Paul BrysonOctober 5, 2023
Steve KempOctober 5, 2023
- What is your vision to help people ride and walk safely in our community? What actual steps might you take to achieve your vision?
I would love to see people able to walk and bike safely in our community. My wife hauled my children to school each day not because of lack of available sidewalks or safety, but more of a habit. Over the last few years of my employment with the City of Hurricane the attitude of the citizens changed on providing sidewalks. In my early years everyone wanted sidewalks but in the later years people did not use them to walk. Most were because the driveways caused an unlevel walking surface. This can be changed with rolled curb or landscaping strips but in areas were these exist people still walk in the road. The best thing we ever did was build a couple of asphalt paths in place of sidewalks with a small separation from the roadway. These are always being used for bikes, skateboards and walkers. I would like to see these included in the street instead of sidewalks. I tried my best to encourage connectivity between subdivisions but he City Council did not require it. The City of Hurricane has too many cul-de-sacs subdivisions isolating them from their neighbors. This creates more traffic and discourages walking. I want to see all subdivisions connected
- Forty years ago, more than 60% of school children in the US walked or rode a bicycle to school. Today, that figure is less than 10%. This decline in bicycling and walking and physical activity in general has been mirrored by dramatic increases in negative health impacts for kids. What would you do to reverse this trend? What role do you think the city should play in making it safer for children to walk and bike to school?
This is a difficult trend. When I was in high school the parking lot was very small and mostly the teachers used it. Now it appears every kid has a car and drives to school. I don’t know how you get the trend changed. There are many more options now to use than there were when I was a kid. Skateboards, scooters, electric bikes, etc. I believe the city should encourage using other methods than cars by making the streets safer and possibly having events throughout the year to encourage walking or biking. I play Pokémon and in doing so you receive rewards for walking. Some kind of a reward system on events for those who walk of bike more.
- Do you agree that Complete Streets (a design philosophy that provides safe accommodations for all Users…vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists) is the approach local municipalities needs to take when designing and reconstructing roads.
I believe a complete street is the way to go, I am not sure what that entails. As I mentioned above the asphalt path concept has proven better to me than the sidewalk. I don’t think we should get into a one kind fits all, but be flexible to create what works best not just the traditional
- Tell us about your personal experiences riding a bike, running or walking for recreation, exercise or transportation.
I am probably not a good example of this. I like to walk and do so on occasion. My wife has never been a walker and now has limitations that keep her from doing much. When I go by myself, I do more walking but not when I go with her. A friend and I go walking some mornings. As I mentioned I walk while playing Pokémon. Part of the reason for playing is to get me out more and walk, and it gives me a chance to play with my grandchildren. Biking has never been a big thing. I have had bikes and used them sparingly. I rode a bike to work at one time in my life, but I didn’t like getting to work all sweaty. I would hardly dare ride not now because I don’t feel safe.
- Is there anything else that you would like to share about Active Transportation in Washington County?
I don’t know that I have anything else to say. I like to see others out on bikes, scooters, and walking. I would love to see more paved trails for walking and biking. I feel safer on these. Maybe we need to have more walk in pick ups at local businesses rather than the drive throughs.