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Well, #8 settles it for Audrey Clement, no vote from this Arlington County resident.

Helmet use is fine, I sometimes wear one, but it should be personal choice, not law. If she wants to make an outlaw out of some riders and deter other people from riding altogether, she's not pro-cycling, even if she rides herself.

The question was what would you hope to accomplish to make Arlington a *better* place for cyclists, not a *worse* one. I consider myself a progressive, but this meddling in other peoples' personal choice is what turns many folks off.

What's the context to Audrey Clement's #9 answer? Was she left out originally or something?

Also, "BikeShare bikes are obsolete." Wish she would expand on that because I don't really get it.

MIKE MCMENAMIN - Decent. Generally supportive but doesn't seem to have much thought or substance behind his responses.

KATIE CRISTOL - Good. Thoughtful and honest analysis (best of the lot).

CHRISTIAN DORSEY - maybe ok. Supportive in theory. Missed the point about the parking question. Not much substance in the responses.

AUDREY CLEMENT - Just terrible. Mandatory helmets and bike share removal. Seriously? I don't care if she rides regularly, her policies are terrible.

Brandon, yeah there was some back and forth because it was originally stated that she didn't reply to emails, but then she joined in and said she never got one, and the person who compiled it said he sent them to her - and included screenshots of the emails. That's kind of where it ended.

You can follow it all here.

I agree that Cristol seems the best. I don't want to be a one-issue voter, but in this case I don't think that's the case since an inclination to turn your own personal opinions into mandates in one area probably transfers to other areas as well.

Audrey Clement was also the one so heavily criticizing the Air Force Classic. She appears to support cycling only if you cycle *exactly* like she does. IMHO, she gives cyclists a bad name.

Reading between the lines, Mike McMenamin's responses regarding road width and parking are troubling.

We know the effect of road width on driver behavior: the wider the road, the faster people will drive. So width per se is detrimental to bicycle safety, not contributive. Wide roads encourage drivers to speed, thus scaring bicyclists away from using the roads and increasing the danger to pedestrians attempting to cross them.

He sounds overly interested in maintaining or even augmenting existing parking. The reason Arlington is perceived to have a parking shortage is because parking is underpriced, so quantity demanded naturally exceeds the supply. In order to ensure readily available parking in the busiest corridors, you need to price it high enough that many people will choose alternatives. The relationship of parking policy with bicycle safety is simple: bicycle safety varies inversely with the number of parking spaces. Every existing parking space makes bicycling a little bit more dangerous and a less attractive transportation option; every removal of a parking space would help to accomplish the opposite.

"True champion"?

@Scoot, good point about McMenamin. You don't encourage cycling by "keep(ing) our streets wide enough to allow for bicycles, cars, and buses." Quite the opposite, in fact.

Wide streets are typically worse for cycling, as they encourage higher car speeds. To create a good cycling environment, you want to limit car speeds (<1,500 per day) and volumes (<15mph) on local streets and build high quality, separate (protected) bicycle lanes and protected intersections on arterial and through streets everywhere else.

Not that I would have ever considered voting for Clement, but this just confirms my opinion about her. She does not have the temperament to be on the Board, no matter her politics.

Her bike statements are, and have been, ridiculous. Removing bikeshare? What the heck? And then she brings up helmet use? Does she realize that there have been no serious head injuries reported among Capital Bikeshare users, after 11 million individual trips?

People can no longer say "small sample size" when talking about bikeshare and helmets. Five years and 11 million trips of data are more than enough to demonstrate that there are more important ways to increase safety than to mandate helmet use, particularly among bikeshare users. Ridiculous.

Fortunately, few people consider Clement to be a viable candidate. Especially after her rant about the Air Force Association Cycling Classic, when she claimed that the road closures put her life in danger. I have to say again, what?

Two of the four get in though, and it's an off-year election, so strange things can happen. If you are a voter in Arlington, you might keep the election in mind. I'll be there first thing before the bike commute to work.

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