1. Do you support re-aligning municipal and regional transportation plans and investments to meet the provincial government’s CleanBC target to “reduce distances travelled in light-duty vehicles by 2030 compared to 2020″?
Yes, in order to enable greater usage of transit and walk/roll/bike options, we will need to ensure these modes are safe, efficient and convenient, and this will require planning and budgetary changes. Almost half of Victoria and regional GHG emissions are from transportation, and meeting our GHG emissions targets will require significant mode shift, among other things.
2. Do you support making the default speed limit 30 km/h for streets without centrelines, as Victoria has already supported?
Yes, the research is consistent that pedestrian fatality risk is several times higher at 50km/h motor vehicle impact speed compared to 30km/h (as I’ve pointed out on social media). And in Victoria responsible drivers tend to travel at 30km/h on such streets, so let’s make it the law for everyone.
3. Do you commit to budgeting sufficient funds to accelerate the the walking, rolling, cycling and transit portions of Go Victoria?
Yes, previous goals to shift mode share and reduce GHG emissions here and elsewhere have not been achieved due to failure to implement effective policy, including budgetary policy. We need to budget and plan to reach targets, or else they are just empty words rather than real targets. It is a foundational element of good governance that organizations must put in place effective mechanisms to achieve their stated goals.
4. Do you support using neighbourhood-wide traffic calming to create low traffic neighbourhoods with much lower traffic volume with quick build materials?
Yes, non-local traffic should be on major collectors and arterials, not cutting through neighbourhoods. Quick-build materials can help run what are effectively full-scale pilot projects where we can get real data on traffic impacts prior to finalizing designs.
5. How would you support making walking safer and more enjoyable in Victoria?
I would ask staff to provide an initial report on options, and suggest that they consider consulting with pedestrians, mobility device users and organizations with capacity to effectively represent their interests, as well as other jurisdictions that have succeeded in this area, and to report back with options, costs and timing. Some ideas that might help, and that I would expect staff to consider, include: better crosswalks (marking and lighting); advanced walk signals at intersections; more quickly responsive pedestrian-activated walk buttons; wider sidewalks when replaced or repaired; more public seating; wider curb cuts, tactile domes and curb bulges at more corners; and implementing the City’s long-neglected Greenways Plan.
6. Do you support building at least 15 km of new all ages and abilities (“AAA”) bike and roll routes throughout Victoria?
Yes. The total currently planned is 32km, and an additional three km seems a very reasonable / modest length to protect some of the unimplemented pedestrian priority greenways, connect them to the AAA roll and bike routes, and extend AAA where needed to reach busy and underserved areas. Important context in considering the total length of AAA routes is that Victoria has 274km of streets, which cover 1/3 of Victoria’s total surface area. (Calculation of three km: 20+15-32)
7. Do you support welcoming people who use wheelchairs and mobility scooters to use all ages and abilities (AAA) bike and roll routes?13
Yes, and I have advocated for it. I am delighted when I see people already using wheelchairs and mobility scooters on AAA bike and roll routes. Welcoming people who use wheelchairs and mobility scooters to use AAA bike and roll routes is essential for making Victoria’s transportation system fair and inclusive.
8. Do you support rapidly completing 24/7 bus lanes along Douglas Street through downtown Victoria, as well as similar measures along all of BC Transit’s proposed RapidBus routes in Victoria?
Yes, 24/7 bus lanes along Douglas Street through downtown Victoria would make transit faster and more reliable for many existing bus routes, and are essential if the proposed RapidBus lines are to be truly rapid. Rapid bus network completion is long overdue. And we need Transit Priority Measures such as queue jumpers and transit signal priority in other locations too.
9. With the court-imposed deadline of March 14, 2023 to keep the Island Rail Corridor intact, how would you support modern rail service for Vancouver Island?
As a Victoria City Councillor and CRD Director, I would work with municipal partners, the First Nations and the Island Corridor Foundation to persuade MLAs, MPs, cabinet ministers and Provincial and Federal governments to commit their shares of funding, which is not enormous (the cost of about four highway interchanges like McKenzie). And at the same time, we also need to build transit ridership using rapid bus in order to build the ridership base and constituency for rail, like Ottawa’s OC Transpo did.
10. Do you support making transit fares more affordable, both by reducing the cost of passes and individual fares and free or discounted passes for youth, seniors, and people living on low incomes?
I support more affordable fares as long as they don’t come at the expense of badly-needed service level improvements. Service levels need to be improved in order to build ridership (and with higher ridership, we get economies of scale that can help support the fare reductions). I would like to see both service level improvements and fare affordability.
11. Do you support removing the requirements for off-street vehicle parking from new and infill developments while adding requirements for car share, EV charging, bike and other micromobility parking, as well as expanding accessible parking?
Yes – in a housing shortage and affordability crisis, and when fewer young people are choosing to drive or own cars and shared cars and other transportation alternatives are increasingly available, it makes little sense to require more off-street parking than owners will want or use. Edmonton and other North American cities have already done this. The added requirements (car share, EV charging etc) are in some cases already effectively required.
12. How would you activate and bring more people into public spaces within Victoria, including sidewalks, public squares, streets and parks?
Hold more fun events, improve the public realm more with street cafes and parklets, improve the pedestrian and roll/ride experience as noted earlier, and invite and encourage businesses to bring more proposals for opening streets to pedestrian and mobility device users (like Broad Street).
13. Do you support adding substantively more accessible public bathrooms across Victoria?
Yes, these are particularly important for older people, families with children and others who do not have access to workplace bathrooms or shop bathrooms. We need to make it easier to use and enjoy all our neighbourhoods, not harder.