1. What would be your highest priorities in the next two years to reduce the total energy use and emissions from transportation?
In the next two years my highest transportation priority will be to take planning for rapid transit off the shelf and make it part of an integrated transportation plan with major consideration to pedestrian traffic downtown and bicycle feeder lines.
2. Over the next two years, would you support increasing the space for walking, biking, and public transit and reducing that for private motor vehicles in your community? How would you do that?
I walk almost every day. At the present I cannot help but feel that pedestrians are targets and are not properly respected by the motoring or bicycling public. We can gradually limited automobile traffic but only if we have a proper replacement in the form of rapid transit. If we have street level rapid transit on Douglas we can cut into the Colwood Crawl which is probably the biggest source of pollution in our area. It will also ease parking problems.
The first aspect of the integrated traffic plan, I see coming, will be to set aside further space for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
3. Would you actively encourage the provincial government to prioritize public transit, walking and biking infrastructure over roadway expansion projects? If so, how?
Once the North-South highway to Nanaimo is completed, I believe the provincial government must shift gears to deal with rapid transit. I would think the way for the City to do this, is to include the provincial government planners in our process so that the integrated plan has the funding and back of the provincial government. We cannot afford to go this alone.
4. What initiatives would you support to make Victoria a safer and more enjoyable place to walk?
First – we must end the occupation of public spaces by homeless persons. That requires a housing initiative. Again a City initiative in concert with the provincial government is necessary to accomplish this. Housing for the mentally and emotionally challenged is a first priority to segregate them from the people that prey on them. Proper supports for those individuals should be built in. Then we need to house the substance abusers in a separate facility where they have easy access to safe injection sites which will hopefully end needles in our parks. Access to treatment programs should be available to those who wish them within the confines of their new residence. We need to identify our own homeless and provide at least temporary shelter for them. The transient group who are in effect tourists should have a place for them to camp that is equipped with proper sanitation facilities. The City may wish to limit the length of stay at such a facility.
Second – where there are increases in crime we need to increase police patrols. If necessary, we can reintroduce a curfew in certain areas.
Third – we should increase the planting of trees in boulevards and other areas which will make walking safer and more enjoyable and will have the added benefit of cutting down our carbon balance with the planet.
Fourth – we need better lighting in many areas and our green spaces.
5. What specific policies, projects and expenditures would you support in the next two years to make walking safer and more pleasant in the City of Victoria?
In the integrated traffic plan I have been speaking of, I believe it will be necessary to go from sidewalks to the setting aside of pedestrian corridors. It is much more fun to walk in a place like lower Broad Street than it is to walk along Douglas Street.
6. Do you support completing the minimum AAA bikeway network by 2022?
In this time of crisis, I believe we are going to have to put capital expenditures on hold while we try to weather the economic storm we are in. I would delay the network completion date by six months to a year to free up money for more pressing concerns.
7. Beyond Victoria’s current AAA bike network plans, what projects or initiatives would you support to grow bicycle usage in the city and meet its mode share targets?
Better bike storage and parking arrangements than we presently have. If we are really trying to convert a generation of people from using cars to using bikes we must make more space available for them on most streets and create better storage for them. The AAA network will have to be expanded. We must remember, though, that Victoria is a government, educational and tourist center. Many of these tourists come by car and we ignore those people at our peril.
8. Would you support completing the 24/7 bus lanes along the Douglas Street/Highway 1 corridor, as well as along other routes such as the Pat Bay Highway as a high priority for municipalities and the BC government in the next two years?
Until there is a significant increase in bus ridership, I do not feel this is an appropriate use of space and funds.
9. Would you support keeping the E&N railway as a railway and actively campaign for electrified passenger and freight services?
The answer to this question is an unqualified – Yes. There is so much ungoverned truck traffic in all parts of our city that anything that cuts down the amount and intrusiveness of that is to be encouraged.
Electrification of transit makes a great deal of sense particularly in light of the great strides that are being made in the field of nuclear fusion.
10. Would you support and actively campaign for street-level electrified rapid transit in the greater Victoria region? If so, along what routes?
I would support and actively campaign for a street level electrified rapid transit system. I propose two corridors: one from Langford Town Centre to downtown essentially following the road corridor of highway one and then becoming part of the street on Douglas Street, a second following the road corridor from Veterans Parkway along the island highway to Harbour Road and a third connecting downtown Oak Bay with Douglas Street using Fort Street.
11. In the next two years, would you support removing the requirements for off-street vehicle parking from new and infill developments?
No, I cannot support that. People who are coming here from other parts of Canada and are buying $5-800,000 condos are going to be bringing two vehicles whether the City likes it or not. It is irresponsible to not deal with parking problems.
12. Over the next two years, how and what initiatives would you pursue to encourage people to safely use public spaces (including sidewalks, public squares, streets, parking stalls and parks) in Victoria?
My first priority is ending use of public spaces by 24/7 campers. this alone will encourage people to start using public spaces again. In this critical time of COVID I encourage the City initiative to allow restaurants and public houses to use outside curb tables, etc. I have mentioned that I believe we will need to develop pedestrian corridors – these should not be shared with bicycles, pedi-cabs or skateboarders. I would encourage the use of festivals and use temporary street closures to accommodate them. Victoria is a tourist town. I would also urge the planting of trees to help mitigate our carbon foot print. I think the City has done a nice job of using planters and gardens to beautify walking areas and this should be encouraged and expanded.
13. Do you support keeping Government St as a pedestrian priority area (similar to summer 2020), with vehicle access managed to certain types of functions, or limited to specific hours?