Grading the Candidates on Bike, Walk, Transit and Streets for People: District 3

Article 3 of 4: Challenger Kimball Ingram is a Good “Friend” of Bike, Walk, Transit & Streets for People

Article 1: Grading the Candidates on Bike, Walk, Transit and Streets for People: Weekley and Kaufman Stand Out as True “Friends”
Article 2: Grading the Candidates on Bike, Walk, Transit and Streets for People – Challenger, Dr. Ryan Barnett Is a Good Friend of Bike, Walk, Transit and Streets for People
Article 4: Grading the Candidates on Bike, Walk, Transit and Streets for People: Mayor Teri Johnston is a Very Good “Friend” of Bike, Walk, Transit and Streets for People

Today Friends of Car-Free Key West brings you our results for the District 3 City Commission election in New Town, taking place on August 18 between incumbent City Commissioner Billy Wardlow vs. challenger Kimball Ingram. Based upon the incumbent’s voting record over the last four years and both his and his challenger’s answers to our 13 questions in four categories: Duval Street and Downtown, Duval Loop and Public Transit, Bicycle and Pedestrian and Parking Strategies we give Mr. Ingram a Grade of B and Commissioner Wardlow a Grade of D- on Bike, Walk, Transit and Streets for People Issues. Therefore Friends of Car-Free Key West recommends voting for Kimball Ingram for District 3.

We want to thank both candidates for making the effort and taking the time to thoughtfully respond in writing (Ingram response; Wardlow response). We know they are both very busy and it says something about both that they gave this some thought. Even though he doesn’t receive our recommendation, we want people to know that we respect the long service of Commissioner Wardlow, the generous way he acknowledges us and the straightforward way he answers the questions. Further below we provide a spreadsheet that includes the specific Past Votes and how we scored them, the 13 questions and our scores of each answer and all of the responses from the candidates in their entirety in their own words. (Photo credit for restaurant picture Michael Beattie at Conch Scooter blog.)

CandidatePast Votes ScoreQuestionaire ScoreGrade
Commissioner Wardlow-1-2D-
Kimball IngramNA10B
Past Vote Scores can range up to 16+ points, Questionnaire Scores can range up to 13+ points.

Why Kimball Ingram for District 3

Commissioner Wardlow Consistently Disappoints On Our Issues

With multiple votes against extending Mall on Duval, a vote against keeping the Duval Loop free for visitors, his vote to keep four car lanes on S. Roosevelt instead of bicycle/pedestrian-friendly alternatives, and multiple votes against expanding metered parking, the incumbent has often been at odds with progressive multi-modal changes. He reiterates this with the responses to our questions including not supporting removing parking on Duval Street, not supporting marketing for Key West Transit and not supporting an increase in the Residential Parking Permit nor understanding that we do not currently have a Zoned Parking system. After 11 years of service on the City Commission we believe that if we want to make it easier and safer to bike, walk, take the bus and use streets for people we need change in District 3. In his answers Mr. Ingram has articulated a voice for doing better on these issues.

“I think as a small island, getting people out of cars is always a noble undertaking.”

Kimball Ingram
Mr. Ingram’s Progressive Vision on Streets for People and Parking Strategies

Mr. Ingram’s responses to our questions showed an obvious and excellent understanding of the issues in each of the four areas we highlighted to discuss. In particular his discussion of Duval Street and bicycle issues resonated with us. He advocated as an interim measure one-waying Duval and creating room on it and some cross streets for outdoor seating, pocket parks and wider sidewalks or the addition of bike lanes. This is progressive thinking in trying new things. He went on to say in the next question about removing parking on Duval (something Mr. Wardlow opposes) “The Duval corridor should be far more pedestrian and cycle friendly. The addition of bike lanes, parklets and bringing shops outdoors can only enhance the downtown experience. In addition, I would want to revisit the guidelines that make it difficult for businesses to enhance the areas around their shop fronts. That included additional seating, flowers and plants and anything that Code currently sites people for if they have not paid for the right to have seating outside their business.

We like that he thinks Residential Parking Permits should be by Zone. Mr. Wardlow noted we currently have a Zone system. He’s wrong. Residential Parking Permits are good to park anywhere, not just in your home zone. We think the City could use more Parking Enforcement personnel and Mr. Ingram doesn’t. We like his counter that parking enforcement with more of a carrot is needed and that improved efficiencies within the current unit are needed before more personnel are added.

Mr. Ingram Sees Public Transit in Context of Entire System

While not exactly answering our “return to a free Duval Loop” question directly he did use it as an opportunity to discuss creating parking opportunities outside of downtown and using the bus system to get people in. He also suggested this could provide more room on the streets for bikes and pedestrians. This is the kind of holistic, multi-modal transportation thinking we envision too. He also said that Key West transit needed to sell the idea of change and win over skeptics while noting he didn’t think it mattered whether this marketing function was done in house or by a third-party vendor.

Mr. Ingram Gets Infrastructure and Education are Necessary to Get More People Biking and Walking

“I believe infrastructure and education are necessary. By designing roads with safe areas for bicycles, and ensuring adequate space for both cars and bikes, we could reduce tension between drivers and cyclists while also creating a bike culture in town. Educating locals on the rights of bicyclists is important but the sheer volume of tourists means we would always be trying to educate new people. This is labor intensive and costly without necessarily being effective. Creating a city where there are dedicated bike and pedestrian lanes with some protection would help encourage people onto their bikes or on foot.”

Kimball Ingram in answer to question 9 “Do you believe increased traffic enforcement (speeding) will improve public safety for pedestrians and people on bicycles? Or do you believe that infrastructure improvements will improve safety? Or Education? Perhaps nothing more is needed or perhaps all 3? Explain how public safety should be accomplished.”

We like that he and his whole family bike. A lot. Too often we’ve heard from the current crop of Commissioners and City Management that they drive everywhere. We believe this exacerbates the car-centric transportation system in this town and believe leaders should set the example. It bodes well that he mentions funding the short-term bicycle and pedestrian networks in the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Transportation Plan.

Mr. Ingram Gets Bike, Walk, Transit Makes Our Island Better
Kimball, top row, third from right, participates in the Smart Ride Bike Fundraiser

We think Kimball Ingram gets it and having him on the dais at City Hall will go a long way towards a more bike, walk, transit and street for people friendly Key West.

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The Scoring and Backup Documents

We’ve compiled a spreadsheet that includes scores from Past Votes and scores from the Questionnaire and provides a final Grade, based upon those scores, for each candidate. A snippet of the Candidates Scoring Spreadsheet is below. You can also download the spreadsheet as a PDF for ease of reading. As we add races (Mayor’s races), the spreadsheet will grow to include each. You’ll notice it has the Past Votes scores of the existing City Commissioners too. Scores are broken down into four categories:

  • Duval Street and Downtown
  • Duval Loop and Public Transit
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian
  • Parking Strategies
You can click on the above spreadsheet image to enlarge and read it better. With the three downloads below you can click on the words and pull up the document directly or you can hit the download button and download the file.
Past Votes Record and Scoring

We were able to find 16 votes over the past four years on these issues broken down as: Duval Street and Downtown (4 votes); Duval Loop and Public Transit (2 votes); Bicycle and Pedestrian (6 votes); and Parking Strategies (4 votes). In scoring these votes we generally gave a plus one (+1) if they agreed with our position on the item and a minus one (-1) if they didn’t. In a few instances we gave an extra point for some votes we deemed extra worthy or an extra point for the item’s Commission sponsor. Generally a total Score of about 16+ is possible.

The Votes

Duval Street and Downtown

  • Aug 21, 2018; Approving Lease of 1400 Block to Southernmost House in exchange for them building a pocket park (FOR)
  • April 2, 2019; Item 22, Vote to Extend Mall on Duval through May, June, July & until midnight (FOR)
  • August 20, 2019; Vote to Extend Mall on Duval through November, 2019 (FOR)
  • November 19, 2019; Vote to Extend Mall on Duval twice a month through February 17, 2020 and then cease (FOR)

Duval Loop and Public Transit

  • August 6, 2019; Item #11, Approve submission of 10-Year Transit Development Plan (FOR)
  • May 5, 2020; Item #10, Authorize $1 Fare for visitors on Duval Loop (AGAINST)

Bicycle and Pedestrian

  • February 7, 2017; Item #23, Authorize FDOT to proceed with 4 car lanes or no changes instead of FDOT and publicly recommended 2 car lanes, middle turn lane and protected bikeway (AGAINST)
  • March 20, 2018; Item #16, Recommend City Manager make efforts to hire a Transportation Coordinator in a timely manner (FOR)
  • September 20, 2018; Item #27 Revisit Speed Limit Map, establish limits to greatest extent (FOR)
  • March 5, 2019; Item #21 Accepting Key West Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Transportation Plan (FOR)
  • September 19, 2019; Authorize rebuilding Atlantic Boulevard Multi-Use Path (FOR)
  • November 16, 2019; Admiral’s Cut discussion sponsored by Weekley. Withdrawn from Agenda (FOR bridging Admiral’s Cut)

Parking Strategies

  • September 20, 2018; Item #14, Accepting Parking and Alternative Transportation Report (FOR)
  • September 4, 2019; Item #22, Meter 1500 block of Reynolds and 700 and 800 blocks of Seminole (Casa Marina) (FOR)
  • September 4, 2019; Item #23, Meter Smathers Beach (FOR)
  • December 3, 2019; Meter Jackson Square and 500 block of Thomas Street while accepting Employee Pass (FOR)
Questionnaire Scoring

Each of the four categories includes three questions and one final overall question for a total of 13 that we sent to the candidates. They are scored the same way with up to one point (+1) for a good answer to minus a point (-1). There were a few answers we deemed good enough for an extra half point. Generally a total score of 13 is possible on the Questionnaire.

The Questions

Duval Street and Downtown

  1. Do you favor funding the Duval Street Revitalization Study in the fiscal year 2021 budget? Will you fund the recommended improvements in the next year? Answer limited to 100 words.
  2. What are your ideas for interim projects (before the Study makes recommendations) on Duval or Downtown that would make it more pedestrian friendly and people oriented? Answer limited to 100 words.
  3. Do you think removing all parking on Duval Street would enhance the downtown environment? Would you support an ordinance that would allow parklets (benches or tables and chairs on a platform) to replace parking downtown? Answer limited to 100 words.

Duval Loop and Public Transit

  1. Do you favor returning to a free Duval Loop for visitors to our island? Do you favor fare free rides on other City routes for everyone? Answer limited to 100 words.
  2. Do you believe a third-party consulting firm should be retained to assist the City with branding and marketing the Duval Loop, Key West Transit and Lower Keys Shuttle programs? Answer limited to 100 words.
  3. Do you believe compensation of bus drivers should be increased to attract and retain a stable base of drivers?  Answer limited to 100 words.

Bicycle and Pedestrian 

  1. Please name a few bicycle and/or pedestrian projects (they can be from the Bike/Ped Plan) you would vote to fund in your term. Answer limited to 100 words.
  2. How often do you ride a bicycle and for what purposes?  How do you propose we get more people to bike and walk in Key West? Answer limited to 100 words. 
  3. Do you believe increased traffic enforcement (speeding) will improve public safety for pedestrians and people on bicycles? Or do you believe that infrastructure improvements will improve safety? Or Education? Perhaps nothing more is needed or perhaps all 3? Explain how public safety should be accomplished. Answer limited to 100 words.

Parking Strategies

  1. Do you favor raising the price on Residential Parking Permits to the $35 proposed in the FY21 budget? And even more for 2nd and 3rd vehicles? Do you favor going incrementally higher in future years? Answer limited to 100 words.
  2. Do you favor instituting Residential Permit Parking by Zone so that the permit allows one to park near one’s own home? Answer limited to 100 words.
  3. Should the City hire more parking enforcement officers since it has been demonstrated that these positions are self-funding and that residents desire increased enforcement efforts. Answer limited to 100 words.

GENERAL/CATCH ALL

  1. What do you think of when you think of Car-Free Key West and its mission and how do you propose to make it easier and safer for more people to bike, walk, take the bus and use streets and why do you think this is important? Limit 300 words.

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