Our city is growing, and that's a good thing! More jobs means we need more housing. More housing in a landlocked city means more density. More density means more traffic. More traffic means we need to find ways to reduce the use of cars. These are not simple issues, and I plan to lean heavily on my process improvement, strategic planning, and change management experience to tackle these issues.
I support bike lanes and bike-friendly communities. Well-structured bike lanes reduce cyclist injury or death and promote active, healthy communities. Bike lanes can also provide safe methods for commuters to alleviate the congestion on streets. A robust cyclist education program to ensure cyclists follow traffic laws is also important to everyone’s safety.
Alternate transportation is a vital part of any vibrant city and Tempe is no exception. The McClintock bike lane controversy isn't about residents not wanting bike lanes; it's about reducing lanes of traffic without public awareness. I've knocked on thousands of doors in South Tempe and more people favor the bike lanes than not. Council must balance the need for bicycle infrastructure with the safest option for our cyclists.
I'm excited for the compromise that was reached, but I would have also advocated for more bicycle education (on the part of cyclists and motorists) and clearer marked bike lanes. I hope to see intensive communication with the neighborhoods because as construction commences, and new businesses open their doors in South Tempe, traffic will continue to increase regardless of the additional traffic lanes.
I would have preferred a clean energy expansion of our Orbit system over a street car. But a street car was decided on long ago. I believe a street car option should be innovative and should do the least amount of harm to our downtown/University area. This will likely be resolved before the election, but I would support a street car solution that will minimize traffic, improve pedestrian safety, and use sustainable energy sources.
The 2040 General Plan has several areas included for traffic calming solutions. I support plans that preserve the neighborhood characteristics, increase the shade of our neighborhoods, and improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. I would also look for significant input from neighborhoods before investments are made in their throughways.
Absent feedback from neighborhoods, I believe it is a Councilmember's job to reach out to the community affected personally and uncover the needs of that community. An example of this is the Country Club multi-use path; of all the public comment, only two identified as Hispanic and there were few comments in the Escalante neighborhood.