Lisa Helps

Running for Mayor of Victoria

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

My highest priority is to complete Victoria’s All Ages and Abilities Cycling Network. When this network is complete it will reduce GHGs by 10,000 tonnes annually. Other priorities include:

  • Complete bus rapid transit lanes to the Westshore and back, decreasing traffic congestion
  • Develop a business case to transition BC Transit buses in the region to 100% electric by 2030
  • Bring Evo “floating car share service” to Victoria
  • Ensure that by 2022, 75% of Victorians live within a two-minute bike ride of a safe bike route.
  • Implement the Smart South Island Plan to create convenient, affordable, low-carbon integrated mobility including car-share, bike-share, biking, walking, transit, driving

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?

We are actively pursuing initiatives to improve walkability and safety on our city streets, including reducing speed limits on neighbourhood streets, expanding the bike network including limiting car access to some streets to decrease car volume, sidewalk improvements, warning signals at crosswalks, creating new pedestrian plazas as part of the bike network implementation including at Wharf and and Government and Douglas and Humboldt. I would also like to see more car share cars and car share memberships in exchange for parking variances in new developments.

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. I believe the Province should take a comprehensive and integrated mobility approach to all transportation projects.

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

Yes. There is a strong relationship between making biking safer and walking safer and more pleasant. On Pandora and Fort, pedestrians are more separated from cars, which enhances the walking experience. As we reduce vehicle traffic on particular streets to make them suitable for all ages and abilities, this will also be a more pleasant and safer experience for walking. Finally, and one that’s been discussed for years, I would like to work with the businesses, the Downtown Victoria Business Association and downtown residents to make Government Street pedestrian only in the summer months.

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?

Reduced speed limits on local neighbourhood streets in residential areas. More designated crosswalks and warning signs/ lights on high volume streets, new pedestrian plazas as outlined above and reducing traffic volumes on all ages and abilities bike network streets, which will also make walking on those streets more pleasant.

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

Indeed. Victoria is already well underway toward this goal with the intention of completing a 30km network of bike lanes, including a connected loop in the downtown zone.

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?

Yes, If re-elected, I would take a more proactive role on the Victoria Regional Transit Commission in order to help the region build a transit system for the future. With the rapid bus plans currently underway a bus ride from Colwood to downtown will be 30 minutes faster. I’d like to see these plans implemented and faster implementation of the rest of the Transit Futures Plan.

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

I would like to see the E&N railway used for a transportation corridor as soon as possible, using whatever mode of transport is deemed to be the most effective, efficient and affordable on the corridor. We will continue to work with the Province to help ensure that this happens.

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

As outlined above, I have brought forward a motion to the Greater Victoria Transit Commission to electrify the fleet by 2030. And I am in support of bus rapid (BRT) transit. I think we need to start with BRT to the Westshore and then the Peninsula as outlined in the Transit Futures Plan. Getting BRT to the Westshore and having a business case for the transition having that BRT electrified are my top transit priorities for the next four years.

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

We have been moving in that direction for some time already and have recently adopted a new parking schedule with far fewer requirements for parking spots. I don’t think this new schedule goes far enough and I would be willing to entertain further requests for parking variances with the proviso that car share cars are provided on site and memberships are provided to all building occupants. I think that car-share is a ‘secret weapon’ for reducing the number of new parking spots required and reducing individual car ownership.

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?

We are currently engaging the public to suggest more and creative public usage of Centennial Square, Ship Point, Songhees Park, and Central Park to name a few. Going forward, I plan to hold public workshops on “tactical urbanism” in support of citizen and business-led actions to improve and activate our public spaces. And of course, we will continue to sponsor the annual Car-Free Day on Douglas Street and work to make Government Street pedestrian only with light activation of the space in partnership with the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network.

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