Saturday, December 18, 2010

SWFBUD Interviews Tampa Mayoral Candidate Ed Turanchik

This morning SWFBUD caught up with Tampa mayoral candidate Ed Turanchik to find out his views and positions regarding bicycling. I spoke with Ed for about an hour and a half and here is a summary of his comments:

-- "(Tampa's) reputation is well-earned. We're not bicycle-friendly. We're not pedestrian-friendly. Tampa never gave much thought to it."

-- "Development here was fast and easy. It leaves us with impoverished bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. We have to redesign the facilities to make them safe."

-- "I've always worked through having a vision. The goal is that the Tampa Bay area should be one of the most heavily-traversed regions of the United States for bicycles. Our climate is spectacular eight months of the year. And our terrain is flat."

-- Bicycling is "good for transportation. It's good for families. There are good public policy reasons to promote bicycling. And you know what, gas is going back to $4 a gallon."

-- "Where it can really work is neighborhoods."

-- "The big vision is rails and trails. Not rails to trails. It's rails and trails."

-- Turanchik wants the public to buy CSX railroad lines and develop bicycle corridors along the CSX corridors to "provide long-distance commuting capacity . . . Neighborhoods would be tied in. It would be elegant and low-cost connectivity for neighborhoods to a train system."

-- He saw a good CSX corridor in South Tampa, from downtown to Port Tampa.

-- He said bicycling was an "integral" part of a multi-modal transportation system. "It's all predicated on eventually getting a transit referendum passed."

-- For immediate help for bicyclists, Turanchik would reach out to the bicycle community. "It's important to listen to them."

-- He wants to create "safe bike corridors." He cited Bayshore Blvd. as a good bike corridor because "your intersections are minimized and it's already a protected corridor."

-- He cited Azeele and Cypress as possible east-west roads that could be used by bicyclists.

-- He said the transporation vote that was defeated at the polls in November relied "too much on light rail."

-- He favors a "robust transit system" where the paradigm is shifted to "say we want to move people."

-- His transit system would be based on rails and trails and the expenditures on bicycle infrastructure depends on the "system you design."

-- "You can develop bike facilities along the rail line and connect into the system with sidewalks and bike lanes."

-- "People who ride the streets (on bicycles) know what the issues are. We have to listen to the users. I used to commute to work by bike. I'm sensitive to people who ride their bike to work. I know what those dangers are."

-- He noted transportation projects faces shortfalls of billions of dollars, so "what we do with bicycling will be modest and incremental . . . the big leap forward is new money -- the transit referendum."

-- "Bike and pedestrian facilities are integral to a successful transit system . . . Bicycles and pedestrian facilities are vital components of a good transit system."

-- "Build a good city for the people who live here now."

-- "Where we can create protected envelopes (for bicycle routes), that should be a priority."

1 comment:

Donny said...

Multi-modal for the win? This guy seems to have a good head on his shoulders.