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 Noah Hutchison, 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?
If so, where is your favorite place to ride?
I love riding up the Poudre Canyon and back from here in Midtown. Can’t think of a better ride but I ride everywhere.
What do you feel are the top two barriers to bicycling in Fort Collins?
Infrastructure. This is the most bike friendly city I have ever lived in and it’s amazing, but there are areas of town that lack the basic infrastructure needs for citizens to bike safely and enjoy the quality of life individuals in other areas of town experience.
Education. While many people understand the bikeways of Fort Collins, many do not. As a result, this create a barrier for people to have individual or family experiences on a bike in our city.
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?
I believe the City of Fort Collins should support transit in this way for every person as a function of local government. I feel the incorporation of the transit master plan and more into the City Plan was a good integration step in this direction.
Do you support paid public parking? Please explain your reasoning.
There always need to be a balance when it comes to decisions for paid public parking. Citizens should be able to engage in basic functions of our city without having to pay for a parking spot. However, paid parking is a necessary component of a city in balancing economic and environmental priorities as well as for the practical fact that the city does not always own the land where parking garages and other structures are (i.e. civic parking center downtown).
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 think this could be a beneficial plan for us to pursue as a city. I’d be most interested in what the citizens think. It would obviously need to go through our normal processes and be beneficial across the board for our city.
If so, what should that role be?
It seems the city would be the driver if they pursued Vision Zero. However, just like anything we do, collaboration and communication would be key to achieving this goal. This is partnering with our citizens and the businesses/organizations in our city they lead.
What is your opinion of the Distracted Driving Bill (SB 19-012), currently under consideration in the State legislature?
I support the Distracted Driving Bill. I believe there are a number of individuals who use their phones every day while driving. While many would not like this because of the perceived inconvenience it would cause, I value people and the safety of people is for sure on the line when someone is using their phone in a distracting way while driving.
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?
I would continue to support the areas we know lack infrastructure. I can personally think of areas right now as someone who bikes all around Fort Collins as I prepare for triathlons. They most certainty would have to be prioritized but then addressed is a common sense and cost-effective way. People love biking in Fort Collins so I would want to continue to maintain this opportunity for every individual as we continue to grow as a community.