Samantha Finch’s Answers to Salt Lake City 2017 City Council Election Candidate Questionnaire on Bicycling in Salt Lake City for Cycling Utah
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. We will publish the answers on CyclingUtah.com as we receive them.
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.
Council 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 consider myself an outdoor enthusiast. My recreational pursuits are skiing, climbing, hiking, mtn. biking and occasional road biking. So, I support cyclists. Actually, you will find me volunteering for Tour of Utah this August 6th when it comes through SLC.
As for my vision, I’m still unsure. I am thankful that Salt Lake County assisted with the purchase of Bonanza Flats, which may help with access to mtn. biking. Generally, I want bike paths as an alternative and clean form of transportation. But, I suggest that they are part of a bike route to destinations throughout the city. I do not support putting a bike lane on a road whenever there is construction or resurfacing. Some streets should be kept primarily for vehicles, while other streets more multiuse. I live on 8th East, near Nibley Park Elementary School. When I ride to downtown SLC, I head off on 6th East. I would never encourage people to ride on 7th East as it is too dangerous because of the heavy traffic. And maybe, 7th East should stay dedicated to heavy traffic use.
- What is the biggest issue for cyclists currently in Salt Lake City and what will you do to address it?
Honestly, I am not sure what the biggest issue for cyclists is other than to improve safety on our roads. I am a candidate for District 7 – Sugar House. Our roads are in poor condition. When I ride to the business district, I tell people I feel more comfortable on my mtn. bike than road bike because of all the potholes and cracks. Cyclists swerve into traffic to avoid bumps and holes in the pavement.
- What would you like to see in your district in regards to bicycling?
Our road conditions improved and roads without heavy traffic having a wide shoulder to allow a biker and vehicle to travel safely together.
- In your district, the following is an issue for cyclists: 2100 S between 1700 E and 2300 E was supposed to get bike lanes according the 2015 Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan. Yet the administration chose not to install them recently. What are your thoughts on this and what would you do on the Council to address it?
Yes, I spoke with several people living locally to that street. The vast majority of people I heard from living in the area did not want the bike lane. I heard this from a solid diversity of people, different ages, cyclists, non-cyclists, people who bike to work and those for only recreational purposes.
I need to better understand the 2015 Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan and its genesis. But, from my canvass of the local streets, it appeared to me that most wanted the road kept primarily for heavy vehicle traffic. Beyond this, I cannot speak more without deepening my understanding of the topic.
- What cycling initiatives would you bring to the Council?
Electric bikes have the potential to transform our future plans for transportation. I am really curious about their application into the city’s growth.
- Would you favor strengthening the Complete Streets Ordinance? If so, how? (http://www.bikeslc.com/GetInvolved/MasterPlansandPolicies/PDF/CompleteStreetsOrdinance.pdf)
- 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/)
- 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/)
- The 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan was passed by the Council in 2015. What will you do to ensure its implementation?
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
****At this time, I am unable to provide specifics for these programs. I need to understand more and seek input from others. If elected to City Council, I will seek input from stakeholders and the community. Please remember, I am not an expert on transportation, but I am a cyclist and would like to incorporate bike routes into our city lives.
Candidate for District 7 SLC
You can reach me at:
facebook.com/samanthaforSLCC7 [email protected] crowdpac elect-samantha-finch