Marg Gardiner

Running For Victoria Councillor

http://www.marggardiner.ca/

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

Lobbying BC Transit and commercial large vehicle transport to convert and/or set targets for lower/zero emission vehicles.  This may, or may not mean electric buses/delivery vehicles as hydrogen fuel cell technology is in place for personal autos and major automakers are now adapting the technology specifically for larger vehicles with the first trucks being tested in California this year.  Although the transition for commercial fleets should start now, the conversion must respect evolving technology.

Greatly promote walking within the City of Victoria, especially for tourists.  Use assessment of sidewalks beyond downtown has been focussed on width; in many areas better sidewalks and walking-friendly-intersections or road crossings are needed.

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 have worked on this need for several years in the neighbourhood of James Bay.  To get community buy-in, I would encourage/support other neighbourhoods to assess their walking and cycling needs with resident use in mind, and connectivity to adjoining communities.  However, in some areas increased walking and biking areas may not mean reduced private motor vehicle space as shared streets may be preferred.

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?

This is a difficult question in that public transit needs may require interchanges.  The question also does not include the role of the CRD.  We need a fully integrated regional transportation system, with or without more interchanges.

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

YES

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?

The distances within the City make Victoria a very walkable City, but the infrastructure could be greatly improved to make it more pleasant and could be used to guide people to their destinations.  For example, the downtown flower basket program ends at Belleville whereas a more pleasant walkway with hanging baskets and better walkways could take residents and visitors to Beacon Hill Park.  Street design and street amenities, including walkway surface, are successfully used elsewhere to guide pedestrians without cartoon approach.

More crosswalks or walking areas in the downtown core and village areas, and pedestrian-first initiatives need to be put in place.  I am impressed that some cities are gearing walking lights to pedestrian priority.  The City has a list of committed crosswalks – a list of several years going forward.  I would advocate for bringing the City’s Greenways plans forward, with expenditure commitment.

Many, if not most, of our streets/sidewalks outside the downtown area are not user-friendly for those using mobility aids such as a wheelchair, or even a baby stroller.  Making the city more hospitable for all ages and abilities of pedestrians would serve both residents and visitors to our city.

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

I support the building of a community-wide network but in a longer time frame than 4 years.  We do not have the fiscal capacity or planning to do it that quickly.  The existing downtown lanes must first be resolved vis a vis BC Transit and those with mobility challenges.

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

I believe we need bike lanes to go N-S downtown and Wharf appears to be the most logical.  However, the consultation must be reopened to ensure that problems as encountered with the Pandora and Fort lanes are minimized, and alternate routing be discussed if problems encountered.  Many residents and businesses have been slighted due to the limited consultation of the Pandora/Fort lanes; we need to have full consultation or the backlash may derail active transportation efforts.

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

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

I believe it is important to keep the E&N as a transportation route.  However, I am not fully versed on the legal implications which may fall from the land ownership.

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

Rapid transit – yes.  Choosing the solution might be premature as technology is changing so rapidly.  Routing should connect downtown to airport and Swartz Bay, Westshore communities (with walking/shuttle access to General Hospital), and to UVic/Jubilee Hospital.

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

Over the next decade(s) off-street parking as provided under the new off-street parking requirement bylaws should be respected, and followed; the bylaws passed in July are much more realistic than the decades old bylaw.  The City has created much higher density without first adapting infrastructure to enhance walkability (such as wider sidewalks and/or unimpeded sidewalks). Off-street parking can be repurposed as needs change and walkability and alternate modes of transportation become more accessible.

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?

On the doorstep, as I campaign, I hear from residents that many are avoiding downtown and some areas of parks due to the growing drug culture and panhandling, be it real growth or perceived.  For the City of Victoria, this is a major issue and I would press for solutions to address the problems.

A most effective and efficient way to bring more residents into public spaces would be to strengthen the ability of the community/neighbourhood resident groups to lead in local events specific to their neighbourhoods.

Progress on the greenways plan would bring more people onto the walkways and connect communities.


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