Mishawaka Mayoral Election news

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Mishawaka Mayoral Election news

The Bike Michiana Coalition (BMC) sent an online  questionnaire to the candidates for mayor in Mishawaka.  The questionnaire consisted of nine questions.
Dave Wood responded, while Craig Fry did not.  Listed below are the questions and answers to
the questionnaire from Wood. Since Fry did not respond, the BMC has resorted to
a South Bend Tribune report and on archived web site posts to shed light on Fry’s
stance on bicycling.

1. Do you consider bicycles to be a valid form of transportation that should be encouraged?  

Wood: Yes

2. Do you think bicycling infrastructure improvements are a good use of city resources? 

Wood: Yes

3. Please indicate your level of support for the  following, as High, Moderate, or Low.

a. Striped bicycle lanes added to existing city streets where feasible. 

Wod: Moderate-Low

b. Multi-use pathways (i.e. for pedestrians and cyclists) that are physically separated from

Wood: Moderate

c. City support for cycling events such as Bike the Bend.

Wood: Moderate

d. Designating a member of your administration, at least on a part-time basis, as a “Bicycle Coordinator”  to oversee city efforts related to cycling.

Wood: Low

4.  Given the tough economic climate that we’re in, what steps can be taken toward becoming a more bicycle-friendly city?

Wood: We are developing a sidewalk and pathway master plan to make  our city more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. Mishawaka will continue to  pursue such important projects as Riverwalk while also connecting neighborhoods  into that system.   We will continue to  make this a priority. I have already begun the process to expand the Riverwalk  by miles over the next ten years.

Since Mishawaka schools have no busses, many kids ride bikes to school. We  recently started our Safe Routes to School program to address rough sidewalks  surrounding schools. We will target a different school each year.

We have also won awards for partnering with other communities to promote  bicycle connections

Our Mishawaka Police Department also teaches a bike safety course to children  as well as supporting free helmets to school students.

5.  Are you, or  members of your immediate family, cyclists?  If so, please comment on your experiences with cycling in Michiana.

Wood: Recreational

6.  Would you care  to comment on any other aspects of Michiana cycling?

Wood: We are a partner in supporting important community outreach  programs such as Bike the Bend and have opened more of Mishawaka up to that  event.

Since Fry did not respond to the questionnaire, the BMC has  taken the liberty of quoting from archived e-mails from him, and from a South  Bend Tribune news article.

1. In an October 10, 2011 Tribune  article covering a debate between Fry and Wood:

“One question asked whether the  candidates would be interested in adding bike lanes and trails.

Fry said he wasn’t sure that the city could safely add bike lanes to its  streets. And, he said of his experience with bike lanes in Indianapolis, they  eliminate lanes of traffic and make it difficult for cars.” [Indianapolis was  recently recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community, in part because they added  bike lanes to several streets.]

2. In 2008/2009, the BMC worked with  Bicycle Indiana, Sen. John Broden, Rep. Ryan Dvorak, Sen. Tim Neese and others  to improve Indiana’s bicycle safety laws (SB553). Following are two poignant  posts on the BMC website from that era:

Willy Was said “I e-mailed Craig Fry and he said he will never support bikes  on the roads, it is not safe.”

3. Nancy  Tibbett [Executive Director of Bicycle Indiana] was in the gallery at the 3/31/2009  House session. Here are the highlights of the session.

  • The bill passed 60 – 36.
  • Several Representatives spoke before  the vote: she didn’t get the names of all of them, but all were in favor except  Craig Fry, who said something like “bicyclists would not need to worry about  getting hit if they stayed off the roads”.

Mishawaka elections are November 8,  2011. The Bike Michiana Coalition encourages all citizens to exercise their  right to vote.

By | 2011-10-17T20:38:53+00:00 October 17th, 2011|Categories: education, News|Tags: , , , , , , , |7 Comments