Candidates’ Survey – Karen Schmidt

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 her survey response, Bike BloNo gives Karen Schmidt an “A” 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

 

Question 2: The Bloomington City Council unanimously voted to approve a contract with the League of Illinois Bicyclists to create a Bicycle Master Plan in a shared-cost agreement with the Friends of the Constitution Trail. Would you have voted to create a bicycle master plan for the city?

✓ Yes
✗ No

Comments:
This is important to our overall transportation plan. In my ward (ward 6) bike transportation is often a need, not a want (since needs & wants seem to be a focus in this election). Many times, this is how people get to work.


 

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

Comments:
I cycle a lot and am constantly reminded of the need to drive defensively, whether in a car or on a bike (or walking – I walk defensively too!) We need to figure out how to respect each other, regardless of our mode of transportation.


Question 4: Bike BloNo is working with Bloomington 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?

✓ Yes
✗ No

Comments:
All of us can do better/learn more about how various forms of transportation can live together.


Question 5: Do you think bicycle infrastructure, like bike lanes, boost existing businesses and attract new businesses and jobs to our community?

✓ Yes
✗ No

If yes, how would you tie together bikes and business? If no, why?
There is a growing body of research that shows how communities prosper when there are different & compatible ways to get to businesses.


Question 6: Do you support a “complete streets” policy applied to existing roads during reconstruction or resurfacing and for new road construction?

✓ Yes
✗ No

Comments:
Good streets for bikes = good streets for cars = good streets for bikes, etc.


Question 7: How do you plan to engage constituents, including those who may ride bikes, on issues involving local transportation and infrastructure?

I have found that people in general understand that alternate forms of transportation are positives for their neighborhoods, and out community. I will advocate at neighborhood & ward meetings, and personally model good biking behavior and benefits. Plus, what is more convincing than the Book Bike?