Theodore “Ted” Nicholas Van Dyk
District D challenger
Address: 217 Hawthorne Street
Hometown: Washington D.C.
How long Have you lived in Raleigh?
What brought you to Raleigh?
Graduate school at NC State. I got a Master’s Degree in Industrial Design there.
In two to three sentences, please share something that you believe the City of Raleigh does well.
I think the city of Raleigh has moved forward on the revitalization of downtown and has done a great job of building momentum. I think we have a relatively open and effective local government, comparatively speaking.
Compared to what?
To other cities I’ve lived and to other places, even in the region. You notice there is no one is resigning from the city council or the mayor’s office or the planning commission because of high jinks. We really have a very citizen-oriented, service-oriented government structure with our city manager and our sort of advisory council and – you don’t want to say weak mayor – but one-vote mayor. I think it’s an effective way to govern a city.
In two to three sentences, please share one thing that you believe the City of Raleigh could improve upon or change.
I think transit related development. I thing the comp plan is a good first step, but the way we entitle, review and encourage new development is something that needs improvement.
In two to three sentences, please share your position regarding public transit in the City of Raleigh.
My basic position is more, sooner. There are four kinds of transit I want to see: bikes and greenways, busses, light rail to local routes and finally, regional rail. In addition, I’d like to see some additional park-and-ride facilities.
In two to three sentences, please share your position regarding growth management in the City of Raleigh.
We need to welcome growth that is of high quality. Set the bar high, and welcome growth that is high quality, transit friendly and pedestrian friendly. And I would also add to that, that preserves neighborhoods and open space.
In two to three sentences, please share your position regarding crime control in the City of Raleigh.
We need to have full funding at all times for basic services, like fire, police, sanitation and social services. There are a lot of places in our city budget where tough choices need to be made; I don’t see that as a difficult choice. I see that as fundamentals and those are some of the hardest working people on the city payroll.
Now, we would like to hear your position on two issues that were not previously mentioned, but that you think are important to the voters in the City of Raleigh. You tell us the issue and then give us two to three sentences about your position on the issue.
District D is the proud purveyor of the Dorothea Dix Park. I think an early strategy for claiming the available open space for a park is a top priority, but also working with the state for a phased acquisition for the balance of the site. Well respecting Dorothea Dix’s traditional function as a mental health facility is a priority. I think that the only way we’re going to get that site as a resource for our city is to respect its current uses and to work vertically with the state, who is actually the owner of the site, to come up with a workable solution, which I think is going to be over time. Essentially, there’s some easy open land that we can get quick; there’s some other land that may not be so easy, but I think over time we can work on and there’s a mental health facility and there’s offices – there are literally over a thousand people on the Dix campus currently – it’s going to take time to phase those folks off or find another site, a portion of the site or work with them as part of the Dix facility. So we need to think in a more sophisticated way about how we go about doing that. We can’t just say, “We want a park.” We need to find a way to get an early benefit for the citizens of Raleigh by having a longer-term plan for a bigger vision.
My second issue is transit. As I’ve mentioned, District D is the cross roads; both the major rail lines run through our district, Hillsborough Street is the most served street by different transit entities in the city currently, but there’s a lot more to be done. As I say, early study and move forward on park and ride facility, perhaps at the fairgrounds, which acts today as a TTA hub for busses, but in future could be a rail stop for a light rail hub. – I think would encourage redevelopment in the southwest. I think looking at transit, I said in my earlier statement, at different levels simultaneously is important, we have to understand that bikes and pedestrians are transit, busses are transit, light rail is transit and regional rail is transit, There no one solution. But that, along with planning for growth that accommodates that transit system, is what’s going to make us a twenty-first century city.
What would you say is your guilty pleasure?
One of my guilty pleasures, I think, is enjoying a cigar on the back porch.