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Mass transit - Usha Reddi

By Corene Brisendine

Should the economic development portion of the half-cent sales tax be used to off-set the cost of the Metropolitan Planning Organization?

No. The half-cent sales tax was not approved to offset the cost of the MPO. The MPO was a mandate and we are part of it. It’s a done deal. The 65% of the half-cent sales tax should be used for infrastructure that supports economic development not in absence of it. It should not be used for the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Should the city help fund a fixed-route bus system in Manhattan?

Yes, I’m open to considering it. I think we need to work towards a fixed-route bus system if the numbers show there’s a need in the next year or two. The City just approved signage for the buses and this will provide us with more data next year. If we are providing jobs for people then we should consider providing a way to get there. Not everyone can afford a car, car insurance and registration and tags. Last I heard the total amount that was requested from the city was $15,000. I think a fixed-route system could work towards sustaining productive citizens and

reducing some dependency on social services. I was happy and relieved to see aTa bus making rounds at Fake Patty’s Day in Aggieville. I think it saved lives that evening.

Should the city increase, decrease or maintain the efforts to facilitate bicyclists’ use of city streets as a mode of transportation?

The cycling community is alive and well in Manhattan. The Bicycle Advisory Committee has done a good job of putting together a solid master plan to make the city more bicycle friendly and I am supportive this effort. When the new bike lane on Moro was brought to the commission, I did support and the commission passed that funding. I was also supportive of the proposed lane on N. Manhattan Ave. in Aggieville, which should keep the cyclists off the sidewalk along that stretch of road and then link into the N. Manhattan bike lane north of Bluemont. As funds are available, we should continue to expand the cycling lanes, which will increase the safety to the riders, pedestrians and vehicles. It needs to be a measured effort against other needs but should be a part of the overall transportation plan.

Should the city devote more funding to develop walking and bicycle paths around the city?

I cannot say a firm “yes” or “no” on this issue at this time. I think we need to look at options and see how much this would cost the City. I need to have more budget information and user information before I can a decision. We need to continue to search for grants that will fund walking and biking paths without dipping too much into city funds. We can also look at matching funds for grants.

Should the city spend $11 million (or more) on expanding the airport and airport services?

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