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2019 Candidate Questionnaire from WalkMedford

Email address: [email protected]

Your name: Jean M Nuzzo


1. Do you support the Complete Streets policy in Medford? 

YES


2. Are you satisfied with the Complete Streets policy outcomes from the past few years? What, if any, changes would you suggest to the policy or the way it is being carried out?

I am glad we are making these upgrades, however, I find our implementation to be disjointed, inequitably distributed, and not intuitive.  Additionally, project boundaries often end at less than optimal locations leaving cyclists and drivers competing for the same space, putting lives in danger.  Furthermore, our streetscapes are littered with competing signage, and therefore often the traffic calming measures we do implement- such as flashing pedestrian crossing and stop signs- get lost in the background noise.  Any solutions we employ should consider existing conditions, be visually impactful, intuitive to those on the road, and most importantly provide a safe option for all.


3. What would you do as an elected official to support the notion of improved mobility and safety for all modes of travel, and populations of all ages and abilities?

Residents suffer from having to live with bad street design, sidewalk obstacles and deterioration, and a general disregard for pedestrian needs- especially missing ADA ramps, streets without sidewalks, or sidewalks that end abruptly limiting a person in a wheelchairs path of travel.  Furthermore, we do not maintain our mature tree canopies.  Properly placed canopy trees define the street, buffer the sidewalk from traffic, and provide much-needed shade for pedestrians making the areas more inviting to use.  I much prefer a complete neighborhoods approach to addressing multimodality and traffic calming issues. 

A Complete Neighborhood is a neighborhood where, outside of commuting to work or attending special occasions, you can find everything you need within walking distance. Restaurants and entertainment along with schools, parks, grocery stores, medical offices, emergency services, and so forth can be found within the area. If you are fortunate enough to work from or close to home, you could go weeks without leaving and still have all your needs met. Essentially, if you move things close enough and make it comfortable to get around, people will walk; decreasing traffic and making the roads safer for everyone, including cyclists, pedestrians and drivers while fostering a deep sense of community.


4. Please indicate your thoughts on these types of improvements:

4a. Curb extensions that shorten crossing distances for pedestrians.

Properly implemented in the appropriate area(s) these are very effective.

4b. Bike lanes marked with paint.

My preference is separated lanes, however in this design I would like to see the lane colorized to stand out.

4c. Protected bike lanes separated from auto traffic by curbs or bollards, that come in many variations, such as the ones shown here.

These are the safest option, however, they aren't the most suitable option in many cases as there are logistical challenges especially at intersections.

4d. Sharrows (markings on the pavement that indicate the recommended location for bicyclists.

In a complete neighborhood, these would be fine as most residents would be walking and traffic would be minimal.

4e. Rapid rectangular flashing beacons or other lit signage to bring attention to crosswalks

Yes, as indicated above, these are excellent so long as there isn't visual competition with other signage.

4f. Low-cost “tactical” concepts for pedestrian and bicycle improvements that use paint and bollards or other approaches, such as the many shown here: https://tinyurl.com/yyek3mlk

These can be very effective if implemented incrementally and added onto over time.

4g. Larger-scale “network” planning that focuses on routes rather than “hot spots.”

I prefer a cohesive approach that provides routes.


5. Some pedestrian and bicycle improvements require removing on-street parking. What would be your approach to resolving the trade offs between improved pedestrian, bicycle and other vehicle safety and the loss of on-street parking?

Public safety is paramount, however, we should look to offset the impact to parking when/where possible.  

A complete neighborhoods approach helps to offset our parking needs as does a parking and transportation demand management ordinance.


6. Walk to School Days have been carried out successfully for several years in Medford Public Schools. What would you do as an elected official to ensure every school participates in Safe Routes to School? What changes do you envision to our infrastructure that would enable every school child to walk or bike to school safely on a daily basis?

Advocate for a complete neighborhoods approach, decreasing road traffic and encouraging development that meets the majority of our community needs within neighborhoods.


7. Many state and DCR roads run through Medford. What changes do you think can be made on these roads and intersections, and how can we work as a city to make progress when larger state agencies are involved?

We must address crosswalk locations and styles, proper signaling locations, methods and durations, the types of vehicles allowed on our roads at certain times of day, and the posted speed limits. Several of these roads through Medford need to comply with our speed limit ordinance, ownership notwithstanding. We should be able to work with DCR, MassDOT, etc to address this discrepancy and make the necessary corrections.


8. What can you do in your elected capacity to improve the reach, frequency, and quality of public transit in, to and from the city of Medford?

If elected to city council I will advocate for a parking and transportation demand management ordinance and the establishment of a correlative committee to investigate existing conditions, determine current needs, set parking and transportation standards and goals, and manage Medford’s efforts.