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Provo City Council District 4 Race (2011) – Kay Van Buren, Jim Pettersson, Howard Stone, Lindsay Wiblin

Don’t forget to vote in the 2011 Provo city council election. You can find more information on the Provo city website.

Here’s how the candidates of district 4 responded to BikeProvo’s questions about making our city a better place for bicyclists and pedestrians:

Kay Van Buren (http://kayvanburen.com/)

What vision do you have for on-street bicycle infrastructure in Provo? The vision for on street bike infrastructure must be focused on commuting routes. To work centers in our city, or education centers. These will be streets that are more congested and will require diligent effort to maintain safety for the rider. It seems like some of these routes have good wide areas but then feed into areas that are narrow and dangerous. I would need to rely on others with more expertise on the specifics on how to manage auto traffic and bike traffic on shared routes.

What vision do you have for off-road trails and paths? Off-road seems to be more for the recreational rider. The surroundings are more critical. Managing up and down bike traffic becomes a safety issue. Our current rail system could be used and expanded.

Do you see bicycle infrastructure as an essential part of economic growth? Why or why not? Bicycle infrastructure can be an important part of economic growth. People are interested in alternative modes of commuting to jobs. People are concerned about the high price of gasoline and the affect of combustion engines. Companies do consider how employees can commute when they locate businesses.

In a recent survey, over 500 Provo residents named University Ave. as the top priority for new bike lanes. A transportation study done by an engineering consultancy group working in tandem with Provo’s engineering department and the Provo Bicycle Committee found that University Ave. was one of three major streets that need bike lanes in order to dramatically increase connectivity in the city. Last year, the council voted to include bike lanes on University Ave. as a part of the city’s general plan. If elected, will you continue this support of bike lanes on University Ave.? I have some concern with the overall plan for University Ave. I need more information and study before I can state my position on University Ave. I do believe we can only build downtown if we include bike lanes.

Do you believe that more funding needs to be allocated to the transportation department for the development and maintenance of bicycle infrastructure? Why or why not? I’m not familiar with the funding options currently. Bike paths have a certain requirement for funding. Those needs would need to come from somewhere; I’m just not sure where they come from.

If elected, what will you personally do to make Provo more friendly and safe for families that ride their bikes on our streets and walk on our sidewalks? I would follow up with the questions you have asked me about. I will try and get input and information from all involved groups. We then can go forward and partner together to build a policy and infrastructure that works for the citizens of our community.

 Jim Pettersson (www.jimpettersson.com)

What vision do you have for on-street bicycle infrastructure in Provo? I support having bicycle infrastructure available for those residents who wich to make use of bike transportation for work and pleasure.

What vision do you have for off-road trails and paths? It would be valuable to have adequate off-road trails and paths. I need to do some additional study and research to better understand the potential for more trails and paths.

Do you see bicycle infrastructure as an essential part of economic growth? Why or why not? I see bicycle infrastructure as a valuable part of our transporation infrastructure for students and resdients and as an inportant recreational venue for those live in and are visiting Provo. It also has an importaion environmental impact on our city. I need to study more in depth the economic impact it has.

In a recent survey, over 500 Provo residents named University Ave. as the top priority for new bike lanes. A transportation study done by an engineering consultancy group working in tandem with Provo’s engineering department and the Provo Bicycle Committee found that University Ave. was one of three major streets that need bike lanes in order to dramatically increase connectivity in the city. Last year, the council voted to include bike lanes on University Ave. as a part of the city’s general plan. If elected, will you continue this support of bike lanes on University Ave.? I am supportive of having bicycle lanes as a part of the city’s general plan.

Do you believe that more funding needs to be allocated to the transportation department for the development and maintenance of bicycle infrastructure? Why or why not? In an era of limited and dwindling resources, we need to be sure that we invest in the city’s infrastructure in such a way that we sustain quality of life and meet critical needs. As resources allow, I will be supportive of maintaining and developing the city’s bicycle infrastructure.

If elected, what will you personally do to make Provo more friendly and safe for families that ride their bikes on our streets and walk on our sidewalks? I would work to see that exisitng bike lanes are clearly marks with appropriate accompnying signage to alert drivers to bciyclists in the area. I would work to establish areas of the city, such as downtown, where we can create and encourage asafe walkable and bike fridnly environment.

OPTIONAL: Do you ride a bike? If so, what kind of bike do you ride and where do you like to ride in Provo? I have a Schwin 10 speed that I like to ride around my neighborhood and  occaisonally to Utah Lake State Park and up Provo Canyon.

Howard Stone (www.howardstone.org) – No response.

Lindsay Wiblin (www.lindsaywiblin.com)

What vision do you have for on-street bicycle infrastructure in Provo? I think that bicyclists have a place on the city roads. I am not sure that all motorists feel the same as me, though. I think that the onus is on cyclists to be aware of the dangers that could come their way when travelling on roads designed mainly for motor vehicles. I also think that an education program is essential for motorists to ensure that cyclists are given some courtesy when travelling on public roads.

What vision do you have for off-road trails and paths? I think that when it is feasable, new roads of a major nature should be designed to include bike lanes. Having said this, I think that it is important for cyclists to understand the very high cost of bike lanes, and because of this I think that it is reasonable to expect bicyclists to consider a means of contributing towards these additional costs.

What vision do you have for off-road trails and paths? Off road trails and paths already exist around our city. We could probably add more in the future. Most of these trails and paths are used by hikers, walkers, bikers , and in some cases, skateboarders. Again, I think that tolerance for each other’s needs are important, together with courtesy. I am sure that as money and property become available the number and conditions of these trails and pathways will increase and improve.

Do you see bicycle infrastructure as an essential part of economic growth? Why or why not? I certainly see that the number of cyclists will increase in the future, but I’m not sure that this will create a major part of the economic growth of the city in the short term.

In a recent survey, over 500 Provo residents named University Ave. as the top priority for new bike lanes. A transportation study done by an engineering consultancy group working in tandem with Provo’s engineering department and the Provo Bicycle Committee found that University Ave. was one of three major streets that need bike lanes in order to dramatically increase connectivity in the city. Last year, the council voted to include bike lanes on University Ave. as a part of the city’s general plan. If elected, will you continue this support of bike lanes on University Ave.? Your comments about University Ave. are both interesting and concerning. You indicate that you surveyed 500 citizens who were favorable to including bike lanes on University Ave. Knowing that we have over 100,000 citizens in Provo, I would also be interested in knowing how many are not interested in having bike lanes on University Ave. I am favorable to the idea of planning for the future, and this is what the general plan does, but I am also aware that University Ave is the main north/south access road in the city. We will soon have a mass transport system moving hundreds of people on this roadway, together with existing traffic moving on the roadway, and cars parked on University Ave. so I question if there will actually be space for bike lanes in each direction.

Do you believe that more funding needs to be allocated to the transportation department for the development and maintenance of bicycle infrastructure? Why or why not? I think that the answer to this question all comes down to the availability of money. If the funding is available and the propositions are practical, I see no reason to not want to improve the infrastructure. I do not see this a current priority though.

If elected, what will you personally do to make Provo more friendly and safe for families that ride their bikes on our streets and walk on our sidewalks? I believe that sidewalks are for pedestrians, who should be given the first priority of their use. If cyclists choose to use sidewalks, they should do so with absolute caution, and I would hope, plenty of insurance.

I ride a Schwinn exercise bike to keep my blood levels at a functional level. I do not travel out of my neighborhood.