Council District 6 Incumbent Candidate, R. Daniel Lavelle Responds to 2013 BikePGH Questionnaire
Council District 6 Incumbent: R. Daniel Lavelle
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1. Do you use a bicycle (or walk) in the city? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often?
Both. I use a bicycle for recreational purposes and I walk for both recreation and work.
2. What roles do you think city council can play in making cities safe, accessible and friendly for biking and walking?
Ironically, city council should advocate to increase the amount of biking on our streets because studies have shown that more cyclist on the streets provides for a safer environment. Therefore, the city should provide safe and convenient bicycle access to all parts of the community through a signed network of on and off-street facilities, low-speed streets, and secure parking.
3. In what ways can enhanced bicycling and walking facilities and opportunities benefit your district and the city as a whole? Are there any specific projects that you’d like to see accomplished?
I have been supportive of increasing and connecting bicycle paths within my district. Increased cycling and walking provides for a healthier environment, reduces congestion, saves city dollars and increases the health of those I represent.
4. Pittsburgh was chosen to host the 2014 Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference, which is expected to draw 1,000 biking and walking planners, engineers, government officials, and advocates from around the country, the largest gathering of it’s kind. Their focus is on biking and walking as means of getting around, with less focus on recreation. If you could put one project in place to “show off” your district, what would it be? Will you direct your staff to attend the conference to further their professional development?
I would create a District wide 2-10 mile walk/run/bicycle event to showcase the district. Yes
5. In just about every neighborhood throughout the city, one of the top concerns is drivers driving too fast, aggressively, and not yielding to pedestrians. What ideas do you have to calm traffic and make our neighborhoods safer and more comfortable in which to walk and bike? Feel free to talk about particular problem spots in your district.
We need to educate all road users to share the road and interact safely. Road design and education programs should combine to increase the confidence of bicyclists. We should also enforce traffic laws to improve the safety and comfort of all road users, with a particular focus on behaviors and attitudes that cause motor vehicle/bicycle crashes
6. Given Pittsburgh’s relatively low rate of car ownership and the recent transit cuts, what specific ideas do you have to make active transportation choices like biking and walking more appealing?
One idea is to create a City employer program by encouraging bicycle use among its employees (e.g. by providing parking, showers and lockers, and establishing a city bicycle fleet). We should also promote intermodal travel between public transport and bicycles, e.g. by putting bike racks on buses, improving parking at transit, and improving access to rail and public transport vehicles
7. What do you think is the number one risk to walkers and bicyclists both in your district and the city as a whole? What have you done/will you do as an elected official to remedy it?
The number one risk is based off our fundamental lack of respect for other forms of transportation as well as no adherence to the laws and an unwillingness to share the road accordingly. See answer to #5.
8. What are your ideas for securing funding sources for biking and walking projects outside of the City’s Capital Budget?
As previously mentioned the city may actually save funds through increased bicycling and walking by increasing the efficient use of public space, reducing the need for costly new road
infrastructure, preventing crashes, improving the health of the community, and increasing the use of public transport. Therefor you can then reinvest these dollars into biking and walking projects. However, we could also begin to work better with some our corporate partners, such as the City of Mountain View recently announced in its working with Google to fund biking projects.
9. In conclusion, why do you think people who care about bicycling and walking issues should vote for you?
When I ran for office four years ago, I promised to work every day to ensure each community I represented became more prosperous, safe and livable. I still maintain the goal. I believe your work and my work, is towards the same end.