As someone who walks or rides a bicycle regularly in Austin, your vote matters. In fact, our advocacy for safer streets rest in part on the voting habits of our 16,000 members and supporters – the more our supporters turn out to support bike- and pedestrian-friendly candidates, the more power we’ll have to push for bike lanes, pursue pro-bike, pro-walk policy and secure funding for life-saving bike lanes, trails and sidewalks.
Here are our 2016 endorsements for Prop 1 and City Council:
Proposition 1 – For
We endorse Prop 1, and strongly encourage our members and supporters to vote FOR the ballot initiative. Prop 1 will fund over $120 Million in protected bike lanes, Urban Trails, sidewalks and Vision Zero safety improvements – the biggest single investment in Austin’s active transportation network ever. In addition to these on- and off-street facilities, Prop 1 will fund protected bike lanes on some of Austin’s biggest and most dangerous streets, including Riverside Drive, Airport Boulevard and South Lamar Boulevard. Major streets like these are home to the lions-share of traffic fatalities, and adding protected bike lanes and other safety improvements will save lives. Read more at: www.moveaustinforward.org
Sign our pledge to vote for Prop 1 and bike-friendly candidates. And click here to volunteer to Get Out the Vote!
District 2 – Delia Garza
Council Member Garza has been a staunch supporter of protected bike lanes and pedestrian safety improvements in her South-east Austin District. After meeting with Bike Austin activists, she allocated $100,000 for protected bike lanes on Pleasant Valley Road through the ¼ cent fund. She supports protected bike lanes on Teri Road, and is a strong advocate for Urban Trails. While Council Member Garza abstained on Prop 1, she has voiced support for the active transportation components of the bond, and we are convinced that she will continue to be a strong voice on City Council for people who ride bikes, walk and take public transit.
While Wesley Faulkner has publicly supported bike lanes and other safety infrastructure during the campaign, he opposes Prop 1 and has not offered a position on active transportation sufficiently distinct from Council Member Garza’s to justify an endorsement this round.
Casey Ramos did not reply to our questionnaire nor our request for an in-person meeting.
District 4 – Greg Casar
Council Member Greg Casar is a savvy, effective advocate for protected bike lanes, sidewalks and other pedestrian safety infrastructure. He was instrumental in crafting and passing Prop 1 through City Council. He even held a press conference to propose an alternative package that went further for bikes, pedestrians and transit riders than Mayor Adler’s plan. Council Member Casar approaches the issue of transportation through the lens of social equity and affordability – a critical perspective on Council given that People of Color and low-income communities in District 4 and throughout Austin experience a disproportionate level of traffic violence.
Louis Herrin replied to our request for a questionnaire and meeting but did not follow up by our deadline.
Gonzalo Camacho did not reply to our questionnaire or request for a meeting.
District 6 – Jimmy Flannigan
Jimmy Flannigan supports a multi-modal approach to addressing congestion, including better transit, bike lanes, trails and sidewalks in his Northwest Austin District and throughout Austin. He also supports Prop 1 and recognizes the importance of investing in active transportation infrastructure. Jimmy is a strong leader for our issues, and he’ll work hard to relieve congestion, increase transportation choice and make District 6 a safer place to bike, walk and drive.
District 6 incumbent Don Zimmerman has consistently undermined and attacked any effort to direct funding to bicycle safety. During the 2017 budget process, he proposed cutting $100,000 from Austin’s Bicycle program, advocated for cleaving bike lanes off of the mobility bond package and has voted against nearly every pro-bike policy put before him since taking office.
Don Zimmerman did not reply to our questionnaire nor our request for an in-person meeting.
District 7 – Leslie Pool
Leslie Pool has been a consistent voice for pro-bike and pedestrian policy and funding since she took office in 2014. She funded protected bike lanes on Justin Lane through the 1/4 Cent process and, along with Council Member Casar, offered a key vote of support for Prop 1 as it wound through City Hall, signing on to a $720 Million package before most of her colleagues. Council Member Pool is also leading an effort to have b-Cycle stations funded through the corridor improvements in Prop 1. While we were dismayed by her recent comments in a candidate forum about listening to drivers’ opinions regarding protected bike lanes on Shoal Creek Boulevard, her answers to our questionnaire lead us to think she’ll do the right thing and support the safety of children riding to school over a the loss of a few parking spots by backing protected bike lanes along Shoal Creek Boulevard.
We recognize and appreciate the ardent support and hard work of Natalie Gauldin – Council Member Pool’s only opponent – on behalf of bicycle safety and Bike Austin. Natalie is a regular bike commuter, Bike Austin member and an active volunteer leader in our effort to bring protected bike lanes to Shoal Creek Boulevard. It’s a sign of the hard work of Bike Austin supporters like Natalie that so many competitive candidates for City Council support our policy priorities. In this case, we’re backing the candidate who has a demonstrated track record of voting for our issues on the dias.
District 10 – Alison Alter
Alison Alter supports bike lanes, trails and pedestrian safety infrastructure in Austin. She’s a proponent of Prop 1, and backs the funding and implementation of the Bicycle and Urban Trails master plans, as well as the expansion of the b-Cycle system. While her answer about bike lanes on W 35th Street is more equivocal than we’d like to see, we believe Alison will err on the side of supporting bike lanes in her West Austin District.
Council Member Gallo – the current District 10 incumbent – has consistently opposed the construction of on-street bike lanes in her District. Her opposition to dedicated bike lanes on Mesa Drive – even after a 11 year old child was hit by a car riding his bike on the street – exemplified this intransigence. During the 2017 budget process, she joined council members Zimmerman and Houston by voting to cut $100,000 from Austin’s Bicycle program. While we recognize her support of Proposition 1 and her support for urban trails, we simply can’t endorse someone who doesn’t seem to think that bikes belong on the road.
Candidate Questionnaire Responses