Cascade Advocacy Committee Candidates Survey 1999
As we have in the past few years, we're reporting on the results of our annual survey that we sent out to all candidates for Seattle and Bellevue City Councils and King County Council. Following are the candidates responses. The questions reflect what we believe to be the most important bicycling issues in the current election. Each questionnaire had a few different questions, based upon the particular race and issues in the race.
Seattle City Council
Bellevue City Council
Metro-King County Council
Seattle City Council
1) How will your leadership and philosophy support Cascade Bicycle Club's mission, "Creating a Better Community through Bicycling"?
Cheryl Chow, Position #1: I have participated in two STP, two Lung Association Tri-Island Treks, and the AIDS Ride for a Reason. I will be advocating for more bike accessibility through the city-I have stated this in the voters' pamphlet and my brochures.
Judy Nicastro, Position #1: By implementing a comprehensive bike path system.
Lenora Jones, Position #3: I noticed in the majority of neighborhood plans they have bicycling lanes or trails, and I'm for bicycles. I believe bicycles will also be a part of the answer to the city's traffic congestion.
Peter Steinbrueck, Position #3: Bicycles are an important part of Seattle's quality of life, livability, and affordability, because they save energy, reduce traffic congestion, and provide a healthy, efficient alternative to the automobile. That is why I strongly support the funding of infrastructure and programs that promote bicycling. As the City considers transportation improvements and Sound Transit Station Area Planning, I will advocate for bicyclists. I support alternative transportation modes that will reduce traffic congestion and dependency on the single occupancy vehicle and will increase pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Curt Firestone, Position #5: Bicycling is important on many levels. An increase in the use of bicycles as a means of transportation can help cut the number of automobiles on our streets and decrease the amount of pollution in the air. Bicycling as an exercise improves health, both physically and mentally. As a city council member I will always be open to new ideas to expand bicycle ridership and improve the conditions for riders. I would like to see bike trails throughout Seattle.
Margaret Pageler, Position #5: One of my daughters bikes to work from Rainier Beach to Bellevue's Eastgate. Her experiences keep one alert to the needs and opportunities for bicycle commuting as well as recreational bicycling.
Charlie Chong, Seattle Position #7: In my three years on the Seattle Open Space Committee, I supported bicycle trails in all instances except two: 1) the Arboretum trail, because it violated the last large wetlands on Lake Washington on the Seattle side, and 2) the Southwestern Lake Union trail, because it would take away-as originally proposed-substantial parking space.
Heidi Wills, Position #7: I am a long-time cycling advocate and enthusiast. Last summer I cycled from Seattle to Washington, D.C. to benefit the American Lung Association. In college, I served on the University of Washington's Bicycle Committee. I am also a strong environmentalist, and I am committed to reducing Seattle's traffic congestion as a key campaign issue. Cycling is a great mechanism for personal health, recreation, and environmental stewardship, and it's an excellent alternative to car commuting. There is much that the City can do to encourage the convenience and safety of cycling. Cycling as a transportation option should be encouraged by the City with adequate facilities. I look forward to being a leader and a champion for these issues on the City Council.
Jim Compton, Position #9: Bicycling is an essential but long-neglected element of our transportation system and the Council's legislative agenda. It's unfortunate that when some get their driver's license they put their affection and respect for bicycling behind them. Some, but not all. According to Seattle's 1998 Strategic Transportation Plan, "36% of Seattle's residents bike for recreational purposes, and between 4,000 and 8,000 people bike to work every day." The potential to build a stronger atmosphere for bicycling exists in the greater Seattle area. Improvements will take decisive leadership on the Council and a commitment to work creatively and in concert with bicycle advocates and organizations. As an avid bicyclist (until my bum knee slowed me down), I will bring the following essential characteristics to the Council in an effort to advance a pro-bicycle agenda: 1. I have a record as a person who recognizes problems in our community, digs into the fine details of how those problems came to be, raises those issues to public scrutiny, and then finds solutions (like those you will read about later); 2. I have the ability to see the larger picture, to understand that bicycling must be made a priority not just on a project-by-project basis, but so that cycling needs are considered as part of regional discussions involving transportation, housing, land use, and education.
Dawn Mason, Position #9: Because bicycling is a mode of transportation for adults and children that has minimal impact on the environment and provides a healthy recreational activity for individuals and families, it has excellent environmental and social benefits for our community. Therefore, bicycling safety must be a priority issue. As a City Council member, I will support this activity in our community by making sure that there are sufficient numbers of safe routes linking neighborhoods and business sectors, as well as stations for cyclists to secure their bikes. I am fortunate to have "Free Ride," a community-based bicycle school and shop, right in my neighborhood. I will continue to look to Free Ride and Cascade Bicycle Club for direction and guidance.
2) Will you guide SEATRAN to become more bicycle friendly and knowledgeable in order to implement the bicycle elements in the transportation strategic plan?
Chow: Yes, I believe this is a very important and realistic part of our city's strategic plan.
Jones: I will do what I can to help SeaTran become bicycle-friendly.
Steinbrueck: Yes! I will continue to support the progressive policies of Seattle Transportation Strategic Plan (STP) and the inclusion of a full-time bicycle and pedestrian coordinator in the City of Seattle.
Firestone: I think it is very important that SEATRAN become more bicycle-friendly and knowledgeable. I will be happy to work to make that happen. I also think that the Transportation Strategic Plan must be implemented ASAP.
Pageler: For the past few years, SEATRAN has been focused on street and bridge repair, working off a backlog of deferred maintenance. Now SEATRAN is turning its attention to improving traffic operations. I will ensure that bicycle elements are incorporated in operational improvements.
Chong: The SeaTran staff I knew were knowledgeable and favorable to bicycling. That was two years ago. Have they left?
Wills: Yes. An estimated 4,000 to 8,000 cyclists commute to work each day, which demonstrates that a relatively small investment in bicycle infrastructure can yield real results. The strategic plan calls for improved bicycle lanes, extending the urban trails system, providing bicycle parking areas, and improving bicycle safety with improved signage and bridge crossings. I would advocate for all such improvements.
Compton: City staff working on any and all transportation issues must consider the needs of bicyclists as an essential part of their work plans and a success indicator for the work they perform. Following are a few elements of my agenda: * Determine additional bicycle-safe travel corridors linking Seattle neighborhoods and activity centers (including extension of the Burke-Gilman);
* Consider and add bicycle travel improvements including bicycle lane striping and pathway development during the construction and improvement of all city roads, bridges and similar facilities; * Stress to Seattle's major employers that the ability to reach trip reduction goals (under the State's Commute Trip Reduction Law) is more easily attainable (on a trip-by-trip basis) by encouraging bicycling by employees; * Support, fund, and implement a bolstered pro-bicycle promotion campaign, including more comprehensive and widely distributed bicycle route maps, improved signage in and around bicycle designated throughways and areas. The campaign would also include additional bicycle travel law and safety tip materials to be available at bicycle repair, rental and sales outlets and at driver license testing facilities. Beyond the work performed by transportation staff, I would work closely with the City's Office of Governmental Relations to advance a pro-bicycle agenda with the County, State, and Federal legislators: * Urge county legislators to secure added dedicated bicycle throughways between cities and continuously around Lake Washington; * Urge state legislators to increase the "trip credits" given to major employers who encourage bicycling under the Commute Trip Reduction Law and to recommend improvements to the WA Driver's Guide pertaining to bicycles; * Support increased safety legislation as was provided for in the Cooper Jones Act; * Urge federal legislators to increase funding for bicycle facility improvements in future transportation funding proposals.
Mason: Yes. For SEATRAN to work effectively it must be multi-modal. I will work with SEATRAN to implement necessary amenities such as shelter and protection from the rain for pedestrians and creative solutions that will allow bicyclists to board buses in downtown Seattle. Also needed is maintenance of existing bike lanes to include regular sweeping of sand and buildup. Finally, traffic signaling and signage needs to be clear and protect the safety of all, and in particular pedestrians and bicyclists, who are most vulnerable. A case in point would be signs to indicate who has the right-of-way in the southbound lanes on the Fremont Bridge. These are simple yet important and effective actions that can be taken to help all modes of Seattle traffic reach their destination promptly and safely.
3) Now that each neighborhood plan has identified bicycle improvements, in what ways will you support significant long-term funding for the envisioned bicycle facilities, especially city routes and regional routes?
Chow: Traffic gridlock is the #1 issue for people in Seattle and must be addressed as a priority. The city needs to provide options to get people out of single occupancy vehicles and attitude.
Nicastro: To include bicycle facilities and lanes in the next bond issue.
Jones: I believe in each neighborhood plan funding is written in, as funding for other areas such as open spaces. Regional funding will have to be worked out regionally.
Steinbrueck: I will work to ensure neighborhood plan implementation dollars are provided to extend the urban trails system, route signage, and bicycle storage facilities.
Firestone: I will work to find the support and long term funding that is needed for bicycle facilities. Bicycling is an important part of overall neighborhood plans and deserves long-term funding. State, County and City budgets must include on-going budgetary support.
Pageler: Defeating I-695 is imperative; otherwise, we'll have no long-term transportation funding. The bike routes supported in neighborhood plans will be included in the City's TEA-21 applications and in our regular budget.
Chong: I would support using the federal funds which come through the state.
Wills: I am committed to realizing the neighborhood plans, and to making the funding for these plans a budget priority. We must work collaboratively with project developers, Sound Transit, neighborhood councils, Metro, SEATRAN, Cascade Bicycle Alliance, and other partners to ensure that bicycle facilities and additional bicycle routes are a component in new development projects. I will be a champion for meeting these objectives on the City Council.
Compton: On the one hand, it is important to realize that Seattle and the region are now enjoying some of the most prosperous times in its history. While that spells good fortune for some, it doesn't guarantee that all are sharing in the benefits. Three prominent levels of funding are provided through state, federal, and private/public partnerships. I will illustrate to lawmakers (and fund
providers) that Seattle as a region has tremendous potential for pro-bicycle initiatives and pilot projects. Further, I will work to point out that the area is also known for bicycle fatalities and other safety concerns, and that funding is needed for improvements. As the fourth most congested region in the country, we are receiving federal dollars to combat our problems. I will work to insure that funding to fight congestion is earmarked for bicycle improvements. On the issue of partnerships, I believe that the City of Seattle must be more creative in working with developers, employers and leaders in sales and manufacturing of bicycling equipment to support bicycling activities to augment financing needed to make improvements.
Mason: Routing issues and funding can be addressed by good policy development. For instance, it could be required that when major road repairs and modifications are made that bicycle lanes be included in the plan development. This approach would allow bicycle-only lanes to be phased in more economically.
4) Will you support policies that require mass transit vehicles and stations that are designed in a flexible way for convenient access and to accommodate growth in demand to transport bicycles at all hours of operation?
Chow: Yes, I am an avid "recreational cyclist," and I believe the more convenient we make this mode of operation, the more people will begin to use it and also convert others to use it.
Jones: The metro transit system already provides transportation spaces for bicycles. I will work with policy-making committees to access the use and implementation of bicycles on mass transit.
Steinbrueck: Absolutely. There are many opportunities to achieve these policies through Sound Transit planning, including more bicycle racks, wider sidewalks to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians, improved signage, and storage lockers at the stations.
Firestone: Yes. Accommodating bicyclists is a critical part of our future.
Pageler: Sound Transit is meeting with bicyclists to scope the kinds of accommodations needed to ensure convenient bicycle access to all parts of the Sound Transit system. I continue to support Metro's bike-tote improvements. I'm unsure how Monorail vehicles and stations will incorporate bike access, but I will certainly have this in mind as I come to these issues.
Wills: Absolutely. Convenient bicycle access is known to increase transit ridership and eliminates the need to drive to transit stations.
Compton: Yes. While Metro was one of the first transit agencies in the country to have a system with bicycle racks on every coach, Metro and other transit agencies that serve Seattle must consider added accommodations for bicycling in planning, design, construction, and operation. I support
the expansion of Metro's successful program to install bicycle racks on their vanpools as well as efforts to make their transit facilities more bicycle friendly (for instance, safe, secure, covered parking). I would also encourage Metro to find a way to accommodate more bicycles on
buses over the 520 Bridge. Currently buses can only take two bicycles at a time, which often leaves some cyclists waiting.
Mason: Yes. Bicycling must be treated seriously as a form of transportation. Whether for sport, pleasure, or to commute, bicycling is an option that Seattle must ensure is always available. For example, if you are conscientious enough to ride your bicycle to a ball game at Safeco Field, there should be bike racks available in safe and convenient places, just as there are parking lots and bus stops.
5) How could the city encourage businesses and institutions to provide safe and convenient bicycle access as well as storage, lockers and showers, etc?
Chow: Work with businesses to promote access and acknowledge by resolution and/or media businesses that are working towards this end.
Nicastro: Through tax incentives.
Jones: Would that be a part of the City's responsibilities?
Steinbrueck: I insisted that the new Civic Center and City Hall for Seattle include provisions for cyclists. It is also important to provide abundant safe bicycle parking, lockers, etc. The City can lead by example by providing facilities in the new City Hall. I also support existing commuter
programs, such as providing incentives for carpools, alternative transportation methods, etc.
Firestone: This could be done by the city setting an example and providing these things to city employees, and also by passing a resolution calling for such conveniences.
Pageler: Land use codes can create incentives for businesses to provide lockers, showers, and bike storage by reducing the number of car parking spaces required in a bicycle-friendly project. Competitions, awards, and recognition for businesses and institutions help build support.
Chong: Make it a plus in DCLU design reviews.
Wills: Currently, many businesses receive vehicle parking "included" with their building lease. Unbundling this parking would expose its true cost and allow employers to negotiate the amount of parking they use-opening up the possibility for employers to offer bus passes or cyclist amenities
instead of parking permits. The City of Bellevue currently has a policy requiring some downtown buildings to distinguish parking in leases; Seattle should follow suit. Also, the City's Commute Trip Reduction ordinance is meant to encourage employers to install bike parking and showers, and we should ensure that this legislation is adequately enforced. The Transportation Management Program also mandates that downtown building developers set aside money for encouraging alternative forms of transportation, including bicycle parking and showers. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been committed to the TMP, and we need to make sure that developers follow through with the required improvements.
Compton: My prior answers have addressed many of these questions (the CTR law, partnerships, etc), but I would like to expand with a few additional ideas: * Transportation Management Plans, as negotiated with developers, should find ways to serve bicyclists (shower facilities, storage, etc.; * An extension of the private/public partnership strategy could include working with manufacturers like Yakima racks and Sportworks to construct and offer (at a discount) unique bicycle equipment to developers, employers, business owners, and private citizens. I would also be open to working with entrepreneurs and transit agencies to construct and operate one-stop bicycle stations to provide for the parking and maintenance of bicycles at transit hubs and crossroads. Finally, I would work with sports and health clubs to provide pro-rated membership for bicyclists to include bicycle storage and access to shower and changing facilities.
Mason: The city can encourage businesses by making commuter bicycling publications available at the DCLU so business owners applying for permits to build or upgrade find information on how they can make their buildings bicycle friendly. I would also look to financial incentives that reward companies that institute strong programs that support the needs of people who use non-motor-vehicle transportation.
6) How could the city promote a "share the road" attitude of both drivers and cyclists to make it more convenient, safe, and pleasant for people to cycle to work or about their business?
Chow: Education, working with media, promoting awareness program, supporting special events to emphasize "share the road" behavior. Work with police to help emphasize to motorists the safety and consequences.
Nicastro: Through education and trainings.
Jones: I see some of this already happening, and encouragement from the city could help promote motorists and bicycles to share the road.
Steinbrueck: I would support an education campaign similar to that of the Bicycle Alliance's insertion of bicycle rules and safety information in the Washington State Driver's Handbook. I support strict enforcement of traffic laws, particularly against drivers who may endanger bicyclists and pedestrians. I support more bike lanes with improved signage that will reduce the chances of car vs. bike accidents. I am planning a traffic safety campaign in 2000 to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety, and I will ask the Cascade Bicycle Club for help and advice on these issues.
Firestone: We must create bike lanes on main arterials throughout the city where separate bike trails may be impractical. Bike trails must be created (when practical) so that cyclists can safely cycle to their destinations.
Pageler: SEATRAN's new emphasis on improving traffic operations can incorporate bicycle route information and "Share the Road" messages to drivers. Metro and Sound Transit should display "We Share the Road" ads on their vehicles. The City can work with Cascade to sponsor public information campaigns.
Chong: I supported and still support bicycle trails because I don't like sharing the road with bicyclists. Too dangerous. I would favor dedicating streets for bicycling-only arterials-so we can assure that people do not need to risk their lives on car arterials.
Wills: Each cyclist represents one fewer car on the road, and it serves us well to respect them accordingly. "Share the Road" signs and clearly marked bicycle areas can improve driver awareness of cyclists and their rights. Clearly marked, continuous bicycle routes and the elimination of dangerous bicycle areas can encourage cyclists to follow preferred paths, improving vehicle co-existence and rider safety.
Compton: Safety is a two-way street-pardon the pun-motorists and bicyclists must be made fully aware of rules of the road. I will work, as mentioned before, to advance a "Share the Road" agenda. One idea that I would support is to work with Seattle schools to bring Share the Road ideas to our children. Get them when they're young. While most children are riding bicycles they are doing so without full awareness of safety conditions. One of the most effective bicycle ambassadors for a schools program would be bicycle policeman-thus bringing a dual message to children: bicycles and public safety. Another urgent need is to improve signage entering downtown so that both motorists and bicyclists can coexist safely on crowded streets.
Mason: The city should work with groups like Cascade Bicycle Club and others in the bicycle community to educate both drivers and cyclists. This can be accomplished with a strong media education campaign to help boost bicyclists' and motorists' awareness of each other's needs, combined with community programs that teach all travelers traffic laws and common sense
ideas for moving about this city. Additionally, more bicycle lanes can help diminish bicycle/motor vehicle interaction, and an aggressive total transportation campaign, designed to get people out of their cars, will help reduce incidents involving motorists and alternative travelers.
Bellevue City Council
1) How will your leadership and philosophy support Cascade Bicycle Club's mission, "Creating a Better Community through Bicycling"?
Bob Cronk, Position #1: Did not respond.
Grant Degginger, Position #1: As a member of the Bellevue Planning Commission from 1991 until 1998, I had the opportunity to participate in the development of the city's first pedestrian-bicycle plan and the subsequent effort to recognize bicycle use as part of Bellevue's
multi-modal approach to transportation planning in our comprehensive plan. I believe there are opportunities to expand both bicycle commuting and bicycle recreation in Bellevue.
Chuck Mosher, Position #3 (unopposed): Through my emphasis on completing major bike routes and my support of multi-modal transportation approaches.
Mike Creighton, Position #5: Did not respond.
Jayne Peralta, Position #5: Did not respond.
Phil Noble, Position #7: I support providing mobility alternatives to the car, including bicycle tickets. In addition, bike facilities for recreational purposes is a mark of a good community. I have supported both of these through my position in Bellevue's Transportation Committee.
Barry Ross, Position #7: Did not respond.
2) How could the city promote a "share the road" attitude of both drivers and cyclists to make it more convenient, safe, and pleasant for people to cycle to work or about their business?
Degginger: The city should devote space in its publication, "It's Your City," which goes to households in the city on this subject, and include this important subject in its One Less Car program presentations.
Moser: The city could promote auto/bike cooperation in its TDM efforts.
Noble: Provide appropriate bike lanes, include promotion of bike safety in the schools, include bike use as part of the One Less Car programs.
3) Do you think enough is being done for bicycle commuting and transportation demand reduction programs in key areas-downtown Bellevue and Overlake?
Degginger: I think we are making progress, but we have a ways to go and some significant challenges ahead. With respect to downtown, the anticipated construction along with commencement of roadway improvements which are part of the downtown access project will present significant challenges to commuting in the short term. The city should further encourage bicycle commuting and help reinforce the importance of sharing the road with bicyclists. With respect to Overlake, the recently signed agreements between Bellevue and Redmond are the first step toward addressing the significant traffic challenges facing that area. Transit ridership and transportation demand reduction are parts of the plan. The city council must carefully monitor the progress of both cities to be sure that key milestones are met.
Moser: No, that's why I'm part of a TDM committee, working on improved TDM efforts. (I am happy with the city's efforts in the downtown area.)
Noble: No. Such facilities should be included in any additions or extensions of the roadway systems in these areas.
4) Will you work to support the implementation of the bicycle and pedestrian facility improvements of the West Lake Sammamish Parkway Bikeway project?
Degginger: I am open minded about a number of key segments which are important to having an integrated bicycle system, but prioritizing this project over other parts, given limited resources, is difficult in the context of this question.
5) Do you support the continued staffing of a Bicycle/Pedestrian Transportation Specialist position in the Bellevue Transportation Department?
Degginger: I support having a staff person continue with expertise on ped/bike transportation issues. That person may need to have other responsibilities as well.
6) Do you support the 1999 update of the City's Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan's policies and its system and improvement recommendations?
Degginger: I am generally supportive of the plan, as it has emerged from the Transportation and Planning Commissions. At the time I am writing these responses, the city council has not yet acted on the 1999 plan.
Moser: The key focus should be on completing major bike routes.
King County Council
1) How will your leadership and philosophy support Cascade Bicycle Club's mission, "Creating a Better Community through Bicycling"?
Cythia Sullivan, Position #2 (unopposed): Did not respond.
Chris Caputo, Position #4: My leadership and philosophy will support Cascade Bicycle Club's mission of "Creating a Better Community through Bicycling" by not hindering the use and activity of bicycling with regulations and limitations on use.
Larry Phillips, Position #4: During my service on the King County Council, I have been a strong proponent of developing a regional trails system. I have also supported the installation of bike racks on the County's transit vehicle fleet. I believe our community will be strengthened by establishing varied and viable transportation choices, with bicycling being a central option.
Rob McKenna, Position #6 (unopposed): Did not respond.
Greg Nickels, Position #8: Did not respond.
David Ballestrasse, Position #8: Did not respond.
Larry Gossett, Position #10 (unopposed): Did not respond.
David Irons, Position #12 (Di Irons later filed as opponent on write in ticket): Did not respond.
2) Will you support policies that require mass transit vehicles and stations that are designed in a flexible way for convenient access and to accommodate growth in demand to transport bicycles at all hours of operation?
Caputo: Mass transit, if it is to exist, should reasonably serve the needs of its passengers. If enough passengers will use accommodations that assist cyclists, then they should be available.
Phillips: Absolutely. As we improve and expand our transportation system -the current development of Sound Transit, for example-we have a critical opportunity to advance multi-modal transportation. I believe cyclists should have "user-friendly" access to rail and bus services.
3) How could the county promote a "share the road" attitude of both drivers and cyclists to make it more convenient, safe, and pleasant for people to cycle to work or about their business?
Caputo: The County can take a leadership role in promoting a "share the road" attitude of both drivers and cyclists by citing drivers who infringe on a cyclist's use of a lane and by citing cyclists who don't follow the traffic laws that apply to cycling. The County should not work to get cyclists off of roads and onto sidewalks.
Phillips: Bike lanes are essential along major arterials to ensure cyclist safety. I would also encourage an active public relations plan including signage along roadways and advertising to remind drivers to "share the road." When King County has an opportunity to develop roadways or enhance bus systems, I believe finding ways to promote cycling should be given significant consideration.
4) Do you support the development of the East Lake Sammamish Trail in the railroad right-of-way into a continuous, separated, multi-use bicycle path between Redmond and Issaquah?
Caputo: I support the development of the East Lake Sammamish Trail as long as public funds are not used to pay for it. I believe private funding will result in a higher quality and better maintained trail than public funding.
Phillips: Yes, I support the development of the East Lake Sammamish Trail within the existing rail right-of-way. I believe public safety should be the top priority when it comes to trail planning and design, and I believe children and families should not be asked to ride their bicycles on busy roadways when safer and available alternatives exist.
5) Will you seek significant long-term funding in addition to state and federal (TEA-21) funds for new and imp