Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bob Goos, candidate Maple Ridge Council 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?

 I normally use my car or walk.  I do not commute long distances and do not leave my community that often. 
2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation - for people of all ages and abilities - to promote healthy and livable communities?
There is widespread support for the growing use of bicycles for transportation.  It is a challenge to make it a reality.  I think having car free days once in awhile in certain parts of the community or car free streets would help to enourage people to become more comfortable cycling.  The continued development of bike lanes along important transportation corridors would encourage more people to cycle, at least on shorter commutes. Increased public education campaigns for riders and drivers to help them learn to co-exist on the road could be developed.
3. There have been many surveys asking people what it would take to get them on a bike. The number one thing people want is separated cycling facilities. How would you support separated bike lanes on key routes? If you are not in support, please explain why.
It is easy to support this concept - tougher to put it into practice.  Along Abernethy and other semi-rural roads in Maple Ridge, it would be easier to develop separate cycling lanes because land is available.  I would encourage a serious look at how that could happen.  With some creative thinking we could perahps run a separate bike lane from the Mission border to the Pitt Meadows bridge over time.  As well, we could look at bike lanes for enjoyment - the Trans Canada Trail might provide a pathway. 
4. Maple Ridge has no off-road (non-mountain-) biking/multi-use trails and is lagging behind other Lower Mainland communities in this respect. How do you feel off-road biking/multi-use trails can benefit Maple Ridge, and how do you suggest to start developing a network of trails.
In Maple Ridge we still have significant undeveloped areas where it would be possible to develop more off-road trails.  The existing multi-use trails developed for horses/hikers provide a useful model. Similar trails for cycling would provide excellent opportunities for families and community groups.  A good beginning would be a meeting with members of groups such as VACC who have studied the issue to determine where such a network might begin and then see what partnerships can be developed to make it happen without being too expensive to the municipality.

5. If elected, would you aim to increase or decrease cycling funding from current levels? Do you feel that cycling funding levels should merely reflect the present level of cycling in our communities, or should it reflect the potential of cycling - not only as a means of transportation and for recreation, but also in view of the many desirable benefits cycling has for individuals as well as for our communities/society, such as health benefits, improved livability, reduced greenhouse gasses/pollution, reduced oil-dependency, reduced need for expensive car infrastructure/parking lots, reduced congestion, etc.?
I could see funding increasing in the coming years.  As Maple Rdige seeks to go more 'green' and as society becomes more aware of the health benefits of a healthy lifestyle, it would only make sense to increase funding for cycling.  With all the other demands on the municipal budget, our current dependence on the car, the fact that a large number of people must leave Maple Ridge for employment and the lack of a highly integrated mass transit system in the area, I must admit that I feel it will be a slow and sometimes difficult process which will only happen with the continued passionate advocacy of many people.
6. What is your level of interest in a public bike-share system integrated with the transit system? How do you think a public bike-share system in Vancouver can benefit Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows residents? 
I am very interested in bike-share systems that I have read about in other communities and would support such a system being integrated with transit.  I do not feel qualified to comment on how such a system in Vancouver would benefit MR/PM residents.
7. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?
The municipality has an important role to play in partnership with Metro Vancouver, ICBC, Translink and other transportation involved partners. 
8. How do you feel e-bikes can play a role in our transportation system?
What do you see as the benefits of e-bikes as compared to cars?
What can e-bikes mean for less densely populated suburban communities like Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows?
The growing visibility and availability of e-bikes demonstrates the important role than can play, especially in getting around the local community.  No doubt the use of e-bikes reduces conjestion on the road and significantly reduces greenhouse gases/pollution.  I have actually looked at a couple of e-bikes and feel that they may provide a good option for young and old to move around our communities.  Any council will need to be aware of this growing trend.
9. Would you be interested in joining members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a bike ride through your community?
I don't think I would be able to ride too far at this time due to bursitis.  Maybe in the future...


  1. My family and I are avid cyclists both on and off road; Woodlot 007 is like a back yard to us. We have also known Bob Goos for over 16 years and can recommend him as an honest, forthright individual who would work for the benefit of all that is good, including cycling.