Monday, October 31, 2011

Ernie Daykin, mayoral candidate Maple Ridge 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?
Within Maple Ridge I use my personal vehicle. I do walk as much possible in the town center….lots of days I am able to park my vehicle I do the rest of business on foot.
Within Metro I do use my personal vehicle and transit when it fits the schedule.

2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation - for people of all ages and abilities - to promote healthy and livable communities?
Ok this where it gets personal…..I can lead be example and cycle more.

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 believe that cycling routes that are safe and convenient are key to getting more folks on their bikes. I am not sure how practical separated bike lanes in Maple Ridge would be on the majority of our routes. Certainly on major traffic routes such as Lougheed Hwy  and Dewdney Trk a separate facility is highly desirable. I do think that east west routes that will take bikes off those main traffic routes is a goal to strive for as well. Those east routes admittedly do need to be as direct as possible….winding your way through subdivisions is not the best solution. Examples could be: River Road or 123 Ave

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.
Maple Ridge has a couple of areas of tremendous opportunity in my view.
#1. The Blue Mountain area has great potential for off road biking. There is already lots of unregulated use of that area and the District along the First Nations and the Province need to have the discussion and then come to an agreement on the use and management of that area. I do know that there is a long ongoing discussion the management …it would be great to have solution that works for all…..and then some of the potential of that area can be worked towards.
#2 Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows through our shared Parks and Rec function does have an extensive trails and dyke system. Maple Ridge with our equestrian/ multi purpose trails is a great asset. I believe with some discussion and agreement that there is some potential for off road cycling. The challenge is to reduce the potential for conflict between the two wheeled riders and four legged riders. It is worth the chat. The dyke/ greenway trail system is also a great asset that the communities share and again the conversation can be had to investigate realizing the potential for more cycling use and promote that usage.

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.?
If elected I certainly support the current level of funding that Maple Ridge provides to cycling. With the many demands on limited tax dollars and resources that are competing for funding… I feel it is not fair for me to say “Yes” to more funding without the background work. That would unfairly raise perhaps false expectations ……
Do I commit to continue to work and look for ways to improve our cycling network whenever there is an opportunity?
…Yes I will.
Will I encourage staff to look for funding opportunities from other agencies?
.... Yes I will.

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?
It is worth investigating ….to be honest I wonder if we have the density right now for ensured success. Another consideration is the cost both the initial outlay for the bikes and then the ongoing maintenance…not to mention the bikes that could be lost to theft. The benefit of the system is that folks would have one more option to get around and potentially to become less auto dependant….particularly in the town center. My understanding is that the system works well in areas of high density and for shorter trips. When Maple Ridge sees our town center in the 15,000 to 20,000 population range as projected in our Smart Growth Town Centre plan….I see it being a great fit.

7. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?
I believe that Maple Ridge is already a partner in the promotion of cycling. The District does fund and provide staff support to the Bicycle Advisory Committee. Staff and Council will continue to advocate for Maple Ridge’s share of funds from other agencies, such as Translink and the Province to improve cycling infrastructure. Maple Ridge has provided some bikes for staff to use for commutes between facilities. The District cannot do it all on our own….I certainly agree that together with SD#42, VACC and others we can all promote cycling for all the good reasons stated in #5.

8. How do you feel e-bikes can play a role in our transportation system?
Any system that will enable folks to use a bicycle can play a role. An e-bike may enable someone to bike to work that otherwise could not. An e-bike may remove one more barrier …..even a small one to cycling as a commuting option. 
What do you see as the benefits of e-bikes as compared to cars?
No emissions, getting people out of the auto, an active commute vs. a sedentary commute.
What can e-bikes mean for less densely populated suburban communities like Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows?
Again it could allow folks that may have a challenge with the distance of the commute or perhaps more importantly the terrain in their commute to be able to cycle. Perhaps a limitation to an e-bike is the distance of the commute….from my understanding 20 to maybe 30 km is the range for most battery packs.

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

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