What do you think are the benefits of active transportation (e.g. walking, riding a bicycle)?
Clearly individual health benefits, clean air, less debris/road damage pollution, less traffic and congestion on the road, less reliance on vehicular modes of transportation, etc.
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?
Where applicable, municipal infrastructure (e.g. bikeways, bikepaths, walking paths, sidewalks, +15 and +30 networks, etc.) must be safe, reliable, accessible and available to Calgarians inclusively. Whether it be completing or expanding networks, twinning or separating for mode for safety, pedestrian safety, speed enforcement, etc. Calgary must invest in alternative transportation modes.
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 am an advocate of road infrastructure changes to bring roadway speed more aligned with the community characteristic / build. Placing more 2-3-4 way stop intersections, placing structural impediments (i.e. barriers) on road ways to condition people to reduce their speed and to pay attention, forcing municipal vehicles to become ‘pace cars’, etc. are ways to achieve a community sensitive roadway risk. Having said this though, I would seek legislation change to align Playground and Schools under one common rule and time of operation (i.e. 30 kph everyday of the year – dawn to dusk). Traffic enforcement is obvious action and deterrent.
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?
I believe in community-based advocacy forums wherebe individuals, community associations, businesses, etc. sponsor discussions on a community based design forum. These should be used to influence developers, businesses, builders, community associations, and residents on the type of community they want. The City should be a stakeholder, not always the sponsor.
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 would prefer keeping bikes off roadways as we cannot guarantee cyclist and motorist safety. I favour dedicated bike paths with separation from pedestrians where possible.
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)?
I would advocate creation of a reloadable Civic SmartCard that gives holders access to transit at graduated incentive rate. In otherwords, a fill fare single fare rate for the first, 10 rides per year, 15% discount rate for if between 10-20 rides and a current 22% monthly bus discount rate for riders over 20. SmartCard rebates would be applied on the next monthly card reload. I would increase the price of a single fare to cover both the transit fare and the tax supported component. This would move people to monthly fares and increased transit use to recover their cost. It would also make out-of-town users pay their share of the fare (i.e. FareShare).
I would also promote more cross town bus routes for more direct travel and to lessen transit rider’s time on the LRT and bus feeder network. To further this, I would change bus feeder schedules, frequency, modes of transit, and lengths of service from LRT and BRT stations as many non-rush hour routes take longer than driving.
I would increase Park and Ride capacity and accessibility and provide secure (perhaps even automated) bike cages at LRT stations to those willing to pay.
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?
Yes. We must create a culture in favour of transportation choice that is desired not forced. Calgarians love their cars. They are afraid of alternative transportation (except transit) during winter. We must demonstrate how this can be safe and reliable year round. I would start first in the inner city core and other nodes where it is conducive and receptive. It does not have to be city wide to start.
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 believe in community advocacy and representation during strategic planning and business planning phases that then drive the budgeting process. People must voice their desires, priorities, risks, opportunities, etc. to help Council define budget priorities. While I support alternative transportation, it would be inappropriate and ill-advised for any Councillor to assume an ask for budget is justification for infrastructure or service program. I am hearing this already in regards to the $52M tax space decision.