What do you think are the benefits of active transportation (e.g. walking, riding a bicycle)?
The benefits of active transportation are many! With heart disease being the second leading cause of death in Canada, any form of active living that gets people moving about is a good thing. As an NCCP swim coach, I see first hand how regular activity can positively impact one’s well being, especially in older adults. Getting around our City on foot or on bike is not only excellent for our cardiovascular system, it is an economical and clean mode of transportation.
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?
Current state of infrastructure has vastly improved over the years and is superior to many other cities I have lived in. That said, we can do better. As our city continues to grow, traffic issues and road congestion has doubled. The need to promote our city as “commuter friendly” is paramount. As a regular commuter on foot (running to and from work), I have seen an increased usage of our extensive pathway system. I would like to see safety at the forefront of decisions when designing and planning new commuter pathways and links especially when vehicular traffic is involved. When possible, we can continue to introduce separated bike lanes, ensure our sidewalks have appropriate curb cuts to accommodate bikes and wheelchairs, and invest in transit safety measures (ie. patrolling transit at night). Due to our long winter, we also need to make sure our paths and roads are cleaned regularly and there is adequate lighting along the way.
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?
Yes, if elected I would review the residential speed limits and work with communities to ensure road safety for everyone.
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?
Increasing the walkability and vibrancy of our communities is key to sustainable neighborhoods. We need to design our new communities with this in mind, and when possible, strategize with planners and communities as to how we can introduce this concept in older neighborhoods. A walkable neighborhood should have multi use zones that offer shops, restaurants and a variety of services at ground level to encourage foot traffic. I would also like to see major activity centres in various areas of our City (away from the core).
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, when possible I would support the reallocation of roadway space to make room for safer commuter lanes.
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 like to see more transit buses during peak hours and more frequent bus service in areas that are lacking regular service. Keeping Calgarians up to date on their transit system/schedule to promote awareness and ridership. I would work with transit planners, organizations such as Bike Calgary and community members to ensure that transit and pathways are well planned and well linked (to transit) to ensure safety. Please read more about transit issues on my website! www.joylin.ca
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?
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?