2023 city elections
Bike Fort Collins sent all candidates in the 2023 City Election a short questionnaire to allow them to introduce themselves and provide their positions on proximate bicycle and active transportation-related issues. While BFC cannot endorse or support a specific candidate, we are happy to share their responses to foster more informed voting decisions this year.
Shirley Peel – CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 4
Question: Do you regularly ride a bicycle? If so, what kind of riding do you do?
Answer: When we lived in the middle of town, we biked almost everywhere with our 4 children. When we moved to the edge of town (Shields and Trilby) we fell out of the habit of biking, trying to hurry to get 4 kids where they needed to be all at once. I recently dusted off my bike and am slowly getting back into the habit of biking. However, I am beginning to realize that I am older now and the hills by my house are harder, so I am looking into an e-bike.
Question: Given Fort Collins’s bicycle friendliness, what City bike amenity (i.e. what bike trail, or bikeway, maintenance stations, etc.), element of bicycle infrastructure, or bicycle program is your favorite, or (if you ride) that you use most regularly?
Answer: I mainly use the walking/biking trails by my house – Fossil Creek Trail and Long View Trail.
ACTIVE MODES PLAN
The City’s most current Active Modes Plan combines and updates the City’s 2011 Pedestrian Plan and 2014 Bicycle Plan as well as incorporating micromobility devices such as scooters and skateboards.
Question: What should be the City’s role in supporting (including funding) active modes of transportation as a safe, affordable, efficient and convenient travel option for people of all ethnicities, ages and abilities?
Answer: Obviously, the city needs to play a role in the funding by seeking grants and incorporating best financial practices to be able to fund the Active Modes Plan. I also think the city should be a champion of active modes through media campaigns and events (which they do) as well as ensure we have safe, efficient travel options through our planning processes.
Question: What role do you see active transportation playing in City’ ability to achieve its goal and reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2030 (vs. 2005 levels), on its way to carbon neutrality by 2050?
Answer: When transportation is people-powered, this means a reduction in emissions, which in turns leads to the achievment of these goals. A bonus is a healthier population as well as better air quality.
Significant areas of our local community have gaps or intersections and areas that need improvement as it relates to safe bicycling and walking infrastructure. In addition to being a safety hazard, they discourage residents from these activities, as a recently completed Multi-modal Index also highlights. Bike Fort Collins has begun to feature some of these ‘opportunities’ on our website as Intersection/Facility Focuses, as well as made presentations to the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and Transportation Board.
Question: How would you approach these opportunities and other infrastructure gaps relative to bicycle safety?
Answer: The recent TCEF study provided to the finance committee examined the Active Modes infrastructure needs over the next ten years using two lists; one a high project list and the other a medium project list. Between the two lists are 100 projects ranging from small spot treatments to more extensive projects. Adding an Active Modes fee to our TCEF is a good place to start to address these needs and we need to just start working through these “opportunities.”
FORT COLLINS BIKE PARK
Bike Fort Collins is a partner in an initiative started by our peer organization, Overland Mountain Bike Association, to bring a Bike Park to the City of Fort Collins. While Fort Collins is the progressive and bicycle friendly city that it is, many residents have to travel to places like Boulder (see Valmont Bike Park) to access such an amenity. In surveying the community for input during the 2020 Parks & Rec 10-Year Master Planning process, if ‘Mountain Bike Courses’ hadn’t been listed separately from ‘Bike Park’ (as they are contained within Bike Parks), the combined category would have been among the top-four identified/desired amenities by the community. See survey results.
Question: Do you support the planning and construction of a Bike Park for the Fort Collins community? Why or why not?
Answer: I do support a Bike Park for our community. We have enough members of our community who could benefit from a bike park in terms of outdoor exercise, better mental health, community building, etc. We could also see an economic benefit from a bike park as well. Besides all of that, bike parks are just fun!
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