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 top priority is to reduce total energy use from transportation through the building of appropriate and attainable housing for individuals and families who live, work, and play in Victoria. As a result of limited family housing and the lack of affordability, residents – new and old – are forced to move out to outlying communities, including, increasingly those as far as Mill Bay and Duncan. Families that do so need to purchase a second car and commute. We need Victorians to be able to live where they work, go to school, and have their communities. Without housing, the task of reducing emissions and energy use will be increasingly challenging and unmanageable.
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! We need a “complete streets” approach so that we build our cities to accommodate and enable all transportation options. Safe biking that ensures the option is available for all ages and abilities is a must. Separated bike lanes, while not without their controversy or imperfections as implemented are a critical component of this solution. As are north-south bike lanes. The Official Community Plan has slated 40% of housing growth to happen in Urban Villages, but this has not been the case. We need to return to this objective to allow for walkable neighbourhoods. When it comes to public transportation, I want to be in conversation with all necessary parties to work towards sliding scale and low-income bus passes to increase opportunities for transit use. Other cities (like Calgary) are already doing this.
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?
Encouraging public transit and active transportation is good for business, healthy communities, and families across the income spectrum. I would prioritize this with the other levels of government as they fund projects in our area. Victoria and the CRD also need safe roads, including highways, and road upkeep to deal with potholes.
Do you support making walking safer and more enjoyable in the City of Victoria?
Of course! We are blessed with one of the most beautiful cities in the world and a climate that makes walking a great, if occasionally wet, an option all year round. Walking makes for healthy communities and families and walkability can increase support for local businesses in the area. Furthermore, as an avid Fitbit user, I want more walking and steps everywhere. 🙂
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?
Again, housing in areas people live and work will increase opportunities for walking. I also want to prioritize safety and walking for everyone – to do this we need to look at wider sidewalks and ensure curb cutouts for those using mobility devices, wheelchairs, and strollers. Visual and textured contrasts are also important for children, and those with visual impairment. Many of the cross-walks in our city do not have auditory cues – we need to add these to ensure safety with those with visual impairment. Separated bike lanes with appropriate, well marked, and safe crosswalks also improve walkability and reduce potentially dangerous interactions with cyclists.
Do you support building a community-wide network of all ages and abilities (“AAA”) bike routes in the next four years?
Do you support completing the downtown AAA bikeway grid on Wharf St, Humboldt St and Vancouver St?
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?
I am committed to bus infrastructure that corresponds to and is in proportion to the public transit service we offer. We need to ensure that buses are frequent, affordable, and take people where they need to go. Further, I am committed to housing in this city to mitigate the ongoing expansion to outlying communities that continue to put pressure on our roads and environment.
Would you support keeping the E&N railway as a railway and actively campaign for electrified passenger and freight services?
Above all, I’m focused on getting people out of their cars and into active transportation whether by walking, biking, transit or what makes sense for their family. The E&N is an incredible asset that isn’t being used to its fullest potential and I support exploring any option that sees it being put to use to get people moving around the region, whether rail, electric bus, or walking/biking.
Would you support and actively campaign for street-level electrified rapid transit in the greater Victoria region? If so, along what routes
I am interested in exploring the possibility of this option for the city as one of the ways we meet our transportation needs with an eye to more public transit, less congestion, and reduced use of fossil fuels.
In the next four years, would you support removing the requirements for off-street vehicle parking from new and infill developments?
We need a serious re-examination of parking requirements from both new housing and business developments. Excessive parking requirements increase the cost of housing and deter or limit business opportunities. As opportunities for walking, biking, and transit increase, we must revisit this issue. I am interested in ‘outside the box’ options, like shared vehicles as part of a new development.
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?
My platform is committed to a vibrant Victoria where local markets, open streets, and public events bring people together in their communities. I would like to see more uptake from neighbourhoods to host their own community parties with road closures. Small libraries and the small huts selling flowers and vegetables that have popped up in my neighbourhood are an incredible way to build community. “My Great Neighbourhoods” Grants are one way to achieve this and I am committed to increasing this initiative.