Zac de Vries

Running for Saanich Councillor

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

  1. Bring the Province to the table to develop a long-term plan for public transportation in the region which includes a regional transportation authority with integrated planning and a new funding model.
  2. Update visionary documents, and ensure Saanich follows the path towards walk-able neighborhoods (with a diversity of housing types, public spaces, retail, and work places) connected by active transportation networks and transit.
  3. Better bus service, with more dedicated lanes, and more connected active transportation networks. With a particular focus on under-served areas and east-west movement.

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. Walking biking and busing needs to be safe, easy, efficient, and fun! These all tie into planning, and planning is about priorities. I will make it a priority to implement our 30-year Active Transportation Plan.

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, wider roads are not the answer to our transportation issues, they do not reduce congestion as it encourages more vehicle traffic, not to mention noise. We need be more space efficient in Saanich in order to tackle our congestion and transportation issues. Walk-able neighborhoods that are complete communities (where people can live, eat, work, and play) connected by active transportation networks and transit is the way forward!

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

Yes, this is a key part to building a better Saanich!

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

  1. Increase our annual spending on net-new sidewalks.
  2. Lower speed limits on all residential streets, use traffic calming measures where appropriate to address safety concerns on other Saanich roads.
  3. Ensure better planning and placement of pedestrian controlled crosswalks.
  4. A pilot project based on reclaiming residential streets

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

Yes absolutely, it is critical that such a vibrant network is accessible to people of all age and abilities!

Do you support building a protected bike lane on Gorge Rd?

In principle yes, I would consult with neighbors and engineers, but at the very least that road needs a bike lane.

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. Saanich needs to be a leader on Transportation and work within the CRD and with the province in order to achieve the change we need.

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

Yes. commuter rail is a priority for this corridor, I am open to the idea of freight as well. I think it is essential that we also pursue other routes for LRT in the region.

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

Yes, targeting main corridors like Shelbourne, Quadra, Douglas, and Mckenzie (etc).

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

Yes, but in a way that does not fill our streets with parked vehicles, like using a parking maximum.

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 need to expand indoor and outdoor public spaces in Saanich. Furthermore we must focus on community building and place-making in conjunction with a form planning and a design that makes public spaces safe and accessible for all! I believe that if we empower residents to shape these community spaces in their collective image, and support local community groups and initiatives we can revitalize public space and build vibrant communities.

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