WGLT’s Good to Go initiative partnered with Bike BloNo to create a Candidates’ Survey to inform voters on the candidates’ positions on bike policy. WGLT wrote the questions and Bike BloNo created a rubric to grade each of the candidates; that rubric is published here. Neither organization endorses any individual candidate.
Based on his survey response, Bike BloNo gives Chuck Scott a “B” on bike issues.
Question 1: U.S. Census figures show a 60% increase in bicycle commuting in the last decade. Research shows Millennials (those 16-34 years of age) are avoiding car ownership and choose the mode of transportation that makes the most sense for the trip. Do you, or do any members of your immediate family, routinely bicycle for any of the reasons below? (select all that apply)
|Going to work||✗ I do||✗ Family member does|
|Running Errands||✗ I do||✗ Family member does|
|For recreation||✓ I do||✓ Family member does|
|Other||✗ I do||✗ Family member does|
My wife, daughter, son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, and I all enjoy recreational rides throughout the communities in which we live. And, due to my residency being such a close proximity to my place of employment, I regularly walk to work and walk throughout campus rather than using any mode of wheeled transportation.
Question 2: The Town of Normal Bicycle Pedestrian Master plan is almost 6 years old. Many projects in the plan have been completed. Would you support the creation of a plan just bold or even bolder? In the comments please indicate when you think an update plan may be needed and include two remaining priorities in the current plan.
As a Council Member at the time when the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan was developed and implemented, I believe it goes without saying that I am supportive of the Plan. I am also a progressive thinker when it comes to long range strategic planning and believe every plan needs to be continually refreshed. Yes, I would support a bolder plan, one that identifies more shared lanes in major arterials as well as enhancing existing pedestrian routes throughout Town. Improvements cannot be solely focused to Constitution Trail. While it is arguably the best example of creating efficient and effective circulation routes within the community, there are other routes that are equally as deserving of attention. Examples include the Main Street Corridor, Towanda Avenue, and College/Mulberry Avenues. Each of these areas have ample public properties that could accommodate greater designation of space for bike traffic and simultaneously improving spaces for people who prefer to walk or run.
Question 3: What do you think are some important safety issues facing bicyclists on Bloomington streets? Choose as many as you think apply.
✗ Vehicle speed
✓ Driver attentiveness
✓ Access across Veterans Parkway
✓ Lack of infrastructure (bike lanes, buffered or protected bike lanes, etc.)
✓ Need for more motorist education regarding rules of the road
✓ Need for more bicyclist education regarding rules of the road
✗ Need for more enforcement of existing laws for all road users
✗ Bicyclists didn’t choose sidewalk as an option
✓ Cyclist in the middle of the road
✓ Car too close to bicyclist
✗ Bicyclist not visible enough during day or night
✗ Bicyclists choosing the wrong roads
It could be that each of the issues stated above could be important for the safety of bikers and vehicle drivers. I highlighted hose that I believe to be the most critical. While infrastructure will always be in a shortage, it will remain important to strategically select project locations. Even more important than the infrastructure needs, there is strong need to emphasize awareness and education. Driver attentiveness, particularly the lack thereof due to cell phone usage while driving, is something that needs to continue to be drilled into our younger drivers. Those more seasoned should also be afforded opportunities to become aware of bikes in the roads. It is shared responsibility of everyone to know the rules of the road and to abide by them.
Question 4: Bike BloNo is working with Bloomington-Normal leaders to establish a ticket diversion program. The diversion program would provide cyclists or motorists cited for a bicycling related infraction the option to take a Secretary of State approved test on bike rules of the road instead of paying the fine. The test also serves as an educational tool. Police officers would be encouraged to ticket cyclists and drivers for bike-related infractions at an increased rate certain times of year. Do you support such a diversion program?
This is an intriguing proposal. It supports my earlier comments of education and shared responsibility. I am not certain of encouraging ticketing at an increased rate certain times of the year, as I beleive that may have a tendency to draw attention to the laws only during those timeswhen individuals may have a more focused fear of being ticketed. I believe a program enforced consistently throughout the year would be more effective.
Question 5: Do you think bicycle infrastructure, like bike lanes, boost existing businesses and attract new businesses and jobs to our community?
If yes, how would you tie together bikes and business? If no, why?
I think people are choosing where they live, work, and play for a variety of reasons. They are trending toward making these decisions from a ‘green’ perspective more today than they did 10 years ago, or even last year. Normal has a bike/ped plan, has a reputation of being progressive, thinks sustainably (both green and long term), and actively engages in economic development. For these reasons, and many more, the bike infrastructure will move ahead and many more complementary businesses will strive to settle here.
Question 6: Do you support a “complete streets” policy applied to existing roads during reconstruction or resurfacing and for new road construction?
I believe complete streets can, and will, be implemented over time throughout this community. Again, with effective strategic planning, all modes of transportation can be accommodated without creating vehicle/pedestrian/bicycle conflict.
Question 7: How do you plan to engage constituents, including those who may ride bikes, on issues involving local transportation and infrastructure?
I think we all need to continue to raise awareness any way possible. I learned long ago that to be an effective leader, you must multiply yourself through others. Speaking with Bike BloNo and Friends of the Trail is like preaching to the choir, yet they are the disciples that can carry the alternative transportation message. Others in the engineering community, Connect Transit, and the various running clubs can also help raising awareness.