Friday, October 21, 2011

Doug Bing, candidate Pitt Meadows Council 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?  My normal modes of transportation used within my community are my own two feet and my car; and within Metro Vancouver, the West Coast Express, SkyTrain, Sea Bus and my car.
2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation - for people of all ages and abilities - to promote healthy and livable communities?  
I would encourage all communities to build more separated cycling paths.  Safety is number one in my mind because cyclists are so vulnerable and at risk to injury or death whenever there is an accident involving cars and bicycle riders. Cyclists and motorists have always had  an uneasy co-existence when they share road space.  
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.
I would target and develop positive personal relationships with the politicians and people of influence who could help to bring about the change that you are seeking. If you have a good relationship built it is easier to educate and convince people to help you, compared to sending them a document to read and naively expecting them to support your cause when there are so many competing causes out there.    

4. If elected, would you aim to increase or decrease cycling funding from current levels? 
I am a big supporter of cycling for all the reasons you have mentioned, transportation, recreation, health benefits, fewer cars on the road, less green house gas created, etc. but the reality is, in Pitt Meadows we have the most cycling paths per capita in the lower mainland and it is not an easy sell to increase funding from current levels although I am always pleased to see recommendations from staff to increase cycling funding.   
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 am very supportive of more funding for cycling initiatives in our communities and would like it to reflect the potential of cycling but as an experienced Councillor, I am also aware of competing interests and political realities . 
5. What is your level of interest in a public bike-share system integrated with the transit system? 
I think it would be a wonderful idea.  I have been in many cities where they have successful public bike-share programs.  One thing I noticed though is that none of these places had helmet laws which tends to be one more admittedly poor excuse for people to not cycle. I was in Britain last year and I noticed that at every commuter station outside of London there were hundreds of bicycles parked as there was no parking for cars so people rode their bikes to the stations in the mornings and home again at night.  
How do you think a public bike-share system in Vancouver can benefit Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows residents?   
Vancouver, because of its size, is a trend-setter for the region and I think if Vancouver can get a successful program off the ground, it will benefit Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows residents by showing us what could be done. 
6. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?   
As the level of government closest to the people, I think the municipality has a key role in supporting and promoting cycling education.  It is important for the municipality to show leadership and work with cycling advocates like yourselves to support cycling through its OCP, planning and building more and safer cycling paths.

7. How do you feel e-bikes can play a role in our transportation system?  
e-bikes are just one more piece of the puzzle; not everyone is young enough or fit enough to cycle long distances so this is one more way to get people out of their cars and onto a bike. The more people we get out of cars and onto bicycle paths the better as more people on bikes can never be a bad thing in a car-obsessed society.
What do you see as the benefits of e-bikes as compared to cars?   
Read the second half of question 4 on the "desirable benefits of cycling."
What can e-bikes mean for less densely populated suburban communities like Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows?  
It is one more option for people and to reiterate what I have already said, "more people on bikes can never be a bad thing!"

8. Would you be interested in joining members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a bike ride through your community? 

Sure, love to!

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