Archive for May, 2012

Bike the Vote 2012!

Election Day is Saturday, May 12th, but early voting is going on now (every day!) and lasts till Tuesday, May 8th. See our post on early voting information.

Considering that only 10, 514 people or 5% of registered voters actually voted in last years election, it cannot be stressed enough that a few votes can have a drastic impact on an Arlington election.

And the stakes are high again this year considering that the main opposition to bicycle infrastructure, Buddy Saunders, has come out in support of several candidates that could unseat incumbents that voted for the plan, but also fill vacancies that would allow for anti-bike infrastructure voices to influence future infrastructure decisions.

About the Candidates

While we are not going to tell you who to vote for or endorse specific candidates, we will provide a summary of what they have said in response to our short questionnaire about bicycle transportation, and in the absence of a response to our questionnaire, sourced quotes, and past voting records.

Address specific (only those in the district can vote)

At-large (everyone votes)

What’s my district? Here is a district map. The online version, including the incumbents can be found on the city’s webpage here.

More Info

The City’s secretary has campaign finance information here. You can learn about all the candidates through the Chamber of Commerce’s website: VoteforArlington.com. The League of Women Voters has a good candidate handout (PDF).

And here are some news articles that can inform you on the positions of various candidates and what they’ve said to the press:

Star Telegram

The Shorthorn

GO VOTE – Polling Locations

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District 1

At a glance, are they bike friendly?

  • Ben Franklin Bruce – No
  • Charlie Parker – No
  • Cliff Richardson – unknown
  • Karl Warren – Yes
  • Kim Feil – Yes
  • Mike Becknal – No
  • Ron F. Smith – Yes
  • William “Bill” Verkest –Yes

Questions

  1. How often do you ride bikes?
  2. What will you do to promote bicycling and increase the number of people who use bicycles for transportation and commuting?
  3. How do you see the hike-and-bike plan as fitting into the city’s transportation network?
  4. What do you think is the best way to allocate the public works money to car, bicycle and pedestrian projects? Specifically, should the proportion of funds to bike infrastructure be less than/equal to/or greater than the present?
  5. Would you support a 3-foot to pass law in Arlington? (A law requiring vehicles to give cyclists three feet of clearance when passing them on the road.)
  6. Not every city building and not even every city park has bike racks. What would you do to increase the number of bike parking in the city?
  7. Plano, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin have each hired a staff Bicycle Coordinator and a Bicycle Advisory Committee. Would you support hiring of a Bicycle Coordinator or creating such a committee in Arlington?

Candidate answers

Ben Franklin Bruce

  • Mr. Bruce did not respond to the survey, but he is backed by Buddy Saunders, the main opposition to the Hike & Bike Plan.

Charlie Parker

  • Statement issued:  “I have been riding bikes for several decades.  As a matter of fact it was 10 years ago this Memorial Day that I rode from Austin to my home here in Arlington.  I enjoy riding my bike in River Legacy Park on days like today, but not on the weekends.  On June 1 of last year I was hit by a car while crossing Green Oaks Blvd. while I was in the cross walk.  I have a plate and 10 screws in my wrist and I consider myself very lucky that it wasn’t worse.  I was surrounded by white lines and it didn’t legislate any courtesy from the driver, since I believe she was texting at the time.  So if you want to know my stance on the Hike and Bike Plan as it stands I am against it at present.  That being said I am for bike paths.  I would like to get the biker off the streets because it is dangerous.  I would like to connect the current bike paths to Ft. Worth/Dallas so that a quality bike experience can be had in a safe environment.  I personally don’t think that white stripes do much since it is obvious from my experience the streets aren’t safe.”

Cliff Richardson

  • Mr. Richardson has not yet responded to the survey.

Karl Warren

  1. I ride from time to time but not as often as I would like…….
  2. I think your organization would be better at promoting bicycling and or increasing the numbers. If you help elect me to the city council, what I can do is make sure you have the safe bike path and routes. Because current and past city leaders have lack foresight when come to hike and bike; I believe when a new street is put in or an old street is repaired, we should make it bike and pedestrian friendly.
  3. From the maps I have seen, I think hike and bike can fit nicely into the city transportation network. With the current city council, only time will tell if it get done and done right. We need a city council with foresight and understand as the population grows and change, the way we move around the city will change.
  4. This is my thinking; when planning to develop new areas around town, when planning to fix or repair current streets, this would be the time to look at how biking and pedestrian traffic would fit….it should not cost any more money to incorporate a bike path if we do the planning.
  5. On an unmarked street I can see the need but on a street that’s marked; If the cyclist is within the bike lane there may be less of a need. This is a safety issue and the safety of the cyclist come first.  This would be something I would take a hard look at.
  6. What I would do is partner with your organization and other businesses around town to promote bike parking in the city.
  7. If it is needed, this is would be something to consider……..

Kim Feil

  1. I had my vintage bike out last Sunday at Fielder Museum for a candidate party. My “riding” bike is being used by my college kid at LSU, so not often at all.
  2. I am currently meeting with the Facebook group “Arlington Mass Transit”. I am editing the video for the meeting we had Sunday evening. We are exploring a multi modal transportation item for the ballot and will need about 9,000 signatures of registered voters, however others can help that are not registered can also help by getting the petitions circulated and notarized.
  3. “The example of the traffic calming/bike lane on Norwood has definitely slowed us down and my son and his friends ride their longboard there for sport, but not for transportation.
    So that part of the plan in my opinion isn’t contiguous transportation, but a limited parcel. I personally believe dedicated lanes away from speeding, spewing cars & trucks is the safest route for cyclists. Painting a line and yielding that space will improve safety, but it will not address the health hazard of cycling with vehicle exhaust. In general, if we get public transit, we at least need bike racks for the buses.”
  4. The example of the traffic calming/bike lane on Norwood has definitely slowed us down and my son and his friends ride their longboard there for sport, but not for transportation.
    So that part of the plan in my opinion isn’t contiguous transportation, but a limited parcel. I personally believe dedicated lanes away from speeding, spewing cars & trucks is the safest route for cyclists. Painting a line and yielding that space will improve safety, but it will not address the health hazard of cycling with vehicle exhaust. In general, if we get public transit, we at least need bike racks for the buses.”
  5. Yes, all pedestrians, and cyclists deserve to be safe and enjoy the public streets.
  6. I would ask businesses to pay for them in lieu of advertising on the racks, or positing a sponsor sign of the donor.
  7.  I would support the NCTCOG adding a Bicycle Coordinator so that many cities can benefit from regional efforts.

Mike Becknal

I am very bike friendly in that I want to work with our neighboring cities to finally complete the Trinity Trails system of trails which will ultimately provide the continous trail from are south Fort Worth all of the way to Dallas.
 
As far as permanent bike lanes on our streets, I am still studying the issues.  I am not in favor of reducing lanes of traffic on existing roads, such as Abram and Mayfield as was part of the Hike and Bike Plan passed by the Council.  I have no problem including them where we can as part of the redesign of existing roadways, or the widening of roadways.  Unfortunately, because of our lack of transit in Arlington, and by the nature of our city geographically, we simply have too much traffic spread across too large an area to effectively support bike lanes across major thourofares (sic).

Note: Updated 05/07/2012

Ron F. Smith

  1. 3 or 4 times per month.
  2. I would promote bicycle awareness and in some cases would support bike lanes on
    some streets. I also would like to see the other metroplex cities finish the Trinity
    River park plans with bike trails throughout the area. Bicycling and safety are very
    important to me.
  3. It still has to be approved by voters on specifics. I would like to see studies that
    support the very high number that were used in previous studies. I am very much
    interested in the safety issues. We need to make the streets more accessible.
  4. I would have to study the current percentages before I make a judgment on the
    allocation. I would say more that we have had in the past.
  5. Absolutely!I would support safety of the riders and responsibility of riders to the
    current laws. I also would try to inform drivers about the current laws. Again, I
    would study the information before making a decision.
  6. I would promote the racks in public parks and public buildings as noted on the
    survey of how many bikes were operating at each facility. Private commercial
    buildings would have to supply their own as they see fit.
  7. Yes, If the residents want it.

William “Bill” Verkest

  1. I do not ride
  2. I will advocate the health benefits of cycling as well as its contribution to improving air quality.  More importantly, I will demand a public education program to demonstrate the necessity of sharing the road.
  3. It is an integral part of an intermodal transportation system.
  4. As a matter of budget priorities, equal to.
  5. Yes
  6. Promote as part of the budget process based on facility use or based on origin – destination studies.
  7. Yes.

Return Home – Election guide 2012

District 2

At a glance, are they bike friendly?

  • Darrell Castillo – Unknown
  • Sheri Capehart – Yes

 Questions

  1. How often do you ride bikes?
  2. What will you do to promote bicycling and increase the number of people who use bicycles for transportation and commuting?
  3. How do you see the hike-and-bike plan as fitting into the city’s transportation network?
  4. What do you think is the best way to allocate the public works money to car, bicycle and pedestrian projects? Specifically, should the proportion of funds to bike infrastructure be less than/equal to/or greater than the present?
  5. Would you support a 3-foot to pass law in Arlington? (A law requiring vehicles to give cyclists three feet of clearance when passing them on the road.)
  6. Not every city building and not even every city park has bike racks. What would you do to increase the number of bike parking in the city?
  7. Plano, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin have each hired a staff Bicycle Coordinator and a Bicycle Advisory Committee. Would you support hiring of a Bicycle Coordinator or creating such a committee in Arlington?

 Candidate answers

Darrell Castillo

  • Mr. Castillo did not respond to the survey, but he is also supported by Buddy Saunders, the opposition leader to the Hike & Bike Plan

Sheri Capehart

  1. Sorry to say, never on road, I do have and ride a stationary bike.
  2. Bike riding is healthy on so many levels, albeit, summers in Texas make it somewhat oppressive for many folks.  Continuing to provide information/education on the benefits of cycling I believe is the key to building more community support and involvement.
  3. It is a needed component for addressing transportation needs.
  4. I do not have a complete understanding of this question.  Generally, I think of roadway improvements as being an inclusive and practical process addressing multiple means of transit.
  5. I am not familiar with this law and would need a better understanding of how it would be implemented.
  6. Support installation of bike racks in current and future city facilities.
  7. I would be willing to have this discussion, but at present I do not believe it is warranted.

 
Return Home – Election guide 2012

District 6

At a glance, are they bike friendly?

  • Phillip Benge – No
  • Robert P. Shephard – Yes

Questions

  1. How often do you ride bikes?
  2. What will you do to promote bicycling and increase the number of people who use bicycles for transportation and commuting?
  3. How do you see the hike-and-bike plan as fitting into the city’s transportation network?
  4. What do you think is the best way to allocate the public works money to car, bicycle and pedestrian projects? Specifically, should the proportion of funds to bike infrastructure be less than/equal to/or greater than the present?
  5. Would you support a 3-foot to pass law in Arlington? (A law requiring vehicles to give cyclists three feet of clearance when passing them on the road.)
  6. Not every city building and not even every city park has bike racks. What would you do to increase the number of bike parking in the city?
  7. Plano, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin have each hired a staff Bicycle Coordinator and a Bicycle Advisory Committee. Would you support hiring of a Bicycle Coordinator or creating such a committee in Arlington?

Candidate answers

Philip Benge

  • Mr. Benge has not yet responded to the survey.

BFA Note: Mr Benge is endorsed by Mr. Saunders, but this quote in an online article suggests that he thinks in terms of car infrastructure: “Citizen’s want their roadways built to be friendly for automobile traffic,” Mr. Benge explained, “anything that goes against this is going against the will of the residents.”

Robert P. Shephard

  • Mr. Shephard has not yet responded to the survey.

BFA Note: Mr. Shephard voted “Yes” for the Hike & Bike Plan.

Return Home – Election guide 2012

District 7

At a glance, are they bike friendly?

  • Jerry Pikulinski – No
  • Jimmy Bennett – Yes

Questions

  1. How often do you ride bikes?
  2. What will you do to promote bicycling and increase the number of people who use bicycles for transportation and commuting?
  3. How do you see the hike-and-bike plan as fitting into the city’s transportation network?
  4. What do you think is the best way to allocate the public works money to car, bicycle and pedestrian projects? Specifically, should the proportion of funds to bike infrastructure be less than/equal to/or greater than the present?
  5. Would you support a 3-foot to pass law in Arlington? (A law requiring vehicles to give cyclists three feet of clearance when passing them on the road.)
  6. Not every city building and not even every city park has bike racks. What would you do to increase the number of bike parking in the city?
  7. Plano, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin have each hired a staff Bicycle Coordinator and a Bicycle Advisory Committee. Would you support hiring of a Bicycle Coordinator or creating such a committee in Arlington?

 Candidate answers

Jerry Pikulinski

  1. Seldom.  Only to test if I still have the balance.
  2. My basic position is to support recreational biking and to concede that the student population at UTA should be able to use biking as a serious transportation alternative.
  3. I want to see the issues re-examined in the light of the above answer.
  4. There are so many competing requirements for street construction and maintenance that I place only a limited priority on bike lane access, again in line with my answer to question 2 above.
  5. Having sailed in my younger days, I accept that smaller, lower powered vehicles need special treatment. For the safety of riders, I also support traffic safety rules for bicycles.  I have personally seen some reckless bike behavior that needs to be better regulated. I am not sure that the 3-foot law would ensure safety. Again in my earlier days, I rode a motorcycle and had two experiences in being driven off the road in an oncoming auto left-turn situation. The entire safety situation needs to be addressed in any case.
  6. Basically, I would not appropriate any large amounts of money for this purpose.  I recognize that bike racks at public building may be needed.  I would favor putting out small numbers of these and looking at the utilization before going to any high level of installation.
  7. I favor community participation, that includes public committees. I would work to create a framework in which a public bike advisory committee could be organized.  I think “over-politicizing” any community effort gives the wrong message.  I would not create a special position, but assign different staff people to work with a public bike committee, on the issues involved will likely involve several city departments.  I would work to reduce the controversy generated thus far.

Jimmy Bennett

  1. Presently not riding (sorry).
  2. As a part of the City Council who voted to approve, it made a statement of support and encouragement to those who enjoying biking for recreational or commuting purposes.
  3. It is presently a complementary piece to our network.  However, depending upon how the public accepts and responds, it could become even more important.  The plan that was passed allows for this potentiality.
  4. Since we have only just begun funding this plan, it will be increasing from past levels.
  5. I am unfamiliar with this concept but would be open to listening to the merits it may offer.
  6. Depending upon the costs, it could be incorporated into some of the upcoming planned city park expansions or renovations.  The same goes with buildings.
  7. I am unfamiliar with this type of position and would have to learn more about the cost/benefit it would offer.  But again, I am open-minded to listening to the merits of this proposition.

Return Home – Election guide 2012

District 8

At a glance, are they bike friendly?

  • Charla Hawkes-Vinyard – No
  • David Edward Berg – unknown
  • Faith Jimmie Chatham – Yes
  • Michael D. Glaspie, Sr. – No
  • Will Clark – unknown

Questions

  1. How often do you ride bikes?
  2. What will you do to promote bicycling and increase the number of people who use bicycles for transportation and commuting?
  3. How do you see the hike-and-bike plan as fitting into the city’s transportation network?
  4. What do you think is the best way to allocate the public works money to car, bicycle and pedestrian projects? Specifically, should the proportion of funds to bike infrastructure be less than/equal to/or greater than the present?
  5. Would you support a 3-foot to pass law in Arlington? (A law requiring vehicles to give cyclists three feet of clearance when passing them on the road.)
  6. Not every city building and not even every city park has bike racks. What would you do to increase the number of bike parking in the city?
  7. Plano, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin have each hired a staff Bicycle Coordinator and a Bicycle Advisory Committee. Would you support hiring of a Bicycle Coordinator or creating such a committee in Arlington?

Candidate answers

Charla Hawkes-Vinyard

  • Mrs. Hawkes-Vinyard has not yet replied to the survey.

BFA Note: While on P&Z, she voted against the Hike & Bike plan and made that clear again on a campaign mailer.

David Edward Berg

  • Mr. Berg has not yet replied to the survey.

Faith Jimmie Chatham

  1. I was in a wheel chair until last year and am still mobility challenged so I have not been on a bike outside for years. However, this year I have been in the YMCA South Cooper St pool regularly and have begun riding the stationary bike.  I hope eventually to build up my strength and time and be able to ride outside again.
  2. I’d like to see bike trails through green spaces  which connect to accessible and less dangerous routes. I do not favor converting traffic lanes to bike lanes.  I’d like to see wider sidewalks without barriers for both bikers and wheel chairs and pedestrians.  I want to see the diagonal curb cuts eliminated and a return to the parallel curb cuts so that it is not necessary to go out into both lanes of traffic to enter a cross walk from a sidewalk.  Idealistically, bikers could share sidewalks with hikers and wheel chairs if the sidewalks are wide enough and barrier free and they are adjacent to high traffic roadways.
  3. It is a part of it but the particular hike and bike plan considered by the city recently was not a particularly good one.  Instead of converting traffic lanes, the bike trails should truly be bike trails. This plan merely creates resentment between the bike community and the motorist and I fear will delay rather than facilitate a good hike and bike plan.
  4. I am not sure what the current level is.  It is probably not very much right now.
  5. Probably. There may be some roadways that if 3 foot to pass is enacted would need to be restricted from bicycles because of traffic count and narrow roadways. This is something that has serious merit and I’d seriously consider it.
  6. This is something that a non profit organization   could present a grant application for to the Tomorrow Fund.
  7. The committee would be good.  Probably funding would be better if someone from Community Services was appointed as the liaison.

Michael D. Glaspie, Sr.

  1. Very seldom.
  2. I believe the potential benefits of alternative modes of transportation, such as, bicycles have to be explained and justified to the community.
  3. The demand for providing hike and bike options must be defined and met appropriately.
  4. Public works funding have to be allocated on the basis of demand. As the demand for bike infrastructure increases then the funding should increase proportionately.
  5. I would support whatever is necessary to assure the safety of both driver and biker.
  6. Racks can be put in place as needed and as numbers dictate.
  7. The Committee may be appropriate in near future but Coordinator is a position that should be justified since it would necessitate allocating City funds.

Will Clark

  • Mr. Clark has not yet responded to the survey.

Return Home – Election guide 2012

 

Election Day is May 12th, but early voting runs from April 30th to May 8th (every day!).

The best part about early voting is that you can vote at any polling location within Tarrant County (on election day you have to go to your local polling place)!

Here are the dates for early voting:

Monday, April 30th
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday, May 1st
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday, May 2nd
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday, May 3rd
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday, May 4th
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, May 5th
7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday, May 6th
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Monday, May 7th
7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Tuesday, May 8th
7:00 am – 7:00 pm

And here are the locations in Arlington (check out the full list here) (and our map here):

Bob Duncan Center 2800 South Center Street
Elzie Odom Recreation Center 1601 NE Green Oaks Boulevard
Center for Community Service
Junior League of Arlington
4002 W Pioneer Parkway
South Service Center 1100 SW Green Oaks Boulevard
Tarrant County Sub-Courthouse 700 E Abram Street

On the ballot for this election (see your personalized sample ballot here)

Grab your ID or voter registration card and come out and let your voice be heard in the polling booth!
More details available from Tarrant County Elections.



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