Bike-friendly champions in May 14 council election

On May 14th at these locations, you can cast your vote for city council candidates. Early voting runs through May 10 at the Joseph A. Carroll Building (401 W. Hickory) or the new Denton County Administrative Complex (535 S. Loop 288). Some of us like the ritual of voting on election day and will enjoy a nice ride to our polling location.

If you don’t know which district you live in, put your address in at this handy map.

This year, instead of doing a candidate questionnaire, we’ve chosen to recognize the candidates who’ve made bike-friendliness a high priority, not just a talking point.

1. Kevin Roden – District 1. Via his ThinkDenton site, he’s covered bike-related topics, and he’s attended recent formal and informal bicycling input meetings for the city Bike Plan. He’s a strong advocate for walking, biking, and public transit. He really, really wants safer streets for his young children, who’ll soon be able to bike. He understands the class divide in transportation planning: not everyone can afford to drive, so we especially need to encourage biking and walking in poorer areas.

Kevin Roden, District 1 hopeful

2. Dalton Gregory – District 2. From the beginning of his current term, Dalton championed biking and walking working for a year to get the Safe Passing ordinance approved. He communicates directly and often with cycling citizens, and he’s in favor of trails expansion (the number one citizen request for Parks & Rec). Dalton has been known to measure road width to see if bike lanes will fit. Seriously.

Dalton Gregory, district 2 council hopeful

3. Jim Engelbrecht – District 3. You might not know this about Jim, but he helped save the Rail Trail last year when the city considered taking it from DCTA (along with money), and not rebuilding it so they could spend the money somewhere else. Jim worked behind the scenes to prevent that from happening. He’s listened to cyclists and supported bike-friendly initiatives, and he recently told the city that they should start counting people on bikes, so they can understand the ridership and measure changes.

District 3 council candidate (incumbent) Jim Engelbrecht

Honorable mentions:
– Mike Sutton – District 3. At the DNA forum, Mike seemed generally in favor of bike accommodations, and he says that although all of his employees bike to work, about half have been hit by cars. He voluntarily created the city’s first on-street bike parking stall in front of his business, Big Mike’s Coffee Shop.

– Derrick Murray – District 4. At the DNA forum, Derrick said that bike and pedestrian accommodations are part of the overall road funding woes, and money should be allocated to fix roads and create separate paths for people walking and biking. A runner himself, Derrick applauded the recent Safe Passing ordinance and said some people on the roads are very inconsiderate. He mentioned that Southridge residents want sidewalks and bike lanes.

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4 thoughts on “Bike-friendly champions in May 14 council election

  1. stearns says:

    What a great write up. Very original.

  2. Phil says:

    I am strongly in favor of Denton getting bikes integrated with automobile traffic and following traffic laws. One thing I have noticed is that bikers here are using pedestrian rules. That will never work because of the speed in which they travel. A biker can fail to yield (or even look) at a street crossing and be smashed because the driver cannot see him or her coming. Bikers must stop at intersections before proceeding or risk losing their lives. Bikers are not pedestrians.

  3. Alan E says:

    Kevin! Where’s your tux man? You can’t let yourself get outclassed like this again. Are you even taking this seriously?

  4. The national average marginal cost for bike lanes on city streets is about $16,000 per mile when implemented with new construction or rebuilding. If you estimate the life of the road to be 40 years, this comes out to about $0.0036 per citizen per year for each mile of bike lanes. Or, for every 100 miles of bike lanes, it costs the average citizen about 36 cents per year to construct bike lanes.

    I think this is a very small cost for the benefits we will gain.

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