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Minneapolis Ward 10 City Council Candidates’ Stances on Transit, Biking, Walking, and Rolling

Pictured from right to left, top row first: Aisha Chugtai, Alicia Gibson, Katie Jones, Ubah Nur, Chris Parson

Move Minnesota and Our Streets Minneapolis have teamed up on a questionnaire for 2021 Minneapolis city council candidates to learn about their ideas and vision for the future of transportation in Minneapolis.

Access to quality transit, biking, walking, and rolling play an essential role in tackling climate change and ensuring equitable access to the opportunities and services the people of Minneapolis need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

This questionnaire is for candidate and voter information only. Participating organizations will not be making endorsements in any Minneapolis city elections in 2021. This questionnaire was sent to all candidates, but those not listed have chosen not to respond.

All candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order last name basis.

The Responses

Question 1:

What is your primary mode of transportation? How often do you ride transit?  

Aisha Chugtai:

I live two blocks off Nicollet and one off 26th. I walk the Nicollet corridor for groceries, to the corner store, and for take out. I also walk to our campaign office, which is located off Lyndale. I like taking 26th and 27th to our office to look at the duplexes in Whittier. Walking along Park and Portland makes me happy because the porches face each other. I enjoy walking around Wedge because the homes and lawns are beautiful to look at. I take harder meetings walking around Bde Maka Ska. To get coffee, I’ll walk to Canteen from our campaign office, and also take Lyndale to Misfit or Caffetto.

Alicia GIbson:

Summer: Walking
School Months: Driving

Katie Jones:

I ride the 4, 6, 12, 17, 21, 2, and Green Line most regularly.


I walk all over Ward 10. For bike trips, I typically travel the following streets/trails the most (in
order from most to least): Bryant Ave, Loring Greenway, Cedar Lake Trail, the Greenway, 24th
St, Hennepin Avenue (Uptown), 26th, 28th, 36th, 22nd, Blaisdell, Nicollet Ave., Hennepin Ave
(Downtown),

Ubah Nur:

The 21 along Lake Street is my main bus route. I also do most of my walking along Lake St.

Chris Parson:

My transportation modes are split between my car and bicycle, but I tend to lean heavier on my car. I drive a Toyota Prius because I like the gas mileage and plan to move into an all electric vehicle with my next car purchase.

Question 2:

Rethinking I-94 & Environmental Justice: Climate change and pollution disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Children in North Minneapolis—particularly those closest to I-94 in the 55411 & 55412 zip codes are hospitalized at rates as high as 4x compared to children in other parts of Minneapolis. During the last Minneapolis freeway reconstruction project, the city withdrew municipal consent for the I-35W reconstruction until the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Council redesigned I-35W with highway Bus Rapid Transit, resulting in the Orange Line I-35W. Currently, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is exploring reconstruction efforts for I-94 going North out of the city; what role, if any, do you see the city playing in rethinking our freeways and addressing environmental injustice and pollution from freeways? Are there specific transportation or transit efforts you would pursue to achieve this?   

Aisha Chugtai:

Our transportation systems were designed in part to perpetuate segregation and injustice. Urban highways, like 35W, which forms the eastern border of Ward 10, are a product of racist transportation planning. Their construction systematically demolished Black and brown neighborhoods and destroyed generational wealth. To this day, highway-adjacent communities, most often Black, brown, and/or Indigenous communities, experience some of our region’s worst air quality and health disparities. For too long, Minneapolis Public Works has rubber stamped highway projects that harm our communities to facilitate suburban development. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can reclaim highway land to reconnect neighborhoods, restore community ownership, and reduce emissions. Neighborhood streets could be reestablished with new transit service to accommodate transportation needs. The land could be returned to a community land bank to build housing, commercial space, and parks. I am committed to working directly with communities to leverage municipal consent and other tools to push MnDOT to reimagine freeway corridors, including the Rethinking I-94 and I-94/252 projects, to create a more equitable and connected community.

Alicia GIbson:

I would pursue the electrification of our buses and would urge that we prioritize this transition
for North Minneapolis routes as well as for routes inside any of our Green Zones.

Katie Jones:

The City of Minneapolis must take an active role in addressing the historic injustices
created by freeways. As a member of MnDOT’s Sustainable Transportation Advisory
Council, our guiding principles are “Do no more harm” and “Do good”, which may seem
simple but they’re important when working with highways that have caused and continue
to cause harm in BIPOC communities across Minneapolis. We also pushed MnDOT to
commit to an overall reduction in vehicle miles traveled, which Hennepin County has
since also adopted. The I-35W example shows important incremental change. In the
case of I-94, the City must use the power of municipal consent, as well as reminding
MnDOT of their own stated goals, to ensure MnDOT creates lanes dedicated to transit,
avoids the expansion of highway lanes, and reclaims space for the city for local activity
transportation, greening, and sound and pollution mitigation. Projects like Rethinking 94
only come around once in a generation. The last time around, 94 was allowed to cut a
community apart. This time around, it must be used to heal.


Transit and sustainable transportation are cornerstones of my vision for a 15 minute city.
With authority over design and construction of city-owned streets, the City has the ability
to shape neighborhoods and how residents interact with them. The Transportation
Action Plan, 2040 Comprehensive Plan, and the declared climate emergency all point to
how we need to be moving forward with our urban planning. As an engineer, I know that
a plan is only as good as its implementation. On council, I will ensure that all street
designs brought forward for approval take these elements into account to ensure that all
of our residents, especially the BIPOC communities that have historically been left
behind, are getting the very best urban infrastructure we can offer. I will work with the
Met Council and our state and federal partners as part of the upcoming infrastructure bill
to continue to advocate for our city goals and ensure that our funding is used in ways to
benefit people and communities instead of just rebuilding status quo roads.

Ubah Nur:

Freeways should never have been built through cities – in much of the world, they either go around them, or become actual streets during their time in the city. But since they are here, we should at least reduce the negative features. First, cap as many as we can – put a lid on areas where they cut neighborhoods, and put parks, homes, and businesses above them.

Second, when they are nearing the end of their life cycle, turn them into streets – especially those that empty into downtowns, like 394. Third, stop building new ones.

Chris Parson:

I like what was done with I-35 south of downtown. I would like to see I-94 north of downtown laid out in a similar manner with a BRT line running along I-94 with intersecting lines connecting the northside and northwest suburbs. Faster and convenient transit options are key to adding ridership.

When assessing freeways we should be looking at what future vehicles will look like. Major automobile manufacturers have indicated that internal combustion engines will be completely phased out within 10-15 years. This will address the pollution from vehicles problem and make the air cleaner along transit corridors.

Question 3:

Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan: State and city studies show that we will need to reduce how much people drive (“vehicle miles traveled”) to reach established emissions-reduction goals. Transportation is the #1 source of climate change pollution in Minnesota. The Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan has highlighted changing “mode split” (the shifting of car trips to transit, biking, or walking) as a critical strategy in reaching and measuring VMT reduction and in achieving overall emission reduction goals. The city now has an ambitious “mode split goal” to shift 60% of car trips to biking, walking, and transit by 2030. Despite an increase in bike and pedestrian infrastructure investments, data from the previous decade shows that VMT numbers dropped only 2% between 2007-2016.  What specific transit, biking, and walking policies and investments should the city make, if any, to achieve Transportation Action Plan mode split goals? What new or accelerated interventions, if any, do you see as appropriate for reaching VMT goals by 2050?

Aisha Chugtai:

As we’ve seen in the past year, we are in the midst of a climate crisis that is disproportionately impacting our most vulnerable residents, and there is an urgent need for action. In order for people to walk, bike, and take transit, we need to transform our transportation system and invest in supporting infrastructure. People need to feel safe biking, sidewalks must be clear and accessible year-round, and transit needs to be a fast, convenient option for meeting the daily needs of those who need it most. For this to happen, we must increase funding to expedite the completion of the Pedestrian Priority Network for people walking and rolling, as well as the All Ages & Abilities Network for people on bikes, as identified in the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan. We must dedicate resources to fully fund the strategies outlined in the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan, as well as rebalance the share of our public right-of-way dedicated to people walking, biking and taking transit. We can also pilot car-free street designs, similar to Milwaukee Avenue.

Alicia GIbson:

Yes, transit is the #1 carbon emitter for the state, and at 17% of our carbon footprint, lower down on the list for Minneapolis (closer to #4). I think some of these goals inside the city of Minneapolis don’t match with the realities of how people live their lives and the particular needs of our climate. I am a big proponent of Rapid Bus Transit inside the city and am hopeful this will make public transit a more appealing option. I would also like to do some analysis of commute routes inside the city that we might be able to lobby the Met Council for enhanced service along to capture more ridership there as well.

Katie Jones:

While Minneapolis’ decrease in VMT has been slow, we’ve proven that creating
attractive, efficient, reliable, and affordable alternatives to driving will attract
people to driving less. As someone without a personal vehicle, I experience the
daily challenges and joys of walking, biking, and taking mass transit safely in
Minneapolis.


The City’s Transportation Action Plan gives great direction for street design and
construction. As mentioned, the challenge will be implementing at scale so that
every Minneapolis resident has access to safe walkways, dedicated and protected
bike lanes, and high frequency public transit. In addition to the Transportation
Action Plan, we need to make sure we’re designing our City so that every resident
has access to their everyday needs within a 15-minute walk, bike, or public transit
ride. Creating a 15-minute city will not only help us achieve a reduction in VMT
but reduce stress and increase safety for all of our neighbors

Ubah Nur:

Lobby the legislature for as much ARA /Build Back Better money as possible, then spend it on expanding bus, light rail, and capping of freeways. Add more bike lanes, and do more 4-3 road diets.

Chris Parson:

What specific transit, biking, and walking policies and investments should the city make, if any, to achieve Transportation Action Plan mode split goals? What new or accelerated interventions, if any, do you see as appropriate for reaching VMT goals by 2050?

Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is critical to mitigating the effects of climate change. The advent of electric-vehicles (EVs) is a game changer in this endeavor and allow us options not available before. It is also changing old assumptions on the best way to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

Automobile manufactures and the federal government are doubling down on EV technology and Minneapolis must get on board or get left behind. Included in the federal infrastructure bill being debated is a $7.5 billion investment in the installation of EV charging stations. The city can best encourage the switch to EVs by making charging more convenient. This will help us reach our GHG emission reduction goals sooner.

Question 4:

Bottineau/Blue Line Extension: This LRT project was deemed unworkable on its currently planned route on BNSF right-of-way. However, there is still substantial interest in a Bottineau project because transportation connects people to social activity, economic opportunity, educational institutions, healthy food, and critical health services. North Minneapolis has been historically underserved by transit compared to other parts of the city; however, there are also community concerns from North Minneapolis residents of displacement and gentrification surrounding the Blue Line extension project and transit-oriented development. 

What policies or programs, if any, should the city implement to ensure the success of major transit investments for both current and future communities along the line?

Aisha Chugtai:

The Blue Line extension project is an opportunity for the City of Minneapolis to repair historic
harms and improve sustainable transportation access for Northside neighborhoods in
collaboration with the community. Community inclusion and leadership must be centered in all
decision-making through planning and implementation phases. Policy solutions in collaboration with community include:
● Anti-displacement policies must accompany all major infrastructure investments to
ensure renters, businesses, and homeowners are able to enjoy the benefits of
transportation improvements without being priced out of their neighborhood:
○ Just cause eviction
○ Right to cure
○ City-owned community gardens
○ Rent control
○ Commercial rent control/commercial land trust
○ Rent and mortgage cancellation
○ Local eviction moratorium
○ Private development inclusionary housing
○ Expansion of public housing
● Transit-oriented inclusionary zoning: new multi-housing housing along the corridor in
Minneapolis should be increased from the current requirement of 4%-8% to at least 30%,
to be affordable to and occupied by households with an income at or below 30% of the
Area Median Income (AMI).
● Expanding the office of the small business navigator to facilitate funding and technical
assistance to local businesses along the route who will face business disruption from
construction to ensure they are able to remain in place.
● Partnering with the City of Lakes to expand commercial opportunities by leveraging
city-owned parcels to create commercial land trust initiatives.
● Identify non-profits and community organizations that the City of Minneapolis can partner
with long-term to create sustainable funds that can be allocated to support economic
development efforts appropriated to local BIPOC businesses and entrepreneurs.
● Pass and implement a Tenant Opportunity Purchase Agreement (TOPA) policy that
prioritizes funding to tenants living in TOD areas.
● Publicly-owned parcels of land along the corridor or fall within the transit-oriented
development boundaries should be identified and be held public until community
engagement is conducted and project plans center community needs.
● City-funded construction and development along the corridor should aim to employ at
least 40% BIPOC or woman-owned contractors.
● Zero-fare zones along the North Minneapolis corridor to ensure ridership is maximized
despite the high level of cost-burdened homes along the corridor.

Alicia GIbson:

The city should ensure that the community is in the driver seat for all proposed transit, particularly in this area where so many decisions are continually made on the behalf of people and not with them. Not only is this a replication of racist structures of organizing our city, it also makes projects a waste of money and doomed to fail.

Katie Jones:

Communities should never be forced to decide between better transit and affordable
housing. Policies that help keep people in their homes like rent stabilization and the
Tenant Opportunity To Purchase (TOPA) Act, along with policies which make it easier to
build new and different types of housing like boarding house rooms, senior living, ADUs,
cooperatives, and triplexes should be implemented in tandem with plans to expand mass
transit.


To ensure that current businesses, especially BIPOC and women-owned businesses,
aren’t also being priced out of the community, I support the development of commercial
community land trusts to keep commercial space perpetually affordable. In Ward 10,
there is a current pilot project testing how to best operationalize community land trusts
in commercial spaces, and I aim to take lessons learned and scale the program to areas
throughout Minneapolis.


I am a strong supporter of expanding light rail and other long-term, path-dedicated
transit projects to also induce more investment in housing and commercial
opportunities. We have seen the positive impacts of the Green Line and should work to
bring similar opportunities elsewhere in the City, especially in areas of historic
underinvestment like in North Minneapolis.

Ubah Nur:

See above – get as much money as we can, and dedicate it to new routes.

Chris Parson:

It’s very true that the northside has been underserved and concerns of economic displacement a valid. However, the increase access through the area could bring much needed economic activity along West Broadway and Olson Memorial Hwy that the northside desperately needs, in terms of access to jobs, services, and healthy food options.

Increased activity could also bring greater demand for housing and an increase in housing prices. The city can help mitigate displacement of residents through tools like inclusionary zoning. We can also reduce gentrification through our zoning policies. Currently variances are too easy to get which is causing rampant speculation in the housing market.

Question 5:

Hennepin Avenue: The City of Minneapolis is currently considering several design options for the stretch of Hennepin Avenue that runs between Lake Street and Franklin Avenue. The currently proposed design options for Hennepin Avenue include bus lanes, two-way traffic, and loading and parking zones; one option includes bike infrastructure, and the other design includes street greening.

On streets like Hennepin Avenue—which are key commercial corridors, have dense housing nearby, and have limited space to work with—what approach, if any, should the city take in balancing current and long-term needs for our transportation networks?

Aisha Chugtai:

Currently, our city’s street design has over-prioritized automobile access. Projects like Hennepin Ave are an opportunity to prioritize people-first transportation. We need to build our streets in a way that supports the need for climate action and safe access for all users. I support Hennepin for People’s vision for bus and bike lanes on Hennepin Avenue. This street can become a model for others in the city.

Alicia GIbson:

The city needs a do-over on the design along Hennepin because these designs were made
without widespread community input before the design phase, particularly in the absence of
input for the small business community that is telling us they will be decimated by these plans. We need a wholesale redesign of our engagement policies, which would mean deeper and earlier engagement by those most impacted so that we stop wasting time with plans that don’t match the needs of the communities they are meant to serve.

Katie Jones:

I believe in people-centered design. Our roads are currently almost entirely car
focused and that needs to change. That’s why as a part of the grassroots
advocacy group Hennepin for People, I have helped organize direct action events,
built a coalition of neighbors, businesses, and elected officials to support the
project, and pushed City planners to follow the Transportation Action Plan and
adopt a design with dedicated bus and protected bike lanes. Hennepin needs to
be the example by which future city road projects are measured. Improving our
street design to be people centric is good for all users and good for business.
Data from cities around the world and in climates similar to ours shows that
business improves with increased access by various modes.

The design for Hennepin with dedicated bus and bike lanes is data driven.
Although I’ve heard concern about loss of parking, the data shows that sufficient
off street and side street parking exists to meet the current need. Some slight
traffic pattern changes could make the flow to these smoother, particularly
allowing right turns at the streets that meet the diagonal Hennepin such as
Colfax, Dupont, and Emerson, and ensure businesses can be accessed by all
modes.

Minneapolis must lead towards a transit future where personal vehicles are not
the only option we invest in. Hennepin should set the example for promoting
multi-modal transportation that includes cars, bikes, buses, and walkers. Making
Hennepin more people-friendly will help increase customer traffic to businesses,
help protect neighbors living in densely populated neighborhoods like the
Wedge, South Uptown, and Whittier from streets like Hennepin, Lyndale, and
Nicollet which are currently some of the most dangerous streets in our city.

Ubah Nur:

My dream is that we build a subway under Hennepin, but that’s not financially feasible right now. Maybe one day! Until then, 4-3 road diet, increase bus frequency, and place bike lanes on both sides.

Chris Parson:

On streets like Hennepin Avenue—which are key commercial corridors, have dense housing nearby, and have limited space to work with—what approach, if any, should the city take in balancing current and long-term needs for our transportation networks?

The Hennepin Avenue redesign needs to be reworked. Although Hennepin Avenue is a key commercial corridor, proponents of the redesign seem to not have taken into account the effect it will have on commerce. The businesses have been stridently against it due the loss of access and residents nearby are concerned about increased traffic on side streets.

Many people, myself included, do not believe a bike lane on Hennepin Ave is feasible. There are other options for bikers to move through the area on the much quieter side streets.

We need to take all factors into account, as well as all modes of transportation, when attempting a major redesign of our streets. As important as the outcome is the process we take to get there. The process regarding the Hennepin Avenue redesign, and the Bryant Avenue redesign, was extremely flawed and many people felt shut out by it. A truly robust input process is key to getting project buy-in and success.

Question 6

Bus Priority: Transit operations cross multiple jurisdictions of government. Metro Transit manages bus operations and service schedules. The city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County have authority over most of the streets Metro Transit Buses run through; and, the city also has control of the stoplights within city limits. 

What improvements, if any, should the city be pursuing to improve speed and reliability for Minneapolis transit riders? How do you see the city, Metro Transit, and Hennepin County collaborating to improve bus service? 

Aisha Chugtai:

Too often the needs of transit riders are secondary. It shouldn’t take three times as long to get to work by the bus as it does by car. We must make bus routes convenient, effective, and safe.
Our state legislature has failed to adequately invest in public transit. As City Council Member, I
would explore ways to create a city funding source to improve transit service in Ward 10 and
Minneapolis, as well as leverage my relationships to advocate for transit infrastructure at the
legislature. To further improve bus service, I also believe we can:
● Utilize Metro Transit’s “Network Next” initiative to better serve transit dependent
communities like Ward 10.
● Dedicate city funds and work with Metro Transit on improving transit stops, as well as
adding and improving shelters to provide heat, shade, places to rest, and adding
features like phone-charging stations and real-time information screens.
● Work with partners to advocate for increased dedicated transit funding to accelerate the
completion of the planned METRO Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network, including Lyndale,
Lake, Hennepin and Nicollet.
● Prioritize transit riders with dedicated bus lanes through the former K-Mart site by
investing in a reconnected Nicollet Avenue.

Alicia Gibson:

These entities need to conduct research to understand what keeps people from utilizing the
service and start from there by identifying priorities based on that feedback.

Katie Jones:

We need dedicated bus lanes to ensure those who rely on public transportation
can reach their destination sooner and to encourage more people to choose
transit. That means on streets maintained by the City of Minneapolis like
Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis Public Works must follow the Transportation
Action Plan and incorporate transit lanes into their plans. On streets run by the
County, like Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street, we must work with Hennepin
County leaders to ensure multi-modal transportation is being supported through
their plans to redesign streets.


I also fully support signal prioritization for buses. Anyone who has ridden the
University of Minnesota’s campus connector can tell you how smooth and
convenient it is to have green lights keep the buses moving. The City of
Minneapolis should be implementing signal prioritization wherever possible to
keep buses on time and provide more incentive for people to take transit.


The City has set forth a goal of having 75% of Minneapolis residents live within a
quarter mile of high frequency transit and 90% of residents live within a half mile.
That is going to require immense collaboration between the City of Minneapolis,
Hennepin County, and Metro Transit to ensure that not only is road and housing
infrastructure capable of meeting this goal but that hiring levels, training
programs, safety infrastructure, and the number of buses and trains can meet
that goal. Through my experience sitting on the Minneapolis Capital Long-Range
Improvement Committee, MnDOT’s Sustainable Transportation Advisory Council,
and my professional work collaborating with municipalities across Minnesota, I
am ready to take on this work of collaboration.

Ubah Nur:

Signal priority, payment at bus stop instead of bus, street-level loading (removing the stairs of the bus, adding a bump for wheelchairs and mobility concerns).

Chris Parson:

What improvements, if any, should the city be pursuing to improve speed and reliability
for Minneapolis transit riders? How do you see the city, Metro Transit, and Hennepin
County collaborating to improve bus service?


The city should be continuing to collaborate with Metro Transit to add BRT routes. The
BRT’s ability to control stop lights increases its reliability and efficiency. The city, county,
and Metro Transit also need to be planning for the future of mass transit which will
probably include autonomous buses operating more frequently.

Question 7

Parking Policy: The City of Minneapolis recently eliminated parking minimums; however, the city approved both a multi-thousand Allina parking ramp and proposed a parking plan for the Roof Depot site with spots for nearly every employee or visitor to travel by car, which is not in alignment with the city’s mode shift goals as cited in the TAP.

What role do you think the city should play, if any, in reducing parking to meet mode shift goals?

Aisha Chugtai:

Our city has a responsibility to invest in transportation infrastructure that meets the diverse
needs of our residents and promotes equity and sustainability. Parking availability drives
transportation behavior. Reducing parking is an important part of getting more people walking,
biking, and using transit, but it can’t be punitive. We need to make those alternatives easily
accessible and convenient by investing in strategies that improve non-driving transportation
access while also divesting from automobile infrastructure

Alicia GIbson:

I think the city has taken an overly aggressive stance in this regard and is riding the fine line of
moving ahead of what is feasible for businesses to want to continue to invest in our city with
negative consequences for renters who don’t have their own property to build parking on and for our economy as we are trying to emerge from Covid and civil unrest and are very much trying to bring economic life back into our city. Without that reinvestment there will be little progress on any of our other desperately needed social and environmental goals.

Katie Jones:

Land in Minneapolis is limited and valuable. To meet our climate and equity goals,
we must reevaluate the best ways to utilize that space. How should a particular
right of way or property be used? For housing people, providing business
services, facilitating transportation, personal vehicle storage, or something else?
What is the highest and best use of that space?


We know that much of our space is currently underutilized. In the recent redesign
of Bryant Avenue from Lake Street to 50th Street, a study found that even during
the peak of parking, only about 50% of parking spaces were being used. That data
is crucial in understanding how this particular area could be better served by
reducing parking and should serve as an example for projects moving forward.
So much underutilized space also invites more people to drive personal vehicles,
thereby increasing traffic and decreasing system efficiency.


It’s time to reset expectations, changing considerations of “where am I going to
park?” to “what mode is best for this trip?” Providing transportation options from
mass transit to personal vehicles to biking and walking not only gives people
greater freedom, it creates opportunity for more people to move efficiently around
our city.

Ubah Nur:

The problem is that parking is too popular with business owners, who fear that reduced parking will hurt their business. And the weird criss-cross of buss routes are too confusing for workers, especially in winter where no one wants to wait for a transfer (especially at a windy, shelterless bus stop). More shelters, more efficient routes that run more often, and better maps describing how and where they go will help here. We need to expand campaigns to show that such an outcome is not guaranteed – perhaps increase the organized efforts among bikers/transit/walkers to all frequent a street’s businesses during the same week, letting them know that they will be OK.

Chris Parson:

The city should not be reducing parking availability and I believe it was a mistake to
eliminate parking minimums. As I said before, the city would be better served planning
for a future with EVs rather than continuing to attempt to force people out of their cars.

Question 8

Traffic Enforcement: A recent article in the Star Tribune found that 78% of police searches that started as stops for moving or equipment violations from June 2019 through May 2020 were of Black or East African drivers. Also, in 2016, Our Streets Minneapolis published a report that suggests black bicyclists face greater threats of police violence than white bicyclists, especially for small infractions like failure to use a light or riding on the sidewalk.

What role should the city play, if any, in changing or maintaining how minor traffic violations are enforced? or maintaining how minor traffic violations are enforced?

Aisha Chugtai:

Minneapolis has some of the most significant racial discrepancies in the country, and our
transportation system and policing systems currently work together to perpetuate racism. There are concrete steps the city must take to repair harm and address racial disparities:
● End traffic stops, which do little to improve safety and have disproportionately targeted
Black, brown and Indigenous residents.
● Focus on rapidly improving street design, which is much more effective at improving
safety.
● Advocate for expanded zero-fare programs within Metro Transit.
● Advocate for reforming and ultimately eliminating penalties for fare evasion, which also
disproportionately targets Black transit riders.
● Divest in Metro Transit Police and invest in community- and evidence-based models of
safety, including community ambassadors trained in de-escalation, triaging, and
intervention strategies.

Alicia GIbson:

A recent study in St Paul also showed that enforcing traffic violations saved lives and when done in a time-targeted way — over every weekend in May, for example — had ripple effects that
changed drivers behavior in positive ways. If the concern is with bias in policing then I advocate for addressing that head on by reforming our policing: hiring more officers who represent the communities they serve, hiring enough officers to have walking foot patrols so they come to know their community members as individuals, using smart data systems to flag officers early who over-police or have concerning profiling statistics and get them off the force before they can cause more damage.

Katie Jones:

While I applaud Chief Arradando’s announcement that Minneapolis Police Officers will no
longer make traffic stops based on low-level offenses like expired tabs, there needs to be
more transparent oversight. We must be able to trust that declared policies are being
implemented. These police searches are not making our communities safer and instead
actively harming our neighbors. Unfortunately, we’ve seen policies like a near ban on
no-knock warrants be announced and then, eight months later it’s reported that 90
no-knock warrants had been approved for MPD. That’s why voters must vote no on City
Question 1 and yes on City Question 2: we need greater oversight on police.


Under a new Department of Safety, I would advocate for unarmed safety officers to walk
neighborhood beats and act as friendly faces to business owners and residents, provide
resources to those needing shelter, and call more responders as needed. These unarmed
patrols would be also tasked with enforcing biking rules like staying off sidewalks and
using a light. Enforcing these laws does not require an escalation of force such as an
armed officer. Instead, a helping hand to provide a bike light or direction to the nearest
bike path could be more effective in achieving the desired outcome.

Ubah Nur:

End all stupid pre-textual stops (broken taillight, crap like that). Speeding and dangerous driving – yes, enforce that. But “you slow-rolled through a stop sign” is not worthy of a stop.

Chris Parson:

Traffic enforcement, especially for moving violations, is a critical piece to the street safety
puzzle. The reduction in traffic enforcement has emboldened bad driving behavior and we
have seen the results. I wholeheartedly agree that minor vehicle violations (expired tabs,
burned out taillight) should not be a primary reason to pull people over, but speeding and
other dangerous behavior cannot continue to go unchecked.


We need to get bias out of policing, that much is certain. But we also need to enforce the
laws that are designed to keep everybody safe.

Question 9

Snow Removal: Sidewalks that are inadequately shoveled create both risks and barriers for pedestrians and transit riders. We also know that the risks and barriers aren’t experienced equally– with Minneapolis senior citizens and community members with disabilities being the most impacted by neglected sidewalks in the wintertime. 

What changes, if any, would you advocate for in how our city addresses snow and ice removal from sidewalks during winter?

Aisha Chugtai:

Pathways for walking and biking should be accessible all year round. Our prioritization regarding snow removal is a reflection of our values as a city. I support piloting a municipal shoveling program in our most walkable corridors to ensure year-round accessibility, especially for disabled and elderly residents who are most impacted by snow and ice. We should also prioritize snow removal at bus stations and stops, as well as bike lanes, to ensure everybody can safely get to the important places in their life during the winter months.


We can also move towards a greener city and protect our groundwater, lakes, and wetlands by
using more sustainable products in the winter, such as sand and beet juice, for snow and ice.

Alicia GIbson:

I would advocate for much better education and proactive outreach from the city (which starts with the city council’s office) for our neighbors who have a difficult time shoveling their sidewalks in a timely manner. There are subsidized programs to help pay for these services, and we need to make sure people who need them are connected to those resources. The city has looked into citywide shoveling and the cost is too great to make it feasible — as a busy mom with a partner who works long hours, I’d certainly appreciate having this offloaded to someone else. But I also know that especially now our tax dollars are so squeezed and need to fund critical and emergent programs like affordable housing and community-based policing with more mental health and drug addiction supports that work for all.

Katie Jones:

As a City Council Member, I will advocate for a municipal system that clears
snowy and icy sidewalks and walkways. The frigid Minneapolis cold is already
restrictive enough in the winter; residents of all ages and abilities should at the
very least know that when they go out they will be able to walk or roll in safety. It
is inexcusable when any Minneapolitan is unable to navigate our city and
participate fully in communal life because of restricted mobility. This is a basic
matter of justice and equity.

Ubah Nur:

Use some of the afore-mentioned money for financing more aggressive sidewalk snow removal, especially for burb cuts, and one free removal and replacement of a parked car per license plate. This can save people a bunch of money, and still cause people to follow the guidelines. 

Chris Parson:

The city needs to continue to enforce its snow removal ordinance and step-up
enforcement where needed. When possible public works should conduct snow removal
and send the bill to the property owner.

Question 10

Bike, Walk, Roll: What actions, if any, will you take to make Minneapolis better for biking, walking, and rolling by the end of your term, if you are elected?

Aisha Chugtai:

Everyone in Minneapolis should be able to safely, affordably, and effectively move through the city on foot, bike, transit, or car. To make Minneapolis better for biking, walking, and rolling by
the end of my term, I will:
● Rapidly implement safer street designs via quick build improvements and through
scheduled street reconstruction projects.
● Partner with Hennepin County to proactively implement safety conversions (for example,
4-to-3 lane safety conversions) and other safety treatments to address high-injury,
county-owned streets in Ward 10 like Lake, Lyndale and Franklin.
● Increase funding to expedite the completion of the Pedestrian Priority Network for people
walking and rolling, as well as the All Ages & Abilities Network for people on bikes as
identified in the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan.
● Dedicate resources to fully fund the strategies outlined in the City’s Vision Zero Action
Plan.
● Create a participatory budgeting program for transportation infrastructure projects.
Residents know what projects would make walking and biking safer in their community
and I want to invest in their expertise.

Alicia GIbson:

There has not been adequate consideration given to how we invite people to use spaces
differently, meaning on foot or on wheels. I would work to bring vitality to our streets with
collaboration with artists, wayfinders, and green space enthusiasts.

Katie Jones:

A core tenant of my campaign is making Minneapolis a 15-minute city, where neighbors
can meet their everyday needs within a 15-minute walk, bike, roll, or transit ride. Kids can
safely bike to school, seniors can walk to the store, and commuters can affordably and
reliably take an electric bus or train to work. Lives are made safer, more convenient, and
less stressful. No one is at a disadvantage of getting around because of economic or
physical challenges. This not only takes implementing the transportation policies I have
discussed above but making sure our zoning plans build neighborhoods that are
conducive to biking, walking, and rolling. A 15-minute city requires not just density in
housing to increase but also a guarantee that grocery stores, pharmacies, childcare
facilities, restaurants, and other essential businesses are close at hand in all
neighborhoods.
To get there, we do need to think about specifics such as:

Ubah Nur:

See above – this set of policies will revitalize those big 3 actions in Minneapolis

Chris Parson:

As a member of City Council I will work to meet the transportation needs of all residents
in Ward 10. I will do this through direct engagement with community stakeholders.

Thank you to the candidates for their responses to the questionnaire.

Early voting is already underway in Minnesota. For more information on how to check your voter registration, absentee voting, and early voting please visit the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.