Running for View Royal Councillor
What would be your highest priorities in the next four years to reduce the total energy use and emissions from transportation?
- Advocating for rapid bus /HOV lanes from downtown to/from Langford’s Westshore Parkway (that includes challenges around the Thetis Interchange in View Royal).
- A regional / provincial implementation plan for the most effective / efficient use of the E&N Transportation Corridor (not a train).
- A regional strategy and placement of fast electric charging stations for vehicles; addressing “Hell’s Gate” section of the Galloping Goose Trail between Uptown and Selkirk Trestle (safety concerns for so many users on narrow section).
- Completing the E&N Rail Trail to Humpback Road. And maybe we can get a regional transit authority.
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. View Royal should coordinate with Transit and Province to completely re-design Atkins / GGT rest stop for much larger park/ride AND establish efficient bus service for 1000 homes & Thetis Lake Park in the area. Provide rapid bus on TCH, maybe even on the E&N corridor ( feasibility study first). Encourage transit to build another park/ride at VGH to service TCH rapid bus lanes. Develop “informal trails/ paths’ with better surfaces, and in some cases, night lighting.
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?
Road expansion projects need to INCLUDE rapid bus and HOV lanes. Not only Pat Bay Highway, but on the TCH too (downtown to Langford where 7k-10k homes will be built). Replicate Vancouver’s Transit technology. Establish major transit hub at Uptown so Langford residents can easily ride and enjoy transit all way to ferry or airport. Again, like Vancouver. Consider their fares as well.
Do you support making walking safer and more enjoyable in View Royal?
I supported this when I was on the town’s Transportation Advisory Committee in 1990s (we had a 5 year sidewalk plan). I have done this for the last 22 years on Council, and will continue to advocate such priorities with adequate funding. In the last 4 years we have put in sidewalks, and a # of important pedestrian crossings. The most popular has been the one at the new View Royal Fire hall, serving residents and tourists at Fort Victoria.
What specific policies, projects and expenditures would you support in the next four years to make walking safer and more pleasant in View Royal?
Develop the informal connections and trails between neighbourhoods. Provide paper and on-line wayfinding maps, and park signage… show how residents can walk to the local shopping centre. Advocate for washrooms along the CRD Regional Trails (GGT / E&N), not just at Atkins. Same for our 3 large community parks like View Royal park! We have casino funding for such capital projects. I feel we need an OCP review (since 2011), to enhance the vision and policies for walking, cycling, transit and GHG reductions. With such vision, we can be sure its in the DCC bylaw for developers to contribute to it. Another vision: re-zone for much higher density 50 m either side of the rapid bus service on E&N corridor.
Do you support building a community-wide network of all ages and abilities (“AAA”) bike routes in the next four years?
Yes, but depends on whether costly land acquisition is required on Island Highway or Helmcken. Fortunately VR has 2 regional trails… our focus should be ensuring AAA routes to/from these corridors. Good example: build the network on our Portage Linear Park to the new McKenzie Interchange.
Do you support building a protected bike lane on Island Hwy from the Colwood border to Admirals Rd?
I think it is reasonable from Colwood to Atkins. I need facts and rationale for the rest of it. Your definition of “protected”… concrete? Land acquisition is probably needed from Atkins to Admirals. Would we destroy our water cleansing infrastructure in the middle of the road? Fact is, we already narrowed the road to widen the bike lane going up the hill. Fire trucks can barely get to emergency with current widths (cars cannot pull over). I have done CRD Bike counts for 4 years at Atkins and Portage park. I have seen 90% of the cyclists opt for the faster, safer, flatter, more pleasant E&N Rail Trail, especially now the critical Hallowell section was opened Sept 24. Give me a business case, and I will consider it.
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, provided we do NOT just focus on Pat Bay Highway. This is a regional plan, and we also need the appropriate infrastructure like park/ride locations, major terminus hub at Uptown. While I support rapid bus lanes along Island Highway to Colwood and Veterans Parkway, it is silly to think of Wale Road / Goldstream as “rapid’ to Westhills. Use the TCH. I would also expect the province and transit to obtain an independent objective assessment of E&N corridor’s functionality. Think outside the box and off the rails.
Would you support keeping the E&N railway as a railway and actively campaign for electrified passenger and freight services?
I don’t think there is a strong business case. I agree with the province. The heavy rail train has left the station. Freight is unlikely. The reports I have seen means the Railway Act applies (horns still), slow speeds, not enough junctions for both passenger / freight, slow speeds, high user costs, AND riders cannot get to CFB Esquimalt, cannot get across the new Johnson St Bridge! Current transit fares requires users to pay twice (if no day pass). AND I do not believe the Esquimalt First Nations will support rail through their traditional lands. View Royal and CRD negotiated for 4 years go get the E&N bike lanes on their side of Hallowell Road. If you had electric buses, these can go around the reserve, go off the CFB Esquimalt and all the way into town to Oak Bay!
Would you support and actively campaign for street-level electrified rapid transit in the greater Victoria region? If so, along what routes
I know Surrey will be having this. They will have 600,000 residents in the next 30 years. Their size, road infrastructure, Greater Vancouver regional funding (Translink) makes this feasible. I would support and campaign for a regional study to assess the feasibility, costs, and best routes to have this service. I suspect the best case would be first electric buses on dedicated lanes on TCH, Pat Bay Highway and to Colwood / Veterns Parkway. Once ridership proven, and fed/prov funding acquired, convert to Surrey LRT model.
In the next four years, would you support removing the requirements for off-street vehicle parking from new and infill developments?
Not yet. People still drive cars here. New developments of 30-100 units still have residents who want cars, and our community do not want these on the already crowded and sometimes narrow streets. It would destroy the ambiance, widen streets, etc When we have solutions like the rapid bus E&N Corridor, we can justify reducing parking ratios. This might work for condos downtown. Not View Royal. Not yet. BUT something for our residents to consider in the forthcoming OCP review. We definitely need every new building to install charging stations for each parking stall.
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?
Yes. Public spaces: parks, rec centres, libraries, shopping nodes… VR needs a public art policy to install art as well as greenery, trees… a welcoming place. we need washrooms in our 3 parks, shelters for picnic and music performances, and an on-line & up-to-date way-finding showing paths, trails, sidewalks for smart phone use (for new residents, visitors, tourists). We need a formal assessment and 5 year plan to fill in the gaps that will connect and encourage walking, strollers… make it age friendly, removing barriers for seniors (curbs).