Candidate: Irina Goldstein, At-Large Candidate
This questionnaire was sent to every candidate no matter the party affiliation. Feet First Philly does not endorse any particular candidate and provides the responses to the public for informational purposes only.
If elected, what would you do to promote walking in Philadelphia?
I think it might help to spend a little money on a media campaign to promote walking—its health benefits and its benefits for the environment. I could put some signage on SEPTA buses. If people can walk to their destination, they should do so rather than drive. It saves money and helps the environment.
If elected what would you do to ensure that all Philadelphians can reach their destination safely?
I would encourage our police to enforce traffic violations by the book. People need to be aware that they will not be able to get away with minor traffic violations. If people get complacent, they will be more likely to engage in hazardous driving behavior that eventually leads to deaths.
Vision Zero and Pedestrian Traffic Deaths
Do you support VisionZero?
Yes. This is a strong plan that collects data and targets high-risk roads that require re-engineering and rethinking. We are listening to city residents about problem areas where there is a design flaw involving a traffic light, bike lane, or a crosswalk that is creating a high risk of tragedy. We will document and educate people about behaviors, whether on a bike, in a car, or on foot, that jeopardize their lives.
How would you improve the walkability of our neighborhoods through Vision Zero?
I like the emphasis of Vision Zero on keeping streets clean to ensure walkability. The presence of trash on a lot of streets definitely discourages walking. But I think it is also important to emphasize safety. More streetlights and police patrols will make sidewalks safer for people.
According to an NBC10 report, there are 40 hit-and-runs per day, creating an epidemic in Philadelphia. In 2018, there were over 100 traffic fatalities in Philadelphia. In your view, what can you, as an elected official, do about this epidemic?
Each one of these incidents is a tragedy. We need to collect data on each one. We can install cameras to monitor roads so that we can get a sense of what is happening on certain roads. If there was speeding, we may need to consider lowering the speed limit and improving enforcement of traffic laws. If there was drinking or drug use that precipitated the accident, we need to educate people on the dangers of substance abuse and participate with our local bars to discourage people from going home in a car intoxicated. If there is a major highway next to a park where kids play, we can install a barrier perhaps.
If elected, what would you do to ensure adequate sidewalk repair and crosswalk maintenance?
We are worried that a lot of the people who get the job to repair our roads are getting it as a political favor, and not because they will do a great job. We’re going to reward the crew that gets the job done instead of those who have political connections.
If elected, what would you do to ensure our more vulnerable citizens could adequately and safely get around?
We need aggressive sidewalk repair so that there are no potholes or cracks. We also need to patrol our streets so there are drug dealers or criminals lurking that might take advantage of an elderly person or a child.
If elected, what would you do to end illegal sidewalk and crosswalk parking in Philadelphia?
We could work with the parking authority to impose stiff fines for doing this. We do need to expand parking in Philadelphia, though, because some people just have a hard time finding a space.
If elected, what would you do to ensure developers provide a safe walking & crossing area for pedestrians to use in all neighborhoods?
We need to add a regulation so that this occurs. We want more economic freedom in Philadelphia so that it is an attractive place to do business. But we need to make sure that basic safety guidelines are met.
Where is your favorite place in Philadelphia to walk and what makes it so great?
I love the Italian Market. There is so much color, culture, and fun there.