Survey Questions and Candidate Responses

Pedestrian deaths spiked a few years ago and remain high, and it's fairly clear that driver behavior, such as distracted driving, is only getting worse despite significant efforts by law enforcement to stop it. How can Connecticut's streets be made safe for pedestrians and bicyclists?

Cynthia Mangini | Participating Election
Stronger fines and better enforcement along with safety zones marked strictly for pedestrians and bicyclists should help.
John Rasimas | Participating Election
As victims of a serious hit-and-run accident that involved a juvenile offender, my wife and I became very aware of the minimal consequences that are imposed. We need to create stricter laws and support law enforcement officers so that they can enforce such laws.
Nick Gauthier | Participating Election
With investment in pedestrian friendly infrastructure, including protected walking and bike lanes while also taking cars off the road by providing viable mass-transit options.
Tammy Nuccio | Participating Election
If we want to control crime in any fashion, juvenile crime, distracted driving, wrong way drivers, violent crime, etc, we have to give the police the power to arrest people and our judicial system has to enforce the laws in a way where people consider the consequence before committing a crime. This is not to say we should "lock everyone up" or anything as draconian as that, but the punishment for the crime has to be seen as a deterrent. Programing - rehabilitation - restorative justice, early intervention, community involvement with law enforcement, all of these things need to be considered. If there is no consequence, there is no reason to stop the behavior.
Jonathan Steinberg | Participating Election
There have been a number of good "safe streets" initiatives coming out of the Transportation Committee, on which I've served for twelve years. Traffic calming measures are helpful, but pedestrians and bicyclists also need to be aware of the rules of the road, and remain aware and vigilant for their own protection. Many communities don't have roads wide enough for separate bike lanes and struggle to fund more sidewalks. The state can be helpful in pursuing those ends with additional funding.
Anne Hughes | Participating Election
We need to mobilize community will to make more pedestrian/bike friendly towns, invest in bike paths, traffic calming measures, slow down commuting, invest/support more multi-modal transportation, extend fare-free buses, etc.
Laura A. Fucci | Participating Election
I think that public awareness campaigns could help. Additionally, I would explore placing cameras on traffic lights and heavily used crosswalks that track violations and automatically send tickets to violators to try to deter dangerous behaviors.
John Carlson | Participating Election
"Significant efforts by law enforcement"? The PAB has made it difficult for officers to do their jobs. Let's give officers the tools, resources, training and numbers of officers they need to enforce the law. Allowing officers to do their jobs will make CT safer for EVERYONE. In addition, you increase funding for lights, speed humps and raised walkways to be installed, especially in areas where there is a higher risk. I've had speed humps installed in my neighborhood and they've greatly reduced speeding.
Kara Rochelle | Participating Election
I believe we need to create more bike lanes, more lights and signaling around cross walks, and harsher penalties for distracted driving, particularly cell phone use while driving, which is far too often the cause of fatal accidents.
Edwin Vargas | Participating Election
I will continue to support traffic calming initiatives as well as safe driving and pedestrian safety education.
MD Masudur Rahman | Participating Election
Enforcement of the laws we have on the books is clearly needed, but we also need to examine traffic mitigation options. I look forward to working with those experts to address the crisis of bad driver behavior.
David Michel | Participating Election
Each municipality should have their own paper with an analysis of where the areas of concern are and ensure enforcement is done in those areas. We have had conversations in Stamford about cameras in school zones. I do not mind yellow strips and apparatus that monitors the speed and even equipment that will issue tickets for those speeding, but I do not believe that in a school zone you can beat safety with police on location. I am open to the discussion on cameras but not confident that it's an actual proper or necessary expense when we have a police force to protect & serve.
Christine Palm | Participating Election
Infrastructure repair must make a priority of pedestrian and bike routes. I support the recommendations of the Center for Latino Progress, to name one group. While I would be in favor of raising penalties for distracted driving, walking, etc., without enforcement it’s a shallow gesture.
Julie Kushner | Participating Election
To create good outcomes for all students in Connecticut, we need to make sure that kids in every community are given the resources and high-quality instruction they deserve. This means reducing class size, increasing salaries and providing packages that will attract the best teachers. In some districts it means providing funds to recruit minority teachers, especially bilingual teachers in my district. To do this, we must ensure that we have an equitable state funding formula for school districts across the state that takes into account the varying economic circumstances and available resources of different school districts and communities.
Robert Hotaling | Participating Election
I am a technology expert who has noted that Connecticut lags behind many other states in best use of technology to create a safer environment. This applies not only for pedestrians and cyclists, but other at-risk groups as well. Better use of modern sensors and network technologies can be both affordable and effective. City planning and road design needs to be improved to maximize safety, not speed, including more pedestrian walkways and dedicated bicycle lanes. Additionally, red light cameras can be expanded to fine motor vehicle owners for moving violations.
Jillian Gilchrest | Participating Election
We might want to consider a public awareness campaign and think broadly about the various partners and communities we engage in speaking out about the importance of pedestrian & bicycle safety and distracted driving.
Frank Smith | Participating Election
The Vision Zero Council in CT is an interagency workgroup tasked with developing statewide policy to eliminate transportation-related fatalities and injuries. I voted to establish this council in the 2021 legislative session which is tasked with investigating this very issue and reporting back to the legislature on their recommendations. I look forward to continue working with them to make our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.