Voter Guide – Minneapolis Mayoral Candidate Captain Jack Sparrow

The first mayoral candidate to submit responses to our survey is Captain Jack Sparrow

  1. What do you believe is the most significant land use and/or transportation issue facing Minneapolis in the next 5 years and how do you hope to address it in office?

I think that spending on the Southwest Light Rail project is a huge mistake, both for financial reasons and because of the potential for environmental castrophy.  I understand there has still been no environmental impact statement completed for that project. Safty is another concern, where the light rail and freight trains are to be colocated next to each other and some of that is in a tunnel. The freight trains will be carrying flammables, such as oil, and according to the president of the railroad company they are required by federal law to carry any substance which is requested of them. That could even include substances such as chlorine, which is used in chemical weapons.

  1. How can transportation and/or land use policy address historic imbalances in investments and improve equity? What specific land use or transportation policies will you pursue to achieve this?

I like Bob Again Carnie’s ideas he has put forward as part of his Transit Revolution. He as an idea for having five minute intervals between busses. He is advocating for Metro Mobility size busses and some even smaller vehicles operating on a finger grid. He thinks this will be even more cost effective because of the economies of scale, as more people would be willing to ride on public transportation if it was more convenient, and if they didn’t have to wait so long between busses. He would also have the commuter busses which are now running back to the suburbs empty, after dropping their passenger off Downtown, pick up people from the inner city to take to the jobs in the suburbs.

  1. Minneapolis is currently updating their Comprehensive Plan. What key issues would you like to see addressed in this process and the final Plan?

 I would like to see automobiles severely restricted in the central city. I would also explore the possibility and practicality of building underground as a way to conserve surface area for other uses, such as green spaces.

A Plan to Limit Automobiles in the Central City, and to Build Underground

  1. The city recently hired a new public works director. What type of support should the City provide this position to achieve the best results for all residents (for example: people who travel by foot, bike, transit, and car)? Are there other department directors that need additional support to create sufficient land use or transportation changes to achieve the goals of the city’s Comprehensive Plan?

The City should provide the funding necessary so the Public Works Director and other City officials can have access to the funding necessary to adequately study Bob Again Carnies Transit Revolution, my ideas for restricting Automobiles in the central city, and building underground and any other innovative ideas proposed by others which may be “outside of the box.”

  1. Both street and development plans continue to be controversial across the city. As Mayor, how would you lead the City to address concerns about development impacts? What recent controversial street or development project would you have managed differently?

I would have located both the Green Line and the Blue line light rail lines in different areas, if I would have built them at all. Putting the green line in the middle of University Ave is a bad idea which has contributed to many deaths of pedestrians and passengers and drivers of motor vehicles.  The Blue Line should have been built on the East side of Hiawatha Avenue. More people are now dyeing because of the decision to put in on the West side. One of the rationales for the Light Rail trains is that it will stimulate development along the route. My contention is that it will just take the development which would have occurred elsewhere and move it to the new the area near the Light Rail line instead.

Hiawatha Death Star Kills Again, Southside Pride

Full Disclosure: I write a monthly article for Southside Pride about crime and violence. Hopefully, I could have made the Nicolette Mall upgrade go faster, but I have not yet studied what is alleged to have gone wrong there to require such a long time to complete the project.

Betsey Buckheit

About Betsey Buckheit

Betsey rides her pretty blue city bike, walks her energetic black dogs, and agitates for more thoughtful, long-range decision-making in Northfield, MN. You can follow her blog at