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Street Collective 2023 Des Moines City Council Candidate Survey

 

This questionnaire serves to educate and inform the Collective’s members and the public. The Collective is an Iowa non-profit corporation and 501(c)(3) organization, so it does not endorse candidates for office. The Collective will, however, encourage all citizens to vote in the city elections held on November 7, 2023.

In October, the Collective will begin to post these responses on online platforms. All responses should be considered public, including a decision not to respond to a particular question or the questionnaire as a whole. We use the terms “walking” and “walkability” as inclusive of people who use wheelchairs.

The following questionnaire will be used for candidates to express their thoughts and ideas on topics related to the Street Collective's mission. Answers may be as concise or lengthy as you desire, and we welcome your thoughts on how the Street Collective can better fulfill its mission in Des Moines.

Please note – because so many of these issues often come down to the ability to fund projects, we have included a separate funding question at the end as opposed to factoring it into every question.

Submit responses to jeremy@dsmstreetcollective.org by Sunday, October 1.

 

Walkability

The current budget plan calls for 180 miles of existing sidewalk gaps to be filled in by the year 2040. Is this an appropriate timeline to provide safe options for pedestrians on priority streets? If not, what ideas do you have to complete them sooner?

 

To create a more walkable community, it helps to have denser development in neighborhoods and along major streets. Do you support encouraging removal of car-based infrastructure such as surface parking lots and instead promoting more mixed-use and multi-family developments in the city?

 

Biking

The Street Collective’s mission states that all residents deserve active transportation options such as walking and biking that are accessible, safe, and enjoyable. Where in your ward do you see major gaps in this network and how do you propose to fix these gaps?

 

Do you support adding physical separators such as bollards, planters, and curbs between street lanes and buffered bike lanes (paint only) to improve safety for bicyclists?

 

Transportation Safety

Do you support redesigning Des Moines’ most dangerous roadways if this means eliminating some travel lanes and parking spaces for cars? For example, do you support the rightsizing of Euclid Avenue, Douglas Avenue, and similar future similar projects?

 

Do you support expanding speed and red-light camera enforcement to high-crash streets across Des Moines?

 

Public Transit

DART’s costs have increased, and it may not be able to continue its current level of services without increased funding. Do you support increasing funding from the City of Des Moines to DART to maintain its current level of service?

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What is your vision for how Des Moines can play a role in a regional public transportation network in the Metro? 

 

Funding

Electric bicycles are an inclusive, inexpensive, and low-carbon way to get around. Denver offers a $300 general rebate and a $1,200 income-qualified rebate for e-bikes purchased from local bike shops. Is this something we should explore in Des Moines?

 

Spending decisions require choices and tradeoffs, especially in light of higher interest rates on municipal bonds. The city has focused almost exclusively on car travel and an extensive street and highway network for about 75 years. What kind of transportation projects should the city do less of? What should it do more of?" 

 

Personal Travel Habits

1. How often do you ride a bicycle for transportation in the city?

[  ] Never         [  ] Yearly       [  ] Monthly       [  ] Weekly       [  ] Daily

 

2. How often do you ride public transportation in the city?

[  ] Never         [  ] Yearly       [  ] Monthly       [  ] Weekly       [  ] Daily

 

3. How often do you drive a car in the city?

[  ] Never         [  ] Yearly       [  ] Monthly       [  ] Weekly       [  ] Daily

 

4. For city meetings open to the public such as city council meetings, and especially those that do not offer a virtual option, will you support requiring these meetings to be held in facilities served by public transit service?

 

[  ] Yes              [  ] No               [  ] Other: __________________

 

5. How do you typically commute to work? Describe your experience traveling in Des Moines and what you would do to improve it.

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