Art Pollard

Running for Saanich Council

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

Clearly the highest priorities  to reduce total energy use in the next four years will start with the use of the Active Transportation plan in Saanich. I would like to definitely see movement toward a congruent strategy with all the municipalities toward a regional Transport Authority structured similar to the Translink situation in Vancouver.  There needs to be a buy in from all 13 Municipalities.  We need to incentivize new technologies such as hydrogen and electric buses and develop HOV lanes similar to Los Angeles which considering its size has used them to great effect. Improved traffic flow and increasing option for Van pooling, and multi modals forms of transit will reduced dependence on motor vehicles.  I would also encourage businesses to use flex time in the work place which would reduce the carbon impact, by spreading out the traffic flow. I have bussed, cycled, walked, and used my vehicle as long as I have lived here and clearly we need to effectively reduce our energy use and emissions. I also favour transition tax credits for businesses that convert to green technology.

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?

Making the space for walking , biking and public transit to me, means defining what strategies would be necessary to encourage and facilitate  less dependency on motor vehicles. I would create a livable cities plan where roadways can be shared by all stakeholders, including those who walk, use vehicles and who cycle. The key is more effective transit, by regularized service and more frequent service. At the doorstep, be it seniors or students, or at the All candidate meetings, this resonates very loudly with the citizens of Saanich.

It means creating a sufficient tax base to link the sidewalks for the pedestrians, and build bike lanes that are congruent with traffic flow and are safe for users. We also need to lobby higher levels of government for supportive funding for infrastructure and businesses as well as part of their amenity contributions. I also favour wider sidewalks, and improved lighting, particularly  for seniors. Our bus shelters also need updating and improvement.

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, definitely would encourage the Provincial government to put a high emphasis on public transit, biking, and walking. Liveable communities need this infrastructure. As I commuted back and forth on the Pat Bay Highway for 32 years, I very much appreciate the impact of Ferry traffic both entering Victoria and leaving Victoria to get to the Ferry. When I left in the morning, in Saanich, near Mayfair mall, at highway speed it usually takes 27 minutes to make the journey to the terminal.  The return trip can take up to 45 minutes during heavy traffic.  I think the use of overpasses and interchanges, particularly at Keating and Wallace would be a great improvement.  Also near the Waddling Dog inn, may be necessary. As most are aware the worst  bottleneck, is at Elk Lake, in spite of recent highways modifications. I am not sure what the solution is other than an elevated  over pass over near the gas stations.  I think the eventuality of a HOV Lane all the way from Royal Oak would be the way to go.  An LRT along the Goose is a long way off, but has been suggested.

Again, we should rely on the Active Transportation plan that Saanich uses to consider any future strategy. We must be fair and equitable to all transportation users.  I am optimistic that with development of Gateway Village, Uptown and Nigel Valley, we will also have a true transportation hub for transit users.  And one thing, we could do is to better time our traffic lights, so traffic does not back up on Blanshard street  during rush hour and also on Douglas street. This a major problem that needs addressing.

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

I definitely support making walking safer. Building more and safer sidewalks are vital because they increase connectivity in community. When developer build new developments, they must be responsible for building lighting and sidewalks through amenity charges. A safe Saanich means  Also, we need lighted crosswalks through Saanich.  This is particularly true in school zones and also for seniors facilities.

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

With respect to specific policies:

  1. We need to reduce speeds on secondary road and need to pay special attention to the rural areas in Saanich.
  2. We need to look at installing the technology in our traffic lights to adjust the traffic flow so it operates more smoothly particularly on such roads as Douglas and Blanshard . (particularly during rush hours )
  3. Sidewalks are a priority, then bicycle lanes. We need to identify and fix particularly bad areas, both in urban and rural Saanich.
  4. Greater attention must be paid to traffic violations.

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

It is a very laudable transportation goal to set up the triple A standard for cycling. I think if it is well planned out and coordinated it will work. It is important that we share the roadway with all forms of transit.  Although it is unlikely I would use it, I can see how valuable it would be in the future.

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

Protected bike lanes are the best kinds of bike lanes. The scenery on the Gorge is amazing  and if it makes engineering sense, we could have something similar to Stanley Park sea wall.  I think this would be a progressive and forward looking project which could provide a great link to the downtown area and get more people out of their vehicles in the future.

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?

Interesting idea. I am not convinced that 24/7 bus lanes are needed at this point. Maybe in the future if we become a huge metropolis, that would make more sense.  I think during rush hours, 7-9  and  4-7 pm, this is a definite need until Mckenzie interchange is completed. I see HOV lanes and Car pooling as ideas that must be used to reduce the traffic flow from the Western Communities.

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

It was determined that the E and N had low ridership. We do need to have some method that would increase usage of that corridor, be it electrified passenger or freight services. Perhaps it could be used for a LRT route in the future but it has to be cost effective.  I think the West Coast express in Vancouver could be a possible model along this route.

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

At some point this could happen where street level electrified rapid transit is a reality.  At this time, I feel there is potential along Douglas street, in conjunction with transit hubs at Eaton Centre, and Uptown and the Western Communities. But I feel we are 10-20 years away from this happening.

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

Tough issue as there are plusses and minuses to removal of off street parking for new and infill  housing. There are already problems with people who have insufficient parking as it is. On my street people ignore the regulations and park regularly on the boulevard.because their townhouse complex only has room for 4 guest vehicles. Then there is the flip side where people respect the boulevard and don’t park on it but the roads are so narrow, that traffic cannot pass when cars park on both sides of the road. So do we park the cars on property or on the road.  I still believe it is better to keep the traffic off the roads and onto individual property. This will be a major concern if we progress on granny suites, and so called garden homes.

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?

(candidate did not answer)

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