Reply to the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition

November 9, 2008 at 10:55 pm Leave a comment

My responses to the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition (since they’re still not up on their website):

1.) Do you own a bike? How often do you commute by bicycle?

I own two bikes; a 2000 Kona Lava Dome mountain bike and a 1987 Centurion road bike. Both were bought new. Right now the Centurion is my daily driver. I use it virtually every day to commute. My longest commute was Downtown Victoria to Langford. I did this for three years.

2.) How do you propose to expand and increase cycling, walking & public transit in your municipality?

As President of the Downtown Residents’ Association I made sure new developments had the latest bike-friendly features. I heartily endorsed one condo development that proposes to locate the bike storage not deep in the basement but in a high-visibility streetfront location. Efforts like this make bike ownership more attractive and increases use. I encourage parking variances in new developments so automobile storage is not subsidized by all owners and excess parking is reduced. My goal has been to reduce automobile visits into the core and increase bike ridership. More places to safely lock bikes downtown and in other neighbourhoods will help. Education programs for riders and drivers to reduce conflict as ridership increases. I support the construction of bike lanes on the Bay St. Bridge. I support the creation of a car-free Government St. for a trial period during the summer months in consultation with adjacent businesses. I attended last year’s City presentation of the Pedestrian Master Plan and support its vision of an enhanced pedestrian system. As DRA Chair I ensured we had representation on BC Transit’s public commitee examining the Douglas Street Bus Rapid Transit plan. I would advocate enhanced public transit service particularly between Downtown, UVic/Camosun and Fairfield/James Bay. I would advocate a light rapid transit system for Victoria.

3.) What initiatives would you propose to make our streets safer for cyclists, including improving cycle-friendly infrastructure?

I strongly believe in bike paths but I don’t assume they are a substitute for education and good riding skills. I learned this many years ago through Ray Hall’s columns in the GVCC newsletter (I volunteered my time as a cartoonist there in the early ’90s). Even as bike paths grow we must continue to get cyclists to ride defensively as there are still many good commuting routes without bike paths and cyclists must not let paths give them a false sense of security. Educating drivers to co-exist with riders must continue as well. One thing we can do immediately is improve and clarify signage, especially around intersections. Complex intersections such as Pandora and Store are often intimidating to cyclists.

4.) What is your position on the development of a regional transportation authority in Greater Victoria, and how do you see the cycling community being involved in this process?

The cycling community should be a major player as it is the most “urban friendly” form of transportation and as such must not be regarded as merely an add-on to an auto-centric transportation plan. A comprehensive transportation authority would be beneficial as it would break through the silo thinking that hampers broad solutions to transportation issues.

5.) If you were in a position to vote on a large development in your community, how would you ensure that cyclists’ needs are incorporated?

Obviously the GVCC is up to speed on the pressing issues and are in a position to constructively consult. Getting more dedicated cyclists on the relevant commitees, advisory panels and boards at City Hall will be necessary so that it’s not a case of City Hall listening to cyclists–City Hall should be comprised of cyclists!

Entry filed under: Election 2008, Uncategorized.

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