What do you think are the benefits of active transportation (e.g. walking, riding a bicycle)?
I believe the more one creates an active lifestyle for themselves the benefits increase. I’m a great believer of walking whenever possible rather than driving, etc. If we can start young people off with that similar belief early enough, that will translate into a much healthier lifestyle for them as they grow. For the more senior of us, it has been studied and proven that the more active one is on a daily basis, the greater health benefits are gained.
Research recommends enabling biking and walking for transport as an important public health measure. What are your thoughts on the current state of the infrastructure for active transportation in the city? How will you increase the convenience and safety of all modes of transportation, including walking/using a wheelchair, riding a bike, and transit?
I would agree with the research, unfortunately in years past, the City of Calgary didn’t adopt that philosophy into their overall plans of the city. So years later, we are in a state of trying to catch up. The current state of most streets in Calgary is that they are designed for vehicles. In many areas, sidewalks are not even present, so it deters people from walking and some streets don’t have enough room to safely accommodate biking. In short, the current state is not good.
I’m a huge fan of creating Complete Streets, where transit (BRT’s), vehicular, biking and sidewalks are possible in a safe and efficient manner. I believe as we move forward we need to embrace that vision over the what we currently have.
Lowering speeds to 30 kph in residential areas improves road safety for all users, especially children and seniors. Calgary citizen groups in many communities are calling on the City to act against speeding. If elected, how will you work to reduce vehicle speeds in residential areas in Calgary?
I have heard many times about people speeding through communities where there are playgrounds and schools and it is a definite issue. Lowering the speed to 30 kph across the board will not work ask people are used to the 50 or 60 kph limits in most areas except school and playgrounds.
I would strongly suggest and submit the fastest way to reduce speeds around playgrounds and schools would be to implement 4 way stops at the intersections immediately leading to the 30 kph limit for schools and playgrounds. When people start off knowing there is a speed limit, they are more apt to speed up to that limit rather than slow down to it without it.
Traffic calmers are another suggestion.
Vibrant communities depend upon everyday people using city streets to shop, eat, linger, and walk. Several factors play into the walkability of communities including: intensity, mixing of different types of uses, connectivity, and quality of the urban realm. If elected, how will you increase the walkability and vibrancy of Calgary’s communities?
This will obviously be more difficult in existing communities where housing has already been established with no space allocated for commercial businesses however, in newer communities, especially in TOD areas I believe this is a focal point of having a good mixture of shops, restaurants and services available to ensure folks can easily walk or bike to facilities. We need to incorporate more green spaces and recreation areas into the mix as well.
Bicycle access to amenities (e.g. work, school, recreation) requires bicycle facilities that extend beyond our pathways. In addition, this summer we saw how reliance on a pathway network built primarily in a river floodplain resulted in a loss of viable travel routes for many Calgarians. Of its 18,000 lane-km of roads, Calgary has only 26 km of marked on-street bike routes. Given that 98% of Calgarians are uncomfortable riding in traffic, do you support reallocation of roadway space to provide people on bicycles with equitable, reliable, safe, comfortable, and efficient access to the amenities they need to reach?
Yes, where it is possible to do so in a safe manner for both vehicular and bike traffic to co-exist we should look at it. Now having said that, where roadway space is provided for bike traffic I would also say that they MUST then stop using the sidewalks. Cyclists must ensure that where space is provided on the road for them, the sidewalks are then off-limits to them so pedestrians can feel safe to walk as well.
How will you increase the convenience and appeal of transit as a mode of choice, as well as facilitate the possibility of multi-modal trips (e.g. walking & transit, riding a bike & transit)?
Frequency of transit buses has to be increased to encourage people to use feeder buses to LRT, etc. To have someone wait 30 minutes or more after shopping or school only encourages people to use vehicles instead of transit. Parking is another huge issue with LRT stations. We need to increase the number Park and Ride hubs throughout the city to allow people to park and then catch an express bus to the LRT stations throughout the day.
Are you familiar with the New York experience from 2007-2013? How can we replicate most of that success here in the next five years?
I am not familiar with this but would be interested in reading about it if you have a link to investigate it. Thank you.
Will you advocate for the prioritization of cold hard cash directed towards alternative transport options, and an urgent move to make on-the-ground changes immediately?
I’m in favour of improving the flow of traffic at all levels whenever there is a possibility to do so in an efficient manner. The RouteIT plan that was designed for a 30 year plan of action and then immediately put on the shelf for 10 years before they will do anything with it, needs to be implemented or scrapped. To wait 10 years before implementing a 30 year plan is really a missed opportunity.