuries. After doing so, pedestrian safety became a funding and policy priority for City Hall. Of course, we won’t be done until the number of pedestrian deaths every year in our city is zero, but this work is making a difference. In 2019, after years of increasing pedestrian deaths, we saw accidents decrease for the first time. Since then, DOTE has released plans for hundreds of safety improvements in 36 neighborhoods (which they have started chipping away at).

I will keep pushing for this to be a priority as long as I’m on council. Additionally, I am working with the Sierra Club on their push for Cincinnati to adopt a “complete streets” approach in our transportation policy and design, and on legislation that would update our zoning code to allow the City to prioritize investments along transit route corridors. I fought for the passage of Issue 7, and also support the implementation of the CROWN Queen City bike trail plan (which would put ~242,000 Cincinnatians within a mile of paved trail access and encourage protected bike lanes and shared-use traffic lanes in the city center).

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Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Democratic
Age: 65
Neighborhood: North Avondale
Campaign website: kearneyforcincinnati.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

1) We passed Issue 7 last year, so SORTA now has the resources to create bus routes across the Greater Cincinnati area to increase access to jobs, for example, and to decrease reliance on cars (which will decrease parking needs, decrease pollution, and increase pedestrian safety).

2) Build more protected bike lanes — that is, lanes protected by attractive barriers and parked cars — that could be used for walking, biking, scooters and other non-vehicular transportation.

3) A citizens group could be appointed to create a plan to make the streetcar a transportation asset. Does it need to run for more hours and/or at different times? Let's ask the public what would make them want to use it on a regular basis. I advocate that the fare remains free.

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READ: How council candidates would address corruption

John Maher

Party affiliation: Democratic
Age: 43
Neighborhood: Northside
Campaign website: maherforcincinnati.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

We must continue to achieve diverse and affordable ways to get from point A to point B. Transportation is essential to life in Cincinnati, providing residents access to employment, food and healthcare. The city must enhance public transportation using some strategies that include alignment of public transit routes and schedules with employment, health care and educational opportunities. The city should also work to increase connectivity and cohesion within multi modal transportation options such as the bus, streetcar and bike sharing. For example, Columbus, Ohio, is working to better integrate its public transit system and ensure that it is adaptable for future transportation technologies. Our city must also focus on pedestrian safety with effective traffic calming measures as well as making Cincinnati more walkable and bikable with projects like Wasson Way, the Beechmont Connector and development of the CROWN loop that will connect 54 communities running from Northside to Madisonville, down to Lunken then west along the Ohio River to Downtown and then on to Lower Price Hill. Projects like these not only increase connectivity, but this infrastructure makes everyone safer.

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Peterson Mingo

Party affiliation: Democratic
Neighborhood: Evanston

This candidate did not respond to the survey in time for publication. 

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Phillip O'Neal

Party affiliation: Non-affiliated
Age: 33
Party endorsements: Democratic
Neighborhood: Avondale
Campaign website: votephilliponeal.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

I would like a report of the success of the SORTA changes that will be put into place to determine successes and needed changes. In regard to proposed changes being discussed in public transportation in Congress, I would advocate a re-examination of developing a sophisticated light rail system allowing residents in outside communities greater access to Cincinnati’s commercial amenities, adding to city revenue. With the streetcar, I would narrow its focus to enhance its ability to increase the success of the Downtown commercial centers both for tourism and immediate comfort to out of state visitors and those traveling from event venues to shopping to restaurants in the areas it now serves. Concerning pedestrian safety, it is becoming more of a public health issue, not only affecting the city, but county. Besides installing better traffic lights, roundabouts, etc., it appears that there is now a need for a countywide commission to address the issue.

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Meeka Owens

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Democratic
Age: 43
Neighborhood: North Avondale
Campaign website: votemeeka.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

Transportation is a 21st century civil rights issue. I want to ensure that Issue 7 is implemented county-wide as it was intended, and work to create accessible transportation resources throughout our city. We should prioritize multimodal transportation that enhances the presence of bike lines on major roads in our neighborhoods, and promotes the safety of pedestrians in all of our neighborhoods. Our city may not be entirely walkable, but we can make sure someone can walk safely in all 52 neighborhoods — without fear. We should be committed to increasing the ridership of the streetcar. Continuing to implement raised crosswalks to increase pedestrian safety, and listening to our neighbors to ensure our transportation infrastructure is meeting the needs of our communities.

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Victoria Parks

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Democratic
Age: 63
Neighborhood: College Hill
Campaign website: voteparks.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

Looking long-term, I would love to see the implementation of light rail in our region. It is clean, cost-efficient, and safe. However, before we invest in future-focused transportation infrastructure we must invest in fixing our current problems, including busses for school children, on-time transportation for working class individuals, and ensuring our regional transportation system is connected and accessible to all. Similarly, if we want to boost neighborhood business districts (and simultaneously reduce crime), we need to invest in more walkable communities. This includes creating safe sidewalks and crosswalks, improving urban tree canopy cover along the side of roads, investing in art installations or interesting walking experiences, and investing in easy, safe, and renewable transportation systems.

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Te'Airea Powell

Party affiliation: Democratic
Age: 33
Neighborhood: East Westwood
Campaign website: powellforcincy.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

My plan would be to communicate with the communities in regards to what they are needing when it comes to pedestrian safety as they know where crosswalks and road bump outs are needed. Currently there is too much “red tape” for communities wanting additional crosswalks. We also need to expand Metro/SORTA hours for those that may work non traditional hours that may include the graveyard shift. Creating more permanent bike lanes is a must as well.

* Reporter’s note: Cincinnati City Council does not manage Metro operations. Metro is operated by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), a political subdivision of the State of Ohio. SORTA is governed by a 16-member volunteer citizens’ board of trustees. Eleven trustees are appointed by Hamilton County and five are appointed by the city of Cincinnati.

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READ: What's inside the Great Parks of Hamilton County levy request

Logan-Peter C. Simmering

Party affiliation: Non-affiliated
Party endorsements: Green
Age: 35
Neighborhood: North Avondale
Campaign website: simmeringforcincinnati.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

I want to see the city focus on improving walkability and cycle-ability of the city by building dedicated infrastructure, enacting traffic calming measures, and increasing the density of the city so any given area has more destinations. I would like to see the streetcar expanded Uptown and across the river, the groundwork laid for a more extensive light rail network, and for the city to partner with SORTA to establish a multi-hubbed bus rapid transit network.

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Stacey Smith

Party affiliation: Non-affiliated
Age: 29
Neighborhood: West Price Hill
Campaign website: staceysmithccc.wordpress.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

Traffic calming measures, including exploring more utilization of traffic cushions, ensuring all school zones have flashing lights, raising/painting crosswalks, and installing stop signs or speed humps where they are needed, particularly areas with children. Protect our current bike lanes before expanding and adding others.

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Betsy Sundermann

Party affiliation: Republican
Party endorsements: Republican
Age: 44
Neighborhood: East Price Hill
Campaign website: betsysundermann.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

Rebuilding the Western Hills Viaduct is a top priority. The next most serious problem regarding public transportation is pedestrian safety. We have multiple streets that are host to a large number of serious traffic accidents. We must rework those streets with bump-outs, street resurfacing. safety tables, speed humps, road diets and other methods that slow down traffic.

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Jim Tarbell

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Charter Committee
Age: 79
Neighborhood: Mt. Auburn
Campaign website: votetarbell.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

Public transportation is a key component of dealing with environmental issues, so I am a big proponent. Along with state and federal transportation authorities, making this a priority in the city's budget is the way to make this happen. As a walker and previous biker, I am supportive of these modes of transportation and believe we have to make our city more safe for pedestrians and bikers.

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John J. Williams

Party affiliation: Democratic
Party endorsements: Charter Committee
Age: 58
Neighborhood: Downtown / Central Business District
Campaign website: johnjwilliamsforcincinnati.com

What is your plan for transportation in the city, including issues like public transportation infrastructure, the streetcar, pedestrian safety, and making Cincinnati a more walkable and bikable city? 

My plan regarding transportation has to be viewed in light of the budget. Infrastructure is so related upon non-city funds that we have to take advantage of organizations such as REDI to leverage as much state and federal support for the region as possible. Regional cooperation could be an effective tool to help leverage infrastructure. The streetcar is here and if there is a desire to extend to the university area and medical core then we should get the university and various health entities to help fund the expansion. Pedestrian safety should be driven by neighborhood leaders and I would involve them in the process. As a downtown resident I know that we have to develop a better, safer way for scooters and walkers to co-exist. Scooters should be prohibited from sidewalks and it should be enforced. As for making the city more walkable and bikable, which I support, I would have to defer to those who have more expertise and support their recommendation. I know that we have to do a better job of expanding bike paths to all communities and for routes that connect our universities, jobs, and urban core, especially communities of color and low income residents.

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