2019 Bike Walk Vote City Council Candidate Survey – District 9

L to R: Councilman Reverend Ricky Burgess, Cherylie Blair-Fuller, Kierran Young, Judith Ginyard, Stephen Braxton
Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess

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Cherylie Blair-Fuller
Kierran Young

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City Council District 9 Candidates respond to biking and walking issues

Since 2009, BikePGH has been educating our Members and facebook and twitter followers on how committed the candidates are to improving your experience and safety while walking and biking.

We’ve collected questionnaires from nearly every City Council candidate for the upcoming primary election in May. Locally, the primary election is often more important than the general election for determining who will represent Pittsburghers. If you are unsure what district you live in, please see the City’s website.

BikePGH is not allowed to endorse candidates. Answers have been lightly edited for formatting, otherwise these are their words.

Note: Neither Judith Ginyard nor Stephen Braxton submitted responses to this survey.

Bike Walk Vote the Primary on Tuesday, May 21

What roles do you think City Council can play in making cities safe, accessible and friendly for residents to walk and bike?


Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess

City Council should ensure that the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure has the budgetary resources and the legislative support to complete and implement the City’s Complete Streets plan, and work to amend the Zoning Code to shift toward more dense residential and commercial development.


Cherylie Blair-Fuller

City Council roles in creating a safe, accessible City can begin by evaluating current initiatives, outcomes and accomplishments to date. To continue to build from the current strengths and weaknesses of initiatives throughout the City. By increasing accessibility to those who ride bikes in all communities throughout the City and making sure that we create biking infrastructure that supports and displays safe accessibility to all.

To create safety across the City, Council can educate and inform residents through community engagement and forums that give information as well as hear concerns of individual laws concerning biking. To begin educating and engaging children at an early age of bike safety and walk ways. Creating safety in communities with high vehicle traffic by adding additional stop signs and encouraging traffic to slow as it moves into heavier areas of walking pedestrians; particularly in areas that have not had signs prior. For walking by ensuring that side walks are safe and unobstructed, streets are well lit and paved, even in our alley ways.


Kierran Young

The key to making cities safer is to have designated, protected bike lanes which will encourage more people to hop on bikes. People want a safe place to cycle and City Council can play a tremendous role in providing resources and investment in bike lanes and bike shares. I would be a voice on the council to advocate for legislation to build wide, physically protected bike lanes to encourage ordinary people to bike.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on the expanding bike lane network over the past decade. What’s working? Where can the City improve?


Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess

Expanding the bike network requires better coordination between the advocates and especially the residents of low- and moderate-income neighborhoods to prevent the impression some residents have that the installation of bike lanes is about potential future residents of their neighborhoods and not them.


Cherylie Blair-Fuller

What’s is working is the ease of vehicle traffic flow from 3 lanes to 2 lanes of vehicle traffic allowing for bikes to safely cross over lanes when bikers must make left turns. The City can improve by creating signals to inform vehicle drivers of change in flow of traffic patterns ahead before they are at the point of lane change over or the new traffic pattern. Improvements can be made by creating additional off-street parking for vehicles on streets that are narrow allowing for the safety of bike traffic and bikers not having to ride on sidewalks for safety.


Kierran Young

I am in total support of the development of a strong bicycle infrastructure where its more than a suggestion for cars to share the road with cyclists, walkers and runners. I feel that there has to be dedicated bike lanes, bike paths and shared lanes for walkers and runners.

What are your impressions of the OpenStreetsPGH programming? Anything you’d like to see improved?


Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess

I thought OpenStreets Pittsburgh 2018 was well done, despite my initial reservations. As long as we can avoid Sundays, I support OpenStreets Pittsburgh.


Cherylie Blair-Fuller

The OpenStreetsPGH provides for residents of all ages to participate in an outdoor healthy activity without the fear of vehicle traffic. That neighborhoods could adopt certain streets within the community to enjoy the open safety of bike riding more than once a year.


Kierran Young

OpenStreetsPGH looks absolutely amazing to me and I am looking forward to being a part of this movement of healthy outdoor activity throughout these neighborhoods in May.

What’s a particularly dangerous problem or location in your district for walkers, bikers, or people with disabilities that you’d like to see addressed?


Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess

Lincoln Avenue at Frankstown Avenue, Frankstown Avenue at East Liberty Blvd., Frankstown Avenue at Bennett Street, Penn and Fifth Avenues and Penn Avenue at Dallas Avenue are all high-vehicle-traffic intersections in need of traffic calming for the benefit of BOTH bicyclists AND pedestrians.


Cherylie Blair-Fuller

Studies that show and address increased parking to accommodate the current influx of vehicle usage in the various areas. Safety concerns on streets with high traffic volume and excessive speeds creating crossing street safety. Bus stop safety at senior buildings create concerns of disability movement with residents and public safety with the stops directly in front of buildings. Bikers riding on side walks because streets are do not provide space for parked and moving vehicles.


Kierran Young

Along Mossfield Street bordering Allegheny Cemetery, I find that particular stretch of road not walker friendly at all. As a walker/runner I sometimes find that walking along that street there are no sidewalks and I’m forced to walk in the street where cars are travelling at speeds approaching 50 mph and the shrubs are overgrown and filled will debris, creating an overall health and safety hazard.

In conclusion, why do you think people who care about walking and bicycling issues should vote for you?


Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess

Because I am acutely aware that I represent the Council District with the lowest rate of automobile ownership in the City and I have fought for 12 years to deliver the resources to rebuild these neighborhoods to make them safer for the residents, to build housing they can afford to live in on and near all of the major transit facilities, and I look forward to continuing that crucial work.


Cherylie Blair-Fuller

Walking and bicycling provide for healthy exercise. In the East End we experienced our first OpenStreets where I participated. It was good to get out of the car and enabled me to see the community from a different perspective. I was able to slow down and stop and speak to the community. To stop in a store and get a beverage (water). People of all ages and walks of life coming together, being more personable than driving in our vehicles. I will continue to support the bike pay stations in the community and the district, seeing it come to pass allows for those that can’t or don’t want to purchase a bike have access to one to ride from one end of the district or community to the next and leave it as they finish their destination with a brief walk.

I will continue to see that issues around safe walking and bicycling are continued initiatives throughout the 9th district. After all, after OpenStreets 2018 I ended up purchasing a bike myself. 😎


Kierran Young

These issues are very important to me. My father is a cyclist and I am a walker/runner. And, as a millennial, I believe that it’s part of my job to start significantly reducing the green gas emissions and to that end, I will be a voice for the voiceless. I believe that getting people out of their cars and moving about, whether it be by 2 heels or 2 bicycle wheels, is a winning situation for everyone. The physical and economic benefits of a healthy community are so great that I feel it’s our responsibility to promote cycling, walking, and running while decreasing car usage.

Click here to return to 2019 Bike Walk Vote Surveys


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