2019 Candidate Questionnaire: Michael Pruznick, Mayor

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 mayoral candidate Michael Pruznick.

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?

Not any more, too unsafe, too much congestion.

If so, where is your favorite place to ride?

Pruznick lives along the Remington Low Stress Bikeway. Pruznick used to ride the loop from his home to the Fossil Creek Trail to the Mason Trail to the Spring Creak Trail to the Power Trail and back home.

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

Weather and safety.

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?

Pruznick’s philosophy is that government exists to protect and promote the general welfare by honoring human and environmental rights. Pruznick strongly believes in transportation options and is a long-time supporter of bikes, e-bikes, 4-wheel e-bikes, Segways, street legal solar powered electric golf carts, and more.

Pruznick believes all forms of travel should be safe and efficient, and that infrastructure should be designed to minimize conflicts between different travel types.

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

Pruznick supports a mix of parking options, including paid and free. Pruznick believes in each rate class paying its fair share. Pruznick doesn’t support taxpayer funded free parking for downtown business when other businesses are required to provide privately funded parking for their customers. On the other hand, parking for government public engagement events should be free.

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?

Yes.

If so, what should that role be?

A commitment to update street and development standards so that the new growth coming to north east Fort Collins meets Vision Zero design standard.

Distracted Driving

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

Data shows clearly that multi-tasking, not the hand held device, is the problem. Pruznick supports a two fold solution. 1) Priority based drivers’ education. Think about this quote from the movie Sully, “No matter what happens never stop flying the airplane.” Teaching people to drive first, talk second will provide a better solution. This approach addresses all distractions, not just the hand held device distraction. 2) Stiffer penalties for at fault accidents. Probation and apology videos for vehicular manslaughter is unacceptable. As long as there is no meaning penalty for killing with a car, the killing will continue.

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?

Pruznick would look for the Transportation Board and Bicycle sub-committee to work with staff to develop needed updates to development codes to ensure that these concerns are eliminated from new development and a prioritized list of issues to address within existing infrastructure. It would then be council’s job to update codes as soon as possible and to fund improvement projects. Pruznick recognizes alternative transportation as an equal with traditional transportation and would ensure equal support in the budgeting process.