Ben Isitt

Running For Victoria Councillor

What would be your highest priorities in the next four years to reduce the total energy use and emissions from transportation?

My highest priorities to reduce energy use and emissions from transportation are:

  1. Low-fare, low-carbon, frequent bus service throughout the region, including bus-only lanes on Highways 1 and 17, as a first step toward rapid transit;
  2. Protected bike lanes and greenways;
  3. Improved and new crosswalks and sidewalks, including a substantial expansion of pedestrian-controlled signalled crosswalks.

Over the next 4 years, would you support increasing the space for walking, biking, and public transit and reducing that for private motor vehicles in your community? How would you do that?

Yes. I would do this by supporting widened sidewalks, improved and new crosswalks, dedicated biking and transit lanes, and improved bus shelters.

Would you actively encourage the provincial government to prioritize public transit, walking and biking infrastructure over roadway expansion projects such as the proposed interchanges on the Pat Bay Highway?

Yes. I introduced a resolution with Councillor Jeremy Loveday that was adopted by Victoria City Council,  calling on the Governments of British Columbia and Canada to shift investments from higher to lower-emitting types of transportation within the Capital Regional District.

Do you support making walking safer and more enjoyable in the City of Victoria?

Yes. I have successfully advocated for substantially increased investment in pedestrian infrastructure in the City of Victoria, including an additional $200,000 allocation toward crosswalk improvements, and changes to the process for evaluating new crosswalks and improvements to existing crosswalks to increase responsiveness to community concerns and aspirations.

What specific policies, projects and expenditures would you support in the next four years to make walking safer and more pleasant in the City of Victoria?

Increased funding in the annual Financial Plan for crosswalk improvements and Pedestrian Master Plan implementation.

Do you support building a community-wide network of all ages and abilities (“AAA”) bike routes in the next four years?

Yes. I have advocated for the completion of an all-ages-and-abilities bike network connecting all Victoria neighbourhoods without delay.

Do you support completing the downtown AAA bikeway grid on Wharf St, Humboldt St and Vancouver St?

I support the Wharf and Humboldt bikeways. My preference for the north-south bike corridor at the eastern end of Downtown is to use Cook Street.

Would you support completing the 24/7 bus lanes along the Douglas Street/Highway 1 corridor, as well as along other routes such as the Pat Bay Highway as a high priority for municipalities and the BC government in the next four years?

Yes. I have advocated to the Government of British Columbia to install dedicated bus lanes along Highway from Victoria to Langford without delay, and beginning planning for dedicated bus lanes along the Patricia Bay Highway.

Would you support keeping the E&N railway as a railway and actively campaign for electrified passenger and freight services?

Yes, as the Capital Region’s representative on the Board of the Island Corridor Foundation, I support retention of the E & N railway for rail transport, with investment for electrification of the line and other improvements to provide commuter, inter-city passenger, freight, and tourist rail service between Greater Victoria, the Comox Valley, and the Alberni Valley for the long term.

Would you support and actively campaign for street-level electrified rapid transit in the greater Victoria region? If so, along what routes

Yes, I support street-level electrified rapid transit in the Capital Region where supported by a business case. This could include within the City of Victoria connecting James Bay, Downtown, and the Mayfair Mall and Royal Jubilee Hospital areas, and connections to the University of Victoria, Uptown, Esquimalt Dockyard and Victoria General Hospital.

In the next four years, would you support removing the requirements for off-street vehicle parking from new and infill developments?

I support a reduction in off-street vehicle parking requirements for new and infill developments. I also support the examination of a permit system for on-street parking, in order to provide a more efficient system for the allocation of finite public land for the storage of private motor vehicles.

In the next four years, how, would you activate and bring more people into public spaces within your municipality, including sidewalks, public squares, streets and parks?

I support an expansion of municipal funding toward festivals, neighbourhood events, and other place-making and community animation initiatives. I also support increased funding for public art and the creation of new forms of public art and cultural programs, to engage residents wishing to activate sidewalks, public squares, streets and parks. Finally, I support ongoing relaxation of municipal business licensing regulations relating to low-carbon, low-impact street vending, such as the Bicycle Street Vending program that I introduced with Councillor Jeremy Loveday in the City of Victoria.

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