The board of Tempe Bicycle Action Group recently sent questions to all of the candidates for Tempe Mayor and City Council prior to the upcoming election, so that the voters of Tempe can hear the candidate’s positions on cycling and cycling related issues.

Responses from all of the candidates can be found here: http://www.biketempe.org/tempe-election-bicycle-qa-candidates-responses/

 

Response from City Council Candidate Corey Woods:

 

Personal questions

1. Do you ride a bicycle on the valley area roads/trails and why?

I own a bicycle, but I rarely ever have time to ride it. Due to my work schedule, which takes me all over the East Valley almost daily, I spend the overwhelming majority of my time in my car.

2. Do you think cycling in Tempe is safe for you, your family members and friends? What would you do to improve the safety of the cycling environment?

Yes, I feel that the City of Tempe is committed to bicycle safety. However, I believe that it is important to not simply rest on our laurels. We should always try to continue to improve when it comes to this issue. In terms of specifics regarding cycling environment improvements, I would like to see even more bicycle lanes in places where they don’t currently exist. The presence of dedicated bicycle lanes helps to avoid accidents between bicycle users and pedestrians on sidewalks, while also training motorists about the need to respect the rights of those who choose not to use automobiles.

3. What have you done or worked on in the past that shows your record of being involved in bicycle safety or road/trail improvement campaigns? Please elaborate.

Before I was elected to the Tempe City Council, I was a member of the City of Tempe Transportation Commission for two years. I applied for this position because I strongly supported the idea of providing residents with a variety of transportation options. During my time on the Commission, we advocated for items such as increased bicycle lanes, improved safety and an expansion of the Orbit neighborhood circulator system.

 

Specific improvements in Tempe

4. Where do you think cycling fits in Tempe or any city’s transportation  infrastructure and planning?

The needs of cyclists should always be taken into account when doing infrastructure planning. For example, when street improvements are being proposed, that would be a very appropriate time to thoughtfully consider how the changes being made will affect cyclists. Also, Tempe is becoming a much more urban city in certain sections. Residents who choose to live near Tempe Town Lake or at a place such as the West 6th Apartments look for amenities that include comfortable cycling lanes as well as access to transit lines. It is important as we plan for the future that we take all of these factors into consideration before making major structural changes that will have long-lasting impacts.

5. Many streets in Tempe do not have bike lanes (Broadway Road, Rural Road, McClintock Drive, Southern Avenue) and are not comfortable for any users other than automobile drivers. What measures would you support to improve the state of bike lane frequency in Tempe (i.e. road diets, shared spaces for bikes/buses, increased bike lanes)?

I support increasing the number of bike lanes in Tempe to better serve the needs of cyclists. I also would be willing to explore the concept of creating more shared spaces for bikes and buses. In places like Portland, bikes, cars, and modern streetcars many times share the same spaces. I believe there may be a way to implement similar measures in Tempe that are safe for all users of our streets.

6. How will you work with ADOT to obtain more bicycle and pedestrian facilities adjacent to and over the local freeway system like Country Club Way and Alameda Drive?  Bicyclists have requested freeway crossings at Alameda and the I-10 and the Western Canal and I-10 and Balboa and 101 etc…

While I support working with ADOT to obtain more facilities like the one described above, the major concern at this point in time would be cost. You can never put a price on safety, but I would need to spend more time exploring this measure before offering a definitive answer. However, I would be happy to work alongside groups such as TBAG to look into this further to see what can be done to improve bicycle safety.

7. The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is surrounded by roadway devoid of bike lanes. How would you make the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport accessible by bike?

Unfortunately, due to the fact that the roads that both lead to and surround Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport are under the jurisdiction of the City of Phoenix, there is probably only limited direct work that can be done by the City of Tempe on this issue. However, that doesn’t prevent the Tempe City Council from speaking with our colleagues in Phoenix concerning ways to improve the accessibility of the Airport.

 

Tempe’s cycling image in the US

8. How would you increase Tempe’s standing in the broader bicycle community? For example, how would you help Tempe grow from its “silver” status with the League of American Bicyclists to a “platinum” status?

When making street improvements or doing citywide master planning, it is important that we keep in mind the guidelines and benchmarks that would move us from “silver” to “platinum” status. Bicycling is an integral part of what makes Tempe what it is. We work diligently to provide accessible multi-use paths and encourage alternative modes of transportation. By improving upon what we already do well and embracing new ideas and opportunities, we can continue to cement Tempe’s reputation as an open, accessible community for all to share together.

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