Colin Plant

Running For Saanich Councillor

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

The CRD must establish a Transportation Service or lobby the province to allow us to create a Transportation Authority like Vancouver. The region must work together more to coordinate future transportation plans to deal with energy use, congestion and emissions. Continuing in the same direction as we have been the past decade has not been successful enough. Our region needs (and I believe desperately wants) us to work together to address this.

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. As a Saanich Councillor I have repeatedly supported initiatives that have attempted to provide the environment for a mode shift away from the automobile. I am not anti-automobile (I drive an electric car) but we need to make the conditions for alternate forms of transportation more viable. The focus for the past 50 years has been very car-centric in the CRD and we need to reassess and change 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?

Yes. As someone who experienced a scary crash on the Pat Bay Highway I fully support new interchanges on the Pat Bay Highway, especially at Keating X Road. The region has grown since these highways were built and they deserve to be re-evaluated and re-designed.

Do you support making walking safer and more enjoyable in Saanich?

Yes. I am an avid walker (I walk to school/work most days) and want to see us have good infrastructure that allows residents to feel safe when walking.

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

I will support full implementation of Saanich’s recently-adopted Active Transportation Plan as well as supporting developments that consider walking as part of their proposal.

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

Yes. Saanich is again working on this through the Active Transportation Plan. While the plan will take more than four years, I am supportive of the implementation of such a network as quickly as we can. It is difficult to pledge this in four years given the size of Saanich and other equally-valid initiatives.

Do you support building a protected bike lane on Gorge Rd?

YES! In my opinion the Saanich portion of the Gorge should be ‘road-dieted’ down to three lanes, providing room for better cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. Why the road expands into a freeway once you hit Saanich has never made sense to me.

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. This is part of our work to drive mode shift away from single vehicle to alternate forms of transportation such as transit.

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

I believe the corridor needs to be preserved but I am not convinced that rail would be the best use of the route. The population in the WestShore does not yet have the size to merit the significant costs of rail instrastrucutre improvements. The fact that the rail bridge over the harbour is gone also means that people would be less likely to use rail because they would still need further transit when they reached downtown. I am far more interested in seeing the corridor used as a dedicated bus corridor which can grow as our region grows and can go back onto the public road when arriving at the Johnson street bridge.

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

I would need to see a business case before committing to this as electric busses may be a better option. I would suggest the Douglas/Blanshard corridors towards the Westshore be given highest priority. The Fort/McKenzie/Hillside/Dockyard corridors should also be considered.

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

We need to have a balanced approach and not change things overnight. I appreciate the question says four years and perhaps in four years this may occur through the emergence of ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles and transit growth. To answer directly: Removing; not yet. Reducing as the alternate forms of transportation emerge and grow; yes!

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?

Placemaking! We need to encourage thoughtful design and foster public use of our public spaces. The municipality I live and serve in, Saanich, has extensive community programming and we have a wonderful series of events that encourages people to use their public spaces. However, we can always do more!

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