2019 Candidate Questionnaire: Julie Pignataro, Councilmember District 2

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 Julie Pignataro, Councilmember District 2.

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.

If so, where is your favorite place to ride?

Around my neighborhood with my son, the Power Trail, Spring Creek Trail, and Poudre River Trail.

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

Safety on the roads and weather.

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?

The City needs to take a leading role in how we transform our transportation needs. It is imperative that when doing any sort of transportation planning the city and its staff consider the different options for all of our travelers despite what they are using to travel and also keeping one eye into the future for what other options may become available.

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

As our city gets larger, paid public parking will become a reality. I do support it as a way to encourage alternate forms of transportation but I am also well aware how annoying it can be. What needs to happen in tandem with paid public parking, though, is plenty of other options to get to one’s destination.

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?

This seems like a great idea but it would appear that the jury is still out on if it is working or not. The City of Fort Collins should definitely take this plan into consideration and learn from Denver. There is a part of me that is thinking, “Why would you need a plan such as this to commit to zero traffic fatalities? Shouldn’t that be a goal always?”

If so, what should that role be?

To expand on that, I think that in any transportation decisions, alternative forms need to be considered and safety should be a top priority. We should be looking at fatalities and the patterns of where and when they occur on our roads, and tackle those challenges first. As alluded to above, I don’t think that a formal plan should be necessary to make this a top priority for our community.

Distracted Driving

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

I think that the issues this bill are trying to solve are real but that our elected officials need to take a close look at how successful these bills have been in other states as well as if they are unintentionally, but inherently, discriminatory. The first offense seems fairly steep for those on a limited income – why not make the first offense a warning with a coupon for one of the hands free devices for those with older cars?  

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?

The city needs to systematically and logically look at the network (or lack thereof) of alternative forms of transportation and start to attach the pieces where the web that fall short. This will take time, but if done properly the result would be amazing.

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