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Rep. Carlos G. Smith for HD 37 Questionnaire

Representative Carlos G. Smith

 Candidate for Florida HD 37

CFL4Transit supports champions in Central Florida who prioritize fast, frequent and reliable transit supported by our core values of accessibility, equity, and environmental justice.

Questionnaire Response

 Q1: How often do you find yourself walking, biking, or using public transit? If you mainly drive, what do you see as the barriers for yourself and our community to move towards a place that promotes sustainable transportation as viable alternatives to cars?

Whenever possible, I take the Sunrail and often walk in connected areas with safe pedestrian access corridors. Biking is primarily a recreational activity.

Q2: How will you work with other state elected officials and state agencies to fund and deliver transformational transit projects?

Supporting bills to increase impact fee’s so developers pay for the local impacts that have on roads as well as advocating for less toll roads to nowhere, perpetuating urban sprawl. Ensuring that local governments can have a multitude of opportunities to tap into funding through grants needed to invest in frequent, fast and convenient transit options.

Q3: How important is having a world class transit system for the future of Greater Orlando?

It is one major way Central Florida can invest in alternative modes of transit that is more environmentally friendly and would open up a range of future economic opportunities. It helps to create equity in areas that are marginalized and may not be able to afford individual automobiles. Connecting communities through multimodal transit options helps create safer cities and builds corridors for economic growth + accessibility.

Q4: Places like LA and Kansas City are exploring free fares and many cities like Pittsburgh have introduced low-income fare discount programs. Do you think discount fares should be provided for low-income residents and should free fares for all users be considered?

Yes, absolutely. Transit is a public good just like freely accessible roads which are maintained by other funding mechanisms. We should ensure all residents have the right and ability to use these public resources without it affecting their overall quality of life nor prosperity.

Q5: Do you support transit-oriented development (TOD), building walkable mixed use neighborhoods around transit stops and stations to create a transit supportive environment?

Yes, smarter growth leads to better quality of life for all. Mixed- use housing and commercial areas help slow urban sprawl and it is better for the environment as well as more accessible to all people, even seniors or those with disabilities. It can even improve mental health when people are able to interact with each other more rather than being isolated in their individual cars. 

Q6:  Greater Orlando is regularly ranked the most dangerous place for cyclists and pedestrians in the country, a huge problem for transit since that is how most riders arrive at their stops. What actions and policies do we need to create safer streets for walking and biking?

We need protected bike lanes, better funding for improved pedestrian infrastructure and we need to continue education for our urban planners as well as our transportation planners/engineers. We need to make sure local and state staff are educated in the most cutting-edge methods and are aware of international technologies that improve safety rather than continuing the same decision-making practices which continue to make the streets unsafe.

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