1. Austin’s Bicycle Master Plan has spurred the development of hundreds of miles of bike lanes and street safety improvements throughout the city. These improvements have calmed traffic and created an affordable, healthy transportation option for Austinites. Do you support the full funding and implementation of Austin’s Bicycle Master Plan?
Steve Adler: Yes.
Travis Duncan: Yes, absolutely, and I promise to actually take it seriously, unlike our incumbents and previous city council members. Austin is a great place for bikes, yet still the mode of travel is not given enough respect and protection, and there is still so much infrastructure to be constructed to ensure our bikers can ride freely and safely across the entire city. Two evenings ago at the Southwood Neighborhood Association expressed his profound frustration with the fact that the Stassney bike lanes that were planned for 2012 have STILL not been built, and there is still no plan to build them.This is an utter disgrace, and to add insult to neglect, the council woman was completely unaware of the issue and could not speak to it at all. This shows they have not been listening, they ONLY come out to the people during elections. This is why we need NEW leadership who genuinely cares about all human beings here in Austin, and will actually put People Before Profit. Our current city council is sadly distracted by their obsession with their own political branding, while enabling developers to exacerbate our environmental destruction, pollution, and neglect of the everyday people who make this city hum. I am here to serve YOU, the PEOPLE, as someone who will humble myself as a steward of the good will.
I encourage you to stay abreast to our campaign, as we will continue to demonstrate a wide array of methods to increase respect and maximization of life for every Austinite. As well, you can read the Austin Tech Alliance’s online portal to house every candidate questionnaire from each community group. We expand on this in a nuanced way in each questionnaire.
Laura Morrison: I applaud the work that went into producing Austin’s Bicycle Master Plan and have, as a council member and will as mayor support its full funding and implementation in sequence and in balance with the city’s budgetary capabilities.
Alexander Strenger: Yes. I am a pedicab driver here in Austin. There is no candidate more supportive of the cycling community than me here in Austin.
2. Austin’s Urban Trails Master Plan uses existing trails and creates new trails in public green spaces to connect on-street bike and pedestrian facilities, establishing a citywide network of safe bicycle and pedestrian routes. Do you support the full funding and implementation of the Urban Trails Master Plan?
Steve Adler: Yes.
Travis R. Duncan: Of course. Again, there are not adequate protections for bicyclists, pedestrians, scooter riders, or any other street modes, in addition to the millions of ADA violations across the city parks and spaces. The reality is that our elected officials don’t execute on this because they don’t know how to. They lack the creativity and the heart to put the people before the profit driven interests. They have clearly displayed this in their behaviors. They make endless plans and goals with no actual implementation strategy, and if there is implementation, they lag through the process and award long-term contracts to inefficient construction modalities, causing these projects to linger on while people still suffer. We have a cooperative plan to accelerate all construction of much needed transportation infrastructure. You can read this below.*
Laura Morrison: Again, I applaud the efforts to create the Urban Trails Master Plan which I supported as a council member. I will, as mayor, support its full funding and implementation in sequence and in balance with the city’s budgetary capabilities.
Alexander Strenger: Absolutely, I support any initiative that decreases our reliance on fossil fuels. Furthermore, dockless scooters should not be allowed on our Urban Trails.
3. In 2013, the City of Austin launched its bike share program, Austin B-cycle, with a $1.5 million federal grant matched with $500,000 in private donations. Since its launch, the program has set national records for bike share systems, and has been financially self-sufficient in its operations. But the program faces ongoing challenges as it strives to maintain an efficient, equitable system in a rapidly evolving market. As a Council member, will you support additional funding mechanisms, from the City of Austin or other local, state or federal sources, to grow Austin’s B-cycle system?
Steve Adler: Yes.
Travis R. Duncan: Yes I will, and we will link this to our Contributionism Cooperative Network, so there can be an effective mechanism for providing mass amounts of resources and energy to the project, and incentivizing a decentralized approach to the sovereign management and maximization of human vitality, so programs can be more efficient and serve the highest good of all people.
Laura Morrison: I am supportive of the B‐cycle program and am pleased that it has been financially self‐sufficient to date. I would consider additional funding as part of thorough analysis and business plan for how the program envisions its expansion moving forward.
Alexander Strenger: Yes, I fully support this. Any cycling program here in Austin is going to be good for the city. In addition, if our City can finance CM Cronk’s $4,000+/month housing stipend (while he makes over 300K/year) than we can fund programs to encourage Austinites to lead healthier, happier lifestyles.
4. Do you support the implementation of dedicated, protected bicycle facilities on Shoal Creek Boulevard?
Steve Adler: Yes.
Travis R. Duncan: I support the implementation of dedicated roadways for all modes of transit that maximize equitable access and true freedom of transportation. Shoal Creek, yes, AND we must make sure that people have the best facilitates in every neighborhood, every district, to serve all economic levels and benefit ALL Austinites.
Laura Morrison: I would support implementation of dedicated, protected bicycle lanes or other bike facilities on Shoal Creek or in other areas in conjunction with a community‐driven planning process to ensure all concerns are adequately addressed and to avoid unintended consequences for riders, pedestrians, property owners and drivers.
Alexander Strenger: Absolutely!!!
5. In the face of climate change, congestion, and other problems associated with cars, a growing number of cities have been eliminating parking requirements for new development. Would you support eliminating parking requirements in the following areas, and stepping up the management of on-street parking in & around those areas as needed? a)West Campus b)South Central Waterfront c)Transit Oriented Developments?
Steve Adler: a) Yes b) Yes c) Yes
Travis R. Duncan: We need to think with the future in mind and explore how we can simultaneously vertically densify the parking availability in our urban core, using rotating elevators or something similar that can leave a temporary footprint. This will address our immediate parking needs while giving us the option to alleviate this in the future. The thing we should definitely not do it build more parking garages, because these will not be required in the future like we might they will, and they will be very difficult to disassemble when the time comes.Regarding addressing climate change, our plan will get us 100% Renewable by 2022, near zero-emissions by 2022, Urban Rail implemented by2022, Autonomous vehicle/shuttle/bus roadway integrations. We have THE most aggressive, cooperative & equitable plan to attain a high level of earth-resonance and ecological protection, while focusing on environmental and social justice, and the right to the front line indigenous and marginalized communities to, with reparations, self-determine their energy future.
Laura Morrison: I would consider reducing on‐site parking requirements in conjunction with a community‐driven planning process and in sequence with our efforts to build out a functional high‐capacity mass transit system. I do not support complete elimination of on‐site parking requirements in these areas because this would also eliminate ADA compliant parking, since this is only required where a developer provides off‐street parking. We also need to consider impacts on existing local businesses if new businesses are not required to provide at least some on‐site parking, as well as the impacts on nearby schools, day cares or other vulnerable populations.
Alexander Strenger: Parking requirements are a tricky situation. On the one hand, we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and also build less impervious cover. However, on the other hand, people still need to park their cars and we currently do not have a public transportation system designed to meet the needs of most Austinites. We need to work towards a happy medium and I am excited to collaborate with developers and neighborhoods for a viable solution.
6.Are there other potential changes to the Land Development Code that you would support in order to promote cycling, walking, and transit?
Steve Adler: I support allowing more mixed-use and residential in all commercially-zoned areas and greater density along corridors and in centers (also tied to residential affordability). We need to look at transitions and compatibility standards along major corridors so as to ensure that we can achieve the necessary level of density along those corridors (while minimizing impact on the core of neighborhoods). We need to improve on and require connectivity. Street design and layout need to provide protected pathways for cycling and dedicated pathways for transit.
Travis R. Duncan: The city failed to produce any land development code rewrites because they attempted to do it large-scale. What we need is a Step By Step Land Development Rewrite process, where we address each issue ONE at a time. We “lay one brick perfectly each day.” This way we can assess the work done through the CodeNEXT process, and in order of most urgently needed, find consensus and pass each item one by one. This way we can see immediate results on projects happening now.
More broadly, we should aim to make our land use code constantly adaptable, fluidly meeting the real-time needs and evolution of building and development. We learn new things every single job that goes up, and so our code department should constantly be studying the data, coordinating with builders, and updating the council on recommended adjustments. This process should be open sourced and directly linked to meet the maximum expression of abundance for all people.
We do need to address the code now, and the first item we need to change, that sadly no one has proposed in any of the drafts, is to Mandate that ALL new construction be net-zero, carbon-sequestering, rain-water-capturing, smart-water-reuse, natural air-flowing, sunlight and biofield optimizing designs. This is a reasonable mandate, since it follows the non-aggression principle of ensuring no sovereignty is ever violated, including that of the soil, the rivers, the air, and all the living creatures we share Earth with.
We also need a Rapid Acceleration of Transportation Infrastructure construction, and we have a plan to cut the construction time dramatically, so we can move from project to project without being delayed by corrupt and fraudulent contracts with ineffective builders. It’s worth noting that across every neighborhood of this city, people have been waiting and waiting for DECADES for simple things like bike lanes, ADA compliant sidewalks and park access, and simple turn lanes at busy intersections. We don’t have the time to keep twiddling our thumbs. We need to get to work.
THE SOLUTION: Incentivized Volunteer Contributionism –Simply, we have tools, either through elimination of utility costs, tax exemptions, or any other relevant and consensus-reached benefit, to incentivize a group of people in our city to become the Greater Good Coalition of Valued Leaders in Our Community. These are people who will be given dignity, respect, and public recognition for their contributions, who will help us for ALL sorts of activities that benefit the community. In a city of roughly 1,000,000 people, we will easily find 10,000 people (0.01%of population) who want to get free electricity somehow. If each one of these people only donates 3 hours of their time per week, we could have 1,428 people volunteering each day, which breaks down to 285 people contributing each hour, if we work from 6am to 9pm. Of course we can configure this however is relevant to the task at hand. For example, if an area of road needed to be built, these 10,000 people will be organized into micro-teams, who specialize in micro-tasks, who meet over the course of 12-14 weeks (1 day a week) to learn safety, procedure, and master that one tiny little job. They will master this job. Then, once the time comes for construction, once every team is ready, every team will go in order of their task, and carry it out effectively. When 10,000 people descend on a project in a very organized manner, it will get done much quicker, and with much more community heart. We have the ability to achieve much more through cooperation and abundant mindset. Imagine the economic benefit we receive by completing a major intersection project in 2 weeks, verses 2 years.
Aside: This is very important. This alone should get every person in Austin to vote for me. Frankly, there are a lot of very confused people in this city who need a wake up call. The city has FAILED and they have no intention of truly working for the people. Let’s not get it twisted folks. This is a game to them, not to me. I am actually here because I want people to be FREE. It’s a major bummer to live in a world where people are basically enslaved to a wage clock and where everyone drives around in our polluting cars stressed out eating our polluted food trying to make a buck to pay to live in our polluted homes only to wind up 40 years later still in debt and sick in a polluted hospital….All because we can’t seem to vote for the right people….
For All transportation infrastructure updates, we need an Open-Source Citizen-Derived Solutions-Modelling Platform, so we can increase our probability of finding the Absolute Best solutions. It is incumbent upon us to create this system like a game of sorts, a IBM Watson/Google Maps/Sims/City-Builder game, that will allow ANY citizen to create a virtual simulation of how they would design solutions for our transportation infrastructure, and then model the outcomes using past,present, and any probable future traffic patterns. These designs can be uploaded publicly for our entire community to engage with them, revise and republish, and up vote their favorites. Artificial Intelligence, quantum computing, and hive-mind awareness will help us find the most desired outcomes more easily, and most effectively minimize risk by maximizing our probabilities of finding the absolute best solution available.
Through a process of full-sovereignty consensus, the community will decide exactly the solution that works best.
Our transportation needs are quite straightforward. We need to build an advanced urban rail system that travels along every major street and has a dedicated, non obstructed lane of travel. In fact, our entire road system needs to rearranged to prioritize non-obstructed roadways for every mode of travel. We will likely need multi-level build outs to accomplish this. The more dense the area vertically, the more appropriately this reflects in the transportation network.
Branching out from the urban rail will be a network of buses or large pods for amounts of people down lesser traveled, still major roads. Then, once we get into the home areas, we have a network of neighborhood-dedicated autonomous shuttles that take people from their homes and to the larger transit stops, and vice versa. This entire system is 24 hours, because it meets the real-time needs of the ridership. It runs on magnetic new energy technology powered renewably, so there is essentially no cost (plus our regenerative profit-sharing industries can pay for any maintenance or update costs) after the initial investment. This system essentially makes the need for a car completely obsolete, because you can literally travel everywhere in the transit network. A key aspect of this is the advent of smarter roadway design, which allows for Constant-Flow Traffic. You can imagine this like an over-under-looping network of roadways that redefine intersections. There will be no more stopping, no more red lights, only smart and safe merging. One could drive their own car, but it would be in the best interest of safety that this personal vehicle yield its control to the autonomous communication network. (this system has NO deaths) This brings us to the most pressing concern of pedestrian and bike/scooter access. Of course, the ultimately TRUE walkability is when the roads become completely free for human walking, so there is literally never a chance of a person being hit by a car, bus, or train ever, because they are always shielded from the roads where these modes transport beings. Access points will only open when vehicles are stopped. Bikes will need to follow a dedicated path, most likely separate from scooters even. The biggest caveat to all of this is that each area of the city will require different needs, and nothing should be rigidly and universally applied everywhere.
Laura Morrison: Yes. In particular, we need to craft the code to encourage the different types of centers that are part of the Imagine Austin Growth Concept Map, in order to encourage cycling, walking and transit as essential elements of their future.
Alexander Strenger: Our next land code needs to be designed by our neighborhood commissions instead of greedy developers that are current (soon to be former) Mayor is beholden to.
7. City staff have proposed a new Street Impact Fee that would apply to new development. Presentations to date indicate that proceeds from the fee could be used only for street improvements that increase automobile capacity. Would you work to ensure that any such fees could be used to support other modes of transportation, including biking, walking, and transit?
Steve Adler: Yes.
Travis R. Duncan: This reflects the insanity and lack of vision in our established political class; they are reactionary, not visionary. Simply, in order to prioritize this, we must ensure that any fees of this nature support the protection of life, diversity of transit modes, and the increase in traffic flow efficiency. We also must be very careful not to create ordinances that have unintended negative or sovereignty-violating consequences. We must focus long term on building NEW regenerative and cooperative revenue streams and slowly reduce (and eventually eliminate) our reliance on extractive tax revenue, so we can become more sustainable, resilient, and abundant.
Laura Morrison: Yes. Revenues from any proposed new street impact fee should be equitably distributed to support all modes of transportation, including biking, walking and transit.
Alexander Strenger: Yes. A portion of these fees should go towards building sustainable bike lanes in order to protect our cyclists. If the state objects to this, we will fight them just as hard (if not harder) than we did for the use of transgender bathrooms.
8.The city code currently prohibits the use of motor-driven devices on trails. But it allows electric bikes, scooters,and similar vehicles in bike lanes if they are powered by a motor with a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour. Would you support a code amendment to allow some electric vehicles on trails?
Steve Adler: Possibly. We have yet to figure out the right solution here. It could be that we need a more context specific solution than a one-size-fits-all one. It’s important that we consider the safety of other users on the trails. I think we should be doing as much as we can to make it easier for folks to get out of their cars and promoting the use of bikes, scooters and similar devices.
Travis R. Duncan: This should be determined on a case by case basis, since some trails might be better suited for electric vehicles than others. Perhaps none will be, perhaps all will be. These decisions must be determined by the people who live in the communities impacted, and we must always maintain the principles of maximum sovereignty for all people. As long as people aren’t being violated, anyone should be able to express maximum freedom. I will always seek to decentralize the hierarchy and give more autonomous sovereign control to the people; we can accomplish this with new technologies like Holochain voting mobile applications, fluid/liquid democracy, and a radical increase in town halls. (I am vowing to host 100+ days of town halls post inauguration, 6-8 hours per day, no buzzers, deep listening, and urgent acting when needed, plus continuing this for at least 2 days a week for their entire term as mayor)
Laura Morrison: The Urban Trails Master Plan specifically states that it is intended to promote non‐motorized pathways for recreation and active transportation. While I am open to hearing other arguments, I am not inclined to support the use of motor‐driven devices on our public trails carte blanche, as Austin’s trails and parks are an invaluable asset for community members to seek respite and enjoy their natural surroundings, and I do not believe introducing motor‐driven devices is appropriate in these settings.
Alexander Strenger: No. Electric Vehicles DO NOT belong on trails. Furthermore, dockless scooters have NO place on our sidewalks especially considering how irresponsible many of their riders are.
9.In 2017, Austin’s Bicycle Advisory Council asked that all city departments work to provide reasonable accommodations and access for effective pedicab service during events and in traffic plans. Pedicabbers continue to face difficulties during special events, including a lack of dedicated lanes and staging areas. As a Council Member, will you take action to support the use of pedicabs and other non-automotive vehicles at special events?
Steve Adler: Yes. (I personally use this service.)
Travis R. Duncan: Of course! Our vision includes the immediate planning for creating completely free and dedicated roadways for all bikes, pedicabs, scooters, and pedestrians, so we can truly be a walkable city with no probability of cars and buses and trains interfering with people-powered modes of travel (because they will be underground or sectioned off, as mentioned above).
Laura Morrison: I will be happy to consider increased support for pedicabs and other non‐automotive vehicles at special events in conjunction with a clear plan for staging, lanes, etc.Naturally, such a plan must ensure the safety of all residents and visitors and be within the city’s budgetary capabilities.
Alexander Strenger: Absolutely. We also need specific staging for Uber and Lyft drivers so as to avoid the unnecessary clogging of our roads. In addition, Pedicabs should be allowed on Trinity Street throughout the duration of UT Football games.
10.Please tell us briefly about your recent experience with riding a bike. How many times have you ridden in the past month? The past year?
Steve Adler: I don’t have many opportunities to ride a bike given my job and the way I do its schedule, but I have been a fierce advocate for cycling and have promoted it every chance I get. I am visibly on a bike during associated community events in order to promote widespread use.
Travis R. Duncan: I have not ridden a bike in quite a while unfortunately. It’s sort of a long-lost love for me, since I grew up riding my bike everywhere, across the entire city, on trails, and have taken many mountain biking trips across the Rocky Mountains. In recent years, I’ve always lived and worked in a way that almost forces me to use a car, since due to high rent prices I’ve lived far away from urban core. I am an example of someone who would ride a bike if it was more accommodating and economically sustainable.
Laura Morrison: I have not ridden a bike in the past year.
Alexander Strenger: I am a pedicab driver. I ride a bike for a living and I see firsthand how the unregulated presence of Uber and Lyft provide a serious safety hazard to everybody on the road, especially our cyclists who are not as able to protect themselves. Being a pedicab driver in downtown Austin has opened my eyes to the current administration’s pervasive neglect on our cycling community, and that neglect has the potential to kill people. As Mayor, I promise that fixing these issues will be my #1 priority, because nobody cares about the safety of our cycling community more than me.
Additional Question for Mayoral Candidates
11. The Austin Bicycle Master Plan sets the goal of achieving gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community designation by the League of American Bicyclists by 2015 and platinum level by 2020. We achieved the first part of this goal; in 2015, the League designated Austin as a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community. Will you commit to ensuring that Austin achieves the goal of platinum-level designation by 2020? As noted in the plan, achieving platinum designation will require Austin to significantly increase our bicycle mode share, primarily by implementing the all-ages-and-abilities network envisioned in the plan.
Steve Adler: I’m working hard and devoting considerable political capital to achieving this goal. I have led on making unprecedented investments (over $125 million) in our trails, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure with the 2016 Mobility Bond, and I intend to continue leading on those investments should I be fortunate enough to be re-elected. I’ve supported the Big Jump initiative and well as the Final Mile two-year project because these will help accelerate the completion of the all-ages-and-abilities bicycle network. Key work to which I’m also committed include strategic coordination with the City’s Corridor Construction Program and Capital Metro to identify key nodes on our major arterial corridors that can be improved to better connect people by bike to frequent bus service (pursing “early-out” bike-transit projects along major corridors); supporting the Transit Accessibility Program to help with first/last mile connections and shared active transportation options served by high quality bicycle facilities; and am eager to join in the implementation of the community engagement strategy to be executed (hopefully) with Wend Philanthropies.
Travis R. Duncan: I vow to exceed the platinum level so far beyond what the Bicycle Friendly Community could even conceive as possible. I am not burdened by limited thinking and I will always strive for the maximum vitality outcome for ALL people! Abundance is our birthright, and it’s time to reach to the beyond scarcity mentality our politicians have so disgracefully embraced as fact. The time is NOW for ALL People to Thrive!
Laura Morrison: Bicycles are a critical element of our transportation future. I will support the 2020 goal as a priority and to the best of our ability in balance with the city’s budgetary capabilities.
Alexander Strenger: Yes. I fully support this and I also fully support our Council and Police Department addressing the reckless behavior of rideshare and dockless scooter drivers on our roads in order to preserve the safety of our cycling community. As the next Mayor of Austin, I recognize the foundation that Chris Riley build and it would be an honor to continue on with his legacy.