Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire – Jackson Response

2014 Trenton Mayoral Candidates

On February 24, TCR emailed a list of 8 questions to the mayoral candidates requesting their responses by March 28.

On April 16, the Eric Jackson campaign submitted the second set of responses to the TCR mayoral candidate questionnaire. Please click here to read the full text of Mr. Jackson’s responses.

We were especially thrilled by this response regarding the connectivity of streets and trails in Trenton:

If elected, I would be interested in having a member of my administration assigned to working with neighboring municipalities to increase trail and street connectivity as well as promote regional use of the D&R Canal, a potentially great asset to our City. My Administration would participate in any existing regional coordinating efforts, and if none exist, would help to foster creation of such a collaboration. We would also work through our existing Green Team to make this happen.

A regional approach is correct and Trenton could certainly provide more vocal leadership. There are several existing initiatives in which Trenton has previously and still does participate, and a new mayor’s insights and support would be most welcome.

Mr. Jackson’s definition of a complete street was very technically correct, so we know someone can google, but the implementation plan definitely got our attention for being specific, supportive and smart:

I would do a review of the policy upon being elected to Office to determine if there are retrofits that could be initiated. I would also look to make sure the policy is integrated with existing city ordinances as well as relevant county laws and regulations that affect our City. The policy should not be a stand alone policy, but rather should be integrated across City Departments. I would also look for opportunities to increase safety of pedestrians and cyclists throughout the City and marketing events and opportunities to promote walking and cycling, including working with the public health community.

The response regarding the D&R Canal is also worth noting:

I would encourage collaborations with the non-profit sector, including TCR, Isles, D&R Greenway, and others, all relevant levels of government, and neighboring municipalities. I would prioritize the clean-up and safety of the Canal Greenway, and work to promote events and activities centered upon the D&R Canal Greenway. I would also advocate for the State to lease out the canal houses in Trenton.

This is another smart approach, and while this answer is technically correct and we are supportive of the broad based solution, ultimately, the responsibility for park and trail maintenance (not just the canal houses) lies with the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Superintendent.

Overall, thoughtful replies from Mr. Jackson with some very good ideas, and we appreciate the response!

Still no responses from Ms. McBride, Mr. Perez nor Mr. Worthy. If anyone has contact information for Mr. Leggett, we want to ask him as well! Here again is the link to the full text of the TCR questionnaire from Mr. Jim Golden.

*UPDATE: For the synopsis of responses from Mr. Perez, the other run-off candidate, please click here.

Trenton Cycling Revolution is non-partisan and will not be making an endorsement in the 2014 Trenton mayoral election. However, as concerned citizens and residents, we want to understand the positions of the candidates. We are especially interested in how each candidate might build upon our success developing a bicycle and pedestrian culture in Trenton and which candidates might disrupt our progress.

Share Button

Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire – Golden Response

Trenton Cycling Revolution is non-partisan and will not be making an endorsement in the 2014 Trenton mayoral election. However, as concerned citizens and residents, we want to understand the positions of the candidates. We are especially interested in how each candidate might build upon our success developing a bicycle and pedestrian culture in Trenton and which candidates might disrupt our progress.

2014 Trenton Mayoral Candidates

On February 24, TCR emailed a list of 8 questions to the mayoral candidates requesting their responses by March 28.

On March 29, Jim Golden was the first to respond with answers to our questions. For the full document, please see Responses to TCR questionnaire from Jim Golden. We greatly appreciate the reply, and especially this opening sentiment:

I share your fundamental desire to make Trenton a healthier, more environmentally friendly and fun place to live.

Yet, some of Mr. Golden’s responses make us a little nervous. Although he appears to understand the concept of a complete street, Mr. Golden doesn’t exactly give a ringing endorsement for the comprehensive complete streets policy Trenton adopted in 2012, which was ranked number 8 in the nation:

Our budget priorities will be largely influenced by the Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) approach we plan to implement.   Department directors will be responsible for crafting spending proposals and presenting them in public forums.  They will explain costs and expected measurable benefits and the public will actually vote on their priorities.   These priorities will be submitted to City Council and will inform each budget we present.

We will ask that as one of the Public Works Department’s proposals they submit a plan to implement the “Compete Streets” policy as part of PBB.

While we understand the hesitation to over commit during the campaign, asking one department to submit a proposal isn’t exactly what we had in mind for “implementing” the city’s nationally recognized complete streets policy. We think Priority Based Budgeting would likely be positive for the city, but there are many follow-up questions about the specifics of such an exercise.

Perhaps the most interesting piece of Mr. Golden’s response proposes a Trenton trolley system:

One specific tactic that we intend to pursue in order to make the city more walkable is to develop a user friendly trolley system in Trenton that replaces most bus routes and links downtown and the Trenton Transit Center to all wards.   We expect such a system to increase Trenton’s walkability by allowing residents to not need a car when taking the short trip to downtown or to other markets.  It will be part of a hub and spoke system connecting the transit center to the rest of the city.

We’re intrigued, and curious to hear how  replacing downtown bus routes might work. We completely agree about the need to link the Trenton Transit Center with the downtown and all wards, but we tend to think better bike lanes and marked crosswalks would do more to improve accessibility, at a far lower cost.

Mr. Golden does know how to ride a bike:

I learned to ride a bike in the inner city of Philadelphia when I was eight years old.  Although we own two bikes, my wife and I typically go bike riding whenever we travel on family vacations.  It’s been a couple of years since I last rode, but riding a bike is always a relaxing and enjoyable experience.

At another point, Mr. Golden has a good suggestion for us:

One suggestion that I’ll make to TCR is to create a bike tour event that retraces the routes General Washington and his troops took into and out of Trenton.   You might see me on a bike for that.

Regardless of what happens in the election, we will have to take Mr. Golden up on that concept!

 

On March 30, we emailed a reminder to the other candidates. None of the candidates had yet responded.

On March 31, Paul Perez responded and said, “Our reply is forth coming. Sorry for the delay.” We have not yet received the full responses.

On April 5, a surrogate for the Jackson campaign responded saying they would look into it and ask Eric Jackson about it personally.

Kathy McBride did not respond to either email.

Walker Worthy did not respond to either email.

We have not been able to find an email address for Oliver “Bucky” Leggett.

If any additional candidates submits responses to our questions, we will post them promptly. In the meantime, we’re grateful for the thoughtful responses from Jim Golden.

Share Button

Call the D&R Canal State Park Superintendent

More than a year ago, on a bike ride through Trenton I noticed some very creepy graffiti scrawled across the path on the new section of the D&R Canal.

On September 27, 2012 I reported and shared a photo of the graffiti with D&R Park Superintendent Patricia Kallesser and her staff in a meeting at the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.

Recently a reporter for Streetsblog NYC was scoping out trails in our vicinity and decided to ride through Trenton. Here was one of his tweets:

Stephen Miller@miller_stephen 14 Sep

Welcome to Trenton! =( cc pic.twitter.com/SJoT9gA9KU

More than a year after it was first reported, nothing has been done about the graffiti!
Please call Superintendent Kallesser and ask her why the Trenton section of our trails are not maintained with the same care as other sections. Her number and email are posted online here.

 

Share Button

A New Fork in the Path

Thank you to Jeff Laurenti for sending us this trail update!

On a bike outing this evening in the hour before sunset I made what for me was a welcome discovery.

A New Path

Returning eastbound from Ewing along the D&R Canal, I was surprised to discover, at the fork where the canal and its path veer right toward Prospect Avenue and the downtown, that the left path looked free of the impassable stones that have made it an impossible cycling option.

photo-4

I decided I would try the left prong to head directly to the Battle Monument.  Magically, the stony surface has been cleared and the path is now of eminently cyclable quality.  (Not perfect–it seems a bit soft; but it’s usable.) While this mile-long stretch departs from the canal, it also avoids the many grade-crossings of downtown streets that chop up the path in the center of the city. A welcome new cycling option!

 

For a map of the path Jeff is referencing, please click here. Good news!

Share Button

D&R Greenway through Trenton

Trenton Cycling Revolution was proud to support the City of Trenton’s recent application for bikeway funding from NJDOT. We submitted a letter of support for the NJDOT Bikeway funding application.

One piece of our letter:

“According to the American Community Survey of 2005-09, more than 6% of Trentonians commute to work each day by bike or foot, which is notable. More than 30% of the city’s households do not own a car at all. The road conditions in Trenton are not ideal for bicycling and walking: the bike lane system is fragmented; and parks in our community need serious upgrades.”

Share Button

Spring Cleaning

On Saturday, April 2, Trenton Cycling Revolution members spent two hours cleaning the new section of bike path in Trenton’s North Ward. Our friends from East Coast Greenway helped to move signage along the path, brought donuts and coffee in the morning and thankfully had garbage bags in their truck.

We removed 7 bags of trash, 1 bag of recyclables, three tires, 9 tanks of helium/propane/freon, two garbage buckets, a mattress pad, shopping cart, chicken coop, and a really old, headless doll.

April 2 Clean-up Crew

Someone had recently cut back the vegetation, though their efforts could best be described as a hack job. They certainly failed to remove the invasive species and there was plenty of debris left on the trail. Despite our best efforts, there is definitely more trash next to the roadway, along Route 1 North, just south of the Mulberry Street exit. Perhaps an adopt-the-highway team could work on removing litter from this area.

We’ll also contact authorities about the cooking oil that was dumped and left to rot right next to the stream.

Illegal dumping

Hopefully this spring, the D&R Canal Commission can work with other government agencies to finish the trail and re-paint the street signage, since the crosswalks are now basically invisible.

Most of the crosswalk paint is worn away.
Many thanks to everyone who helped on Saturday morning, particularly the dynamic Pillsbury duo, who helped cart our debris back to the collection site with their awesome tandem bike.

Don and Ashley Pillsbury help cart away the trash.

This section of the trail will be featured on our 2011 Trenton Bike Tour – please join us on Saturday, May 21!

Share Button

Spring Clean-up Saturday, April 2

2010 NJ Sierra Club clean-up

Photo of NJ Sierra Club's D&R Canal Clean-up

Trenton Cycling Revolution is coordinating a community clean-up along the D&R Canal in Trenton on Saturday, April 2. We will meet at the Mulberry Street entrance to the newly completed section at 9am and work for approximately two hours. Parking is available along Mulberry Street and/or Cortland Street.  Coffee, gloves and garbage bags will be provided. The Bonner scholars from TCNJ are also planning a clean-up that day, so let’s make it a community effort! Please join us as we seek to beautify a section of the East Coast Greenway in Trenton!

Share Button

D&R Canal Path Construction

Trenton Cycling Revolution is excited about the progress being made to re-connect the entirety of the D&R Canal Path.

“I think it’s great that they’re closing the gap,” said Dan Fatton, chairman of the Trenton Cycling Revolution, a community advocate for biking in the greater-Trenton area. “The missing link has been an issue for bikers for a long time.”

“It was sad there was a missing link in the trail that prevented people from using the full stretch and it was worse that the gaps prevented people from enjoying our capital city of Trenton, which has many beautiful neighborhoods, in addition to its wealth of historic resources,” said Fatton.

Share Button