Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition candidate questionnaire

The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition has sent out a questionnaire to all council candidates. They are making the answers available online, but I thought I would post them here as well.

1. Do you ride a bicycle?
Yes, Leisure/Occasional
Yes, Exercise/Health
Yes, Commuting
Yes, Sport/Competitive

2. Are there any changes that could be made to cycling infrastructure that would encourage you personally to ride more often, or more year-round?
Although there aren’t any changes that would make me ride more, it would be a nice to have a little rain.

3. If never, are there any changes that could be made to cycling infrastructure that would encourage you to start riding?
I already bike.

4. How would you rate existing bicycle facilities in your municipality?

5. What are the greatest weaknesses in your municipality’s cycling infrastructure? What needs to be addressed immediately? In the next 5-10 years?
Our greatest weakness is our lack of facilities that make cycling comfortable for all users, not just the strong and fearless. Thankfully the PCMP has addressed this, by creating a plan that caters to all levels of cyclists. Within the next year, I would like to see the CRD and the municipalities agree to the strongest funding level, which includes the creation of an active transportation office.  Within the next 5-10, we should have the recommended level of separation of facilities on all of the Primary Intercommunity Network defined in the PCMP. We also have a pair of part-time bike lanes, on Henderson and on Cedar Hill X Rd., that need to be converted to full time bike lanes, and no further part-time lanes should be installed.

6. What improvements to cycling infrastructure in your municipality will you promote and support if you are elected?
We need more cycling routes,not only on the major routes, but also on quieter parallel streets. We also need more end of trip facilities, especially covered and secured bicycle parking. We need to link into existing bicycle lanes on Fort, and boulevards on Haultain, but also push ahead and leapfrog the City of Victoria and Saanich.

7. If you are an incumbent, what have you done in your last term to improve conditions and/or facilities for cyclists?
Not an incumbent

8. The Capital Regional District’s Regional Pedestrian & Cycling Master Plan sets a goal of 25% transportation mode share for cycling and walking. Do you support the CRD Master Plan?

9. Which parts of the CRD master plan would you work towards implementing during your next term?
As much of it was possible. I strongly support not only working on the various infrastructure projects, but also the creation of an active transportation office at the CRD. Hopefully we will see a good portion of the regional gas tax money in the next few years going to working on various aspects of the PCMP.

10. Are there any changes to the bylaws or bylaw enforcement in your municipality that affect cyclists that you would recommend?
The parking bylaw needs to be changed not only to require bicycle parking (including work on making certain that that parking s installed correctly, as City of Victoria is working on right now), but also changing the motor vehicle parking minimums. Oak Bay also needs to have a policy so that in all new road construction, more vulnerable users such as pedestrians and bicyclists are considered before cars.

11. Do you see any potential for cycling tourism in your community, and if so, how do you see that evolving?
Oak Bay has part of the Seaside Touring Route, but also has many destinations that make cycling tourism very attractive. We need to work to make certain that various destinations have attractive and safe routes to them, but also have end of trip facilities at them most recently, partially at my urging, the Kiwanis Club of Oak Bay installed new bike racks near their Tea House in Willows Park, which massively expanded the amount of bicycle parking at Willows.

Two All Candidates Meetings to be held

Thanks to the good offices of the Community Association of Oak Bay and North Henderson Residence Association, we are having a pair of All Candidates Meetings. Mark your calendars:

Friday November 4, 2011 from 7-9 pm at Monterey Recreation Centre, Garry Oak Room

Tuesday November 8, 2011 from 7-9 pm at the Emmanuel Baptist Church, Sanctuary

The Mayor says goodbye (sort-of)

With Mayor Causton taking a short break to run for Liberal candidate in the Victoria riding, he took the opportunity to say good-bye Monday night. At what may be his last council meeting ever, he brought up a lot of unresolved business that he wanted to see put to bed.

Unsurprisingly, the first thing he mentioned was the town hall meeting, something he promised to the protesters from the the other day. What he promised was a meeting without an agenda, and he promised that he would facilitate that However, he wanted to have it during April, which means that somebody else will need to chair that. Causton ended up suggesting the acting Mayor — Nils Jensen for the month of April — as a suitable substitute. As for a date, there are a few being kicked around, all in April: 12th, 14th, 19th, or 20th.

Second on his agenda was “improved communication”, which apparently just means the website currently, something Tara Ney is taking over. As an aside, I see a pattern emerging here; prospective mayoral candidates being asked to get involved in high profile issues (although neither have said anything either way).

Lastly was the giant hot potato known as secondary suites. Causton has pushed hard on this issue recently, prompting one councillor to ask “What’s driving this issue?”. My suspicion is that council is going to shelve this until after the election. We are only eight months out (Nov 19) and nobody wants to commit to such a polarizing issue right now.

Thankfully, the Mayor is not shirking all of his duties as he runs federally: the children of Willows in Grade 1 and 2 are going to get a visit by him to, as he put it, “explain a federal election without getting political”, as well as chairing the local Mayor’s lunch and one final Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ AGM and conference up in Sidney.

And so we (possibly, although I think not very probably) bid adieu to the Mayor of Oak Bay for the past 14 years. Emperor Frank (of Saanich) he was not, although he is equally long standing. Now the speculation will turn to what councillors are going to run again this year and who will replace him.