James Rogers’ Answers to Salt Lake City 2017 City Council Election Candidate Questionnaire on Bicycling
Background: Cycling is a healthy and fun form of transportation and recreation that improves livability, health, and economy in Salt Lake City. We ask these questions to provide information to Salt Lake City’s citizens regarding your outlook on cycling.
Candidate Information: Please provide your name, contact info for your campaign, council district (describe too) and if you like, a brief statement regarding your candidacy.
- 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 voted for a vision in 2015 when council and I passed the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, and I still believe in that vision. That vision calls for a dynamic and complete network of trails and bike lanes, which provides cyclists with safe options no matter the level of experience. I am currently working on finding ways to fund transportation projects and programs that include bicycling.
- What is the biggest issue for cyclists currently in Salt Lake City and what will you do to address it?
With more Salt Lake City residents taking up bicycling for both commuting and recreation it is imperative that all road users feel safe. There are a few ways we can do this. First, building a bicycling network that is low-stress, logical, and easy to access for cyclists. The second is education for all road users. Both bicyclists and motorists need to be aware of each other and know the rules of the road.
- What would you like to see in your district in regards to bicycling?
A major bicycling milestone in district one was recently funded through CIP. A neighborhood byway will be coming online in the next year that connects the Jordan River Parkway, Newman Elementary, SLCSE, Constitution Park and Northwest Rec Center. The byway will connect with the 300 North bike lane completing a critical network in the ped/bike master plan. I think the next steps for cycling in District One is access to affordable and reliable biking options and an analysis of 600 North. Sure, it would be great to have GreenBikes in district one. I’d like to see more robust bicycling community groups in district one. Perhaps having one or two Bicycle Collective type shops on the Westside to foster a biking community that has access to affordable equipment and tools and provides programming on how to maintain people’s own bikes.
- In your district, the following is an issue for cyclists: The Marmalade, Fairpark, and Rose Park area have some great spots for cycling, but the crossing of I-15 and other areas need vast improvement. What are your thoughts on our Proposal for Better Bicycling in the area: http://www.cyclingutah.com/advocacy/road-advocacy/proposal-better-bicycling-marmalade-rose-park-fair-park-area-salt-lake-city/
What are your thoughts on this and what would you do on the Council to address it?
District One faces physical barriers for both pedestrians and bicyclists. I’m happy to have been a part of successfully securing funding for a 300 North ped/bike bridge that will close a gap in the network. That has been a need for many years. Additionally, Council recently funded the initial phase of an east-west connection study that will help guide our work to address those barriers and close the gaps. The Proposal for Better Bicycling identifies barriers that District One faces and provides solutions to those barriers. I think that this proposal along with the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master plan can provide mobility solutions for the residents of District One.
What cycling initiatives would you bring to the Council?
I believe the ped/bike master plan presents some outstanding initiatives. I think the biggest contribution I can make is by securing funding to implement those plans and projects which I am currently working on. I believe it is important that there is a complete biking network so people who are riding have direct and clear routes to get from point a to point b.
Would you favor strengthening the Complete Streets Ordinance? If so, how?
The City currently has a Complete Streets Ordinance that we should be adhering to whenever there is a street project being done. Complete streets make roadways safer and more desirable for everyone. It is a balanced approach to the way we use roadways.
Regarding the proposal 10,000 Wheels for Affordable Transportation, what are your thoughts and would you commit to working to implement this if you are elected? (http://www.cyclingutah.com/advocacy/cycling-utah-calls-for-10000-wheels-initiative-for-affordable-transportation-in-utah/)
Transportation costs can be a large burden for families, and typically is the 2nd largest cost in families’ budgets behind housing. This proposal can help lower transportation costs for individuals and families. I believe some of the initiatives in this proposal can be of benefit to those in District One. As I previously mentioned, access to affordable, durable bikes would be welcomed to the City’s Westside. Education on not only safety, but also routes, connecting with transit are also key to promoting alternative modes of transportation and easing the burden of transportation costs.
Regarding the 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? (http://www.cyclingutah.com/advocacy/a-proposal-for-a-salt-lake-city-recreational-cycling-plan/)
Recreational cycling plays such an important role in our community’s health, economic development, and overall quality of life. This proposed plan can complement the existing ped/bike plan nicely. I would like to do a further study of this plan that includes economic development to analyze the potential benefits of further developing trails and paths. With the Wasatch foothills and mountains in our backyard, there is no reason Salt Lake City cannot be recognized as a world class mountain biking destination.
- The 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan was passed by the Council in 2015. What will you do to ensure its implementation?
I’m proud to have voted in favor of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan in 2015. I look forward to working with a new Transportation Director when that person is hired to start implementing the priority routes and corridors. Funding this plan will certainly be a challenge, but my colleagues on the City Council and I are looking for new and creative ways to fund the plan.
- Do you ride a bicycle? Tell us more about how and where you ride.
I mostly ride for recreation, albeit not very often. When I do ride, I wear a helmet, ride on the right side of the street, and always use hand signals to let motorists know my next moves. My favorite place to ride is on the Jordan River Parkway. Looking forward to the new bridge this fall that will close the gap on the trail.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Our City and state are growing and we need to support alternative ways to move people around for an affordable cost. Bicycling is one way to meet that. Thank you Dave for sending this questionnaire out and letting the bicycling community know how each of the candidates feel about bicycling.