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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, I support the CleanBC targets- reducing distances travelled by vehicle is going to be necessary if we are to have any chance of meeting Esquimalt’s climate reduction targets (45% reduction by 2030). It also has many co-benefits: reducing congestion, enabling more active transportation and its associated health benefits, and reducing costs for Esquimalt residents. It’s important to note that the target is an absolute target, not per-capita. Given the growth in population in Esquimalt expected over the next few years, it’s essential that we seek provincial funding for active transportation improvements as well as investing Esquimalt resources.

2. Do you support making the default speed limit 30 km/h for streets without centrelines?

Yes, Esquimalt’s recently adopted Active Transportation Network Plan indicates that reducing vehicle speeds is the single most cost effective way to bring Esquimalt’s pedestrian infrastructure up to current standards: many of our streets are uncomfortable to walk on due to vehicle speeds. Rather than spending millions on creating more separation between vehicles in order to meet best practices identified in the BC Active Transportation Design Guide, slowing vehicles is a much more cost effective solution. At the same time, it’s not enough to just reduce the speed limit: we need to regularly monitor actual observed speeds on residential speeds, and make changes to the road design where vehicles regularly exceed the posted limits.

3. Do you commit to budgeting sufficient funds to accelerate your active transportation network plan?

Yes. Council needs to work with Engineering to ensure they have sufficient resources, including staff and capital funds, to implement the upgrades identified in the Active Transportation Network Plan. Significant funding has been allocated to Lyall Street pedestrian improvements since 2016 and to cycling facilities on Lampson Street since 2019. Council needs to ask why other municipalities are able to move much more quickly than Esquimalt has in the recent past, and ask what further resources are needed so residents see concrete results. While I generally support the direction of the Active Transportation Network Plan, one key issue is that it envisions building a ‘quick-build’ cycling network within 5 years. Five years is not ‘quick’ under any definition of the word. Work in Saanich and Victoria have demonstrated that significant upgrades can be accomplished with very short timelines: council needs to allocate enough resources to ensure that similar timelines can be achieved in Esquimalt.

4. Do you support using neighbourhood-wide traffic calming to create low traffic neighbourhoods with much lower traffic volume with quick build materials?

Yes, although the issues in Esquimalt are less about vehicles cutting through neighbourhoods than they are about excessive speed and vehicle on major roads such as Lyall Street and Craigflower. Esquimalt needs to move beyond talking about slowing traffic and encouraging pedestrians and start implementing quick-build solutions. As an example, speeding in front of Macaulay elementary and along Lyall street has been an issue for years, and yet very little has been done despite many studies and promises.

5. How would you support making walking safer and more enjoyable in Esquimalt?

Esquimalt is already a walkable community: 35% of all trips within Esquimalt are done on foot. I’d like to build on this success by improving the pedestrian experience: completing the sidewalk network, adding street trees to provide shade and separation from cars, and ensuring that all new developments improve the pedestrian realm around them.

6. Do you support building a network of all ages and abilities (“AAA”) bike and roll routes throughout Esquimalt?

Yes- we need to improve our cycling infrastructure so that children and casual cyclists feel comfortable riding to the recreation centre, to our schools, to our local businesses as well as to downtown Victoria and neighbouring communities. The Active Transportation Network Plan provides an excellent start: we need to accelerate its timelines. Instead of 5 years for the first quick-build network, I’d like to see in completed within two years. Instead of 10-15 years for the rest of the network, I’d like to see significant improvements within 5 years. Our neighbouring communities have demonstrated that this pace of improvements are possible: there is no reason Esquimalt can’t emulate them.

7. Do you support welcoming people who use wheelchairs and mobility scooters to use all ages and abilities (AAA) bike and roll routes?

Yes- although first we need the AAA routes in Esquimalt. There’s already a highly visible population of wheelchair and mobility scooter users in Esquimalt- they often use the vehicle or parking lanes because the existing pedestrian infrastructure is not adequate. There is no reason to exclude them from AAA routes, whose main purpose is to provide separation from vehicles for vulnerable road users: they feel this need as acutely as any cyclist.

8. Do you support rapidly completing bus lanes at key locations on busy bus routes in Esquimalt, including for BC Transit’s proposed RapidBus lines, as well as effective transit priority measures along all of BC Transit’s proposed RapidBus routes across the CRD?

As part of the intersection reviews recommended by Esquimalt’s Active Transportation Network Plan, I would like to examine, in conjunction with BC Transit, how we can modify our intersections to provide priority for transit vehicles so they are less likely to be stuck in traffic. It’s one of the most significant improvements Esquimalt can make for transit users that is entirely within the Township’s control.

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?

Our current Mayor has been a strong advocate for re-opening the E&N as both a commuter line to the West Shore and up island. I would continue this advocacy across the region and to the Provincial government. Losing a significant corridor like the E&N would be a significant setback for long term transportation and climate goals: once the corridor is lost, it will be very difficult to get it back.

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?

While in general I support reducing fares and making transit more affordable, I also recognize that, for a significant proportion of the population, reliability and frequency of service is more important than price. Far more people would be attracted to transit if bus service was dependable and faster than driving. Given limited funds, I would rather invest in improving the system while targeting fare-reductions for low income families and individuals.

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 micromobilty parking, as well as expanding accessible parking?

Yes- parking requirements come at a significant cost for new housing: it limits the kinds of buildings that are possible, requires the removal of significant trees to accommodate underground parking, and creates impacts for neighbours through increased blasting. Reducing the requirements for parking would also encourage lower vehicle ownership and help meet our provincial and local goals for reduced vehicle distance travelled. At the same time, we need to address real concerns with parking on public streets in existing neighbourhoods. Increasing parking enforcement is necessary if we want to successful reduce parking minimums and avoid conflict.

12. How would you activate and bring more people into public spaces within Esquimalt, including sidewalks, public squares, streets and parks?

Esquimalt’s public spaces are already very well used. Esquimalt does a great job of bringing people into its parks: from the Esquimalt Farmer’s market to the Story Festival to Ribfest, our parks have a lot of programming compared to other municipalities. As we add new higher density housing in Esquimalt, there will be even more demand for them: we need to a plan to increase the number and types of public spaces. Continuing to improve our sidewalks, adding boulevards and street trees, as well as increasing tree cover within our parks are all ways to improve our public spaces.

13. Do you support adding substantively more accessible public bathrooms across Esquimalt?

Esquimalt already has a relatively large number of publicly owned bathrooms, especially in the core area. Making sure they are more available by adjusting year round opening hours would go a long way to improving access to washrooms at a minimal cost compared with building new ones. Adding new facilities at places with significant use and no facilities such as High Rock/Cairn Park should be considered.


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