Oh, to Be the Bike Candidate

Bicycling enthusiasm in Austin is at an all-time high, and it's carried over into the City Council races. Not only have cyclists come out in droves to campaign events this year, but two council contenders, Robin Cravey and Allen Demling, are vying to be "the bike candidate." Both received endorsements from the transportation-oriented League of Bicycling Voters, as did incumbent Jennifer Kim, and all three took to the streets for last Friday's Civic Bike Cruise through Downtown, along with about 75 other riders.

This was Cravey's second campaign ride, having kicked off his candidacy with a Downtown cruise. Cravey touted his more than 20 years as a bike commuter, his work as a council aide to help pass the original Bicycle Plan, and his desire to see that plan completed. Cravey's vision: a transportation system based on "more shoe leather, bikes, and public transit." Demling – who says he makes the heroic 32-mile round-trip bike commute from East Austin to work in Northwest Austin about 10 times per month – vows to make Austin "the number one bicycling city in the country" if elected. "Roads are not meant to carry cars; they're meant to carry people," he says. Before Friday's ride, Kim said her years living abroad in Germany, Japan, and Korea taught her that separate bike facilities work, allowing bike transportation to be a way of life. She advocated acquiring more right-of-way for separated bike lanes, possibly using space occupied by power line poles as new lines are buried. She pledged to "make sure [the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization] is spending money on bike and pedestrian projects, not just toll roads."

To read the LOBV's detailed candidate questionnaire, see www.lobv.org

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