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More people cycling, more places, more often

What do Victoria’s byelection candidates think about bike lanes, walking and transit?

On December 12th, voters in the City of Victoria are headed to the polls for a by-election. As with the 2018 municipal election, we’ve teamed up with five other groups (Walk On, Victoria, Better Transit Alliance, Island Transformations, BCSEA – Victoria Chapter and the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network) as Victorians for Transportation Choice to ask the 9 candidates about their views on walking, biking, transit, placemaking and climate change.

What questions did we ask?

In total, we asked 13 questions about their priorities if they win a council seat:

  1. What would be your highest priorities in the next two years to reduce the total energy use and emissions from transportation?
  2. Over the next two 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?
  3. Would you actively encourage the provincial government to prioritize public transit, walking and biking infrastructure over roadway expansion projects? If so, how?
  4. What initiatives would you support to make Victoria a safer and more enjoyable place to walk?
  5. What specific policies, projects and expenditures would you support in the next two years to make walking safer and more pleasant in the City of Victoria?
  6. Do you support completing the minimum AAA bikeway network by 2022?
  7. Beyond Victoria’s current AAA bike network plans, what projects or initiatives would you support to grow bicycle usage in the city and meet its mode share targets?
  8. 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 two years?
  9. Would you support keeping the E&N railway as a railway and actively campaign for electrified passenger and freight services?
  10. Would you support and actively campaign for street-level electrified rapid transit in the greater Victoria region? If so, along what routes
  11. In the next two years, would you support removing the requirements for off-street vehicle parking from new and infill developments?
  12. Over the next two years, how and what initiatives would you pursue to encourage people to safely use public spaces (including sidewalks, public squares, streets, parking stalls and parks) in Victoria?
  13. Do you support keeping Government St as a pedestrian priority area (similar to summer 2020), with vehicle access managed to certain types of functions, or limited to specific hours?

What would we like to see?

We want to see the minimum AAA bikeway grid completed by 2022, as well as city work on better bike parking (including both providing better bike parking downtown as well as regulations for new buildings)

What did candidates say?

Candidate6. Do you support completing the minimum AAA bikeway network by 2022?7. Beyond Victoria’s current AAA bike network plans, what projects or initiatives would you support to grow bicycle usage in the city and meet its mode share targets?Notes
Stephen Andrewhas not answeredhas not answeredRan in 2018 election under New Council banner
Rob DuncanYes, I think we need to greatly accelerate the development of all alternatives to fossil fuel-dependent transportation, including the bikeway network.I think the City should be actively looking for other places that commuter routes for bikes can be created, in co-operation with the region’s other municipalities.Ran in 2018 for Mayor
Riga Godronhas not answeredhas not answeredRan in 2018
Stefanie HardmanYes, I support completing the minimum all ages and abilities bikeway network for 2022 and beginning to plan work to come after 2022. Cities around the world are investing in biking infrastructure to increase biking ridership, make cycling safer, encourage physical activity, and address the climate emergency. I also support the City’s pending pilot project to welcome people using mobility scooters and power wheelchairs to use appropriate parts of the AAA bike+ network, as allowed by recent BC Motor Vehicle Act amendments advocated for by the BC Cycling Coalition and the City of Victoria.In addition to supporting the completion of the the minimum all ages and abilities bikeway network for 2022, I would support:
* Expanding covered bike storage options on municipal property
*E-bike and cargo bike purchase programs administered and supported by the city
*Incentivizing multi-family dwellings to provide better bike parking for residents
*Expanding education, outreach, and events
*Improvements to neighborhood bike routes, in particular closing gaps on routes, and spot improvements like curb cuts
Part of Together Victoria
Bill HeflinIn this time of crisis, I believe we are going to have to put capital expenditures on hold while we try to weather the economic storm we are in. I would delay the network completion date by six months to a year to free up money for more pressing concerns.Better bike storage and parking arrangements than we presently have. If we are really trying to convert a generation of people from using cars to using bikes we must make more space available for them on most streets and create better storage for them. The AAA network will have to be expanded. We must remember, though, that Victoria is a government, educational and tourist center. Many of these tourists come by car and we ignore those people at our peril.
Sean LeitenbergYesIncreased parking variances for newly built units for those that do not own a car. Our roads and infrastructure are already paid for by all but those that do not use our roads for automobile parking etc. Currently they are paying for newly created parking that they do not require which increases the cost of housing. This will increase bike use.Ran in 2018 for Mayor
Hailey McLeodAbsolutely. Given that we are in the middle of a pandemic that is having devastating effects on our local economy, any spending would have to be carefully considered. Providing safe biking infrastructure that is accessible is a major priority of mine.We need more safe bike lanes, and safe places for bike storage. I would ideally like to see more dedicated bike routes that are quiet and removed completely from heavy vehicle traffic.
Alexander Schmidhas not answeredhas not answered
Roshan VickeryYesSee question 3 (Answer to 3 – Yes. Victoria is the greenest city in the country. I would continue the work of the current mayor and council by expanding bike infrastructure, walk ways, and access to transit. Statistics indicate that new roads fill up as soon as they are built. I would like to see a province wide initiative to teach children to use transit and active transportation from an early age. My adult children were raised to ride bikes and use transit as children and they still do. They are 25 and 22 and have never owned cars. I don’t hate cars or the people who drive them but we are in the midst of a climate crisis and have an opportunity to do something about it by making intelligent, informed decisions.)

Keith Rosenberg and Jason Heit have withdrawn.

You can read the rest of the answers on the Victorians for Transportation Choice website Answers page.

One Comment

  1. How about asking these candidates what they would do to speciically encourage those driving motor vehicles to approach the downtown core for business and recreation ? The above queztion list does not address this concern and from speaking with many Victoria citizens this an important question. I personally feel this has been flatly ignored by our City Counsel.