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?
- Lack of bike infrastructure, and low stress routes
- 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.
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.
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.
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.