General Candidate Statement: Stan Penfold is a two-term City Councilman for the Avenues, Capitol Hill, Marmalade, and Guadalupe neighborhoods. Stan is running to be your neighborhood mayor.
Through his experience in leadership on the City Council, two decades of managing a non-profit, and a foundation in neighborhood activism, Stan has nurtured the relationships necessary to bring people of diverse backgrounds together to achieve common goals. That's how he changed City ordinance and zoning to allow locally owned businesses like Avenues Proper to operate in neighborhoods, passed the first “Free Fare Friday”, built the Eccles Theater and new Marmalade and Glendale libraries, and how he renamed 900 South to honor civil rights leader Harvey Milk.
Stan has the vision, skill, patience, empathy, boldness, and executive experience to be Salt Lake City's next mayor. To learn more about Stan's Plan, please visit stanformayor.com.
Mayoral Candidate Questions:
1. Salt Lake City has not had an update to the Transportation Master Plan since 1996. What is your vision for transportation in Salt Lake City, and what would you do to get a new transportation master plan in place?
Currently, Salt Lake City has a number of separate transportation studies complete (i.e. traffic studies, bike studies, etc.), many of them several years old. We need to do a Comprehensive Transportation Master Plan – one that takes a wholistic approach at how we get from Point A to Point B. We have been hosting a number of roundtable focus groups, including one around transportation, and this was one of the top priorities transportation planners, advocates, and experts wanted to see done by the next administration.
2. What is your vision for cycling (both road and mountain biking, commuting and recreation) in Salt Lake City? What would you do to make that vision happen (planning, budget, infrastructure, education, safety, economy, etc.)?
Salt Lake City government needs to do a better job of connecting the dots when it comes to educating residents on how issues like air quality, transportation, bike infrastructure, quality of life, and public safety are all intertwined. I envision an expansion of bike infrastructure throughout our City, for all types of biking. But this investment in bike infrastructure isn’t just for the biking community, it’s for all of us. More people biking leads to reduced congestion on roads, less tailpipe emissions, greater public safety because of street activation, is a boost to our outdoor recreation economy, and culminates in a higher quality of life for Salt Lake residents. The role for the next Mayor is crafting that vision and making sure residents have a greater understanding of why bike infrastructure is important for us all. This would be a part of my proposed Wholistic Transportation Master Plan.
3. Climate change is endangering the planet. Car and Truck Transportation is responsible for approximately 23% of the US CO2 output according to the EPA. And, transportation accounts for approximately 50% of PM2.5 emissions according to UCAIR. Salt Lake City is moving towards carbon free electricity generation. What will you do to move towards a carbon free transportation system in Salt Lake City and consequently obtain better air quality? How do biking and walking fit in your plan?
We need to be building a city ready for a “car-lite” future. In my role on the Council, I was constantly approached by constituents asking what they themselves could do to help mitigate the damages of climate change and our poor air quality. I believe the City needs to do a better job of educating residents on how small changes play into the bigger picture.
We need to increase frequency of public transit service, provide Salt Lake City residents with a no-cost UTA Hive Pass, look into giving low-income residents credits to take alternative forms of transportation like GreenBike passes or Lyft/Uber credits, better utilize our grid system and make “Bus Only” lanes and bicycle corridors, build childcare facilities close to transit centers, and offering bicycle maintenance courses in schools.
We also need to be doing a better job as a city to provide services and amenities to neighborhoods to reduce the need to drive a car in the first place. My vision is for Salt Lake City to have a “Five-minute walk shed” meaning any resident is within a five-minute walk from a grocery store, bank, café or restaurant, or a transit hub that can get them to one of those services.
4. Complete Streets are streets for people of all ages using all types of mobility. Salt Lake City has a Complete Streets Ordinance that was passed into law in 2011. Yet the ordinance is often ignored, or circumvented (for example on 100 S, 700 S, and 2100 S). Salt Lake City recently passed the Funding Our Future Bond and implemented a city and county sales tax that will go to fund transportation. What would you do to ensure that the ordinance is strengthened and followed, especially in regards to those streets reconstructed with the bond?
Politics needs to be taken out of our transportation system. There is real concern that the $86 million transportation bond will become a political tool and residents might lose out on the opportunity to push the envelope with transit needs. We need to take a more wholistic, community-based approach to how we build a City for every Salt Laker and visitor. This includes prioritizing dedicated bicycle infrastructure funding.
5. UDOT Roads are important corridors for bikes as well as cars. What would you do to work with UDOT to ensure that UDOT and SLC implement bike facilities on these roads such as State Street (see Life on State)?
Repairing relationships between UDOT, UTA, the County, and the State will be a top priority for me. It is only through collaborative, working relationships that we will create transportation and bicycle corridors that work for both motorized and non-motorized vehicles.
6. The 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan guides bicycle and pedestrian facilities in Salt Lake City. What will you do to ensure its rapid implementation? Are there improvements that you would like to make to the plan?
This is an example of how the City does a great job of conducting studies with narrow focus, and then doesn’t implement the findings. I would like to take a wholistic approach and formulate a Comprehensive Transit Master Plan that looks at not only bicycle and pedestrian traffic and transportation, but looks at how we can seamlessly combine all modes of transportation and make it work for the masses.
7. Salt Lake City currently does not have a formal Vision Zero program. What will you do to work towards Vision Zero (zero fatalities) for cyclists and pedestrians in Salt Lake City? Would you commit to establishing a formal Vision Zero program? What would you like to see in regards to speed limits in Salt Lake City?
Public safety should be the number one priority of any elected official, and zero pedestrian and bicycle fatalities should always be the goal. Rolling this objective into a Comprehensive Transportation Master Plan is a no brainer. I would direct my administration to incorporate Vision Zero guidelines into the comprehensive plan and work toward achieving the fundamental goal of zero fatalities. One way to begin the process is by better timing our traffic lights. Too often, cars speed down roadways in an attempt to beat our poorly timed lights. This is a public safety issue, it is an air quality issue, and an enforcement issue.
8. What do you think of the new shared electric scooters in Salt Lake City?
I believe the new electric scooters are a great start to solving our “last mile” issue. Electric scooters offer a cheap and convenient transportation option to get from major transit hubs to a final destination. I do though have concerns around sidewalk and rider safety. The electric scooter craze is another example of why we need to invest more in bicycle infrastructure throughout Salt Lake City as a way to make riders feel safe in the roadway, while not clogging up or causing harm on our city sidewalks.
9. What is the biggest issue for cyclists currently in Salt Lake City and what will you do to address it?
My overarching answer is safety. Creating safe corridors for vehicle, cyclist, and pedestrian traffic is the biggest issue. But the overarching term “safety” breaks down to so much more. Safety means a Comprehensive Transportation Master Plan. Safety means an investment in bike infrastructure. Safety means public education programs. Safety means smart urban design. Safety means moving away from a car-centric lifestyle. There has been a lack of vision on all of these fronts and as Mayor, I will lead out on connecting the dots to paint a broader picture of how these issues are all intertwined.
10. Do you ride a bicycle? Tell us more about how and where you ride.
An arthritic knee keeps me from enjoying cycling as much as I would like, as does living in the Avenues, where gravity has a way of really bogging down riders. That being said, I am a strong proponent and user of GreenBike and bike sharing programs. I would love to see an expansion of GreenBike from just the urban core to every neighborhood of Salt Lake City.
11. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Transportation is the second largest household expense for residents of our city. Transit is an empowerment tool, and how we empower our residents is important. We need a mayor with the vision to move us beyond our current car-centric model and expand alternative transportation options. We need to build a city where driving a car is a secondary, less convenient option; one where most amenities and services are within a five-minute walk. I know how to build that type of city because I have the track record of doing it during my time on the City Council. I encourage all residents and voters to check out my Stan Plans on how to move our city forward at stanformayor.com.