Salt Lake City 2013 City Council Election Candidate Bicycling Questionairre – District 5 (Liberty Park area)

October 28, 2013 – With the upcoming election on November 5, 2013, Cycling Utah is gathering information on the candidates’ views on bicycling.

We polled the two candidates – Bill Davis and Erin Mendenhall in district 5 (Liberty Park area) in Salt Lake City. See the questions and their answers below:

Bill Davis’ Responses:

A Unity of Opposites
1. What is your position on bicycling in Salt Lake City?

I am totally in support of the Complete Streets Ordinance which provides for active transportation i.e. bicycling and walking. Complete Streets obligates the City to provide for both of these uses whenever practical so both bike lanes and sidewalks have to be considered in any design work.

2. What programs or policies would you support to make cycling better
in Salt Lake City?

I am in support of the proposed CIP budget that makes a substantial financial commitment to bike infrastructure.

3. Will you support increased funding for bicycle and pedestrian
programs in Salt Lake City?

Yes – see above

4. Do you currently ride a bike for commuting or recreation?

Yes – both although admittedly not as often as I should :-).

5. What biking and walking improvements would you like to see in your district?

The proposed CIP budget also makes a substantial commitment to a re-design and a major upgrade to portions of both 1300 South and 1700 South. The 1300 South portion is from State St west to the freeway. Both sections have included upgrades to bike infrastructure. Personally I have an interest in this project. I have a 14 year old son who just started at West High School. He prefers to bicycle from our house (329 Harrison Ave) to the Ballpark TRAX station. Get out at the Arena Station and bicycle to West High. The City just added bike lanes from 500 East to State St. Adding them going west would allow him to use Bike lanes all the way to the Ballpark Station. This makes me feel better.
The 1700 South portion is going to widen the road to allow bike lanes to be added as currently the street is not wide enough.

6. Any other comments?

I have held leadership positions in 4 different Community Councils over the past 20 years. Whenever the topic of bicycle amenities comes up, there is usually a collective groan from the audience. I have never understood this underlying negativity toward bicycling. I also know that there is a lot more support for bicycling in the community than is evident at Community Council meetings. More bicyclist need to attend and participate in your local Community Councils. This is democracy at it’s most basic level – get involved!
Finally when I was the Chair of the Ballpark Community Council and the City proposed the Main St bike lanes from 1300 So to 2100 So. I and the BCC totally supported the project. There was some significant opposition from some Main St businesses. I would like to think that the Community Council support was instrumental in getting the project approved.

For more on Bill Davis, see billdavis4district5.com

 

Erin Mendenhall’s Responses:

1. What is your position on bicycling in Salt Lake City?

Bicycling is a great way to recreate and travel throughout the city–it’s healthy, environmentally friendly and can help foster a sense of community. Salt Lake has made great strides in recent years to becoming one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the country and should continue in this vein.

2. What programs or policies would you support to make cycling better in Salt Lake City?

I would like to see the city engage more actively with residents to determine where bike lanes would best serve our neighborhoods. This kind of communication is important as we continue to develop these paths. In addition, development of safe intra-county bicycle routes for commuting between Salt Lake and Davis Counties would be a benefit.

3. Will you support increased funding for bicycle and pedestrian programs in Salt Lake City?

Yes, perhaps. I believe the current Complete Streets program is a good model for bike-route expansion.

4. Do you currently ride a bike for commuting or recreation?

Yes, I do for both. My family is a cycling family. I’ve recently detached the tow-behind trailer and installed a toddler seat on my bike.

5. What biking and walking improvements would you like to see in your district?

Clear identification of cycling and pedestrian routes improves safety for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. We can improve on route marking in my district. In particular, I’d like to see directional marking and wheeled/pedestrian distinctions on perimeter paths in Liberty Park.

6. Any other comments?

Bicycles and other alternative means of transportation are fundamental aspects of a healthy and vibrant community. By encouraging residents to consider cycling part of their daily routine, we are doing right for our environment and right for our community.

For more info on Erin Mendenhall, see  www.erinforcouncil.com

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