Questionnaire for Mayoral Candidates
Sponsored by Burlington Walk Bike Council, Local Motion, and Old Spokes Home
Name : Haik Bedrosian
Tell us about your personal
transportation habits and decision-making. How much of the time do
you walk, bike, use transit, or drive to move around our community
and get to where you need to go?
I live in the new north end and drive
an SUV practically everywhere I go. Usually I'm alone, but sometimes
my two kids, or a friend is in the car with me. In the summer I enjoy
biking, but have done it less lately. This past summer I think I
biked from my house to the Waterfront and back maybe 3 or 4 times.
When the whether allows, I try to force myself to walk around the
block once a day. There isn't much to walk to in my neighborhood.
Occasionally I'll drive to Ethan Allen Park, and then walk to the
tower or the pinnacle.
Why do you think people who care
about walking, biking, transit, mobility, and transportation safety
issues should vote for you?
As a matter of policy I support all of
these things. More of my policy positions can be found at my blog
but among them are:
I would like to see a large project
engineered into the hill between Battery Park and Waterfront Park
that connects the two by stairways and ramps, with places along the
way to sit and watch the sunset from.
I would like Burlington to buy a large
kinetic sculpture by the artist Anthony Howe similar to this one in
place it at Waterfront Park for the public to enjoy.
I would like to see the steel skeleton
of the former Moran Plant glassed-in and turned into a large,
multi-level, year round indoor botanical gardens.
I would look for ways to create other
large indoor communal space where people can stretch their legs year
round. The mall was more than retail space, it was a place for
people to walk around in the winter and we need places for that,
whether or not it's related to commerce.
I would like the city to get rid of its
parking meters and stop charging money to park on public streets.
I would prioritize creating rail
service opportunities for Burlington.
I'd like to work with the owners of the
shopping mall parking lots at the mouth of route 7 to allow for GMT
park and ride parking. Current park and ride on Lakeside ave is awful
for commuting south and more awful on return trip.
In addition, I would support zoning
that created neighborhoods where there jobs and supplies were within
walking distance of residences.
What are the two or three most
critical transportation issues facing Burlington and how do you
propose to address those issues as mayor?
improving existing infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, bike paths,
charging stations); Walkable neighborhood design; Improving and
expanding public transportation options, including rail. As mayor I
would address these priorities through budget choices, appropriate
zoning changes, and active negotiations with interested parties.
What are your priorities for
implementation of Burlington's Plan BTV Walk/Bike?
though that 175 page document took some time. It looks like a lot of
work has gone into it. In general I would prioritize improvements
at the most dangerous intersections and adding sidewalks and
separated bike paths.
How would you incorporate
underrepresented voices into future transportation decisions to make
these decisions more equitable?
community organizations. Bring back Bernie's old “open door
Fridays” at the mayor's office.
What inequities in transportation do
you notice or have you been alerted to? For example, the city council
has stated that “racism is a public health emergency.” What does
this mean for transportation in Burlington?
main inequity in terms of transportation seems to be between those
who can afford to drive a car, and those who can't. Public
transportation in Burlington simply isn't good enough for most people
to choose it unless they're forced to. It would be nice to see that
The Sustainable Infrastructure Bond
that funded many of the bicycle and walking infrastructure
improvements starting in 2016 will expire in 2021. There are still
many miles of sidewalk left unrepaired, and many other projects in
the pipeline for implementation that are necessary to make Burlington
safe for walking and biking. Do you support continued infrastructure
improvements at the same or accelerated pace and if so, how do you
propose to pay for them?
Yes I support
continued infrastructure improvements. Sounds like we may need to
float a new bond, but I'd have to study other funding sources.
Sometimes proposed improvements in
biking infrastructure conflict with existing on-street parking. How
would you approach this issue as mayor?
I don't want to
lose street parking. In certain parts of the city, people may need
to get off their bikes and walk them on the sidewalk, in order to
Equitable access and increased use
of walking and biking as transportation happens when it is safe,
comfortable, and connects people with the places they need to go. How
do we close the gaps in BTV's walk/bike infrastructure and ensure
access for all to use these investments?
I'd like to see
more indoor tunnels like the one at UVM that lets people cross Main
Street without dealing with traffic or the elements. We could have
some bridges over streets too perhaps.