Casey Clowes: 2022 Tempe Council Candidate Questions

February 1, 2020 – Tempe City Council Candidate Casey Clowes

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

I work from home, but I most commonly drive a hybrid car to get across longer stretches of Tempe and walk or rent a scooter for shorter trips to nearby restaurants, Gammage, or ASU games. I have previously relied on my bike, ORBIT, Valley Metro buses, and the lightrail for my commutes as I lived in Tempe without a car for 6 years. I love living within walking distance to some great places and still wish there were more options and better infrastructure so I could feel less reliant on a car. 

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?

Roads belong to people not cars; the city must expand its notion of transportation to include public transit, bicycles, scooters, and pedestrians. I envision Tempe’s transportation and mobility to promote alternative modes of transportation while increasing safety for all. I believe this can be accomplished through investing in roadway projects with protected bike lanes and ADA accessible sidewalks, increasing public transit options like bringing the ORBIT south of Baseline, and creating more walkable neighborhoods through city planning.

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 am familiar with Tempe’s Vision Zero goal and am supportive of it. No one should die in a car accident—especially when these deaths are preventable through street design. I think the city should implement the outlined strategies and update the recommendations to meet our current needs.

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?

I would prioritize roadway improvements that create safer streets for all. Tempe should invest in roadway projects that truly enhance our streets, including protected bike lanes and ADA accessible sidewalks, rather than just fix cracks in the road. The community should be involved because policies decided by the city impact our residents. We must design policies not just around the problem, but the people we serve.

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?

One of my personal pet peeves is seeing cars and delivery trucks parked in the bike lanes near where I live on Hardy. I think this behavior can be changed by changing road design, like adding protected bike lanes that prevent cars from parking in the bike lanes, and driver education. I am wary of increasing penalization because of the disproportionate impacts policing and fines have on BIPOC and low-income communities.

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

Electric cars are the future of cars, but electric cars are not the future of transportation. To meet our goals of increasing residents’ safety and well-being and combating the climate crisis, we must think outside of four wheels and promote cycling, walking, and public transportation through street and city design.