Council Race Ward 3 Jump to Ward 2 ↓, Ward 1 ↓

Richfield Ward 3

Question

Maria Regan Gonzalez
Maria Regan Gonzalez

Lisa Rudolph
Lisa Rudolph

Do you ride a bicycle? If so, what kind of riding do you do? (e.g., for errands, to work, for exercise, for
recreation)
Yes I do ride my bike, mostly for exercise, recreation and getting to places in the area. My husband and I enjoy riding our bikes quite a lot to meet friends or attend events in Minneapolis & Richfield to enjoy the weather, save money, avoid traffic and parking issues. I ride my bike for both exercise and recreation, often with my family. I work primarily from home, otherwise I would likely ride to work. My husband bikes to his office downtown whenever feasible.
Do you believe Richfield is a good place to bike today? Three years ago, the City of Richfield became the first Minnesota suburb to be granted the Bicycle Friendly Community designation. This is something we should be proud of and acknowledge that our community and City has taken so many pro-active steps to advance a forward-looking vision for a Richfield inclusive of multi-modal transportation. I also thank the Richfield Bike Advocates for their leadership role in continuing to make biking and walking a priority in our community. With each update made to our transportation infrastructure, Richfield is becoming a better place to bike. I really appreciate and feel much safer biking in Richfield on roads that have updated with wayfinding and clear striping.

Some of the efforts I have helped advance to make Richfield a better place to bike include proving support to the City in their adoption of Richfield’s Safe Routes to School Plan, helping secure scholarship funds for residents to take Traffic Skills 101, working with the city to develop and carry out a bike rack cost share program for Richfield businesses that will roll out in the Spring of 2017 and helping provide funding for bike amenities in our Richfield parks.

While our city is becoming a better place to bike, I think we can do more to educate our residents about the changes being made. I hear a lot of confusion from residents about the infrastructure changes being made to make Richfield a more bike-friendly community and think that educating our bikers, drivers, and walkers could go a long way in improving the understanding, support and proper use of our multi-modal transportation infrastructure. We cannot assume everyone understands the benefits that come from the changes made to our roads, such as Portland Avenue, or the construction and use of roundabouts. An educational campaign aimed and bikers, walkers and drivers to help everyone understand the benefits of our new transportation infrastructure and how to co-exist on our roadways safely would be a great asset to Richfield and its residents.

I do think Richfield is a good place to bike, and getting better. The closer we get to a cohesive network through our city the better it gets. Bikers, too, need a safe route to, from, and through our city. I would, however, like to see greater connectivity of our bike routes to our apartments and multi-family housing.

I think a lot of the complaints I’m hearing lately about bike lanes and bike issues will work themselves out once our road projects are complete. Our traffic patterns in general are not optimal right now due to road closures and construction. Once these are complete, I suspect that cars, bikes, and pedestrians will settle in and all be able to move about safely and effectively.

When I ride for exercise, I like to get on an uninterrupted trail. The new Nokomis – MN River Trail is a perfect opportunity for this. When riding for recreation, I like to have a destination. Our extensive selection of parks provide great options.

Do you believe Richfield is a good place to walk today? I think there is work to be done to make Richfield a more walkable community. We don’t have many sidewalks, and while in many neighborhoods, the traffic is not busy, I think it would be worthwhile to take a strategic look at areas that could be improved to make walking safer and easier for our residents. Richfield is a good place to walk along our quiet and lightly traveled neighborhood streets, and in our parks. As our road projects continue, our major roads will become more pedestrian friendly and walkability will increase. We do need to pay some attention to our roundabouts to make them safer for both walkers and bikers, specifically crosswalk distance from the roundabout, alerts to drivers such as the flashing lights built into other roundabout crosswalks, and the height of plantings in the roundabouts. As the plantings are now, it can be difficult to see a child in the crosswalk. I would like to see these measures incorporated into the plans for our new roundabouts and adapted into those already existing.
What role should biking and walking have in future comprehensive planning and land-use decisions? I think biking and walking have an important role in advancing a forward-looking vision for our City that will promote inclusivity, health and livability for residents. This means that biking and walking should have a crucial role in future comprehensive planning and land use decisions. A seamless biking and walking infrastructure interwoven into the planning and development of our city will promote a stronger sense of community, promote physical activity and overall health, and will build a Richfield that is welcoming to all people.

I also believe improvements in the city’s infrastructure to better accommodate people with disabilities and those with limited mobility is also an important consideration to make as we look at comprehensive planning and land-use decisions. I know several residents in wheelchairs, including children, who have quite a difficult time getting around or enjoying our parks. Considering barriers to transportation for people with disabilities and limited mobility is another key factor that can contribute to a forward-looking vision for a city welcoming and accessible to all.

As a metro area, we are one of the most biked in the country. That is a very important fact that should not be overlooked. People are looking for alternative modes of transportation as well as ways to be active and healthy. We must provide options in a safe manner that fits within the overall plan for our community. The extensive redevelopment that we are likely to see in the near future presents an ideal opportunity to make sure that we are providing appropriate bike and pedestrian pathways that make sense and fit into our overall plan.
Are you supportive of protected bike lanes on major streets, even if that means acquiring more right-of-way? (Protected bike lanes or “cycletracks” are bike lanes physically separated from the street, such as the bikeway planned on 66th Street) I am supportive of protected bike lanes if and when it makes sense and through the use of a decision-making process that is transparent and inclusive of our residents. When big decisions are made such as acquiring more right-of-way, it is important to make sure our residents and business owners are included in the discussion from the start and understand the benefits of making such changes for the overall benefit of our community. This is another reason why I believe a mass education campaign about the benefits and use of a multi-modal transportation system is important. There are many benefits of cycletracks not only for bikers, but also for pedestrians and drivers. I am supportive of protected bike lanes on our major streets and the acquisitions of additional right of way to accomplish this in a practical way. We need to strike a balance between increasing the “bikability” of Richfield and quality of life for our homeowners and access to on-street parking.
What role should collaborations with Minneapolis, Bloomington and Edina play in our transportation planning? Planning with our regional partners is huge. Many Richfield residents are crossing city boundaries on a daily basis. We need to partner with surrounding communities to have consistency across neighboring communities when it comes to our transportation infrastructure and trails. Consistency is wayfinding can help reduce confusion and be a huge help to those using it as they cross city boundaries. We need to make sure we are providing connectivity for people to get where they need to go regardless of city boundaries.

I have worked quite a bit to help foster collaboration across the cities of Bloomington, Edina, Richfield and Minneapolis and have seen the positive impact and friendly competition that comes from this collaboration. I have also experience the barriers that arise when there is not consistent communication and collaboration across regional partners. Collaborating with neighboring cities to leverage outside funding sources is extremely important as well as working together to keep residents informed about updates being made across the region.

Our proximity to Minneapolis, Bloomington, and Edina necessitate that we coordinate transportation planning as much as feasible. Seamless travel and connections to these other communities will give our residents additional opportunities beyond our borders for both recreation and employment and bring more people into Richfield. In this context as well, I would like to see Nice Ride come into Richfield to increase movement throughout the region.
Are you supportive of additional sidewalks in Richfield? If so, to what extent? I am supportive of additional sidewalks in Richfield. Given the huge gap we currently have in our existing sidewalk infrastructure and financial constraints and feasibility, priority should to be given to high-traffic area that would benefit from the addition of sidewalks. We should consider location, safety, connectivity and accessibility when thinking about where we might want to add sidewalks. I support additional sidewalks on our major roads and thoroughfares where safety is a bigger issue. I don’t think more sidewalks are necessary on our quiet neighborhood streets. In the neighborhoods, I prefer maintaining our lawns and green space. My exception to this is in terms of making sure we have safe routes to our schools and parks.
Are you supportive of additional requirements for businesses to provide bicycle parking? Yes, I am supportive of additional requirements for businesses to provide bicycle parking. While the City has taken many steps to increase its bike infrastructure, I think more could be done to provide the adequate infrastructure and amenities to support bike parking.

I have spoken with several local business owners who do not have bicycle parking for their customers and have share stories about bikes being stolen on a regular basis because they lack adequate bike parking. Part of increasing transportation by bike will be making sure our community also has the adequate infrastructure and amenities to support bike parking at desirable locations for those biking in our city. This includes sufficient number of bike parking spaces, use of quality bike racks that reduce the chances for damage and theft of bikes and the building of bike stations where people can fix and repair their bike if needed. We also want to work with our City, community members, developers and local businesses to provide destinations that people will want bike to.

Addressing all these needs, including the addition of requirements for businesses to provide bike parking will help build a stronger and more comprehensive bike infrastructure in Richfield. Last year, I worked with the Community Development Department in Richfield to create a City bike rack cost share program for Richfield businesses that will be rolled out in 2017. I hope this provides an important step in the right direction to help increase bike parking at our Richfield businesses.

I would certainly encourage any new development to include a plan for bike friendly access and parking and would support a program to help existing properties add as needed. Many large businesses receive health insurance discounts on their employer share of premiums for promoting a healthy workforce. This could be an appropriate use.
We have many ongoing improvements needed for people walking and bicycling. Currently, much of the funding for these improvements depends on full street reconstruction projects. Is this sufficient — or do we need a more dedicated funding source for walking and bicycling improvements? I think it would be great to have additional funding for bike and pedestrian improvement in our city. I know there are other cities who fund these improvements in a number of ways. It would be great to learn more about what other municipalities are doing to not depend solely on full street reconstruction to update their biking and walking infrastructure. Given that it is difficult to make any sort of substantial bike or walking improvements outside of a larger project, I think our current funding model is sufficient. Our city has done an incredible job of long range planning to minimize the financial impact of costly road construction and improvement. I would hope to continue that model and work ongoing expenses and plans for walking and biking into a larger transportation funding plan. However, as we increase our bike and pedestrian paths, we will increase our need for maintenance funding. If that requires its own funding source then that’s a different need to address, with funding perhaps coming from liquor store revenues

Council Race Ward 2 Jump to Ward 3 ↑, Ward 1 ↓

Richfield City Council Ward 2

Question

Edwina Garcia
Edwina Garcia

Lisa Knack
Lisa Knack

Do you ride a bicycle? If so, what kind of riding do you do? (e.g., for errands, to work, for exercise, for
recreation)
I no longer ride a bicycle, but when I was younger I did. My Mom raised us, my bike was for errands (grocery store, pay utility bills, etc.). I was raised in New Mexico, not every child had a bicycle, I did, we had no car so I saved my Mom from having to walk to do errands. I do not own a bike at this time, I prefer to go for a walk or run.
Do you believe Richfield is a good place to bike today? Richfield is becoming a good place to bike. Once the Master Bicycle Plan is final, we’ll connect to lots of bike opportunities from going to work to exercise. We have taken advantage of building partnerships with Three Rivers for example. They have helped with financial support as a collaboration in bicycle infrastructure. I believe that Richfield is a good place to bike today in some areas of the city.
Do you believe Richfield is a good place to walk today? Richfield is a good place to walk if we chose a route that is safe. Since we don’t have sidewalks all over the community, we must be careful so that we’re not compromising our safety by walking where vehicles are traveling at a fast pace. I think Richfield is a great place to walk today. I enjoy going for walks in the city, through the parks, etc. I take my dogs walking in the neighborhood.
What role should biking and walking have in future comprehensive planning and land-use decisions? If we truly want to move into the future and rely on saving our environment, we must promote multi-modal transportation like light rail transit. Our city is small and connections to work, shopping; going to restaurants, to libraries, schools, and other communities is necessary. The Comprehensive Plan as well as land use demand smart planning into the future. There are different bicycles for people who require, for example, a three-wheeler with a basket, or bikes which can accommodate a child. I think safety is a big concern when placing biking and walking paths along busy roads. 66th Street is a great example as it has such narrow sidewalks near the street and the sidewalk deteriorating.
Are you supportive of protected bike lanes on major streets, even if that means acquiring more right-of-way? (Protected bike lanes or “cycletracks” are bike lanes physically separated from the street, such as the bikeway planned on 66th Street) Yes, we must have protected bike lanes, even if means more right-of-way. Kids would ride more if parents felt these bike lanes are separated. Many residents won’t allow their kids to bike to the pool because we don’t have good bike lanes. I think that in some places the designated or protected bike lanes are a great idea on busy streets & streets that go to and from the schools. I think there needs to be more education when it comes to having a protected bike lane path for both the bicyclists and motorists on the rules or the road.
What role should collaborations with Minneapolis, Bloomington and Edina play in our transportation planning? Collaborations with surrounding communities can benefit all who participate because we can leverage for more funding from Three Rivers, Hennepin County and the Met Council. A plan to connect will support and sustain our vision. (no answer submitted)
Are you supportive of additional sidewalks in Richfield? If so, to what extent? Yes, on “main” streets. It would cost mega dollars to have sidewalks all over the city. We would have to remove lots of trees, underground utilities, etc. We don’t have the partnership we used to have with the federal government since ear marks no longer exist. At the state level (and federal) our legislators are caught in partisan bickering. Cities have to be innovating when the city budget is discussed. We cannot count on LGA as a reliable source. I believe that doing what is best for the residents or Richfield comes first. Not knowing at this current time where additional sidewalks would be placed is hard for me to answer. I would like to see some of our existing sidewalks fixed that are cracking and crumbling on busy roads before making decisions on adding sidewalks.
Are you supportive of additional requirements for businesses to provide bicycle parking? Yes. I don’t think that the city should force business owners to provide bicycle parking. I feel that it should be up to the discretion of the business and its owners.
We have many ongoing improvements needed for people walking and bicycling. Currently, much of the funding for these improvements depends on full street reconstruction projects. Is this sufficient — or do we need a more dedicated funding source for walking and bicycling improvements? We do need more dedicated funding for walking and bicycle improvements. The competition for funding is great, just look at last session and the tax bill. I think the full street reconstruction is sufficient. I would want to see where the dedicated funding would come from and how it will benefit the residents of Richfield.

Council Race Ward 1 Jump to Ward 3 ↑, Ward 2 ↑

Note: Mr. Elliott is running unopposed.

Richfield City Council Ward 1

Question

Pat Elliott
Pat Elliot

Do you ride a bicycle? If so, what kind of riding do you do? (e.g., for errands, to work, for exercise, for
recreation)
Yes. Recreational.
Do you believe Richfield is a good place to bike today? Yes.
Do you believe Richfield is a good place to walk today? Depends. Parks and paths are outstanding but local neighborhoods vary greatly.
What role should biking and walking have in future comprehensive planning and land-use decisions? Consideration of all modalities of transportation need to be factored in without favoring any one type.
Are you supportive of protected bike lanes on major streets, even if that means acquiring more right-of-way? (Protected bike lanes or “cycletracks” are bike lanes physically separated from the street, such as the bikeway planned on 66th Street) I’m supportive of protected bikeways but would look for any other alternative before expanding right of ways.
What role should collaborations with Minneapolis, Bloomington and Edina play in our transportation planning? From my perspective collaboration with Bloomington and Edina makes more sense than Minneapolis. Minneapolis historically does whatever it wants to do without much regard for the needs or wishes of its suburban neighbors.
Are you supportive of additional sidewalks in Richfield? If so, to what extent? I would limit discussion and staff time devoted to the consideration of additional sidewalks to those neighborhoods clearly in favor of moving in that direction. A highly vocal, participatory minority of voices will not get it done.
Are you supportive of additional requirements for businesses to provide bicycle parking? Yes.
We have many ongoing improvements needed for people walking and bicycling. Currently, much of the funding for these improvements depends on full street reconstruction projects. Is this sufficient — or do we need a more dedicated funding source for walking and bicycling improvements? Dedicated funding sources need to be fully explored and ultimately decided by those the funding is supposed to benefit. My Answer to [the question about additional sidewalks] is equally applicably here.