Tempe Bicycle Action Group

Arlene Chin: 2022 Tempe Council Candidate Questions

1. How do you normally commute around Tempe? What kind of vehicles do you utilize? Are you satisfied with your commuting experience?

I utilize a variety of ways to get around Tempe, such as walking, light rail, bicycle and car, but I typically commute by car. Most of the time my commute is unremarkable, but there is definitely room for improvement. I want to focus on core services to ease traffic congestion, invest in infrastructure and improve our streets for all commuters.

2. Do you think it is possible to function in our current city without the use of an automobile? What is your vision for transportation and mobility around Tempe and the region?

I do think it’s possible to function in Tempe without an automobile, but in many parts of the city it would come with great inconvenience. I’d like to see that change. My vision for Tempe is to be a fully multimodal city where our residents can go anywhere and access the services they need with a variety of convenient and low or no-cost transportation options. I’d like to see better connectability and transportation options between north, south and downtown Tempe. We also need to work in partnership with neighboring cities and regional transportation providers to enhance connectability throughout the region. The bottom line: we need to make it more convenient for people to commute without a car.

3. How familiar are you with Tempe’s Vision Zero goal? Do you support the City of Tempe’s 2019 Action Plan to achieve these goals? If so, what is your plan to update and expand Vision Zero to improve transportation safety for all members of the community?

I was on the council when we approved Tempe’s Vision Zero Action Plan. I still support it. I believe the safety of our citizens is a top priority. In updating and expanding Vision Zero, we need to look at the data gathered from the steps we’ve taken thus far, analyze what’s working and what’s not, and make changes accordingly. Traffic safety concerns are quite different from one neighborhood to the next in Tempe. Some areas are more dense and congested, and some less so. Because of that, I think we need to look at safety measures on a street by street basis, rather than taking a one size fits all approach for the entire city. In Vision Zero, we aspire to achieve zero traffic fatalities and serious injury crashes in Tempe. I’m committed to that goal, knowing it will take smart and thoughtful planning, making adjustments and decisions based on localized data that will make our streets safer for everyone. For Vision Zero to be successful we need to change people’s behavior, not just reduce speeds. There needs to be an education component, increased traffic enforcement and a commitment from all of us to work together as a community to achieve our Vision Zero goals.

4. How do you plan to adequately fund roadway improvements, especially the backlog of existing and requested transportation safety projects? What role should community organizations play in cycling safety and planning?

The city has already begun to increase the roadway infrastructure budget, and that will need to remain a priority in the years ahead. Funding for street improvements and added safety features can come from a variety of sources, including city, state and federal funds and we should seek all options available to us. Also, as we incorporate new development, it should come with the stipulation to help fund the necessary transportation infrastructure to support it, including traffic mitigation measures and features that make alternative modes of transportation more convenient. That could include bike corrals, bike valets and secure storage options, EV charging stations, and easy access to public transportation. I strongly believe we need to work in partnership with community organizations that encourage cycling safety and planning. Groups such as TBAG are among our community’s best resources for knowing what problems exist in our city’s cycling network and how we might address them. I’ve found cycling groups and organizations invaluable to keeping me informed, and I plan to continue working in close partnership with them.

5. Common concerns of bicyclists in Tempe include police knowledge of State and Local bicycle laws, bicycle theft, and drivers parking in bicycle lanes. What would you do to address these concerns when elected? What training and education would you implement for the police department to ensure they understand cycling laws?

As a first course of action, I believe education is important – for both our public safety personnel and commuters. In order for us to become a fully multimodal city, it’s imperative that our public safety personnel receive ongoing training and education necessary to effectively keep people safe – that includes safety and crime prevention for cyclists and bicycle routes. As our transportation options evolve, we also need to make sure our residents understand our traffic laws, and our public safety personnel can play a role in educating the public as well. Our top priority should always be the safety of our residents. Whenever someone is endangering the safety of themselves or others, enforcement is appropriate.

6. Do you have any other thoughts to share about cycling, safety, and multi-modal transportation you think our membership would benefit from hearing?

I love biking. I have biked the BikeIt path system in Tempe and I consider myself a friend and advocate of the cycling community. I think one of the best ways to educate our city leaders, public safety officers and anyone else who is willing is to get them on a bike and have them ride our bikeways for themselves. That way they can experience the pleasures and pitfalls of Tempe on a bike. They will experience what it’s like to ride over a street that needs repaving, dodging around a car parked in the bike lane, or trying to cross at an unsafe crossing. They will also experience how invigorating it is to get out of their car and access places in Tempe you can only see on our multi use paths. As part of my campaign I hosted two, guided, group bike tours of Tempe utilizing our Bike Boulevard system. After we hosted the first one, we got such great feedback we decided to host a second one. People loved it. I believe we need to encourage people to experience Tempe by bike for so many reasons, but mainly because biking creates champions for multimodal communities.