George Chapman – Answers to Cycling Utah's Salt Lake City 2015 Mayoral Election Candidate Questionnaire
Candidate Information: George Chapman is an activist and advocate for safer complete streets that do not increase air pollution. He is a candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor and wants to increase bike lanes and safety and decrease center/left hand turn lanes. He looks forward to working for the citizens of Salt Lake City including the bicycling community.
Mayoral Candidate Questions:
- What is your vision for cycling (both road and mountain biking) in Salt Lake City? What would you do to make that vision happen (planning, budget, infrastructure, education, safety, economy, etc.)?
I WANT TO SEE MORE FOCUS ON CREATING SAFER AND MORE EXTENSIVE BICYCLE LANES IN SALT LAKE CITY. I WOULD STOP THE CREATION OF CENTER TURN LANES THAT ARE NOT USEFUL AND INCREASE DANGER FOR PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS. FOR INSTANCE, THE EXTREMELY WIDE LEFT HAND TURN LANES ON FOOTHILL SHOULD BE REMOVED EXCEPT AT THE LIGHTS AND THE EXTRA SPACE USED FOR EXTRAWIDE BICYCLE LANES AND THERE MIGHT BE ENOUGH ROOM FOR ANOTHER LANE OF TRAFFIC. TRAFFIC LIGHTS SHOULD BE REPLACED WITH SMART/ADAPTIVE CONTROL SIGNALS THAT REDUCE IDLING, AIR POLLUTION AND DETECT BICYCLISTS.
ANOTHER PROBLEM IS THE INSTALLATION OF CENTER ISLANDS INSTEAD OF PUTTING IN WIDER BICYCLE LANES. I THINK THAT BICYCLE LANES SHOULD GET PRIORITY BEFORE CENTER ISLANDS (700 E., EAST CAPITOL BLVD)
DESPITE WHAT SOME PEOPLE COMPLAIN ABOUT, I DON’T THINK THAT BICYCLISTS SHOULD BE TICKETED FOR NOT COMING TO A COMPLETE STOP AT STOP SIGNS. BICYCLISTS ARE NOT USUALLY A DANGER, CARS ARE. BICYCLISTS ON SIDEWALKS ARE NOT USUALLY A PROBLEM UNLESS THEY ARE GOING FASTER THAN 5 MPH.
I WANT MORE TRAILS.
- What is the biggest issue for cyclists currently in Salt Lake City and what will you do to address it?
TOO MANY LEFT HAND TURN LANES INSTEAD OF JUST AT THE LIGHTS. TOO MANY SKINNY BICYCLE LANES. NOT GOOD MAINTENANCE/CLEANING ON BICYCLE LANES THAT FORCES BICYCLISTS TO RIDE IN TRAFFIC LANES
- What will you do to grow the cycling economy of Salt Lake City (i.e. bicycle based business and industry, as well as communities that benefit from bike improvements)?
I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE CYCLING COMPANIES COME TO SALT LAKE CITY. OUR COMPOSITE MANUFACTURING TALENT AND CARBON/GRAPHITE FIBER TECH SHOULD ALLOW GROWTH BUT I DON’T SEE SLC PUSHING FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT. I WOULD ALSO ALLOW BIGGER SIGNS DUE TO THE FACT THAT BICYCLING IS LOW IMPACT ON INFRASTRUCTURE.
- UDOT Roads are important corridors for bikes as well as cars. What would you do to ensure that UDOT and SLC implement bike facilities on these roads?
IT APPEARS THAT THE LEGACY FREEWAY TRAILS ARE NOT AS FRIENDLY AS THEY ARE ADVERTISED (I TALK TO CYCLISTS.) I WATCH THE EFFORTS OF ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION WFRC.ORG AND I AM CONCERNED ABOUT LACK OF INPUT FROM MORE THAN A FEW BICYCLISTS. I WANT MORE OUTREACH. THE UDOT ROADS LIKE VICTORY ROADS, 300 W., FOOTHILL, 33/35TH S., REDWOOD, STATE ALL SUFFER FROM LACK OF BICYCLE LANES THAT ARE SAFE. I WOULD USE THE INFLUENCE OF MY OFFICE TO REPLACE THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS TO REDUCE CONGESTION (TO DECREASE AIR POLLUTION AND INCREASE BICYCLE SAFETY) AND DECREASE THE CENTER TURN LANES EXCEPT AT THE LIGHTS (SEE ABOVE).
- Regarding the attached proposal 10,000 Wheels for Affordable Transportation, what are your thoughts and would you commit to working to implement this if you are elected?
INTERESTING START BUT … I WOULD SUPPORT INCREASED FUNDING FOR THE BICYCLE COLLECTIVE. IT DESERVES MORE FUNDING. I FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE WITH GREEN BIKE AND WOULD RATHER SPEND THE LIMITED MONEY ON BIKE LANES. AN EXCEPTION IS A STUDY TO SEE IF U OF U COULD WORK AS A STATION. I SUPPORT MORE BUS SERVICE WITH MORE BIKE RACKS (MOVING TO 3+ SOON) INSTEAD OF EXPENSIVE PROJECTS LIKE THE 3 NEW RAIL LINES DOWNTOWN. $150 LOCAL FUNDING FOR THEM WOULD BE BETTER USED FOR BETTER BUS, CANYON BUS IN SUMMER, LATER NIGHT/24 HR SERVICE ETC. DON’T AGREE WITH BIKES FOR CLUNKERS. I WOULD SUPPORT A PROGRAM TO GET CLUNKERS TRADED IN (WITH MILEAGE RESTRICTIONS – I’VE DISCUSSED AT LEGISLATURE – NOTE THE 2008 PROGRAM WAS NOT THAT SUCCESSFUL)
- Regarding the attached proposal for a comprehensive recreational cycling plan for Salt Lake City, what are your thoughts and would you commit to working to implement this proposal if you are elected?
NO – I FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE WITH CYCLE JUMPS BECAUSE I THINK THAT THEY WILL RESULT IN INJURY. WE SHOULD FOCUS ON PARKING AND BUS SERVICE THAT ENCOURAGES BIKING IN THE CANYONS. THERE IS NO SUMMER SERVICE. SAFE AND SECURE PARKING IS ALMOST NON-EXISTENT AND SHOULD HAVE GREATER FOCUS. I WOULD RATHER SPEND MONEY ON BIKE LANES, PARKING AND OTHER TRAIL FEATURES THAN PULL MONEY OFF OF THOSE PROJECTS TO BUILD A BIKE PARK.
- The 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan is in draft format and is with the SLC City Council. What will you do to ensure its implementation? Are there improvements that you would like to make to the plan?
AS WE DISCUSSED, I WANT MORE PEDESTRIAN DISCUSSION IN THE PLAN. I DON’T LIKE CYCLE TRACKS BECAUSE OF THEIR COST (BETTER USED FOR MORE BICYCLE LANES) AND I DON’T LIKE LEFT HAND TURN LANES (44% MORE DANGEROUS THAN RIGHT HAND TURN LANES – ACCORDING TO NYC). I WANT IT CHANGED. THE PLANNING COMMISSION HAD ME AND A COUPLE OF OTHER BICYCLISTS COMMENT. ONE OTHER BICYCLIST ARGUED AGAINST THE CYCLE TRACK ON 300 SOUTH. I AGREE THAT THE 300 SOUTH BICYCLE TRACK IS NOT SAFE. I WOULD LIKE A BETTER OUTREACH. THREE COMMENTS IS NOT ENOUGH. (I ALSO ARGUED AGAINST IT AT THE TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY BOARD.)
- What will you do to work towards Zero Fatalities (i.e. Vision Zero) for cyclists and pedestrians in Salt Lake City?
I DON’T BELIEVE THAT IT IS POSSIBLE BUT WE CAN DECREASE THE DANGER BY ELIMINATING LEFT HAND TURNS EXCEPT AT THE LIGHTS, INCREASING CROSSING TIMES (NOW SET AT 4 FEET PER SECOND WHEN STUDIES SHOW SNOW, AGE, SEX AND OTHER ISSUES DECREASE AVERAGE CROSSING SPEED TO CLOSER TO 3 FPM). THESE ARE ISSUED IGNORED BUT THEY SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON. WE HAVE HAD 2 DEATHS OF OLDER MEN THAT WERE KILLED DUE TO THIS ISSUE.
- Do you ride a bicycle? Tell us more about how and where you ride.
I USED TO RIDE 10 MILES A DAY. I LOVED RIDING UP THE BACKROADS WITH NO TRAFFIC UP TO LOG HAVEN/MILLCREEK CANYON. I’VE RIDDEN ON THE BONNEVILLE SHORELINE TRAIL BUT I FELT UNCOMFORTABLE RIDING UP THE CANYONS AND GAVE UP ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO. I FELT THAT CARS WERE NOT PAYING ATTENTION AND CAME TOO CLOSE TO ENJOY CYCLING (CANYONS ARE COUNTY BUT I HAVE BEEN PUSHING SHOULDER CYCLE TRACKS – SEPARATED TO STOP CARS FROM GOING ONTO THE SOFT SHOULDER.)
I WAS THE ONLY PERSON ON MY SHIP (500) TO RIDE A BICYCLE. I LOVED BICYCLING SINCE HIGH SCHOOL. NO CAR UNTIL U.S. NAVY BUT ALWAYS RODE A BIKE AND CONCERNED ABOUT MAKING IT SAFER.
10. Is there anything else you would like to add?
I ASKED BECKA ROOLF A FEW YEARS AGO TO CONSIDER THE PORTLAND SYSTEM OF SAFETY MAP FOR BICYCLING. SHE AGREED AND THE NEW ONE REFLECTS SAFETY. I TOLD HER THAT I DISAGREED WITH SOME OF THE LABELS INCLUDING 1300 EAST WHICH I CONSIDER TO BE VERY UNSAFE. WE NEED A BETTER MAP. WE NEED A BETTER SYSTEM OF BIKE LANES – THERE ARE TOO MANY STREETS THAT SHOULD HAVE BIKE LANES. THEY ARE CHEAP AND THEY SHOULD BE INSTALLED BEFORE CYCLE TRACKS.
WE NEED A BETTER BICYCLE THEFT PROGRAM TO REDUCE BIKE THEFT. THE LEGISLATURE EXPECTS TO PROPOSE ONE THIS YEAR. SLC PAWN SHOP DET. MILLARD (ALSO UNION PRESIDENT) HAS SOME IDEAS TO REDUCE THEFT AND WE HOPE SEN. WEILER (JUST HAD HIS THIRD BIKE STOLEN A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO) WILL SPONSOR THE BILL.
Note that Foothill is one street with a super wide center turn lane. Also I asked Rick Graham Monday to have Transportation look at making Wasatch Drive a through/no stop signs north south street so bicyclists don't stop.