Running For Oak Bay Councillor
What would be your highest priorities in the next four years to reduce the total energy use and emissions from transportation?
A safe and well integrated cycling network plan; schedule/route improvements for public transit that better meet the needs of commuters; more EV charging stations to encourage/support a local gradual transition to EVs; and, safe and well maintained sidewalks and pedestrian pathways that are mobility-friendly.
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, in consultation with our community. Oak Bay has a Complete Streets Plan that needs to be reviewed and fully implemented.
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?
I don’t think that these are mutually exclusive elements of transportation. Pat Bay Hwy., for example, is a main commuting corridor and ferry traffic route so peak times are congested and public safety concerns for this highway have been longstanding, hence the proposed improvements. Generally, an “either/or” approach is not realistic, unless and until we have a comprehensive regional transportation plan that adequately addresses the rapid growth we have seen in this region over the past 10+ years.
Do you support making walking safer and more enjoyable in Oak Bay?
Definitely. Our biggest challenge from my point of view is vehicular speeding on neighbourhood streets and in some cases, poor driving habits. Oak Bay Police are aware of these challenges and are responding.
What specific policies, projects and expenditures would you support in the next four years to make walking safer and more pleasant in Oak Bay?
We are fortunate in Oak Bay because we already have a network of walking trails, lane ways and sidewalk infrastructure. I would support improvements to sidewalks to make them navigable for all ages and especially for those with mobility challenges. BTW, Oak Bay is in the process of putting together an infrastructure maintenance plan and future funding allocations will be determined by a new Council.
Do you support building a community-wide network of all ages and abilities (“AAA”) bike routes in the next four years?
Yes, provided the network is well planned in consultation with the community and funding is balanced with other competing infrastructure needs and priorities.
Do you support building a protected bike lane on Cadboro Bay Rd to connect to Ecole Willows School?
Yes, and that work to my understanding has already begun, with a new bike lane to Oak Bay High School opened in late August.
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 and this will take a strategic partnership approach and shared cost-sharing.
Would you support keeping the E&N railway as a railway and actively campaign for electrified passenger and freight services?
I think the E&N has potential for expanded use and would support exploring the options in consultation with regional and provincial authorities.
Would you support and actively campaign for street-level electrified rapid transit in the greater Victoria region? If so, along what routes?
I believe improving regional bus service with electric buses, for instance, would be a first step before building massive infrastructure to support rapid transit, given the inherent costs and other competing transportation needs across the region. In principle, I would support rapid transit to the West Shore and to the Saanich Peninsula as first priorities. I also support diversifying transportation options as the South Island continues to grow.
In the next four years, would you support removing the requirements for off-street vehicle parking from new and infill developments?
Oak Bay’s Parking Bylaw needs review and revision before we can consider such a change and it must be done in consultation with our community. I support enhancing opportunities for off street parking but, again, this starts with exploring changes to the existing Parking Bylaw.
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?
Oak Bay currently promotes these activities through an annual street market, a Christmas light-up, car shows in Oak Bay Village and at Windsor Park, heritage walks, night walks, Bowker Brush-Up, events at Cattle Point (our a national urban star park), Uplands Park, Arts Alive programs and many other local events that involve our service clubs such as Oak Bay Rotary and Kiwanis, as well as Monterey Centre and Oak Bay Recreation and Parks. I would continue to support and advocate for such events, working with local organizations such as community associations, non-profits, Oak Bay Tourism, the Business Improvement Association (they do a great job in Oak Bay and sponsor many of the events mentioned above in partnership with the municipality). PARTNERSHIP is the key in all of this and without our major local partners, Oak Bay would not enjoy the current level of public gatherings and events it has now.