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2008 Cycling Utah Governor’s Office Candidate Survey

The following is a short survey on bicycling that Cycling Utah sent to the Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor.

Bob Springmeyer is the Democratic Candidate.

Jon Huntsman, Jr. is the Republican Candidate.

We hope that you will use this information when you cast your ballot tomorrow. 

Dave Iltis

Editor, Cycling Utah

Preface: Cycling is an important component of our state’s economy through tourism, industry, and local economies.  It is a clean healthy sport that improves the lives of Utahn’s through exercise, reduced air pollution, decreased carbon emissions, and fun.   


General Questions:

  1. What would you do to improve conditions for cyclists on our state roads?  Please consider infrastructure, safety and education. 


·      Legacy Parkway is an example of where we need to be on future transportation planning and building.  The first 13 mile stretch of Legacy was built with a bike trail that runs parallel to the road and was built as part of the project. This is a great amenity to the community and also provides a real transportation corridor for cyclists.  Future transportation corridors should be approached in this way where possible. 

·      In terms of existing state roads, I believe it truly has to be a multi-prong approach.

o      First, we need to identify which routes should carry our cyclists

o      Second make sure these routes are equipped for this use in terms of width, maintenance, and signage.

o      Finally, the public needs to be educated.  Cyclists need to be part of determining routes, but they also need to assure their ranks are abiding by the rules of road, riding single file, obeying stop signs etc.  Motorists likewise need to be educated on proper etiquette and “sharing” the roadway.


Springmeyer: I am committed to a Complete Streets and a Safe Routes to School program for Utah. I will also seek to create a pool of funding to help with the cost of investigations and prosecutions of vehicle/bicycle negligent homicide cases in Utah.

[Springmeyer added in his preface: As you know, I am an active cyclist and I have committed to riding my bike to my inauguration as Governor.]

  1. What would you do to improve the Cycling Economy in the state of Utah? Please consider tourism, industry, and retail.


·      The state, local communities and private sector have done a terrific job not only in making Utah a tourist destination for road bikers and mountain bikers alike, but also in attracting industry and retail related to these sports to our state.

o      Within the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Outdoor Products is an official cluster, or area of focus.  We have used tools like tax incentives to build up our own home grown companies, like, and we have also been very successful in recruiting outside companies like Amer Sports to relocate in Utah. 

o      In fact, if you read the Economist, you may have read an article on Utah calling out the great work of Ogden Mayor Brent Godfrey and the state in creating “a world center for winter sports”.  What they fail to mention is the scope of the outdoor industry coming to Ogden and Utah is as much summer sports – primarily cycling – as winter.

o      Moab and Park City are two communities that have made it a priority to attract cyclists.  These local initiatives are supported and enhanced at the state level through state-wide transportation infrastructure, coordinated planning efforts and tourism marketing worth approximately $4 million per year. 

o      For an example of how the private sector has played in, Tour of Utah, sponsored by Larry H. Miller, provides an incredible draw to our state for road bike enthusiasts who want to participate in, spectate, or ride the routes of the race.  As part of the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, this is an event that is gaining ground in Utah.  In fact the winner of the Tour was a local professional rider – Jeffry Louder.


Springmeyer: Utah needs to establish a “Blue Ribbon Routes” programs in Utah and promote it and encourage local government support.

The Utah Travel Council and the Regional Travel promotion boards will be encouraged to promote tourism cycling.

The state economic development efforts need to include the recruitment and support of cycling manufacturing and distribution businesses as part of a comprehensive “Active Outdoor Recreation” promotion effort.

We need to recruit “Interbike” to locate in Salt Lake for their annual trade show.

  1. Would you be willing to commit a minimum percentage of UDOT's budget towards funding cycling infrastructure?


·      A better way to approach cycling infrastructure would be to look at specific routes and projects and determine where infrastructure makes sense and how best to cover the cost associated with it.  In this way – as with Legacy Parkway – the solution fits the particular transportation corridor.


Springmeyer: Yes.

  1. Bicycling is a non-polluting form of transportation and hence an important solution to climate change.  What would you do to include bicycling as part of state and regional initiatives on climate change? Would you personally direct UDOT to increase building of bicycle and pedestrian friendly pathways? Would you encourage UDOT to allow building the pathway along I-80 from Parley’s Canyon toward the Jordan River Parkway in Salt Lake City?




·      Climate change is perhaps the largest issue we face in future years.  We should all be mindful of ways to find solutions that will make a difference.  UDOT plays an integral role in transportation corridors and is mindful to including these as part of the mix.  However, the issue is far more complicated, and will take multiple partners across federal, state, and local government as well as the private sector to create a non-motorized transportation system that makes sense both for commuters and recreationists.


Springmeyer:  a. Encourage the establishment of bicycle rental (borrow) facilities at all Front Runner Stations and major Trax Stations. b. Yes (to personally direct UDOT to increase building of bicycle and pedestrian pathways). c. Yes (to encourage UDOT to allow building the pathway along I-80 from Parley’s Canyon toward the Jordan River Parkway in Salt Lake City).


Mountain Biking/Trails Questions:

  1. If you were elected would you make it a priority to increase funding for our state’s trails and pathways program?


    • This has been a priority for my administration, and we have put record funding into trails – millions of dollars over the past four years.  This past year, I met personally (on a trail) with trail advocates in Moab to talk about how to fund critical links in the Moab trail system.  Utah State Parks has played a key role and worked to fund area trails through their budget, and they have also partnered in federal grant applications to bring those dollars to Utah trails.
    • Given the economy today we may need to hold off this year on funding new trails, but we should use this time productively to pursue a transportation master plan for non-motorized vehicles.


Springmeyer: Yes.

  1. If you were elected what would you do to promote additional multi-use trail building in the state?


    • I would keep it on the top of my list (where it has been) and continue to engage both federal and local government and the private sector in building the best off-road transportation system in the West.


Springmeyer: Yes.


  1. Mountain bikes and other non-motorized trail users are often put behind motorized trail users in land use planning.  What would you do to remove motorized trail users from areas that have conflict or where they just don't belong?


    • An opportunity exists to bring user advocates (motorized and non-motorized) together in support of more trials, better maintained trails, greater promotion of trails and tougher enforcement for users who break the rules.  Clearly there are places more suited to motorized and places best suited for non-motorized, there also exist places where both can ride together – like the White Rim trail in Canyonlands National Park.  We need to stop looking at this as a zero sum game and begin to build coalitions around having a strong trail system and strong conservation ethic to go with them.


Springmeyer: We need to educate both motorized and non-motorized trail users on the need to be more responsible users and that all areas are not and should not be open and available to all users.  Land use planning must be participative and include all users and land managers.

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