|David McCarthy (R) (from Elect Dave McCarthy)|
|Nora King (D) (courtesy of Nora King)|
First, from District E (West Norwalk, HarborView, Village Creek, Rowayton & Brookside), Republican David McCarthy is challenging Democrat Nora King for her seat. In their responses, both advocate strongly for better pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, incorporating walking and biking into both our roadways and our development plans. It is a challenge to find much daylight between their positions (although I welcome you to add your thoughts in the comments). Perhaps the biggest distinction will be a question of execution. Who can be the most effective at seeing these priorities through?
Here are their survey answers. Don't forget to vote November 8th!
(1) safe streets - Should Norwalk have a program for installing traffic calming devices? (For example: pedestrian islands, curb bump outs, speed bumps, neck-downs or similar technology) How should widespread resident concerns about speeding and pedestrian safety be addressed?
DM: Absolutely, I have been advocating for actions like this over “speed bumps” for a while. I feel the “complete streets” methodology is really worth adopting holistically. We are a developed city and cannot change everything overnight, though, so we need to prioritize projects and address them in time, making sure we balance the needs of neighborhoods and progress.
NK: Norwalk should absolutely have a program for traffic calming devices. I have been an advocate for slowing traffic down for the past few years. We need footpaths ( ours are in deplorable condition) restored, sidewalks built, bike lanes created and other measures implemented. When we do our paving plans this should go hand and hand. I have been a big fan of an accountability and reporting system for city hall primarily for the Public Works Department. I think every concern, incident and complaint registered via the web or the customer service hotline with full access for the public to see. This way the Common Council, the Mayor the Department Heads and various committees will be able to see the real issues and not just rely on the studies but will have the hardcore data that the entire public will have access to. Transparency is key here!
DM: Andy Conroy and I have made this a cornerstone of our campaign, though I only wish to speak for myself here. I feel that the best way to address the needs of neighborhoods is to respect them and bring people together. Closer, more compact, walkable development in the more urban core is my idea of a sustainable streetscape. I see this as an intergenerational effort to promote community and enhance local economic vitality.
NK: Walkable development is one of my top priorities. I have been fighting for safe passage and safe streets. A vibrant community is defined by sidewalks, bike baths, rollerblading paths, walk ways and outdoor cafes. I do not believe anything in the city that is approved shouldn't have this factored into it. The current administration and the head of DPW supports wide roadways for cars. The more asphalt for cars the better. I don't support this especially for a city that needs as much redevelopment as ours does. The time is now to build this. The more we encourage sidewalks, bike paths, footpaths - the more cars are off the road, the less gas used and the more exercise people will have.
DM: Understanding that it would not magically happen overnight, yes, of course. There should be a prioritized list of areas for attention, with a focus on Safe Routes to School, expanded to encompass the train stations and commercial areas, with an additional focus on areas along bus routes and at bus stops. I believe technology would be of assistance in allowing us to prioritize these projects in a way that is visible to everyone.
NK: Yes. I have already been an advocate of restoring our footpaths and putting sidewalks in. I am not for making our roads wider. I think the plan should be sidewalks, footpaths and bike paths.
DM: I already am on record as supporting the Loop Trail and I support the NRVT as a long term project. There are funds currently allocated to extend/expand the trail and it is a worthy focus of the overall “open-space” initiatives. We need to work together as a community to draw more attention to this area and there should be an organized community effort beyond the handful of committed volunteers who currently advocate for the trail. I see the “Friends of the High-Line” as a model for this project as a way to bring community resources to bear.
NK: Yes. This is essential and shouldn't be an afterthought in any plan. Though I do not believe the folks doing the traffic management study realize that this should be the number 1 priority. I have been a biker all of my life and I think Norwalk could do a much better job on supporting bike lanes.
DM: I support the common sense modifications to streets across the city, as appropriate and safe, to add bike lanes and make the streets more walkable/bikeable/driveable. I think this ties back in to 1 in that removing center lines and adding wide stripes on the sides (whether officially bike lanes, or not) calms traffic.
NK: YES! YES! YES!
DM: The concept of a Livable Norwalk is something that is core to what I feel we need to focus on as a community. We need to move beyond personal agendas to work for the common good and not spin our wheels arguing.
NK: (left blank)