Kwanza Hall
Responses to the ThreadATL Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire, 2017
Parking question
ThreadATL: "The ubiquity of free/cheap parking is considered a threat to walkable cities and to the competitiveness of public transit. Are there parking-management strategies, or zoning changes, that you would put in place to decrease automobile dependence and increase walkability?"

Response...

I have a long history of supporting density, which is critical to walkability and transit. I
support eliminating parking minimums. I would like to explore implementing a parking
tax on commercial parking facilities.

Invest Atlanta Question
ThreadATL: "As mayor, you’ll have significant control over Invest Atlanta. Luring companies through tax incentives and the issuance of bonds is a chance for us to invest in good urban design, walkability and the reduction of car dependence in our office developments. What can you do to guarantee this happens with Invest Atlanta projects?"

Response:

As Mayor, I will work to ensure that the rewrite of our zoning ordinance is completed
with significant community input and all Invest Atlanta projects will need to comply.

Streetcar Question
ThreadATL: "After years of ridership and operational challenges, the City of Atlanta recently announced an agreement to transfer responsibility for the Atlanta Streetcar to MARTA. What specific additional steps should the City take to ensure the streetcar's long-term success?"

Response:

I believe we should extend the Streetcar and focus on those areas where it will run in
dedicated right-of-way. As your next Mayor, I will make sure that transportation will work
for everyone because I understand that land use, affordable housing, and transportation
decisions go hand in hand.

Gulch Question
ThreadATL: "A large entertainment-focused development in the "The Gulch" of Downtown has been proposed, where there are also long-standing plans for a regional multimodal transit terminal. How will you ensure that this potential rail service can be integrated with development in the Gulch?"

Response:

I’m not wedded to the notion of the multi-modal station being located at the Gulch, but I
am committed to ensuring that it is in a location that will accommodate connection with
MARTA, Amtrak, commuter rail and local and intra-city bus service.

Bus Lanes Question
ThreadATL: "In the interest of improving transit coverage along major bus corridors and in other areas not served by heavy rail, do you support dedicated, transit-only lanes for buses, even if it means reallocating existing roadway space from cars?"

Response:

Yes.

Small Retail Question
ThreadATL: "Economic challenges for brick-and-mortar retailers creates instability for neighborhoods when large “anchor” chains disappear, leaving blighted spaces behind. What policies will you seek to assure that developments include retail spaces that are not too large to be reused, in the event the large anchor tenant leaves?"

Response:

I think that neighborhoods should have a major role in deciding what type of retail
spaces are appropriate and how large they should be. I think there are good examples
of big box stores being redeveloped as churches, community centers, gyms and other
uses.

Preservation Question
ThreadATL: "New developments in our neighborhoods can result in the loss of buildings that hold cultural or historic significance. What policies would you support that would preserve the historical built identity of the city in the midst of new growth?"

Response:

I have a strong history of leading on historic preservation, including the Trolley Barn,
Central Library, Briarcliff Plaza and others. I would like to allocate more resources for
our Urban Design Commission to become more proactive at designating historic
properties and making sure they are protected.

Safe Walking to MARTA Question
ThreadATL: "Walking to a bus or rail transit station in Atlanta should be a thing that you want to do — not a dangerous chore that you do only when you have no other choice. How will you help the city partner with MARTA to strengthen pedestrian infrastructure around bus stops and rail stations?"

Response:

The transportation funding we have recently approved are strong steps in that direction.
The MARTA referendum will fund sidewalk repair on MARTA’s property and the Renew
Atlanta bond and TSPLOST projects include many around transit stations and corridors
served by buses. I think we can do a better job of making sure that sidewalks aren’t
closed during construction unless absolutely necessary, as we have experienced in
Midtown especially.

Neighborhood Master Plan Question
ThreadATL: "The car-centric Fuqua development under construction at 17th Street and Northside Drive runs counter to the Loring Heights master-plan’s call for a walkable, neighborhood-focused center of activity in this property. How will you ensure that developments respect neighborhood master plans and the work that residents have put into them?"

Response:

I am the only candidate who has worked with the neighborhoods in my District to fund,
develop and implement neighborhood master plans for each of them. My administration
will update appropriate zoning and development regulations in a timely manner so as to
be consistent with neighborhood master plans. Developments that run counter to
neighborhood plans and visions will not be approved if I am Mayor.

Affordable Housing Question
ThreadATL: "How will you increase the availability and accessibility of good-quality new housing that is affordable for a variety of household sizes, including owners and renters?"

Response:

Deliver 10,000 new housing units at a variety of price points by:
○ Utilizing Atlanta Housing Authority property or other appropriate land
○ Buy down the cost of land around corridors needing redevelopment
served by transit
● Encourage more diversity in types of housing via:
○ Micro-housing, duplexes and garden apartments that can be
incorporated into existing neighborhoods
○ Expansion of the Accessory Dwelling Unit legislation I passed in Spring
of 2017
● Restore and increase the capacity of Community Development Corporations
across Atlanta to ensure that smaller, local investors can have a financial stake
in the success of their communities.

What say you, Atlanta urbanists? How does this candidate's response rate? *
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