Responses from the Candidate for City Council, Ward 2

In 2013, Living Streets Alliance rolled out the first ever Candidate Questionnaire on active transportation issues. Since then, LSA has led the charge in advocating for a thriving Tucson by creating great streets for everyone, cultivating, educating and championing leaders and decision-makers in the process.

Big changes are on the horizon for Tucson City Council and City Hall with the Fall 2019 elections. Tucsonans will be voting on three Ward seats and a new Mayor. Below are the responses to LSA’s five question survey from the candidate for Ward 2, Paul Cunningham. Ewart Williams is a Republican candidate running for Ward 2 and did not return responses to the survey. Spanish translation provided by a professional Spanish translator.

Para leer las respuestas en español, hacer clic aquí. 


#1. What is your transportation and mobility vision for Tucson? If elected, what steps would you take to make that vision a reality, and how would you fund it? Please be specific.


Paul Cunningham, Democrat

Paul Cunningham

VISION AND FUNDING

Mobility has three columns: Transit, Bicycle/Pedestrian, and Personal Automotive.

The vision is to have efficient use of all three columns and have them working in harmonious synergy.  Over a period of time, the long term vision is too improve opportunities for using Bicycles/Pedestrian and Transit and reduce personal single car vehicle use, promoting walkability and multi-modal transit.  Changing the way we commute is a long term vision, enhancing our commute is a short term vision.

PEDESTRIAN/BICYCLE

Using best practices for the designing of  roadways, walking paths, sidewalks, crosswalks  and bicycle paths.  Properly initiating the  utilization and implementation  of bicycle boulevards and having well designed bicycle paths  for feeder streets.  These feeder streets should also have sidewalks with tree canopy. Finally, creating a network of walking and bicycle paths along existing washes.  In Ward 2, washes such as Rose Canyon, Alamo, Arcadia and Robb Wash all provide opportunity to enhance walkability.   In these cases utilizing existing topography and resources such as drainage bridges to create pedestrian walkways and walking underpasses similar to what exists on the loop could improve our walkability network and bicycle pedestrian traffic.  It could also be seen as a safety enhancer.

TRANSIT

Offering opportunities for Nonprofits to purchase long term passes in buik,  offering opportunity for free service on the streetcar certain days of the year,  examining multi-modal route opportunities where a BRT, Sun Link Extension or Articulated Bus route are appropriate.  Moreover, aligning stops with the aforementioned walkability projects.

AUTOMOTIVE

Examine opportunities that exist to enhance corridors with stoplight syncing, possibly exploring one way corridors, or even establishing a partial parkway along Golf Links Road to carry the burden of the East to Downtown/Airport commute that many of my Ward 2 constituents make every day.  Finally a city/countywide rideshare program can exist and cut the traffic load.  Using newly developed social media platforms like Next Door, Waze and even the sRide  (a carpool app on Facebook), we can improve our traffic in Tucson.

FINANCE

Financing these projects are moving targets, it depends on whether or not the RTA is renewed and what is in it,  this week, the legislature proposed a state gas tax for Highway User Revenue Funds. The city  may renew some of our bonds.  I’d actually be in support of doing all three.  As we repair hour roads and enhance our Pedestrian and Traffic routes,  we can enhance our commute.


Ewart Williams, Republican

Ewart Williams

No response.


#2. There are neighborhoods in Tucson where as many as 65%[1] of residents don’t have access to a car and rely on walking, biking and taking transit. People driving cars, walking and using bicycles to get around are dying on our streets in increasing numbers, and this disproportionately affects the elderly and young people, poor people and people of color. What actions can City Council take to make Tucson safe and accessible for residents who currently walk, bike and take transit as well as accelerate behavior change so that we dramatically reduce the number of single-occupant car trips made everyday?

[1] See Arizona Daily Star on 5/6/19: https://tucson.com/news/reinvention-underway-in-for-distressed-housing-burdened-neighborhoods/article_58a73f88-a155-5341-a78d-df778f68d435.html


Paul Cunningham, Democrat

Paul Cunningham

Please refer to my answers in Question 1, specifically about promoting carpool apps, enhancing transit and using best practices.  To accelerate this process even more, , the first thing we have to do, is significant PR educating drivers and pedestrians.  Drivers need to understand  that they share the road and not to drive impaired or distracted, Pedestrians need to be aware that not all drivers are adhering to those principles.  I have a history championing common sense solutions for traffic such as our distracted driver ordinance and our drag racing ordinance.


Ewart Williams, Republican

Ewart Williams

No response.


#3. When people move about Tucson they cross Wards and often other jurisdictions, without realizing it. How are you going to work across Wards and within the region to ensure that limited resources are distributed equitably, timely and where they will make the most impact? How will you advocate at a regional, state and national level for Tucson’s transportation priorities, especially if they might be different from other jurisdictions?


Paul Cunningham, Democrat

Paul Cunningham

I think we have a high degree of  equitable distribution already.  Meeting mobility goals and applying those goals need to be prioritized through analysis and need.  For instance, if an uncontrolled crosswalk has had several incidents in a short period or is demonstrating a a higher rate of incidents over a long period of time, that enhancement should take priority, it should not matter what neighborhood it is in.  That should never matter when lives are at stake.  Tucson has socio-economically challenged areas all over the city.  This past year, Tucson has experienced pedestrian and traffic fatalities all over the city.  We have to look at the entire commute and mobility pattern of our region holistically.  The second part of the question asked about our Regional, State and Federal partners.    If what they want is not in Tucson’s interests, or not aligned with the vision outlined in question #1; I will advocate for our city and attempt to persuade them to re-evaluate their priorities to align their priorities with ours. I will advocate with the tenacity of a bulldog to halt  ill-conceived projects against our values in their tracks.


Ewart Williams, Republican

Ewart Williams

No response.


#4. How do you plan to ensure that the Ward Office/Mayor’s Office engages directly with constituents in addressing transportation? What are your ideas for how to get community members involved in transportation decisions that affect their community?


Paul Cunningham, Democrat

Paul Cunningham

In my 9 years in office in Ward 2, we have held Neighborhood Legislatures,  Town Halls, Open Houses, Roundtables.  As many as 5 or 6  a year, depending on the year.  I also host an open house where I clear my schedule and take walk-ins for at least 15 minutes every quarter.    My cell phone number is readily available to anyone who asks for it, and my office takes pride in being responsive to all constituent concerns.  Being organized to constituent inquiries is extremely important.  As funding becomes more available I envision having Ward specific workings  group to advise the council on how to maximize resources and achieve our self established goals.


Ewart Williams, Republican

Ewart Williams

No response.


#5. As Tucson continues to develop, access to plentiful parking is a common concern. Yet, research shows parking induces people to drive and leads to congestion. What can City Council do to manage parking resources and policies so they achieve our Plan Tucson vision for a vibrant, thriving, walkable community?


Paul Cunningham, Democrat

Paul Cunningham

I am not ready to go on the record and say we need to change to Unified Develop Code when it comes to parking spaces just yet.  An idea like that requires some vetting and review by stakeholders, especially the business community and neighborhoods.  I have neighborhoods that raise concerns about insufficient parking.  I am open to examining parking code variances and relief for businesses and entities that exist in proximity to pedestrian , bike and  transit corridors.  This includes downtown.


Ewart Williams, Republican

Ewart Williams

No response.


Click here to return to the main Candidate Survey page.