WGLT’s Good to Go initiative partnered with Bike BloNo to create a Candidate Survey to inform voters on the candidates’ positions on bike policy. WGLT wrote the questions and Bike BloNo created a rubric to grade each of the candidates; that rubric is published here. Neither organization endorses any individual candidate.
Based on her survey response, Bike BloNo gives Ward 8 Alderman Diana DeSio Hauman a “B” on bike issues.
Question 1: U.S. Census figures show a 60% increase in bicycle commuting in the last decade. Research shows Millennials (those 16-34 years of age) are avoiding car ownership and choose the mode of transportation that makes the most sense for the trip. Do you, or do any members of your immediate family, routinely bicycle for any of the reasons below? (select all that apply)
|Going to work
||__Family member does
||__Family member does
||__Family member does
||__Family member does
Only occasionally do we bike for recreation while on vacation mostly due to some physical limitations. I walk as my preferred method of exercise and for transportation when appropriate, possible and timely.
Question 2: The Bloomington City Council unanimously voted to approve a contract with the League of Illinois Bicyclists to create a Bicycle Master Plan in a shared-cost agreement with the Friends of the Constitution Trail. Would you have voted to create a bicycle master plan for the city?
I was at the Planning Commission meeting when this plan was presented and approved. I was impressed by the thoroughness of the report.
I would certainly vote to adopt this plan! It is a great opportunity to promote an “alternative” (to the automobile) way of getting around the Bloomington/Normal area and to promote education and safety. It would also be an asset to help promote Bloomington/Normal to potential employers who might be encouraged to locate in an area that is easily accessible by bicycle for both employees and customers/clients.
While I do not bike in the city, as mentioned in Q1, I am a walker. Whatever can be done to promote bike safety will affect other areas. For example, bicyclists who use Constitution Trail and do not alert pedestrians that they will be overcoming them is both impolite and dangerous. If education can encourage more use of sounding devices or a vocal “on your left”, safety for pedestrians could also be enhanced.
Question 3: What do you think are some important safety issues facing bicyclists on Bloomington streets? Choose as many as you think apply.
✓ Vehicle speed
This impacts cyclists, other drivers and pedestrians.
✓ Driver attentiveness
With too many distractions (for whatever reason), drivers need to be reminded of how to share the road with others – other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
__ Access across Veterans Parkway
__ Lack of infrastructure (bike lanes, buffered or protected bike lanes, etc.)
✓ Need for more motorist education regarding rules of the road
✓ Need for more bicyclist education regarding rules of the road
✓ Need for more enforcement of existing laws for all road users
__ Bicyclists didn’t choose sidewalk as an option
__ Cyclist in the middle of the road
__ Car too close to bicyclist
✓ Bicyclist not visible enough during day or night
In another life I did ride a bike to/from work on a regular basis in Tucson, Rochester, MN, and Toronto. I became aware of how important bicycle visibility is to drivers and to other cyclists. Practicing defensive bike riding, I avoided being hit by another cyclist, who did not have any lights on his bike on a moonless night, as he made a left turn in front of me. As a motorist here, I have seen too many cyclists not have adequate lights on their bikes to be visible.
__ Bicyclists choosing the wrong roads
See comments above related to specific safety issues.
The other options which I have not selected many be important also, but since I am not a bicycle rider in Bloomington/Normal, I am not fully aware of how these issues impact cyclists and others. This is one reason why I am pleased that Bike BloNo exists and advocates for safety for all!
Question 4: Bike BloNo is working with Bloomington leaders to establish a ticket diversion program. The diversion program would provide cyclists or motorists cited for a bicycling related infraction the option to take a Secretary of State approved test on bike rules of the road instead of paying the fine. The test also serves as an educational tool. Police officers would be encouraged to ticket cyclists and drivers for bike-related infractions at an increased rate certain times of year. Do you support such a diversion program?
This is a qualified “yes.” I could support the approved test idea for a first “offense” as education is a goal of the program. Having been a Defensive Driving Instructor, if a learner comes away with even one new attitude or behavior, it is beneficial. There should be different consequences if a cyclist or driver had more than one infraction in a specific period of time.
The qualifier is that I would suggest that this be a year-round effort by our police since bike riding on wet, snowy or icy streets can be more dangerous (less lane width, less traction, etc.) than in more clement weather.
Question 5: Do you think bicycle infrastructure, like bike lanes, boost existing businesses and attract new businesses and jobs to our community?
If yes, how would you tie together bikes and business? If no, why?
Yes, I do believe that bicycle infrastructure could boost business – both existing and future. Many cities our size and larger than Bloomington/Normal have seen success in this area. For a new or expanding business, showing that there is a safe, reliable way to access the business for employees and potential customers/clients by bicycle and public transit would be beneficial.
Question 6: Do you support a “complete streets” policy applied to existing roads during reconstruction or resurfacing and for new road construction?
While our city roads are convenient for motor vehicles and are required for new development, they are not always safe or convenient for pedestrians and cyclists. It may not be feasible to make all streets “complete streets” due to existing width, etc., however where possible – and certainly streets in new residential and commercial developments – should be assessed for use by cyclists and planned for appropriately.
Question 7: How do you plan to engage constituents, including those who may ride bikes, on issues involving local transportation and infrastructure?
Town Hall style meetings, constituent email, social media (mine and the city’s) and a “bike-fest” are the ways that come to mind first. Bike BloNo has its own ways to engage riders which can be used by aldermen to help engage their constituents and others.