As Ann Arbor’s mayoral election quickly approaches, City Councilmember Christopher Taylor (D–Ward 3) has been prioritizing the main issues he would like to resolve if elected as mayor in November.

Taylor, the Democratic nominee, said he would like to address a variety of issues to ensure that Ann Arbor has affordable living conditions, not focusing on any particular aspect of the city.

“My goal is to confront the city with balance, to strive to maintain and improve basic services, while at the same time making tangible quality of life improvements,” he said.

Taylor has demonstrated an interest in a multitude of issues during his six years on City Council, sponsoring legislation ranging from transportation to downtown development and zoning. In this vein, Taylor said he will focus on ensuring maintenance of public safety matters and work to improve streets and municipal infrastructure.

While Taylor said all of these issues are important, he added that transportation is an area that has the most opportunities for improvement and reinvestment. He also emphasized the importance of transportation in Ann Arbor during the first post-primary debate.

Taylor said transportation infrastructure, including that for non-motorized modes of transportation such as walking and biking, needs to be updated to make traveling easier and more accessible.

“Traffic is a concern to residents,” he said. “We need to make sure that people can come in and out of the city efficiently and effectively.”

With regard to walking and biking, Taylor said non-motorized transportation is a vital component of Ann Arbor’s transportation infrastructure. He has focused on the importance of non-motorized transportation by sponsoring legislation that required City Administrator Steve Powers to develop a non-motorized transportation implementation strategy in 2013.

“Making sure our bike lanes improve and expand is a co-equal concern when designing streets and crosswalks,” Taylor said.

Along with updating transportation infrastructure, Taylor has supported the expansion of mass transit services since the spring, specifically regarding the Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority. Additionally, he supports the construction of a new Amtrak train station, an initiative that is still in the planning process.

While working on expanding mass transit services, Taylor would also like to see the growth of ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft in Ann Arbor.

“Uber and Lyft provide services safely throughout the country and I’d like to see Ann Arborites continue to have the benefit of their operation,” he said.

In September, he co-sponsored legislation that required Powers to negotiate an operating agreement with transportation network companies. Taylor said he is unaware of whether Powers has successfully negotiated an operating agreement.

Even though the improvements to mass transit services and ridesharing services have not been fully implemented yet, Taylor said he is looking forward to exploring these opportunities to ensure that quality of life is high.

He did not provide a timeline for when he would deal with these problems because of the complex governmental process.

“Government is slow,” Taylor said. “It’s process-heavy and resource-constrained.”

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