Candidate stances on bike lanes

Yesterday we summarized Mayoral and City Council candidate answers to the Springs Taxpayers survey question about removing traffic lanes to add bike lanes. You can read the post here.

As a complement to that post, the Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC) also had a candidate survey, which included the question: “How do you envision bike lanes contributing to our community’s transportation systems in the future? Once elected, how would you address concerns raised in the community about the strategies the city has used to implement the Bicycle Master plan?” Here are the answers in the same order TOSC presented them:

Mayoral Candidates

John Suthers: Bike lanes will undoubtedly continue to be part of city master planning as the city becomes more urbanized and residents want greater bike and pedestrian accessibility. I have found the “bike lane issue” to be almost entirely a generational issue, and while I’m respectful of those who oppose bike lanes, given the city’s need to attract about 4,000 millennials a year to meet our workforce development needs, and given the fact that sophisticated traffic engineering issues are involved, including traffic calming, I do not believe this is the sort of issue that should be determined by popular opinion polls or referendums.

Juliette Parker: Current plan creates danger for cyclists/motorists, it can be done BETTER & needs re-imagining. I’ll address concerns by having impacted neighborhoods dictate the process, much like the process any individual must go through to make a change, I would shift focus to off street trails that service urban areas.

City Council Candidates

Bill Murray: We need better engagement with the communities. Our strategy should be to explain outcomes. Having witnessed the results on Research, which was not originally designed to be part of our Bike Master Plan, we blew an opportunity to demonstrate the overall successful implementation of a bike program. The bigger problem is in our transit discussion. No mass transit to Denver and no real transit plan for COS creates an environment of bike lanes scratching an itch rather than resolving a problem. We are still having difficulties with a property owner downtown in buying land for a new transit terminal. At the same time, we are watching the Olympic museum being built and discussions of a soccer stadium and hockey arena. Each increasing the prospect of bringing more cars to this area. Rebuilding roads to accommodate this expansion is not even being addressed. Was Cascade changed for bikes or for safety? But then what about Bijou? Heading north is one of the most confusing intersections and quite dangerous. In addition, I would like folks to consider rebuilding Nevada and make a two lane bike trail go down the middle of it. Then build out the landscaping from there. Also build a bike lane next to the sidewalk on both sides of Research. Just a thought, but there are clear areas of agreement and concern by all parties.

Athena Roe: This depends on who actually uses the bike lanes. Most people drive, older people feel safer in their cars. Many people drive when the roads are snow packed or icy. After speaking with hundreds of residents, it is a mixed bag on who likes and who does not like the new bike lanes. I would like to see the realization of the trolley that was considered back in 2015. Some great cities use trolleys as a inexpensive and green form of public transportation.

Terry Martinez: Increasing connections is one of my campaign themes as well as to create “complete streets” –streets that are designed to accommodate pedestrians, bikers, cars, and buses- which sets up for effective use of limited resources as we accommodate multi-modal transportation and to follow the master plan already developed and approved.

Val Snider: Bike lanes need to be part of the long-term transportation planning for Colorado Springs, planning for different modes of transportation such as: auto, transit, pedestrian, and bikes. Concerns raised by implementing the Bicycle Master Plan will be addressed by gathering feedback from the public, then evaluate the feedback and course correct as needed.

Tony Gioia: I support bike lanes throughout the community, but we must be more aware of neighborhood input on the location of those lanes. As we saw on Research Parkway and are seeing now on Cascade Avenue downtown, when the public’s input is ignored, there is a political price to pay.

Tom Strand: I support the Bike Master Plan and was a signatory to the 2019 Plan COS. The future is multi-modal (pedestrians, motor vehicles, bicycles and public transportation). We must balance differing transit options, especially changes to road utilization, and find compromises so that everyone knows they are listened to and their concerns are considered in future planning travel decisions.

Dennis Spiker: I want to see more bike lanes add to the city where possible. I also want to update the trails so that biking can be done off the streets as well. I think that we must look toward alternative methods of transportation so that we aren’t creating more pollution.

Regina English: I would envision bike lanes contributing to our community’s transportation by improving mobility and health while reducing traffic congestion. I would collaborate with the community in order to come up with a more informed solution to the bike lanes and keep riders safe. Reshaping the plan is necessary.

Wayne Williams: I attended the recent forum at the Pikes Peak Center. I would seek to broaden public input and to connect and improve our off-road trail system. Bicycle lanes on roadways can be appropriate where they do not adversely affect mobility or safety.

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