After Mr. Signer’s unfortunate quote in Charlottesville Tomorrow. I wrote to him. This is his response. Posted w/o permission from Mr. Signer but assumed OK:
Thanks for your email. First off, I want you to know that I’m a huge fan of both biking and bike safety. I have cycled my whole life. Several years ago, my City Council campaign manager Maggie (cc’d here) also had a horrible accident on 4th St., which was very traumatic physically and psychologically, so I’m well-acquainted with the risks. I have many friends throughout the City who want C’ville to be more inviting and safe for the biking community and have carried those opinions into the West Main Steering Committee.
Of course protected bike lanes are desirable on the West Main corridor. However, the West Main project faces serious headwinds right now, including the mayor’s opposition, and I have heard a lot of criticism from neighborhood stakeholders about the particular planning of the bike lanes. In the discussion the paper quoted, I was trying to analyze a number of causes—perhaps inartfully—that might have contributed to the project’s current public difficulties. Bikes were only one (the failure to involve and embrace the surrounding neighborhoods was another), but the reporter unfortunately concentrated on bikes in the article.
I am interested in solutions here, and I also see this as an opportunity for me to learn more. I’m in the process of reviewing the City’s Bike Ped Plan and Safe Streets for All components, and would really like to hear what you and fellow bikers think—in terms of both policy and strategy—about promoting bikes in the West Main plan, and throughout the City as a whole. Our campaign is holding a series of “solutions listening sessions” on topics, and we’ll be holding one of these sessions on bikes at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 28th at 106 West South Street, second floor.
If you can come, please RSVP to David Jonas, our policy director, at email@example.com, and please feel free to forward this email to any friends and colleagues (I’m sending the same in response to a couple of other queries I’ve received). If you cannot come, please share any and all thoughts with me and David.
Thanks again, and stay warm out there.