2019 Candidate Questionnaire: Noah Hutchison, 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 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?

Absolutely!

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).

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 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.

Distracted Driving

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.

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?

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.

2019 Candidate Questionnaire: Emily Gorgol, 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 Emily Gorgol, Councilmember 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 bike to work, for leisure and recreation (mostly in the Spring/Summer/Fall). I also raced collegiate for CSU and PSU (Portland State University).

If so, where is your favorite place to ride?

Along the Horsetooth Dams out to Masonville.

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

Connectivity/Infrastructure. There are some areas of town that don’t connect well or have bicycle friendly streets to ensure safety and comfort.

Cost- Although we have great cycling advocate groups and businesses that help reduce cost burden, cost is still a barrier to bicycling.

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?

Providing safe routes and transit opportunities that are accessible and encourage travel options for all residents. In addition, working with and understanding the barriers that community members face when trying to use alternative modes of transportation to better align infrastructure and services. The city does a great job promoting cycling through events (bike to work day, etc) and safe routes to school.

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

Yes, it can help recoup costs and may encourage use of other modes of transportation.

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?

This is a local and regional and will need many partners to support and work towards this goal. The city can act as a convener and collaborator as well as provide the platform for reporting.

Distracted Driving

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

I support this bill. Drivers should not be using their phones while driving, it is too dangerous.

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 updated City Plan and Master Transit plan have outlined areas of improvement to support bicycling and walking infrastructure. I would work with community members to ensure that we are prioritizing the gaps and addressing the issues in an equitable way so all residents have access to safe opportunities.

2019 Candidate Questionnaire: Joe Somodi, Councilmember District 1

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 Joe Somodi, Councilmember District 1.

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?

I love riding my bike! One of my primary motivations for moving to Fort Collins was the outdoor lifestyle. Being able to bike as often as possible is important to me. After we moved to our home near Vine and Timberline, I was disturbed by how disconnected we were from the rest of the community. I tried to become comfortable with the commute into Old Town, but have found travel on Vine too dangerous. After an inquiry to the city staff, I learned that we are at least five years out from realizing full connectivity of bike trails in our community. Since that time, I’ve tried to get comfortable commuting on Vine, but the volume of traffic and narrow shoulder prohibit safe bicycling. I regularly ride my bike around Fort Collins, but I feel safer transporting my bicycle into the center of the City in my vehicle to avoid the dangerous trip down Vine Street. This awareness has motivated me to elevate improvements in bicycle connectivity throughout Fort Collins and its neighboring communities.

If so, where is your favorite place to ride?

My favorite places to ride are the Spring Creek and the Poudre River Trails. I find them (particularly the Poudre River Trail), meditative on a warm summer evening. I also really enjoy the area around Horsetooth Reservoir, and have managed to ride all the paved trails in that area. They are truly one of the highlights of living in Fort Collins. In good weather months, I regularly ride the dedicated bike trails. On occasion, I take my bike on mountain bike trails on the perimeter of town. I am increasing my capabilities on more and more challenging terrain.

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

Safety and Connectivity

While many in Fort Collins have easy, safe access to bicycle paths, lanes, etc., many still lack connectivity to safe options for riding a bike on a daily basis. I think there is still plenty of room for improvement to ensure that Fort Collins becomes even more bikeable than it is today.

Safety is the primary concern. Although paved trails transverse high traffic areas, but there are gaps in dedicated space for bikers. More emphasis must be placed on driver awareness of bikers/bike lanes. As the city grows I believe there is more work that can be done to make Fort Collins the best and safest place to be on a bicycle. Programs like Safe Routes to School is a program that offers opportunity to build on for the rest of the community.

The sense of community around bicycling is one of the great strengths of Fort Collins. It is perhaps the most uniquely identifying characteristic of 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?

The transportation system in Fort Collins is in desperate need of improvement. Bus schedules, routing and frequency are a serious concern for students, employees, and the aging population. They would likely use the system if it were available, affordable and convenient. MAX has proven to be a huge success, and could be expanded along with the trail system, availability of shared/rental bikes across the city, and education campaigns.

Making Fort Collins more bike, bus and walking friendly, will be a significant contribution to improving community health and the achievement of the important goals laid out in the city’s Climate Action Plan.

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

I believe that the issue of paid public parking is an important component of the overall transportation plan. The City must decide where and how to locate paid parking. Area businesses, revenue streams and traffic congestion must be considered in the ultimate placement. I am still considering the options and gathering more information, public input, and data on what the best long-term options are for the City.

Vision Zero

The Transportation Systems section of our new draft City Plan 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?

Absolutely! The goal of zero injuries and deaths to pedestrians and bicyclists should be a top priority for the City of Fort Collins.

If so, what should that role be?

The City of Fort Collins should be a leader in local and regional efforts to achieve the objectives of Vision Zero. I believe the City can provide leadership in this role by leveraging its existing human capital and expertise in the local non-profit sector, bicycling clubs, etc. One important aspect of the City’s role should be to maintain efficiency among the various departments of City government such as Police, Transportation Planning, and Parks and Recreation. As a member of the City Council, I would also work to secure funding for the implementation of new safety measures through existing grants from state and federal agencies. I would encourage transparency in all aspects of this process – from the planning of annual goals to the implementation of new safety strategies and reporting of annual achievements and missed opportunities. Additionally, I would like to see statistics publicly reported in newspapers, Facebook, and other media to ensure the community is aware of the status of the program. The status of community safety must be communicated to the widest possible audience.

Distracted Driving

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

I am in full support of the hands-free regulation outlined in this bill. Similar to the Vision Zero commitment outlined above, I believe bicycle and pedestrian safety should be a top priority to our growing population. Driving while distracted by phones and other handheld technology is simply unacceptable and requires firm regulation and enforcement/penalties to stop injuries and deaths.

I have a close friend who was hit by a distracted driver while he was on a bicycle. The incident has been life-changing for him and those close to him.

As outlined in SB 19-012, I believe the problems related to distracted driving will only get worse if we don’t establish strict guidelines now. Using hand-held devices while driving is a primary offense. I am aware of studies that clearly demonstrate the negative impact of distracted driving (up to 8 times higher risk of being involved in an accident). I believe this bill is a good step in the right direction, and one that will bring increased public awareness to this important issue. A weakness in the bill is that talking on hands-free devices, while safer, still results in distracted driving and an increase in vehicular accidents. However, I recognize banning all mobile conversations is unlikely and enforcement of this would be nearly impossible.

Infrastructure

Significant areas of our local community have gaps in transport options as well as 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?

All neighborhoods deserve safe access to reliable infrastructure – including bicycling and walking. I am in full support of expanding the infrastructure to bring accessible bicycling and walking to every neighborhood in our city. Our city is growing and that is our current reality. Managing growth to enhance the lives of all in our community is one of the key pillars of my platform. I advocate for a city budget that will keep pace with existing and future growth.

Improving infrastructure requires thoughtful community consultation, planning and sufficient funding. Identifying high priority infrastructure needs in and around existing neighborhoods is an important step in addressing this problem. I would advocate for the implementation of rigid standards for all future neighborhood development that include incorporation of safe bicycle options, such as streets with bike lanes or bike paths parallel to sidewalks.

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.

2019 Candidate Questionnaire: Wade Troxell, 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 Wade Troxell, Mayor.

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 and I would like to ride my bike for recreation and sometime on my daily business routine. I would like to ride my bicycle more.

If so, where is your favorite place to ride?

Long View trail is my new favorite! Mason Trail is my regular favorite.

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

Seamless integration of multimodal transportation systems with safe routes to everywhere with a goal of zero fatalities.

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?

City planning and its role in transportation system integration is critical for safe, affordable, efficient and convenient travel for all ages and abilities.

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

Yes, we need revenue to support the City’s multimodal transportation systems.

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?

Transportation systems are undergoing systemic changes. During these changes, I would like to see the City adopt Vision Zero.

If so, what should that role be?

It should begin discussions to have it be a component of the City’s Master Transportation Plan.

Distracted Driving

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

I need to learn more about this legislation and request an evaluation to establish a policy position by the City Council’s Legislative Policy Review Committee.

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?

City Council has aggressively been addressing and currently funding these gaps including meeting the our Congressional Delegation and US DOT. I am interested in Vision Zero and the implication that more needs to be done and when.

2019 Candidate Questionnaire: Lori Brunswig, 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 Lori Brunswig, Councilmember 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?

No, I don’t bike regularly anymore. I biked everywhere and have all
my life until about eight years ago. My kids and I biked together in the
neighborhood and Rolland Moore Park and then following Spring
Creek to the Poudre River Trail when they were young. Since then, I
have tried riding north on my bike from my house (Ridgewood and
Stuart) which requires riding on Shields St. or on Taft Hill Road.
Both routes are very busy and I felt very unsafe. I also don’t like
breathing the car emissions.

If so, where is your favorite place to ride?

I loved the bike trails in Rolland Moore Park. My kids and I would
ride through the park and then east to Dairy Queen and back. As
the kids got older, we would ride down the Poudre River Trail and
back.

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

One barrier for me is my concerns about riding in a small bike lane
along a busy street. The other barrier is the lack of ways to bike
north and south that don’t require being on a busy street and
breathing vehicle emissions.

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?

It is critical that the City is involved in providing a way that people
of any ability have transit options available to them. We need to
step up as a City and fund these options from better bike lanes to additional buses. We need to reduce the number of cars on the roads to reduce accidents and protect our air quality.

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

Yes, we need public parking but we would not need as much if the
City provided better ways for citizens to get around in Fort Collins
other than driving a vehicle everywhere.

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?

If the City doesn’t take a formal role supporting, implementing, and
reporting on Vision Zero then who would this be? The City needs to
back this idea and be willing to implement the plan and track and
report its progress. Safer streets benefit everyone.

Distracted Driving

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

I support this bill. I am continually seeing vehicles where the driver
is texting. Many times, these people are young but over the age of
18 so to just restrict drivers using cell phones under 18, is not very
helpful. This bill will save the lives of other drivers but especially
protect pedestrians and bikers from injuries.

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?

Yes, there are some extremely dangerous roadways in town where
riding a bike or walking is not safe. And, these areas are in places
where you would likely see a high use of bikes, such as near CSU.
For instance, along Shields, north of Prospect and Taft Hill, north of
Prospect are very dangerous roadways for bikes and pedestrians.
I’m not an expert on transportation but more funds need to be used
in these areas to create safer lanes for bikes and walkers. It needs
to have a higher priority for funding and I will push for this, if
elected.

2019 Candidate Questionnaire: Glenn E. Haas, Councilmember District 1.

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 Glenn E. Haas, Councilmember District 1.

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?

No, not regularly

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

No bikes lanes or trails in NE District 1, we are disconnected from the City system and it is dangerous to ride on the streets in this area.

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?

Builders should be responsible for providing trails and bikes lanes in their development. The City should be a principle provider of transit.

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

Yes, users should pay a fee for the service and privilege.

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 need to become informed on this topic. Sorry but I cannot provide a well informed response.

Distracted Driving

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

I need to become informed on this topic. Sorry but I cannot provide a well informed response.

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?

Builders should be held responsible for new subdivisions and then City Streets plan must include and address as the budget is available.

2019 Candidate Questionnaire: Kristin Stephens, Councilmember District 4

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 Kristin Stephens, Councilmember District 4.

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?

I did until my bike was stolen.

If so, where is your favorite place to ride?

Spring Creek Trail, and around the neighborhood with my kids.

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

  1. Lack of bike infrastructure, and low stress routes
  2. People being uncomfortable with biking, e.g. don’t understand traffic rules, don’t have the right equipment, or don’t know how to access trails

I know you only asked for 2, but I think affordability is also an issue. Bikes, and helmets can be expensive for working families.

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 providing transit opportunities and safe routes across our city is a core function of city government.

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

I think we should investigate more paid public parking. We don’t want to inhibit economic health, but we should recoup some of our costs.

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 think this would be a great plan to pursue, and I would support this.

If so, what should that role be?

I think the city would need many partners to achieve Vision Zero. So the city would need to be a convener and collaborator. Ultimately, the city would be responsible for creating the infrastructure to support this vision, and the city would like be reporting progress to the public on a city website.

Distracted Driving

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

I am in favor of this bill, and believe people should not use handheld phones while driving; it is just too dangerous.

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?

I believe we have identified some of these gaps, and we need to prioritize them. We need to make sure we have safe routes to schools, and we also need to make sure that we are adding this infrastructure in an equitable way across the city.

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.

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.