Saturday, March 27, 2010

Where they Stand : James Lomax

Thanks for the concern and sending this email. I as well use my bicycle quite a bit and have already been looking into ways to solve this issue.

I'm sometimes even afraid just to ride my bike around town and my college's campus. I see the main problem being awareness. People just do not pay enough attention to bicyclists and pedestrians. I have already looked into the Ride On national campaign to create a very comprehensive advertising campaign for pedestrian awareness. It has to be very "in your face" if we are to raise the awareness of citizens. While this will do much good, you have brought up another issue.

The streets themselves are an issue. If you have been downtown recently you will notice a lot of roadwork near the courthouse, but no bicycle lanes or expansion of sidewalks. This is the core problem. Complete streets makes sense to me, and I don't see why we couldn't expand our streets just a bit to allow room for bicyclists and pedestrians to safely get around. It would add a sense of community to the downtown area where as now it is just a feeling of commuting. Bicycle lanes shouldn't just be on green-ways, they should be on roadways as well!

At a council meeting I attended this issue was brought up and the council said that they all agree, but it wasn't worth the funding and we simply can't afford it. This offended me. As a city councilman, and a bicyclist, I would see it very much worth my time to have a presence in Montgomery, and make sure we get the funds we need to run this advertising campaign and fix our streets to accommodate pedestrians. Since this is a public safety and transportation issue, it is one that is worth taking to Montgomery for funds.

I hope I answered some of your concerns. Feel free to message back as I'd love to hear what you have to say. This is an issue that really gets me fired up as well!

James Lomax
Candidate, Huntsville City Council District 3