Scott Garnett

Running for Sidney Councillor

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

From a Sidney perspective it would have to be improved public transit. There has been a marked improvement in this regard since I worked in Victoria 12 years ago and rode the bus everyday. There needs to be more routes through all areas to give people a viable option. Also, more direct buses from the ferries to downtown Victoria at peak times.

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?

This is a difficult proposition in Sidney given the demographic makeup in our community. Many seniors need their vehicles as mobility is an issue. Overall I think that is the direction we need to be heading, but it is difficult when you live on a peninsula and access to amenities is challenging for many. I would like to see the bike lane from West Sidney on Beacon Avenue be extended across the highway on Beacon as you enter Sidney as I believe this is a safety concern having witnessed many near misses over the years.

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?

Again, from a Sidney perspective, the intersection at Beacon Avenue and the Pat Bay Highway is a disaster. I would actually support an overpass there since we are dealing with so many vehicles from the Ferries with many drivers not used to the surroundings. As this is the first set of lights after disembarking there are many accidents form driver error and poor traffic flow. For myself I see the value of prioritizing public transit, walking and biking infrastructure however this particular intersection is a very real safety concern.

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

Absolutely. The mental and physical benefits from walking cannot be denied.

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

Specifically, I would like to see more money from the infrastructure budget be used to prioritize sidewalk construction. There are many areas outside of the downtown core that I feel are unsafe — specifically Allbay Road and Fifth Street from Malaview Avenue to the water. Furthermore, given our aging population perhaps some more benches for resting and just enjoying being outside along the sidewalk expansion.

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

Yes. The more people out there getting exercise the better. Also, by making it for everyone you promote multigenerational use which provides opportunities for older age groups to perhaps mentor younger age groups.

Do you support building a protected bike lane on Beacon Ave?

As I said earlier we definitely need an extension of the bike lane into the entrance of Sidney from a safety perspective. However, having a bike lane all the way down Beacon Avenue might be a difficult sell to the businesses on Beacon who rely on tourists in vehicles to support their income. I do believe issues like this are being addressed in the recently completed Urban Streetscape Design study.

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?

I do not like to make judgements on what other municipalities should do with regards to the Douglas Street/Highway 1 corridor. I am almost never in Victoria and am unfamiliar with the issue surrounding this particular item. As for the Pat Bay Highway portion that pertains to Sidney I would generally support that but it would be prudent I believe to look at the proposed plans as well as see a cost analysis first.

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

Having taken a trip on the E&N railway I can see its value and it does seem like a viable transportation option. I must admit I am unfamiliar with electrified passenger and freight services and am not able to offer a knowledgeable opinion.

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

On the face of it this seems like a good idea but I would need to see the proposal and cost analysis before offering an opinion. As one who rarely ventures into Victoria I would not have the knowledge base to determine which routes are priorities.

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

I support a review of the recently passed off-street parking bylaw adopted in Sidney. We would need much more public engagement in the process to see what Sidney residents want.

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?

Sidney already does a decent job of this. As mentioned earlier we need to address the lack of sidewalks and therefore safe walking spaces. Also, an aggressive campaign to educate residents to the many parks Sidney has to offer. We have many great outside spaces but many people are unaware that they exist. Maybe if some of our parks with no infrastructure had a picnic table or two this might lead to more use by the public.


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