Gilbert Town Council candidates share transportation concerns
Transportation is consistently identified as a top concern for residents. For what transportation solutions, practices or policies would you advocate?
Chuck Bongiovanni, c o-founder and CEO of Majestic Residences Franchise Systems
" I will analyze and evaluate the Gilbert Transit Survey results and how it incorporates an updated Traffic Master Plan to align with the 20-year vision for the Town's multi-modal transportation network to connect people and places better. First, however, we need to be realistic about where we live. Some bike lanes are great, but we're not Tempe, with 80,000 students biking to school every day. We need to remember the practicality of all projects. "
Bobbi Buchli, r eal estate broker
"I agree transportation is a must among residents I have spoken to as well. Roads, freeways and surface roads must be maintained, widened and expanded as is planned for growth. Gilbert residents and families are constantly in their cars not just for work, but getting their kids to school, sports, events, social gatherings, church, etc. The major mode of transportation in Gilbert is vehicles, and money needs to be spent to maintain them. Transportation avenues could be increased by ride shares, adding more bus stops and buses. Buses can go anywhere in Gilbert, from city to city, if they work local or to other cities if they work out of town. Buses would give commuters a convenient and inexpensive way to commute where they need to go should they not want to drive. Commuter rail is not a cost effective addition to transportation in Gilbert. Costing in the hundreds of millions to a billion dollars to build and years to complete only to become a huge tax burden on residents due to lack of usage. Adding more bicycle lanes to lanes that are now rarely used doesn't make sense to me nor do I see families trying to bicycle their kids to sports, events and getting to school. Perhaps adding a lane for 'only Motorcycles' would be very worthy of thought. With thousands of motorcycles on the road and adding additional safety of their own lane, more would ride their motorcycle to work to save on fuel. "
Mario Chicas, a ccount representative
"Let me first say that I oppose the commuter/light rail. One example of failure is the Amtrak that is subsidized by taxpayer year after year because there is no return on investment. The town wants to shrink the roads to create more bike paths, horse paths and dog paths and still put in a sidewalk. We need to prioritize where roads can be widened and not affect the residents around those areas."
Michael Clark, p resident of Digital Illustrations LLC & AW Sales LLC
" Modify traffic flows without any major structural alterations. Look at traffic-light controls taking account of traffic variation, and restrictions on parking and vehicle loading. Replace asphalt with Quiet Asphalt. 90% of Gilbert's population should be within eight to ten minutes walk of the busway. Develop a spiderweb small bus/van/shuttle service network. Offer more pickup locations vs. a city bus. Service to attractions in Gilbert, parks, downtown, Regional Park, and shopping. City buses cannot provide a smaller spider network. Electric bikes take the burden off individuals creating a literal sweat before they get to work. We need wider bike lanes."
Yung Koprowski, c ivil engineer, council member
"Gilbert has identified needs related to Safety & Congestion, Transportation Technology, Reconstruction, Redevelopment Plan Implementation and Multimodal Investments. Knowing that the funding will be available through the recent bond election allows the town to plan and sequence these projects in a manner that provides optimum value. As a civil engineer, I will apply my background in the transportation industry to provide oversight and ensure smart choices and wise investments. I will prioritize critical projects such as the Ocotillo Road Bridge and Vaughn Ventilator. I will accelerate promises made for enhancements to pedestrian and bicycle networks with a focus on increased safety."
Bus Obayomi, m anagement consultant
"(A) We must keep up with Gilbert’s growth. One of the significant challenges of modern cities is having overall amenities to sustain the change. The town has done an excellent job of maintaining the town this far. We do have a responsibility to continue to have gold-standard infrastructure. Arizona is one of the fastest-growing states in the country. Our population has grown by more than two million people in the past 20 years. We must continue investing in our infrastructure to avoid future gridlocks confronting cities like Scottsdale. Infrastructure includes having gold-standard parks and recreation and various centers in our town to continue to support families. (B) We must maintain our roadways to keep our families safe. Growth also means new challenges. The major challenge is the growing traffic we experience daily and accidents from this traffic. As town leaders, we need to prioritize these issues to ensure that the traffic is controlled in our community. We need to maintain our roads to protect our families and the people we care about. Safe and well-maintained roads will prevent collisions and ensure that our loved ones can safely get to school, work, church, or other places. More than 85 percent of our commodities are transported by trucks, parcels, postal service or delivered by a courier. (C) Safety and security for all members of the community. We need to continue to make sure that our society is safe and secure. No matter how thriving a community might be, it is not a livable place when our safety and security cannot be guaranteed. We need to continue supporting our local law enforcement and ensuring they have all the tools and resources to do their job well. We also need to advocate for those part of the community who might feel ostracized. As a member of the Gilbert Task Force, I am committed to making sure that nobody is disenfranchised in our community. I promise to continue to do that as Gilbert Town Council member. Safety and family friendliness is a key reason I have called Gilbert home. We want to continue to safeguard that for the residents of our town."
Scott September, r egional manager, council member
" Gilbert is approximately 70 square miles with more than 900 miles of roadway and an average daily commute of 28 minutes. 95% of Gilbert’s citizens drive a car as their primary mode of transportation. Our draft transportation master plan that will guide our mobility investments for the next decade is under review. The recent voter approved transportation bond will address many of our needed intersection upgrades, road reconstruction and safety improvements. We need to ensure that we are prioritizing our investments and leveraging our regional partnerships, technology and innovation to improve the way we move vehicles in and through Gilbert for the foreseeable future."
Bill Spence, retired U.S. Navy nuclear engineering officer
" Efficient flow of our commuter traffic is critical to our quality of life and business success. I support the use of technology and smart traffic control systems, wherever possible, and I am opposed to any light-rail commuter system. Strategic and well-coordinated roadway construction is vital. Proper preventative maintenance is significantly more cost-effective than repairing deteriorated roadway and has a far less impact on our daily commute. When practical, we should coordinate roadwork with adjacent municipalities to mitigate congestion on our major thoroughfares."
Jim Torgeson, owner Mesa Sign Shop
"First, I would oppose light and commuter rail as it has never panned out in a municipality like ours. Amtrak is 75% subsidized (on the taxpayer dollar). Examples like LA's Metrolink are abysmal failures as is light rail in the greater Phoenix area. Road expansions can be made, but creating bike, dog and horse trails along with 10' sidewalks does nothing but create eminent domain situations. The residents in that area were horribly impacted. We need to truly examine the lack of use in certain areas like some bike paths and create wider roads there."