Running for Oak Bay Council
What would be your highest priorities in the next four years to reduce the total energy use and emissions from transportation?
- Implement a comprehensive review of pedestrian infrastructure and implement a prioritized program of improvements. Oak Bay’s sidewalks and crosswalks are in desperate need of upgrades, which dissuades walking and encourages car use for short trips.
- Implement safe cycling and active transportation corridors to all of Oak Bay’s schools and recreation facilities. We can significantly reduce emissions from students being driven to school where many parents/guardians feel that the roads are unsafe.
- Encourage development proposals that are situated close to public transit routes.
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. There are many opportunities in Oak Bay to expand sidewalks and pedestrian facilities without losing significant road space. I would like to champion a trial installation along Oak Bay Avenue that would implement expanded walking and biking facilities.
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?
Do you support making walking safer and more enjoyable in Oak Bay?
Without question. As such, the implementation of the Complete Streets Policy for Oak Bay and a comprehensive review of pedestrian infrastructure is a key policy component in my platform. I have spoken to dozens of residents that have raised real concerns about their ability to walk safely in Oak Bay, particularly those with mobility restrictions. With an aging population and many new families moving to the community, we need to provide proper facilities.
What specific policies, projects and expenditures would you support in the next four years to make walking safer and more pleasant in Oak Bay?
- Implementation of the Complete Streets Policy
- Review of pedestrian facilities along Oak Bay Avenue and in village centres as a first priority
- Pedestrian issue reporting and “triage” system implemented for public works
Do you support building a community-wide network of all ages and abilities (“AAA”) bike routes in the next four years?
Yes. With the recognition that building a complete network is highly ambitious in four years, we should be actively working towards this goal. As a “community-wide” network for a municipality like Oak Bay necessarily means connections to our neighbours in Saanich and Victoria, I would like to see Oak Bay be proactive in reaching out to them to prioritize key cycling routes that will benefit all three municipalities. The AAA standard has been proven to encourage people to adopt cycling and should be implemented wherever possible.
Do you support building a protected bike lane on Cadboro Bay Rd to connect to Ecole Willows School?
Yes. The District should prioritize the allocation of resources to complete the lane to fully protected standard. These resources should be added to amenity contributions for improvements to the Cadboro Bay / Bowker intersection committed as part of the Bowker development. Safe cycling routes to Oak Bay schools should be the highest priority.
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’m a strong proponent of a regional transportation authority and believe that we should not view public transit through the lens of benefit to our municipality only. Providing sustainable transportation options for commuters traveling to the downtown area from outlying communities is a key sustainability issue for the region.
Would you support keeping the E&N railway as a railway and actively campaign for electrified passenger and freight services?
I am a strong proponent of using the existing E&N corridor for a passenger transit service to the west shore communities. As studies have shown the necessary upgrades would be at a substantive cost (and conventional rail is likely no longer the ideal technology), all CRD municipalities should be allocating to senior governments for funding.
Would you support and actively campaign for street-level electrified rapid transit in the greater Victoria region? If so, along what routes?
In my opinion, the greatest benefit from this type of rapid transit technology (although likely not street-level) would be the implementation of rapid transit to the west shore. If street-level rapid transit were to be implemented, I would prioritize a downtown / UVic route. I believe great promise lies in the electric buses now being trialed in the greater Victoria area and I would like to see quick implementation of a primarily electric fleet.
In the next four years, would you support removing the requirements for off-street vehicle parking from new and infill developments?
Oak Bay can do a lot in this regard by amending its highly outdated parking bylaw. I have made modernizing this and many other older bylaws a key policy element in my platform. I believe new and infill developments can have their parking requirements significantly reduced from the current standard.
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 have been an active proponent of placemaking in Oak Bay for several years and helped lead a community conversation on the future of Oak Bay’s most underutilized public space – Turkey Head. I would like to see this space activated with a number of events, including (but not limited to) musical performances, a farmers market and the provision of “pop-up” gathering space. Our summer night market is a highly successful community event which I would like to see expanded to more dates. In general I would like to see more street festivals in our village centres, including Estevan. Overall, I think Oak Bay does a fantastic job in providing a range of fun public events- I would concentrate my efforts on reclaiming roads as public space and developing an exciting vision for Turkey Head.