Jacob Helliwell

Running for Esquimalt Councillor


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

I would like to build on the work done by our Council to encourage the use of cleaner transportation options among Esquimalt residents, including by working with developers to equip new developments with cycling infrastructure, electric vehicle charging stations, and offering transit passes to first owners/renters.

The Township and other municipalities in our region should be working together and with the provincial and federal governments to identify shared priorities and funding for clean transportation infrastructure, such as public transit (including the feasibility of electrified rapid transit along the E&N corridor).

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?

If elected, one of my key priorities is to work with my fellow Council members to engage in discussions with Esquimalt residents and determine what we want our community to look like over the next 25 years. This should include discussion and analysis of different transportation options and supporting infrastructure and inform short-term decision-making by Council on how to allocate community space.

A key part of my platform is looking at opportunities to enhance our infrastructure, signage, and pathways to make it safe and easy for many transportation methods such as walking, biking, and public transit. Not only could this help reduce the number of cars on the road, but it may also reduce pressures on existing parking infrastructure and encourage a more active, mobile, and inter-connected community.

While I am supportive of ultimately reducing the number of vehicles on the road, I also recognize that many of our residents are still dependent on vehicles to get to and from work, drop their children off at school, and get around the region.

We need to be looking to the future while also remaining cognizant of immediate needs. It may be too early to reduce space for vehicles, but Council should be taking active steps to encourage residents to transition to cleaner transportation options and reduce congestion on our roads, including cycling and increased transit use.

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 would be a strong advocate for provincial funding to support local transportation and infrastructure, and I would certainly support increased investments in public transit and walking and biking infrastructure. If the provincial government was planning infrastructure investment in Esquimalt, I would advocate for investments to support public transit, walking, and/or biking based on the needs and interests of Esquimalt residents at that time.

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

Yes, I think this is a key part of maintaining Esquimalt’s vibrant community and supporting local businesses, parks use, and tourism activity.

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

  1. Enhance our infrastructure, signage, and trails to make it safe and easy for pedestrians of all ages and abilities to get around our community. This includes ensuring that we have safe, maintained sidewalks.
  2. Encourage the development of hubs or business clusters within central areas to make it easier for our residents and visitors to visit and support our local businesses and organizations.

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

This could be beneficial for our community, but I would like to better understand community interests on this idea, the potential costs, and whether there are any opportunities to partner with developers or other communities in the Capital Region.

Do you support building a protected AAA bike lane on Lampson and Tillicum roads?

I am supportive of establishing a north-south cycling connection within Esquimalt. I think we need to carefully consider the best location for this route, including geographic challenges and maximizing connections to other cycling infrastructure, such as the E&N corridor and other cycling routes being developed by Saanich along Tillicum Road.

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 would require more information on this proposal before taking a definitive position, particularly the costs and benefits for Esquimalt residents. .

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

I am supportive of exploring options to use the E&N corridor as a regional mode of transportation.

I need more information on whether the E&N corridor is viable as an electrified railway, or if there are other transportation modes that could be utilized along the existing path. Recognizing that electrified transportation may be a long-term option given cost and feasibility, I would also like to better understand some of the short-term options that may be available for the existing path.

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

Speaking specifically to Esquimalt, I would like to see further exploration of the feasibility of electrified rapid transit along the E&N corridor.

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

At this time, I am not supportive of removing these requirements across the board as many of our residents are still dependent on vehicles. I think we should look at every development, and every variance request, on a case-by-case basis, bearing in mind its location in the city, its proximity to alternative transportation options, and any other relevant considerations.

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?

A key part of my platform is supporting our community groups and organizations to build on the great successes we have had with local events such as Buccaneer Days, Township Community Arts Council events, Ribfest, the Farmer’s Market, and others. This is critical to maintaining and building our vibrant community, attracting visitors, and supporting our local businesses.

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