BBP: How does the newly created Mobility Board differ from its predecessor, the Bicycle Advisory Board?
Hanshaw: It’s broader in representation and more than just bicycling. It includes transit advocates and community members. There’s a disability rights advocate. It’s a broader range with members from every district, as well as four members appointed by the mayor. It looks at everyone from pedestrians to bicyclists, while looking at everything from parking issues to transit connections.
BBP: What exactly is your role on the Mobility Board?
Hanshaw: It’s guiding our agendas. There really are experts all around the table. Really, the goal is to help the city streamline the process of implementing mobility options. We want to be a body that holds the city to getting where they need to go.
BBP: What is the Mobility Board’s purpose?
Hanshaw: To serve as an advisory board for policy relating to the city’s transportation network, analyzing things in a holistic way to ensure people have safe and easy access and choice of transportation modes as they move around the city. Its goal is also to help the city meet its climate action plan.
(The city’s CAP calls for eliminating half of all greenhouse gas emissions and for all electricity used in the city to be from renewable sources by 2035.)
BBP: What role will the Mobility Board have in the new Mobility Action Plan the city is working on?
Hanshaw: This Mobility Board will have input on the draft outline of that plan, which the city is going to come back to us with in August. The plan is how the city sets itself up in the Transportation Department with the staff, resources and the plan to implement measures to achieve the CAP. We look forward to being a voice for that plan.
BBP: How does mobility fit into the larger scheme of transportation within the region?
Hanshaw: Looking at the bigger picture, the city has to comply with state law requiring greenhouse gases to be reduced. The track we were on, the previous plan, was not reaching that goal. We need to take a good step back to really evaluate how we create a world-class transit network. I’ve been really pleased to hear the city is committed to creating a bike lane network and a regional bike plan. It’s about having safe choices. We have to think big.
BBP: What needs to be done to make biking safer and encourage more people to go that route?
Hanshaw: In simplest terms, it’s really providing choices for people to move around your region, besides just driving [cars]. It’s really about creating safe, connected networks, which relates to transit for bicycling. It’s building out, as soon as we can, a regional bike network.
BBP: What else needs to be done to improve the city’s transportation system?
Hanshaw: We have to think quickly because climate change is real. We need to take the steps necessary to comply with state and local greenhouse gas reductions. The bike master plan needs to be one of the guiding documents of the Mobility Action Plan.
Vision Zero also needs to be a part of this new Mobility Action Plan.
(Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.)
BBP: Is there anything else that can be done to wean people from their cars?
Hanshaw: We need to create behavior change to help people get out of cars, like creating shuttles and a bike network. We need to give people safe mobility choices. You put a safe choice out there, and people will use it. It’s not there yet.