Monday, October 31, 2011

Gay Conn, candidate Pitt Meadows Council 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?
I normally use a vehicle to commute to my job which is in a rural location. When I occasionally travel to Downtown Vancouver I take the West Coast Express or Skytrain whenever possible. I enjoy walking in my community and occasionally cycling. When I have the time to ride anything it would likely be my horse.

2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation - for people of all ages and abilities - to promote healthy and livable communities?
Pitt Meadows is a leader in creating bike lanes. Continuing this practice will make cycling more attractive to more people. Additionally encouraging businesses to provide bike lock ups for their employees and customers ensures the safe storage of a person’s bike when they leave them unattended. Encouraging our children at an early age to cycle whenever possible will help create a lifestyle for their future.

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 do love getting out on a nice day and riding on the many miles of trails and dykes that we have available in this Pitt Meadows. I personally could not ride to work due to location and the fact that I often need my car while working. Also our climate is not conducive to cycling year round. This does not mean that I would not support and encourage another person’s right to have safe access and roads to use for transportation purposes. I’m not sure what is meant by separated cycling facilities. Currently our trail systems are for the enjoyment of walkers, cyclists, horseback riding and others. Most of our major roadways in Pitt Meadows have designated bike lanes.

4. 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.?
Bike riding has many desirable benefits for our communities and I am most definitely in favor of creating an environment that supports cycling. Funding levels must be relative to the needs of the whole community and the City’s ability to support those costs. If the City could afford to increase funding then I would be in favor of doing so.

5. 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 had never heard of this before. After some research, I think this sounds like a very interesting way to encourage the use of transit coupled with cycling. A successful Vancouver based bike-share system could provide our community with ideas on the best way to implement something similar in our community. The main issue I see is that I feel this program would work well in an urban area like Vancouver , but would be challenging in our communities due to the rural nature of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows and transit limitations.

6. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?
Every community can offer opportunities for the Bike Coalition to promote their cause. Information booths at local fairs, community events, and markets are a great way to promote awareness. Today’s social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook reach a phenomenal number of people very quickly. Partnering with School Boards, ICBC, local police, are also ways to augment whatever way each municipality is able to help create awareness.

7. 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?
As a seasonal alternative to cars I think that e-bikes would work. For people whose distance traveled would be more feasible on an e-bike as opposed to under their own steam, this could be the incentive required to switch over and get out of their cars.

8. Would you be interested in joining members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a bike ride through your community?
In September, due to a horse riding accident I broke both wrists, and am now recovering from surgery. Any activity requiring wrist strength or coordination is not possible. I would be happy to help in some other way.

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