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BikeABQ Candidate Survey

Marianna Anaya

House District 18 — Democratic Primary

1. Do you bike in New Mexico? Describe your experience biking for transportation and/or recreation.

From the time I was little, bikes have always given me a way to experience freedom. From biking in my neighborhood as a kid in Albuquerque’s North Valley, to using my bike to escape violent situations in my teens. I biked to and from home and college when I lived in Austin and still bike in my adult life to just feel the breeze and find new ways to see and experience my community. Throughout my life, I’ve biked for transportation, for necessity, for exercise and for pleasure.

2. Describe your vision of a healthy, safe, equitable transportation system for the Greater Albuquerque Region and the roles walking, biking, and public transportation play in that vision.

I was raised in a low income community in Albuquerque’s North Valley where biking is the only means of transportation for many families. I’ve seen the inability of families to access the types of healthcare they need simply because they cannot physically get to doctors appointments on time, if at all, given the lack of infrastructure for biking, walking and public transportation in our city.

My vision for a healthy, safe, equitable transportation system is an infrastructure built around walking, biking and public transportation as the primary and central means of transportation. An infrastructure built around this model not only ensures equity in transportation, but equity in a variety of health outcomes for our community, opening greater opportunity for people to access more healthcare, more robust job opportunities, greater access to healthy foods and increased safety in transportation to school, improving attendance rates for youth.

I am grateful for recreational trails and use them often, however, I can’t help but dream of a day in which biking, walking and public transportation are valued as a necessity, instead of a luxury, as we plan transportation for our community.

3. What are the biggest barriers to getting people to choose walking, biking, and public transit instead of personal vehicles for daily trips, and what would you do to address these impediments?

For those who do not rely on biking, walking and public transportation as a means of necessity, barriers include a lack of safety and lack of infrastructure. As a state legislator, I would work alongside Representative Rubio, who I know shares similar values, to help re-center state transportation goals on the principles of mobility justice. I would also introduce mobility justice principles in conversations that often gain more traction - for example, as a means to reduce carbon emissions, improve public safety, increase the workforce, allow our communities more access to healthy foods and increase accessibility of healthcare in our state.

4. New Mexico consistently has the deadliest streets of any state in the US, with approximately 400 people killed by vehicles each year while walking, biking, or driving, and another 12,000 people injured. What should New Mexico, and in particular the New Mexico Department of Transportation, do to improve traffic safety?

When talking about death by vehicle collision, people often lose sight of the root of the problem: unsafe drivers. The problem is not, in fact, bikers or pedestrians, who, at the legislature, have often been recommended to be banned from transportation locations because of safety hazards that individual vehicles and unsafe drivers are creating. The DOT should rework their budget priorities to focus on pedestrians, bikers and public transportation as the main modes of transportation for the state. This could look like bike-only roadways, raised medians and sidewalks, biking highways, and more robust rail systems to transport people across our state. With this as a priority infrastructure, our state can address the root of the problem of traffic safety without limiting options for New Mexicans.

5. The New Mexico DOT is currently pursuing a pair of projects related to Interstate 25, following the South I-25 Corridor Study that calls for the widening of Interstate 25 in Albuquerque from Sunport to the Big I, to 8 lanes from the current 6. Do you support urban freeway widenings, or how would you prefer NMDOT enhance transportation options in this corridor?

More lanes on our interstate invites more traffic from individual vehicles when we should be investing in public transportation as a solution to traffic congestion. For longer distances, our state should invest in a stronger city-wide bussing system and public transportation such as trains and subways to move us across the city.

Our rail system should also be strengthened when it comes to commuting across the state—especially in the stretch from Los Lunas and Belen to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, where we know a large concentration of people commute to and from work. A faster means of transporting a large number of people from those cities in particular would alleviate traffic congestion, specifically at peak hours when commuters occupy the interstate.

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