VOTE! Elections across Missouri April 6th, 2010

Elections are being held across Missouri Tuesday, April 6th.  Please remember to get out and vote!

Key elections are Mayor/city council in Columbia & other cities and Prop A (transit/metro funding) in St. Louis.

TrailNet has some info on Prop A, and PedNet has collected fascinating reactions from each Columbia candidate about their views on bicycle and pedestrian issues.  A few excerpts:

Do you support Columbia's current street design standards, enacted in 2004, which ensures that new streets are built to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users as well as cars?

Paul Love: No, the current standards add between 25-33% width to the road on collectors and arterials adding huge amounts to the cost, The roads are over designed for bicycle traffic and cost alot more. From a design and study perspective adding 5 extra ft of width to each of the sidewalks marked as bike trail would be cheaper. Bikes could still use the roads if desired under existing missouri law but would have an alternative. It would be easy to see how much traffic chose to use each providing guidance for further development.

Bob McDavid: Yes. As Chairman of the Board of the Boone Hospital Board of Trustees, Boone Hospital has incorporated PedNet into our 3 million dollar reconstruction of Williams Street. We anticipate Williams Street will be part of Columbia¹s ³bike boulevard² plan.

Sal Nuccio: Did not respond.

Sean O’Day: I believe it will be crucial for us to break our dependence on fossil fuels and developing our city in this manner ensures we can aid this cause. Regardless of the cause of climate change (i.e. anthropogenic or non), we can safely assume we should not be depleting our carbon savings account we have accrued over billions of years in the blink of an eye. I would suggest we focus upon using the vast energy income we are given each and every day. Having roadways that support all modes of transportation will be crucial to this effort, as a solution to this global problem will likely involve a combination of many different methods.

Sid Sullivan: Yes for local, neighborhood collector and minor arterial streets. The simple striping for bike paths on major arterials and expressways with cars travelling over 40 miles per hour is dangerous for both motorists and non-motorized vehicles without a physical barrier to divide the roadway from the pedway.

Jerry Wade: Yes. I have been very active in the complete street effort. As chairman of Planning and Zoning in 2004, I appointed and facilitated the stakeholders group that proposed the current standards. I then worked with the Council to get the complete street standards ordinance enacted. 

Would you support an enthusiastic application by the City of Columbia to compete for an extension of federal funding (the GetAbout Columbia project) to improve community health, reduce public expenditures on roads, and benefit the environment through the creation of a bicycle/pedestrian network, if a competitive grants program becomes available as proposed by members of the U.S. Congress?

Paul Love: Not unless significant changes were made in the attitude and organization of the system.  The current pednet seems not to be so much pro walking and bike as to be anti-car.  They have driven a wedge in our community not worked to bring it together, so much so we needed to pass a special ordinance to protect cyclist.  We received 20+ million dollars in federal funds and I do not believe we received that much benefit.  I would need to see that the money would be well spent before supporting additional requests for grants.

Bob McDavid: Yes. Federal funding of GetAbout will add to our community¹s rich network of recreational opportunities

Sal Nuccio: Did not respond.

Sean O’Day: Fundamentally, I am opposed to seeking federal and state funds to pay for projects within the city. This money is typically dispersed with very specific restrictions on its use which may or may not be in the city's best interest. However, I realize the changes that are necessary to prevent the city from having to seek these grants cannot be implemented overnight. Therefore I would support an application should funds be made available for such a grant.

Sid Sullivan: We first need to evaluate what we currently have in place. As much as I favor “complete streets” the lack of a street policy combined with a lack or sufficient right-of-way in the older part of our city has set the stage for an in-your-face-confrontation between motorist and non-motorized transportation. I strongly favor separating motorized from non-motorized whenever possible. Also, as indicated above, we should have a street policy in place so everyone is on the same page when we coordinate non-motorized traffic into our current streets.

Jerry Wade: Yes. Columbia has a good start on this network. Additional resources to continue building and maintain it are essential in this time of diminished city revenues. “...a bicycle/pedestrian network” illustrates the emphasis of the use of funds to date. I would like to see a greater understanding and use of future funds to support this network for the benefit of pedestrians and ease of mobility for the disabled. 

Much more here.

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