Luke Garrott – Answers to Cycling Utah’s Salt Lake City 2015 Mayoral Election Candidate Survey

Luke Garrott is running for Mayor of Salt Lake City in 2015.
Luke Garrott is running for Mayor of Salt Lake City in 2015.

Luke Garrott – Answers to Cycling Utah's Salt Lake City 2015 Mayoral Election Candidate Questionnaire  

Candidate Information:

 

LUKE GARROTT

228 E. 500 S.

SLC, UT 84111

lukeformayor.com

385.325.2015

 

CAMPAIGN STATEMENT

My campaign is about bringing integrity back to government, making real progress on important issues, and ensuring that growth is smart. I am the only candidate who is voluntarily limiting contributions to $1000 per entity and not taking corporate money. I have 8 years experience on the city council, an academic’s insight into city hall, and the reformer’s spirit that our city needs.

 

Mayoral Candidate Questions:

 

  1. 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.)?

 

Whether you’re a resident, commuter, or visitor to Salt Lake City, cycling should become an ever-increasing way we travel around our city. As a cyclist I understand the safety and access concerns that we need to address. As a public official, I see the importance cycling plays in our transit policy and the opportunities the cycling economy presents for SLC. My vision for cycling in SLC is to remove the barriers to entry, such as cost and safety concerns, that prevent people from cycling now, and integrate cycling into our broader transit and economic development goals.

 

  1. What is the biggest issue for cyclists currently in Salt Lake City and what will you do to address it?

 

Clearly, safety for cyclists (and pedestrians) is the biggest issue for our streets. Addressing safety concerns begins with neighborhood conversations about how to design (or redesign) our streets to serve all users fairly and efficiently. Our biggest political challenge is meeting the backlash against bikes that a lack of engagement from the Mayor’s office has encouraged.  We must do a better job communicating and educating the public to make safe streets part of our culture in SLC.

 

 

  1. 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)?

 

The benefits of the cycling economy are multi-faceted. Beyond the obvious recreational, health, and air quality benefits, studies have shown the positive economic impact cycling has in cities. We need to leverage SLC to seize these opportunities. Beyond the direct impact of manufacturing, bike shops and apparel, cyclists add to the local economy by shopping at local businesses, touring our city, dining in local restaurants–all while reducing traffic and air pollution. To grow our cycling economy in SLC, we must include cycling in our city planning and development goals while removing the barriers to entry, such as lack of accessibility and cost.

 

  1. 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?

 

The city does not have jurisdiction to ensure bike facilities on UDOT (or state-owned) roads. However, as a two-term council member, I know how to coordinate, cooperate and negotiate with UDOT to ensure that state roads work within our city’s transit plans. No other mayoral candidate has that experience.

 

  1. 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?

 

Aside from safety, the cost of purchasing and maintaining a bicycle (along with other forms of transportation) can be prohibitive. Having community organizations, local businesses and city government working to make cycling accessible to low-income families is certainly a noble goal and many aspects of the 10,000 Wheels proposal seem viable. The toughest component is the public transit piece, which currently relies heavily on UTA. For many reasons, I’ve decided SLC needs to move forward with its own bus system to supplement UTA. That said, I would certainly look to incorporate the spirit of this proposal and many of its provisions into our efforts level the field in SLC.

 

  1. 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?

 

Over my years on the SL City Council, I have worked to increase recreational cycling opportunities across the city and will continue to do so as mayor. However, our proposals for various spending priorities need to be planned in phases and should begin with neighborhood conversations about those priorities. Certainly the city can find resources to invest in recreational trails, pathways and parks; however, we also have many other demands for city resources. As mayor, I would certainly seek to incorporate recreational cycling proposals as part of our broader community-based conversations on streets, transportation, economic development and capital projects.

  1. 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?

 

The City Council is reviewing the 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and will take action to implement the plan in due course. I support the goals and vision of the document, its focus on networks of downtown mid-block walkways, citywide bikeways and low-stress bikeways, and its various programs to support, educate and assist residents in accessing these amenities. That said, the City Council has further work to review and evaluate whether improvements to the plan are required.

 

  1. What will you do to work towards Zero Fatalities (i.e. Vision Zero) for cyclists and pedestrians in Salt Lake City?

 

As mentioned above, increasing safety is a top concern for cycling in SLC. Redesigning our streets to serve all users, implementing well-designed and intuitive bicycle lanes, and reducing speed through downtown are some of the major ways we can work toward the Zero Fatalities goal. However, this conversation must be part of a broader conversation taking place in every neighborhood about the direction of our growth and how to efficiently move people across our city.

 

  1. Do you ride a bicycle? Tell us more about how and where you ride.

 

Yes, a lot. I’m a full-time transit rider, so biking and walking are a part of my daily routine. I have lots of experience cycling in the city, and enjoy trails in our canyons and hills. My love of being on a bike is practically primordial, a joy I never want to live without.

10. Is there anything else you would like to add?

 

CAMPAIGN STATEMENT

My campaign is about bringing integrity back to government, making real progress on important issues, and ensuring that growth is smart. I am the only candidate who is voluntarily limiting contributions to $1000 per entity and not taking corporate money. I have 8 years experience on the city council, an academic’s insight into city hall, and the reformer’s spirit that our city needs.

 

 

 

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