Thursday, October 27, 2011

Graeme Ross, candidate Maple Ridge Council 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?
I use my car and I walk. I use the Westcoast Express when it is necessary to commute to Vancouver. I have biked on the dykes in the past and my son often uses his push bike around our area.

2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation - for people of all ages and abilities - to promote healthy and livable communities?
In order to alleviate the biggest concern of most cyclists, safety, I would be in favour of expanding bike routes to include separate bike lanes on major routes, or looking for suitable alternative routes when possible. Having more bike racks or bike lockers at the Westcoast express stations could improve the accessibility for commuters to bike to work.

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.
Once again, safety being the key issue, I support separate bike lanes on key routes when financially viable and would support including them in any future city development including road repairs and new construction.

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.
As a frequent visitor to our system of dykes, I regularly see cyclists enjoying a ride. Expanding trails like this is important to meet the demands of our residents. It would be wonderful to see the cyclists of Maple Ridge suggests areas they would like to see developed for off-road biking as this is a healthy and safe activity.

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 believe taxpayers are taxed excessively already and I would find it difficult to impose a higher tax rate to support bike routes. However, perhaps we can find new ways to find funding through government grants if available or through fundraising events in the city so people can choose to support the development of routes. It seems to make sense to see more money going to the expansion of bike routes as time progresses and people demand more and better routes for cycling.

 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?
Having seen a public bike sharing system at work while visiting Denmark several years ago I got a firsthand feel for the system. Unfortunately we found no bike available to borrow as people were locking them up to ensure they had one to get home on. I would be in favour of exploring this option but worry about the feasibility of the system.

7. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?
I think the municipality has to promote safe cycling through continuing to work with other organizations, primarily ICBC, the School district  and Translink. The VACC programs should be promoted by the municipality as ways for people to learn to ride and to keep them safe.

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?
I think e-bikes are an innovative way to get around. As Maple Ridge is very flat anyways it seems these bikes would be ideal for our community. As a way to promote staying in our municipality and of reducing the carbon footprint these seem like a great idea. Safety is again my main concern, as long as they are driven carefully and the cyclists are wearing appropriate gear it seems they could fit in well.

9. Would you be interested in joining members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a bike ride through your community?
I would enjoy a ride through our community. Riding on the dykes is fun but I have never been in a group ride and I look forward to it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment