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As for the Arlington County Board Special Election, the intrepid rcannon has helped us all out by submitting bike questions to the candidates.

Alan Howze answers.
John Vihstadt answers.

I for one, look forward to having an actual bike commuter on the County Board.

1) news on the M st bike lane? I saw your pictures, I've seen some striping and they have changed the light timing.

2) DC CABI expansion?

If we're using this as an open thread, has anyone been on First street NE lately, by Union Station? Is the cycletrack under construction?

Getting through the Union Station area remains a vexation on my commute between the Met Branch Trail and Penn Quarter.

The cycletrack is basically finished, but they need to repaint the street. I think it's to be done by the summer.

Regarding the Arlington special election, Alan Howze had some things to say about cycling at the beginning of the year, and is apparently a cyclist himself. (Though I'm not publicly supporting anyone.) I first saw the link from a post at GGW.


Brian Frosh is running for the Dem nomination for MD attorney general. He's apparently a bike commuter. http://www.brianfrosh.com/

I'm voting for Tommy Wells, he is the only candidate for Mayor that is an unequivocal advocate for cyclists, and a cyclist himself. The current mayor will surely be indicted soon, and the most recent polling that puts Bowser in the lead did not include cell phones in the call list. I don't know anyone who has a land line anymore, so this poll would've represented the views of seniors primarily. Tommy has much deeper support among the young, and has been picking up important endorsements. He has a strong chance so long as people don't read this bad poll as fait accompli.

Vote for Wells.

Also, vote for Nadeau, McDuffie, Charles Allen, John Settles if you want the strongest pro-bike ticket.

I also like Wells and I've heard the cell phone land line thing, but don't they just adjust the numbers if only 1% of the people they call are between 18-28, but 15% of likely voters are, don't they just expand that 1% to represent the rest? I'd like for the polls to be wrong, but I can't think of a time they have ever been this wrong.

The polls are very consistent now and it looks as if Bowser is the best shot to win the primary. The one poll from a week ago criticized for the cell phone thing was a PPP poll, the most accurate pollster in the business. Tommy was at 9% there. Bowser is now at 30% according to today's Post. She supports more bike infrastructure. I'm glad Tommy bikes and is a good bike advocate but he's not a strong leader and is very unlikely to win.

I love that DC is a small town. It permits small samples.

I've had the honor of speaking personally and informally with three of the four leading Mayoral candidates, all within a block of the JAWB. While I'm not exactly a single-issue voter, I did take the opportunity to talk about what they think about efforts to promote cycling.

I thanked Jack Evans for his support of our efforts to stop U-turns on Pennsylvania Ave. His response was "Huh? Is that a good thing?" I patted him on the head and said he could go inside and play now, using slightly more professional language of course.

I stopped for a red light at 14th & Pa Ave and did not hit Muriel Bowser as she crossed Pa Ave. She thanked me and said "a lot of bikers don't stop - hi, I'm Muriel Bowser and I'm running for Mayor of DC!" (Not exaggerating.) I said I recognized her, and that I usually do stop, and I always give way to pedestrians, but expressed that I'm disappointed that we've been building bike lanes for years but we're having a really hard time making sure our laws and practices keep them safe and usable. I suggested - as I will to anyone who isn't tired of hearing me rattle on about it - that it's time to really build out and unify DC's bicycle program activities. That a unified set of safety laws and enforcement practices could be applied everywhere we put bike lanes. That clearly marking how bikes and other travelers are supposed to interact is how it's done in nearly every other bike-friendly city in the country if not the world, and that we really are far behind on that. And that ignoring those aspects of our bike program is one of the causes of bike/other conflicts. She said "Uh, well, thanks for sharing your thoughts and I'll definitely consider it."

I talked with Tommy Wells on a day late last spring when DDOT was finally restoring flex-posts along the Pa Ave bike lanes. (I also used to frequently encounter him riding his bike or bikeshare between JAWB and various meetings, and we talked at great length about the experience of biking around DC, probably a few hours of rolling chats have been had that way.) On flex-post day I pointed out the work and said it's great. He shook his head and said "I can't believe it took them this long - any idea what the holdup was?"

Of the three, I know Tommy Wells would have a place in his administration for making things better for DC's cyclists. I believe Muriel Bowser could be bent in that direction but we'd have to explain things thoroughly. And Jack ... is lucky he has good people working for him.

(I voted against Gray in 2010 because he strongly opposed increasing fines for blocking bike lanes. Even though the bike infrastructure build-out has continued under his administration, even though he "solved" the problem of U-turns on Pennsylvania Avenue by decree, I have yet to see progressive pro-bike positions coming from his office. And as the sitting mayor he's not as approachable as the others.)

John, vaguely supporting bike infrastructure is the absolute minimum. You're argument boils down to "she is expected to win." That's not a reason to vote for anyone.

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