Niall Paltiel

Running for Central Saanich Councillor

https://www.niallpaltiel.ca/

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

1) Active Transportation Plan – After listening to our residents, I know that we need to do more to manage our transportation infrastructure investments. An Active Transportation Plan will work with engineering, police, planning, and the broader community to ensure that we have a focused, strategic, and sustainable transportation plan. This will target investments that makes Central Saanich safer and more accessible for strollers, scooters, bikes, pedestrians, and vehicles. 2) Sound Municipal Planning – As a planner, I know that sound planning can improve the liveability and viability of our communities. The District of Central Saanich should continue to focus infill and density in key areas that are close to amenities and transit corridors. This will encourage residents to walk, bike, or use public transit wherever possible.

3) Advocacy – Central Saanich has been relatively successful in advocating for increasing Public Transit and private sector car share (ie. Modo) investment in our community. If re-elected as councillor, I will continue to advocate for these critical services.

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?

1) Vision Zero Principles – Where physically and economically feasible, the District of Central Saanich should create independent spaces for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles.

2) Establish a Transit Hub – At either Mt. Newton (next to the White Spot on the Ministry of Transportation Land) or in the Keating Industrial Park, Central Saanich should work with BC Transit to establish a transit hub to better serve our commuting residents and our employees

3) Lead by Example – As a public transit user myself, I believe that the District of Central Saanich should lead by example with our Councillors and staff. We should be encouraging our own municipal staff to walk, bike, or commute where possible and share this with our residents through the newsletter or via our social media channels.

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?

I am a bold advocate for improvements to the Keating X Rd. and Island View Rd. interchanges because of the significant safety deficiencies. As a Councillor for the District of Central Saanich, I do not want to see another loved one in our community lose a life at those junctions. We have an imperative to ensure that something is done within the next five years.

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

Absolutely! Central Saanich has the opportunity to become a much safer and enjoyable community and improving walkability is critical to improving quality of life for our residents.

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

1) Active Transportation Plan – Work with engineering, police, planning, and the broader community to ensure that we have a focused, strategic, and sustainable transportation plan.

2) Trail Signage Upgrades – Make alternative walking routes and trails (away from traffic) more visible for pedestrians. Lots of individuals I speak with are unaware of some of the great alternative trail networks the District has to offer.

3) West Saanich and Saanichton Improvements – West Saanich (between Brentwoood Bay and Keating X Rd.) and the Saanichton core need to be improved for walkability. Both areas have seen increased traffic in recent years and we should be doing more to encourage walkability.

4) Keating, Bayside, and Brentwood School Improvements – If re-elected, I will continue to work constructively with parents and representatives at the school District to ensure more kids can walk or bike to school.

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

I am in favour of traffic safety improvements such as AAA bike routes so long as…

1) The road right of way is physically supportive;

2) The financial impact is not burdensome for future generations; and

3) The improvements create a net positive safety gain for all road users.

Do you support upgrading Lochside Dr to a AAA bikeway?

I believe that more discussions need to occur with residents, farmers, neighbouring municipalities, Tsawout First Nation, and other road users before committing to this type of upgrade.

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 have advocated for this at the Ministry of Transportation in my first term and would continue to if re-elected.

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

Yes.

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

Yes. I would need more information on the proposal or program before committing to routes. A proposal such as this needs to be regionally discussed and likely handled by the Province.

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

Off-street parking requirements will be something that I would like to address in the updated Official Community Plan. I believe that some parking is still necessary as we live in a rural and suburban community. While it is important to plan for a less car-dependant world in the future, I believe that we also have to be realistic about our current transportation system/climate. My preference for off-street vehicle parking is to set a minimum standard and then allow the market (proponent) to negotiate their rationale with the municipality, neighbourhood, and the Council.

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?

As a municipal planner, I know that a sound and well-reasoned community plan will set the stage for more active, accessible, and pedestrian-friendly spaces. The District of Central Saanich should continue to focus infill and density in key areas that are close to amenities and transit corridors. This will encourage residents to walk, bike, or use public transit wherever possible.


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