What do you think are the benefits of active transportation (e.g. walking, riding a bicycle)?
Apart from the obvious health benefits on an individual level, alternative modes of transportation alleviate pressure from existing infrastructure.
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?
In many parts of the City, residents have access to pathways and parks that encourage walking for leisure and destination purposes. More established neighbourhoods tend to have more grid-based patterns that facilitate a different experience than what is in place in our periphery communities. We need to ensure that we are delivering transportation solutions that match residents’ needs and enhance community connectivity.
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 already been working closely with parents and schools in Calgary to make residential areas safer for our kids, particularly in school and play zones. The use of rumble strips and lighted signs are examples of potential solutions that are being discussed with stakeholders. Raising awareness of the consequences of speeding is an ongoing campaign.
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?
One of the biggest accomplishments in Calgary recently has been Council and Administration’s attention to increasing mixed use in new areas. Through more considerate design of our communities, we are starting to see increased vibrancy with an elevated ability to live, work and play in one area.
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?
There is always an opportunity to redesign and allocate our roadways for alternative methods of transportation. Thoughtful research is required to ensure that we choose appropriate locations for these changes so that all travelers have a safe and efficient journey.
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)?
We have built a transit network that is reliant on a hub and spokes philosophy which forces connectivity through downtown. There must be a better network to connect people to places/events/people in other quadrants and within quadrants. This can only be accomplished by better understanding the lives and needs of residents. If we create solutions that address the daily experiences of Calgarians, we can build the buy-in needed for increased appeal of transit.
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?
While I agree that New York has a great transit system that offers multimodal options for travel, there is also a great deal of difference between New York and Calgary. As a young city, there is much we can learn from the experiences of New York but there is also a need to provide context-specific solutions. One major point to note is that New York has committed to establishing and maintaining strong transit infrastructure over time. Calgary must plan with the same foresight.
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?
My goal is always to consider the perspectives of multiple stakeholder groups and make the best solution for mutually beneficial outcomes. Improving transit options in Ward 3 continues to be a priority for me, but I am also aware that all areas of the city must be considered when we allocate scarce resources to improving physical and social infrastructure in Calgary.