Dave “DK” Kemp, former bike coordinator of the City of Fort Collins, Colorado, became the new Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator of Davis on Feb. 6. Members of the public are welcome to meet Kemp at an informal reception on Friday at the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The Aggie sat down with Kemp to talk about his plans for making the city a better place to bike.
The Aggie: What is your educational background?
Kemp: I attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, earning a degree in Recreation and Tourism with an emphasis in Interpretation, which relates to museum work, national parks and exhibits. I graduated in 1999. It was a very applicable degree to my current position. I was a nontraditional student; I graduated when I was 28. I was going to be a high school science teacher in Missouri, but decided that wasn’t what I wanted and went back to school three years later. I knew I wanted to work outdoors, dealing with natural resources, communications and environmental issues. This degree was right up my alley.
What other experience do you have?
I worked at the New Belgium Brewing Company, where I began the “Tour de Fat” series in 2000.
What is the “Tour de Fat”?
The “Tour de Fat” is a series of bicycle festivals around the western United States which help raise money and advocacy for local bicycling nonprofits. The goal is promoting and supporting bicycle recreation and transportation.
What are the duties of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator?
I coordinate bicycle and pedestrian projects with many departments within the city, and many public entities as well. The main idea is enhancing cycling and walking experiences within the city. I’ve coordinated infrastructure projects such as the installation of shared lane markings, bike-boxes, which are facilities that help eliminate crashes, on-the-street bicycle parking, and for pedestrians, dismount zones on sidewalks. Safety and education is my foremost priority. I also conduct a number of programmatic elements, such as bike safety classes for all ages, and encouragement activities to promote cycling and walking. I will be working with the bike coordinator at UC Davis, as well as enforcement agencies such as the City of Davis Police Department and the UC Davis Police Department. There needs to be consistency in what we teach and practice. Coordination with the media is also an important part of the position, as is promoting sustainable tourism. I coordinate with the Convention and Visitors Bureau to put together events and lend additional assistance.
What are your goals as the new Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator?
I want to increase the safety of cyclists in our community through the installation of innovative infrastructure, which other cities around the U.S. are implementing. I also want to create a comprehensive bicycling program in Davis. The elements this bike program would entail would be education and safety, engineering, enforcement, the environment, the economy, evaluation and encouragement, using the strength of the local community. I also want to improve “walkability,” making sure intersections are safe for walking, and explaining distances around Davis to show people they are manageable. I want to patch the multi-modal options for cyclists, connecting train and bus commutes with biking and walking. Basically, my goals are making both biking and walking more accessible for residents, visitors, and tourists and putting Davis in the international biking arena. We’re the number-one bicycling city in America, but we should look toward other cities in the world that excel in implementing bike practices. Fortunately we’re not starting from scratch; we’ve got a foundation that’s building and growing. I’m just here to take it to the next level, which is exciting!
EINAT GILBOA can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.