What do you think are the benefits of active transportation (e.g. walking, riding a bicycle)?
The benefits are many, ranging from increased health, decreased volumes of vehicular traffic with lower emissions, less congestion for commuters as well as increased choices.
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?
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?
Lowering speed limits is not the only effective means of controlling speed. In fact, speed limits are routinely ignored. Many roads within our communities are designed to handle high speeds and therefore people respond, and they speed. Solutions for traffic calming are typically more effective. Bump outs, round abouts and other restrictions can greatly mitigate high residential speeds.
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?
Focussing on ward 2, the ability to increase walk ability and safety would primarily come from the proper assessment of new plans coming forward for all elements of communities including shopping areas. Pathways, connections, sidewalks on both sides of the street, permeable neighborhoods and other known and creative factors can make such a difference in achieving walk ability.
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?
I support the use of dedicated bike lines only on certain roadways. Not all roads can support this modality, not all calgarians support this method and yet there are some areas that could be well served with thoughtful installations.
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)?
Tough question. Effective routing and scheduling can make a big difference in the user experience. Parking facilities when possible at the terminus of a line can increase usage. Bike racks at stations a stops are very important. Ensuring that stops are included in a pathway network when possible during the outline planning stage of communities.
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?
New York has taken the approach of improving the experience of walking, parking for transit, safety on bike paths and other initiatives. They have also taken on an active transportation improvement program in conjunction with the state.
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?
Transit options beyond just the vehicle is an important aspect of our city. Budgeting is obviously a very complex process and must be undertaken in the context of each individual process. That being said, I would advocate for funding for sensible modes of improvement as well as for more direct planning improvements in new communities and other innovations that would not place a burden on the tax payer.