Mayor & Council Survey – Mark Solomon

Mark Solomon is running unopposed for re-election to City Council Place 2. Thank you Mr. Solomon for taking the time to give your perspective on cycling issues in Richardson.


1: Do you (and your family) ride a bicycle on Richardson roads or trails? For what purposes do you ride?

Mark Solomon: Our family does not cycle. Wish we had the time to do so.


2: The City of Richardson has supported quality of life facilities such as a park and trail system, recreation centers, swimming pools and bicycle lanes. These facilities make Richardson a more livable city where people want to live and businesses want to locate. What would you do to maintain and expand these qualities?

Mark Solomon: The City has been very aggressive in making its self attractive to a variety of recreational interest from bike lanes, trails, new recreation centers, updated water activities, the Corporate Challenge, etc. I strongly support the continuation of these programs and will always be open to new activities that will enhance the quality of life for our residential and corporate citizens.


3: Last year, Bike Friendly Richardson partnered with the City Transportation Department to submit a Bicycle Friendly Community application. The feedback that we received indicated that the City needed to improve in the following areas of bike-friendliness:

*Having an effective Bicycle Advisory Committee.

*Expanding the bicycle and pedestrian manager’s time focused on the 5 E’s (Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and     Evaluation & Planning) would help in scaling up your Bicycle Friendly Community efforts.

*Adopt a Complete Streets or Bicycle Accommodation policy and offer implementation guidance.

*Increase the amount of secure bicycle parking at popular destinations such as transit stops, schools, recreation and entertainment facilities, retail and office clusters and churches throughout the community.

*Expand encouragement efforts during National Bike Month in partnership with local bicycle advocacy groups. Have the Mayor / City Council proclaim May as Bike Month. Host, sponsor and/or encourage bicycle-themed community events such as community rides, a bicycle festival or a commuter challenge. Widely advertise all bicycle-themed community events.

What would you do to increase the chances of achieving a Bike Friendly Community designation during your term in office?

Mark Solomon: Transportation staff has begun developing an action plan to address shortcomings identified in the application specifically in the areas of having additional secure bicycle parking in popular destinations and increasing the amount of staff time and resources dedicated to initiatives such as increasing  visibility and access to trails, bicycles parking, etc.


4: Richardson has shown itself to be a progressive, forward-thinking city in terms of alternative transportation infrastructure, environmental conservation and restoration, and other quality of life criteria. Several cities in the US, including Boulder, CO; Kansas City, MO; and Fort Worth, TX; have implemented ordinances that require and/or incentivize the installation of bicycle parking as part of new commercial and multifamily construction or major renovation. Would you support the implementation of this type of ordinance in Richardson?

Mark Solomon: This is a very intriguing idea and one that does deserve further study by the staff. I did read and see information on the Fort Worth initiative and would like to see more information of their project.


5: Do you support the installation of more bicycle parking on City property, such as at parks, City Hall, the Courthouse, etc.? Do you support implementing temporary bike parking solutions at events like the Cottonwood Arts Festival, Wildflower Festival, Huffhines Art Trails, etc.?

Mark Solomon: Yes, the City is working to add additional bicycle parking to the Civic Center as well as other city facilities.  These will be added as funds become available and demand dictates. There is parking now at the Wildflower and other events and we welcome cyclist to these events.


6: Richardson has significant parts of a multi-use Trail Network in place. The City of Richardson Transportation and Park and Recreation Departments have plans to improve and extend the bicycle lane and trail network, including facilitating connections to our surrounding cities. Will you support continued implementation of the Richardson Bicycle Facilities Plan?

Mark Solomon: Yes, trails were the number one priority identified by citizens in the Parks and Recreation and Open Space Master Plan.  The City is committed to continuing to expand the trail network in Richardson.  This includes building a trail connection to the Bush Turnpike DART station and using both Federal and Dallas County funds to extend the Duck Creek trail.  City staff continues efforts to identify grants and outside funding to assist with efforts to expand the trail network.


7: Two years ago the State Legislature overwhelmingly passed a safe passing law for vulnerable road users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, construction workers, etc (see attached example). The Governor vetoed the bill. All of our neighboring states have safe-passing laws and several cities in Texas including Plano, Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton, San Antonio, Austin, New Braunfels, Edinburg, El Paso, Beaumont and Helotes have adopted safe passing ordinances. Would you support implementation of this type of ordinance for Richardson?

Mark Solomon: I am not personally familiar with these ordinances but I am willing to look at them and if they are needed then I would consider a review of their adoption.