2019 Candidate Questionnaire: Fred Kirsch, Councilmember District 6

As a heads up, this election will be mail only. By March 18 all registered voters will be mailed their ballots and will need to be returned to the City Clerk by 7 p.m. on April 2. 

All voters will be electing a new mayor, and voters in Districts 2, 4 and 6 will be electing representatives. In addition to those elections, voters will be presented with ballot and financial issues, or initiated, referred ordinances and/or resolutions. 

As your local bicycling nonprofit, Bike Fort Collins feels informed voters are an important mechanism to support safe enjoyable roads for ALL cyclists in our community. Each election year there are candidates for both local offices and local ballot measures that could have some impact upon our bicycling environment. With the objective of educating voters on local candidates views towards bicycling, we’ve sent a short questionnaire to this years candidates. The questions and responses are below are from Fred Kirsch, candidate for Councilmember of District 6.

Bike Fort Collins cannot take any official position endorsing candidates, this is information for you to potentially consider when making your own decisions.

QUESTIONS IN BOLD AND ANSWERS IN REGULAR TEXT:

Do you regularly ride a bicycle?

Yes. I’m more of a walker though.

If so, where is your favorite place to ride?

I ride around Old Town mostly, as a commuter.

What do you feel are the top two barriers to bicycling in Fort Collins?

I don’t really know. Maybe connections in the southeast? Knowledge of the best routes through town? I know that bike theft sucks! I look forward to working with Bike Fort Collins and others to improve biking and walking in town.

What should be the City’s role in supporting transit as a safe, affordable, efficient and convenient travel option for people of all ages and abilities?

Transfort should strive for the goal of “getting people where they want to be, when they want to be there.” Transfort should be built out as a grid system with simple and easy routes: The Prospect route, the Mulberry route, the Shields route, etc. You shouldn’t have to go through CSU to take a straight road across town. Transfort should have shorter head times and longer hours. The busses should be electric. Maybe ride-share can be incorporated to address the first/last mile challenge. The fare should be a dollar or free. Free on any “BRT” routes. There are reduced price passes for income qualified folks right?

I’ve heard of problems with dial-a-ride and para-transit. I need to work with those constituents to discover their needs and wants and work towards solutions.

How are we gonna pay for this? Maybe we should create a Northern Colorado RTD funded through property tax.  

Do you support paid public parking? Please explain your reasoning.  

Sure, as long it is a net revenue gain for the City. I don’t think it will reduce driving or change any behavior.

Vision Zero

The Transportation systems section of our new City Plan draft refers to developing a safety enhancement action plan for all modes based on the City’s commitment to Vision Zero. Denver has adopted a Vision Zero action plan including mandatory progress reporting.  

Should the City of Fort Collins have a formal role supporting, implementing, and reporting on Vision Zero?

I thought we were doing this is conjunction with CDOT. We should be doing it.

If so, what should that role be?

The role laid out in the annual traffic safety report makes sense to me, but I am always open to learn more about it and explore opportunities for improvement.

Distracted Driving

What is your opinion of the Distracted Driving Bill (SB 19-012), currently under consideration in the State legislature?

The bill makes sense to me.

Infrastructure

Significant areas of our local community have gaps in local bicycling and walking infrastructure. In addition to the safety hazard they discourage residents from these activities. How would you approach filling in those infrastructure gaps?

If we are not doing this already, I would first want to survey the area residents to see if this is a priority in the local infrastructure and I want data about the gap area of concern. Is it a highly used and dangerous corridor? Is it never used because there is a better walking/biking route? After collecting data we can prioritize projects for completion. One thing that always bugged me is the disappearing bike lanes right when you need them the most, at dangerous intersections. How many bike/car accidents have occurred at Prospect and Shields? I’d rather not have a bike lane on a busy road then have one that just vanishes at the intersections.