Voter Guide – Saint Paul Mayoral Candidate Trahern Crews

Here is the latest in our Saint Paul mayoral candidate questionnaire. These responses are from Trahern Crews

1. How do you get around in Saint Paul?

Bike, Walk, Bus & Train.

2. In your opinion, what is Saint Paul’s greatest transportation challenge? How would you plan to address it while in office?

Traffic congestion, the way I would address it is by working with the Met Council to keep transit affordable and taking steps to rebuild our infrastructure.

3. Our city streets have limited space to accommodate competing users, including people walking, people biking, people riding transit, people driving, parked cars, and delivery trucks. How do you feel these competing needs should be balanced?

I believe in complete streets where streets are designed with the capacity to handle pedestrians, cars, bikes, and trucks. In the future when designing our streets I would make sure they are designed with complete streets in mind.

 4. Do the current mechanisms for collecting feedback on transportation projects work?

a. If yes, why? If not, how would you change the process? 

No, because people of color are not represented in the surveys.

b. How would you involve more people who don’t normally participate in transportation conversations–such as young people, people of color, and people with low incomes?

Engage them.

5. What are your priorities for transit development in Saint Paul and the East Metro?

I want to build a solar district on Phalen Boulevard where everything is solar – the houses, buildings, cars, buses, bus stops, etc. Also, I want to see rapid transit along Phalen connecting the East Side of Saint Paul to the East Metro so that people who live in the East Metro can get downtown and people who live in on the East Side or downtown can get to the East Metro for work or other activities.

6. Do you support implementation of the city’s Bicycle Plan? 

a. If yes, what are the obstacles to realizing the Plan and how would you address them? If not, why not?

Yes, I do, but I want to include vouchers for low income residents so we can encourage healthy activities to our entire community.

b. Ramsey County is responsible for many major streets. How can the City best partner with the County regarding safety and access for people bicycling? 

When elected I review Saint Paul Comprehensive plan for 2040. I want to make sure it includes complete streets..

c. What more, if anything, should the City do to improve conditions for bicycling?

Add bike lanes along University Avenue and make the bike lanes safer for biker by building in reflectors along the bike lane so drivers can see bike riders at night.

7. In 2016, 188 pedestrians were struck by drivers in Saint Paul. More than 50 have been hit so far in 2017. What, if anything, is needed to improve pedestrian safety in the city? 

The first thing I will do is make sure all Saint Paul city employees who drive city vehicles are aware of the policies and procedures. Then we need to make sure they are aware of Saint Paul pedestrian safety initiative. Also in an effort to make the public more aware of this issue I will have the city release PSAs on this very important issue.

8. Saint Paul’s population has increased to more than 300,000 for the first time since the 1970s. At the same time, rental vacancy rates are below 2 percent and both the rental and ownership market costs are growing at a faster pace than incomes, increasing the percentage of households who pay more than 40 percent of their income for housing. What city policies have the most impact on housing supply and cost? What can Saint Paul do to ensure safe housing at all income levels?

We have to stop rising property taxes every year. We need to raise the minimum wage to a cost of living wage of $15 an hour. We also need to work with the Minnesota legislature to talk about
rent control.

9. Under what conditions or in what circumstances is use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) appropriate? What tools or approaches would you use to attract development, particularly in transit corridors?

For companies that pay employees cost of living wage jobs at the entry level and for affordable sustainable housing. The Light Rail is attracting more development, so I would continue to build on
that by adding more amenities along the transit corridors. I also will attract developers by developing a solar district along Phalen Boulevard and Rapid Transit connecting the East Side & downtown saint Paul to the East Metro via Phalen Boulevard.

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

For transportation making sure that under-served communities have the most affordable and sometimes free, safest, and the best public transportation available. I want to work with The Rondo Land Trust and similar entities to get low income or people who are coming out of poverty into houses as homeowners.

This questionnaire was done in partnership with Transit for Livable Communities and the Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition

Dana DeMaster

About Dana DeMaster

Dana DeMaster, MPP, is a program evaluator and researcher for human services programs who lives and bikes in Saint Paul. When she’s not analyzing data, she can be found rabble-rousing for neighborhood bike improvements in Saint Paul, playing Legos with her two children, or sewing practical things. You can find some of her other writing on the Grease Rag and Wrench blog.